Thursday, September 27, 2012
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 10
Heckler (2007; dir. Michael Addis) Whatever you think of Jamie Kennedy's movies, his relationship with critics couldn't be clearer than it is in this documentary, in which he gathers a group of pissed off comedians to discuss and dis hecklers and online critics. There are good arguments, and some whining. It's not always balanced but it is entertaining -- and reviewing it back in 2008 changed the way I've approached movie reviews ever since.
Sleeper (1973; dir. Woody Allen) One film we all left off our lists of our "favorite future movies," this film was made in a different era, one in which Woody Allen was not yet afraid to do slapstick. Our favorite neurotic writer/director plays Miles Monroe, an organic food store owner who is accidentally frozen after routine surgery goes awry and thawed out in the year 2173. The film plays like an extended Allen New Yorker piece with wild physical comedy sequences thrown in. Some highlights of the future: robotic butlers, the Orgasmatron, a robot dog named Rags, and giant bananas. This is one if Allen's funniest films.
CQ (2001; dir. Roman Coppola) One of my favorite Tortured Sad Guys, Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan, Solaris, Spanking the Monkey) is an aspiring filmmaker hanging out in Paris in the late 60s, and finally gets everyone's dream choice for a first film... a French science fiction film (Luc Besson is nodding somewhere). Roman Coppola's directorial debut, and still his sole full-length, is full of insider filmmaking beats and fairly stereotypical moments depicting the Broody Auteur (TM), but is still made with a loving eye toward the time period and people who hang out around films. Also, Angela Lindvall is a fox. Also, Billy Zane is in this.
Brick (2006; dir. Rian Johnson) In honor of Rian Johnson's Looper hitting theaters this coming Friday, my pick this week is his directorial debut Brick. Brick is everything you want from a classic detective story, minus an actual detective.
Southland Tales (2007; dir. Richard Kelly) Listen, it was only a matter of time. All of my "recommending movies with bad reputations but which I think are actually good" has been leading to this, because Southland Tales is the queen mother of that kind of movie. I won't argue that it's a "good" movie in the conventional sense, because it's about as big a mess as I've seen get a theatrical release. But I love the movie's ambition, its ideas, its crazy energy, its mixture of broad comedy and hard science fiction and philosophy and its cast of wrestlers and Saturday Night Live alum. So many movies try to do so little that we ought to at least appreciate it when a movie tries to do far, far too much. I think Southland Tales is a movie whose reputation will improve in years to come. Better get in on the ground floor. You're welcome...and I'm sorry.
4 days until Scary Movie Month!!