Friday, December 27, 2013
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 57
Sudden Death (1995, dir. Peter Hyams) My favorite Van Damme movie. One of the best variations on the wonderful Die Hard formula (only Speed and Under Siege did it better), a wonderfully smarmy villain played Powers Boothe, well-shot action sequences and a JCVD performance that proves naysayers wrong - he's a good actor! If you haven't seen Sudden Death, take the day off work. This is more important.
For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2009, dir. Gerald Peary) This documentary from a few years ago isn't the greatest thing, but it is one of a very few films to take a look at movie critics and the way that the internet has changed what they do. I'll be honest, I find it to be a little pretentious (as I do many movie critics), but one of the things I appreciate about it is how it shows that the conversations people like you and I have on this website carry validity in this new era of criticism. That means that we have a visible platform for expression, but it also means that Sp0ckFan66 has an audience when he posts a tear-filled Youtube video on why he thinks J.J. Abrams ruined Star Trek. Sorry about that video, I was upset. Criticism is definitely changing (and has changed even more since this was released in 2009), and this is an interesting look at how.
Prince Avalanche (2013, dir. David Gordon Green) I've seen David Gordon Green's latest movie show up on a tiny handful of year-end lists, but mostly it seems to have been forgotten. That's too bad, since it marks a return to the kind of quieter mood pieces on which Green built his career before making a couple of poorly-received studio comedies. Paul Rudd is good as always and Emile Hirsch plays a sweet, simple-minded goof well. Great photography, a gorgeous score, strong performances and general good intentions make this one work checking out.
Love Sick Love (2012, dir. Christian Charles) This one's a little messier than most, but still worth seeing. Part Fatal Attraction and part Misery, this indie sleeper could be so hackneyed and predictable. Instead, it's just off-kilter and demented enough to work, and plays up the black comedy angle more than most movies of this sort. It offers excellent roles to M. Emmett Walsh and Charlotte Rae, both of whom are very good. It's one of those movies that goes on about two minutes longer than it should, but that's not enough to kill what came before.