Friday, September 14, 2012

Netflix This Movie! Vol. 8

Everyone's tastes go a little more mainstream this week (almost everyone), so there's no excuse not to watch what we recommend.

Erich: The Grey (2012; dir. Joe Carnahan) Everyone needs to stop saying this movie is about Liam Neeson punching wolves. The marketing campaign implied The Grey is just another mindless action movie. It's not. It's a character-driven thriller about what it means to choose life over death. Although there is plenty of grisly wolf-related mayhem, there are also quiet scenes of men talking honestly with each other. Sadly, it's the kind of movie that will be avoided by the people who should watch it, and watched by the people who will be disappointed by what it isn't. (Read my full review at DVD Verdict)
Erika: Xanadu (1980; dir. Robert Greenwald) This movie combines so many of my favorite things: disco, rollerskating and, most importantly, Olivia Newton John. I wanted to be her when I was little. Just kidding! I still want to be her. Have to believe we are magic. Nothin' can stand in our way.
JB: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011; dir. Joe Johnston) last year all of us at F This Movie! talked ourselves blue in the face, singing the praises of this great superhero movie. Now is your chance to watch it again and again and again! Besides, he put the noose on the goose-stepping goons from Berlin...
Mark Ahn: Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011; dir. David Gelb) You don't even have to like food to enjoy the small frame of life of Jiro Ono, the world's best sushi chef. You don't even have to like that the food is shot like a high definition National Geographic special. You don't even have to know what Michelin stars are (Jiro's restaurant has earned 3 of them, apparently). What you will enjoy is that something beautiful and exceptional can be created from something humble and prosaic; it leads you to believe that great food really can be great art.
Mike: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007; dir: Sidney Lumet) Sidney Lumet's final film is also one of his finest. With strong performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke, BtDKYD is a perfectly constructed little gem from a master filmmaker.
Patrick: Breathless (1983; dir. Jim McBride) Yes, yes, I know. I'm a blasphemer and a philistine for choosing to recommend this mostly-disliked '80s remake of the Jean-Luc Godard movie that basically gave us the French New Wave. But I'm on the record as really loving Jim McBride's remake, which makes Richard Gere into a loose cannon obsessed with Jerry Lee Lewis and Silver Surfer comics. It may not have launched a cinematic movement, but it's still a really cool movie.


  1. Thanks Erich, I just watched The Grey for the first time and I really enjoyed it.
    I had heard positive reviews of The Grey before, but like you suggested I had always lumped it in with the other Neeson Action films of late.
    I actually got a kind of Jaws vibe from it, presence of the beast always around with more of a focus on the philosophies/world views of the men (i may have heard that comparison before, maybe even on the show so credit where it is due....step right up). Add to that the great job of creating a creature film on a budget. The shots of the wolves attacking the men close up were clearly a head on a stick type effect, but still really effective. And when made for only $25 I think it demonstrates what we have known since forever, that you can have films that are action filled, suspenseful and feature creature effects without spending $100+.

    I also really liked the guts it had to give the film an ambiguous ending. Neither possible outcome would work really. However, after having had this thought the credits ended and a brief post credits shot is shown that tries to show a conclusion while staying ambiguous but it really just fails, but it is so minor it is easy to ignore completely.

  2. Really glad you dug it, Brad. I'm still sad they chose to (spoilers) use the final scene in the marketing campaign. The whole wolf-punching meme is an easy joke but totally off base. I agree with you on the post-credits tag. Unnecessary at best.

    ...How about that plane crash, eh? I hope the audio mix on Netflix is even half as good as it is on Blu-ray.