Friday, May 17, 2013

Netflix This Movie! Vol. 26

Watchin' Trailerz with Doug is on vacation this week, so you have LOTS of extra time to stream these suggestions.

Adam Riske: Film Geek (2005, dir. James Westby) Film Geek is a movie I could only recommend to people who REALLY like movies. It’s amateurish and slight but it’s also fascinating, funny and very entertaining. It makes me laugh and cringe at the same time. Kudos to Melik Malkasian for his lead performance. Talk about brave. The ending of this movie is a doozy, too. And it gets working in a video store right! I miss video stores. Film Geek would make a hell of a double feature with Cinemania. Both movies tap into the awkward socialization of people who only give a damn about movies and nothing else. Here's a test if you will like this movie - if you think a scene where a film nerd recommends Cries and Whispers to a couple of 'bros' sounds amusing (because of it's depiction of isolation and loneliness), then this one is up your alley.
Heath Holland: Looking For Richard (1996, dir. Al Pacino) You haven't seen Shakespeare until you've seen Al Pacino do it. It's truly something to behold. I have a lot of affection for Al Pacino and the weird choices he makes. I like how he has never stopped doing his performance from Scent of A Woman. Does he think "It worked so well, I'm just going to keep doing it?" This documentary follows the loud, gruff, post-Scent Pacino as he talks to his actor-type friends on what makes Shakespeare's Richard III so great, all while directing and starring in the play. It's crazy, brash, and really interesting. You can tell this is a labor of love for Pacino. We rarely get to see what makes Pacino tick, but Shakespeare clearly is one of his biggest passions. He really seems to be having fun.
JB:  The Long Good Friday (1980, dir. John Mackenzie) The single best British gangster film (is that even a genre?) and one of the best gangster films period, I feel The Long Good Friday has been overlooked in the last decade. This film made Bob Hoskins a star; his raw, out-sized performance is reason alone to see the film. Helen Mirren and Paul Freeman are also featured; Freeman here is one year away from playing Belloq in everyone’s favorite adventure film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Hoskins plays Harold Shand, king of the English underground crime scene, but events transpire over one Easter weekend that will change his life forever. The Long Good Friday was originally made for British television, but when the BBC threatened to render it completely unintelligible via cuts for violence and language, the filmmakers shopped it around. Handmade Films (the movie company started by George Harrison and Denis O’Brien to release Monty Python’s Life of Brian) came to the rescue— the film was an international hit. The Long Good Friday contains one of the most memorable final shots in all of film history.
Mark Ahn: Defiance (2008, dir. Edward Zwick) Related to the discussion in the latest Weekend Weigh-In, this Daniel Craig vehicle adapted from a book tells the story about brothers who protect Jewish refugees in the woods during World War II. The story is fairly engaging and the cast does what they do best; Craig stares, Liev Schreiber growls, Jamie Bell is puckishly impudent, and Alexa Davalos has great, great eyebrows.
Patrick: Trekkies (1999, dir. Roger Nygard) It's a Star Trek kind of week, so why not celebrate the best sci-fi franchise of all time with a movie that actually understands and appreciates the fans? It may seem like this documentary, "hosted" by Tasha Yar, is making fun of these people. It is not. They have found something they love, and it has made them happy and brought them together. We should all be so lucky. This movie has the reputation that it is condescending. It's not. It is beautiful.

16 comments:

  1. Patrick..."... a movie that actually understands and appreciates the fans?"..."This movie has the reputation that it is condescending. It's not. It is beautiful."

    Oh, Patrick...you are such a Newbie.

    I will risk saying that I am a "reasonable" fan of Star Trek. I love the shows and movies that are good, I hate when they make stuff that sucks, I have gone to cons to see interesting guests but I don't costume, I don't have the titles and stardates of every freaking episode memorized - not even of TOS which I've watched since I was eight - and I can honestly tell you that I've never owned any piece of Trek-related home decor, named a pet after a character or painted a mini van to look like a shuttle craft (yes, that happened). Fans like me even call the people this film claims to document "Trekkies" to distinguish the fans who are way too into it from us. Not as a put down - just as a heads up. Helps you avoid a lot of arguments.

    I and any fan like me can tell you that what you watched was a "documentary" with an agenda.

    They went out to find the "craziest" fans to hold up to be ridiculed. And when the fans they decided to feature weren't crazy enough for them, they flat out lied.
    Example: the woman with the Brent Spiner website they said moved into a house in his neighborhood to be near him owned her house first. But that didn't fit their narrative so... I'd use her proper name to identify her to you but it wouldn't help as she's one of the subjects that they ID by the name of another subject - they couldn't even bother to get their names right!

    This movie is the equivalent of Playboy magazine - after years of telling it's readers with their articles and ads that their all suave, sophisticated ladies men who enjoy the finer things - making a "doc" showing all the fat, ugly mouth-breathers who sit around in their rented furnished rooms wacking off to it because they couldn't buy a date and making it clear "This is how we've always seen you."

    Added to all the shit they'd been turning out at that point - film and TV - this was when Paramount's "cash cow" caught "hoof in mouth".

    People like me recognized it as the "middle finger" it was. And they didn't anticipate that there were more of us than there were of the "Trekkies".

    My advice is avoid at all costs. Sorry.

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    1. Not meant to be dismissive. Sorry if it came off that way.

      Just wanted you and others to know the truth behind it.

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    2. It's a fine look at the extreme end of a fandom imo. You can take it as a freak show if you want but I tend to agree with Patrick, it does have a sincerity behind it. I don't think it's poking fun at these people.

      I prefer The Captains though.

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    3. I thought Patrick Stewart was so great in The Captains. I loved everything he said. Bakula too, to a lesser extent. But the big takeway for me is that Avery Brooks is NUTTY.

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    4. “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." - Mark Twain

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    5. If we find value in it we are fools?

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    6. I was thinking about this a bit more, and the best description of this I can come up with is:

      To be ridiculous is not the same as being ridiculed.

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  2. Avery Brooks is delightfully batshit that's for sure - a genius who went off the deep end methinks. I get the feeling he doesn't actually work anymore, though he and Gary Busey should collaborate on some sort of sur-reality show.

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  3. "JB: The Long Good Friday (1980, dir. John Mackenzie) The single best British gangster film (is that even a genre?)"

    "Sexy Beast," "Gangster No. 1," "The Krays" (Peter Medak's best movie, IMO), "Layer Cake," "Get Carter" (both of them), every Guy Ritchie movie not starring Madonna. There is a ton of direct-to-video junk out there, but the British gangster flick is most definitely a genre.

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    1. Thank you for answering my question.

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  4. Finally got around to watching Film Geek today. Been trying to get my hands on the movie since this recommendation, and finally succeeded thanks to The Greatest Shop Is The World!

    I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks for the tip Alpha. The lead performance is spot on, the geek awkwardness made him so incredibly sympathetic. In the hands of another actor I think the geekiness would have been overpowering.
    While I liked the ending in terms of his success I really didnt like the love story ending. IMO, he had risen above. But its not a huge deal breaker, Just leaves it unclear the role the success had in how the love story ended (sorry, trying to be non-spoilery-vague. Hope this makes sense).

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    1. Now I just gotta try to find Cinemania :-)

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  5. @Brad L - Spoiler for Film Geek. I read that ending totally differently. I think the web site success and the love story are just his wank off fantasy and none of that ever really happened. I could be wrong but that's always my interpretation otherwise, I agree, it seems really far-fetched or over-the-top happy.

    Cinemania is better. Hope you get to see it at some point. I looked at the Amazon US site and you can buy it off there but it's a little pricey.

    Have a good one!

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    1. Oh. That kinda makes sense. Didn't think of that at all. Cheers.

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