Friday, September 6, 2013
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 41
recent column, I checked out Get Over It. It's a nice little movie -- very energetic, sweet and fun. Get Over It is insane tonally, but by the end that's one of the movie's charms. I knew for sure it had broken through my irony barriers because I even dug the end credits dance party sequence. I feel like more movies should do that. Most of World War Z's problems would have been fixed if they just put $7M dollars aside for a cast dance party in the end credits. It's like, we just fought for 2 hours and this is what we were fighting for. But back to Get Over It -- how about that Kirsten Dunst?! I may have been too hormonal to realize it back in 2001, but she's a really likable and charming actress. She was like my generation's Winona Ryder.
Resolution (2012 dir. Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead) File this away for Scary Movie Month unless you can't wait. (I couldn't.) This weird indie flick—about a guy who handcuffs his junkie friend in a cabin while he sobers up—stumbles a fine line between horror, drama, and meta-filmmaking. Benson and Moorhead don't so much weave a narrative as they do pile one bizarre trope on top of another, with violent drug dealers, otherworldly cult members, and a creepy mental patient, sprinkled like Prozac chips in fruitcake batter. It all works, somehow, to propel the film as what starts as a squatter intervention turns supernatural when the protagonists discover a stash of freaky photos, film reels, and impossible recordings that suggest some...thing has taken a personal interest in their story. The real mystery is whether Resolution is weird for weird's sake, or has something to say about friendship and addiction. I don't know the answer, but I'm recommending the movie in hopes someone will help me figure it out.
The Other F Word (2011, dir. Andrea Blaugrund) This documentary follows a handful of punk rock musicians as they approach middle age and have to reconcile their anti-authoritarian views with their duties as fathers. It's absolutely fascinating to see video footage of these guys as teenagers in the early '80s, drinking beer and sleeping on the floor, screaming about how they hate authority and love anarchy, then turning into family men in the suburbs who drive SUVs. The film covers a whole lot of ground and doesn't just show how these rebels have had to change their priorities. It also shows the rise and fall of the music industry and the effects of digital file sharing services and iTunes on the daily lives of musicians, as well as the steps they have to go through to provide for their family. I can't really think of any other film that shows what happens to punks when they get older and end up living within the system that they fought so hard against in their youth. This is really fun and positive, especially for guys who hate authority and pointless rules but love their families.
That Guy... Who Was In That Thing (2012, dir. Ian Roumain & Michael Schwartz) If the names Xander Berkeley, Bruce Davison, Zach Grenier, Paul Guilfoyle, Zeljko Ivanek, or Robert Joy do not ring a bell, perhaps you need to check out this documentary about Hollywood's unsung character actors. Yes, these are the men who play the police captains, the next-door neighbors, the District Attornies on the losing side, the villians' henchmen, and the big stars' best friends! I caught this a few months ago, and it has stayed with me. The film has a subtle charm, so that even when it is sometimes frustrating or amateurish or ambiguous, stay with it. The film grows on you, just like the talented, largely humble men it profiles.
Lars and the Real Girl (2007, dir. Craig Gillespie) It's not what you think a movie about a guy who has a blow-up doll would be about. You probably also know that there is a sweetness and tenderness to this movie, but it comes from unexpected places. Loved revisiting the Ryan Gosling who is stoic but still feels things on the inside.
Dredd (2012, dir. Pete Travis) Look, I'm sorry. I'm guessing a lot of you guys have already seen Dredd. But it seems like a good time to recommend it if you haven't, because Riddick is in theaters and the two movies have a lot in common: both were released in the dog days of September, both are violent, hard-R movies, both were made for fairly low budgets, both really double down on their genre elements, both are likely to only ever have cult fanbases and Karl Urban shows up in both of them. Riddick! Dredd! Me!