Thursday, September 20, 2012

Netflix This Movie! Vol. 9

Put your trust in our filthy, movie-picking hands.

Erich: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005; dir. Martin Scorsese) Even at three hours, this documentary only scratches the surface of one of music's most fascinating artists. The film covers the songwriter's early years in Minnesota, as part of the New York folk scene, up through the controversial decision to "go electric." Scorcese treats the chorus of boos that followed Dylan on his '65 tour as a backing track for the film—a constant reminder of his outsider status. It's hard being the voice of a generation when no one cares what you have to say.
JB: Office Space (1999; dir. Mike Judge) Now you no longer have to wait for Comedy Central to show this every three days; you can watch it anytime you want. Office Space is one of many comedies that wasn't (believe it or not) a hit in its original theatrical release but only gradually gained cult status through home video and endless cable showings.  Infinitely "rewatchable," the scene where the three office mates beat the crap out of a malfunctioning computer printer is alone worth the price of your monthly Netflix subscription. Just don't touch my stapler...
Mark Ahn: The Twilight Samurai (2002; dir. Yoji Yamada, Japanese language) A poor samurai, resigned to living the rest of his life in anonymity, gets the call from his clan superiors to do a job that nobody else wants. Very deliberate in the unravelling of plot and its navel gazing, but filled with some quietly beautiful moments.
Mike: The Thin Blue Line (1988; dir. Errol Morris) As suspenseful as any narrative film you'll see, The Thin Blue Line is Errol Morris' masterpiece about a mans wrongful conviction for murder. No better example of how one movie can impact real life and effect actual change.
Patrick:  The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970; dir. Billy Wilder) Even in its heavily edited theatrical release that hardly resembles the director's original intent, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is Billy Wilder's last great movie and the most underrated in his filmography. Wilder himself has expressed tremendous frustration and disappointment with how it turned out (and all the missing footage is gone forever, meaning we'll never get a true restoration), but he's selling the movie short -- it's still one of the best and most interesting takes on Sherlock Holmes ever put on film. It was hard to come by for years until MGM released a DVD in 2003; now it's on Instant and there's no excuse not to watch it. I promise you'll like it.


  1. Much as I like Twilight Samurai, I think I like The Hidden Blade a bit better and Love and Honor even more so. There were little improvements in each movie, until the last one nailed it for me.

  2. Patrick, have you watched any of the new BBC Sherlock series with Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, or as my 6 year old calls him, British Cumberback?

    Also, hooray for the Dylan documentary, Erich, I watched that again with my wife a few weeks ago and was impressed all over again.

  3. Heath-

    I'm not Patrick, but I LOVE the BBC Sherlock series! So excited that season 2 is on streaming Netflix.

    1. I AM Patrick (I am also Mark Ahn), and I liked the first season (sorry; SERIES) of Sherlock. Well, I really liked the first episode. The second was kind of bad, I thought, but the third one recovered. I love the approach and I love the two leads. I'll definitely check out the second SERIES. Thanks, Mark (me), for the tip.

    2. If BBC's "Sherlock" is too British for you (wink, wink) then you might be more receptive for Johnny Lee Miller as a modern-day Sherlock and Lucy Lui as his Watson in CBS' "Elementary" (Thursdays at 10 on CBS starting next week).

      This post paid for by ABC and NBC. :-P

    3. Yeah, know, I know it's not wise to judge a book by the cover, but the idea of that series has me so ANGRY that it takes a seven percent solution of cocaine to watch that. I think Lucy Liu is super cute, but NOT AS WATSON. And with the BBC series going currently, it bugs me that we have to Americanize everything. I mean...I'm saying...I just...if know?

  4. AAAAAND I see that No Direction Home expires from Netflix this Wednesday. Nice one, Asperschlager. Nice one.