Friday, May 3, 2013
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 24
Adam Riske: Hard Target (1993; dir. John Woo) If only I could find a movie on Netflix with doves, slow motion and motorcycles. Oh wait -- Hard Target! I saw Hard Target back in the day. It was fine. Good Van Damme, but not his best. Nowadays, with the traditional action movie almost extinct, this chicken steak looks like filet mignon. How entertaining is Hard Target? I was on a flight this week and was watching the movie on my laptop. I was the aisle seat. The guy sitting next to me was the middle seat. He watched the whole movie with me. I had sound. He did not. When his wife (window seat) got up to use the bathroom, both him and I were PISSED. This is the type of movie that snobs would call a guilty pleasure. I feel no guilt.This movie has everything! Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear!
Jackie Brown (1997; dir. Quentin Tarantino) It seems like we've all been immersing ourselves in the brilliance that is Django Unchained, which recently came out on DVD and Blu-Ray. The problem is that if you want to continue that experience and watch any of the movies that inspired it, there are very few options available on Netflix. I've already recommended Two Mules For Sister Sarah. Netflix really only has two of Quentin Tarantino's films available on their Instant service. Nor are there really any Jamie Foxx movies available. I'm going to recommend Jackie Brown to anyone who hasn't seen it, but I don't even know what to write about it because I don't know how one goes about recommending a Quentin Tarantino film. Really, I want to tell you to go watch Django Unchained again. At any rate, I used to think Jackie Brown was my favorite, but now I'm just not sure. Can a person REALLY have a favorite Tarantino movie? How much can you love life? How refreshing is a cold glass of water on a hot summer day? Of the two Tarantino movies on Netflix (the other is Reservoir Dogs), I'd go with this one.
Serpico (1973; dir. Sidney Lumet) A rookie cop learns that it is hard to resist the entrenched corruption of the New York City police department. Serpico and the previous year's The Godfather were the movies that made Al Pacino a star. There is a reason that John Travolta's Tony Manero has a Serpico poster on his bedroom wall in Saturday Night Fever. WATCH and admire Pacino's performance before it degenerated into shtick, mumbling, shouting, and racial stereotypes! WATCH and see the directing genius that was Sidney Lumet! WATCH and marvel at just how different movies were in the 1970s: less plot driven, more involved with theme and character, and with a better sense of place. Serpico features a terrific, evocative score by Mikos Theodorakis and early, uncredited supporting performances from F. Murray Abraham, Judd Hirsch, Kenneth McMillan, Tracey Walter, Tony LoBianco, and Mary Louise Weller. Also, check out that wild "60's" party scene -- Pacino's one hell of a dancer. "Paco, they love you!"
Ip Man (2008; dir. Wilson Yip, Chinese language) My favorite movie with Donnie Yen as the lead; Yen plays Ip Man, famous for being the founder of Wing Chun kung fu and for mentoring a young Bruce Lee. Although the film is only loosely based on Ip Man's life events, the action is more than competently shot and the story is very character-centered, a little different than most martial arts films.
Streets of Fire (1984; dir. Walter Hill) For obvious reasons.