Friday, August 12, 2016

Netflix This Movie! Vol. 189

by Patrick Bromley
Some weeks you're the streaming windshield and some weeks you're the streaming bug.

Heavy (1995, dir. James Mangold) I haven't seen this film since it was in theaters back in 1995, and in the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I was very susceptible to the growing indie movement of the '90s Sundance boom. My recollection of this movie is that it is quiet and still and very, very slow, but also beautiful and sad. James Mangold has gone on to be a pretty interesting director -- much more commercial-minded than his debut would suggest -- working in a whole bunch of different genres and trying to take an approach that's at least different and interesting each time around. I probably saw this in 1995 primarily because I was in the throes of a mad Liv Tyler crush, but I'm glad it brought me to this one. At least, I think so. It's been 20 years so I have fucking idea.
The Midnight Swim (2014, dir. Sarah Adina Smith) I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about this one in that I know I liked it, but I can't yet decide how much. It's an incredible feature debut from Sarah Adina Smith, a filmmaker I can't wait to follow over the coming years. I would love our own Cait Cannon to watch this one and write something about it, as I'm sure she could find really smart and interesting graduate thesis-type things to say about it that I can't because I'm too busy writing about Charles Bronson and watching fucking Basket Case 3 for the second time. I'm the worst.
The Family Man (2000, dir. Brett Ratner) Ok, so this week you're getting three good indie dramas and then this, a super slick piece of commercial nonsense that is still totally watchable by holiday movie standards (which, I must admit, are decidedly lower than other movie standards for some reason). Nic Cage gives pretty good normal and Brett Ratner was still in the early stages of his career when he was making competent films with no authorial stamp, but surrounding himself with incredibly talented people and making himself look good as a result. Something like The Weather Man is a much better Nicolas Cage character drama, but I can watch this variation on It's a Wonderful Life whenever it's on.
Felt (2014, dir. Jason Banker) I really like two thirds of this movie, which is a kind of indie film take on a young woman who feels alienated and expresses herself through avant garde art projects. It's well photographed and the lead performance (from a non-actor, I believe) is nuanced and well-observed. It's only when the movie goes into more predictable territory in its last act that it loses steam, but there's enough really strong work from everyone involved to be well worth watching.

And now a guest recommendation from Mark Ahn!
Ip Man 3 (2016; dir. Wilson Yip) I wrote about this one earlier in the year as Donnie Yen says goodbye to the series and kung-fu movies in general. Oh, and he fights Mike Tyson.

15 comments:

  1. Confession time: I totally love The Family Man.

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  2. The Midnight Swim was in my top ten of the year for 2015. Loved it! Bought the Blu Ray directly from the website at the time and Sarah Adina Smith sent me an email stating she was supposed to send a written note thanking me but she could only thank me via email because she was somewhere working on a new project. I believe that project was her segment in "Holidays" :)

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    1. Oh yeah, and every performance is great in that film. Aleksa Palladino reminds me of all the hotness of a young Madeline Stowe and I just saw Lindsay Burdge in an indie called Lace Crater in which she was great as well (the movie was very good too).

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    2. ...readers on here will know Lindsay as Sadie in The Invitation. Okay, I'll stop replying to myself.

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    3. Chaybee write an article! The hot ladies is not a bad start. :)

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    4. Haha, thanks Meredith, but I'll leave that to the pros on here. Here is what I wrote during the best of 2015 of last year on F This Movie:

      "#4. The Midnight Swim - One of the greatest Found Footage films ever; you end up forgetting that it's even a FF film (and those who know me, know that I HATE FF so take that what it's worth.) This is at times a quiet, haunting and emotional film where the performances really shine. I believed the three actresses were actually sisters throughout the film. First feature from director Sarah Adina Smith and she handles it beautifully. I bought in right away and it paid off as a "ghost" story, family drama and even fantasy with it's mythology pieces classily."

      I now see that "classily" isn't an F-in word, hence, another reason for me not writing an article :)

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    5. Oh my gosh who cares about real words! (Wait, I'm not a trump supporter, don't get that idea. People who are not running for president just get to make up words sometimes). Oo, sisters, I'm totally partial to sister films. I Dont know what found footage is so I guess I'll find out when I see it. EXCELLENT REVIEW, thank you, I MUST watch it now! ;)

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    6. I loved it and I hope you do too! It was my #4 fav film of last year so, take that for what it's worth. My #1 was Queen of Earth and people don't respond to that as much as I did either, so, you know, it's all preference in taste.

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    7. Hey Chaybee or anyone, does Midnight Swim have like an explanatory or um...satisfying ending? I don't know if I'll be able to get through this without knowing about that, it's really eerie.

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    8. Ok I made it through, I made it to the other side! The ending was kind of amazing and beautiful. But crossing to the other side is always scary!

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    9. Yea like you were saying, it weaves real-world story and myth so perfectly and poetically. I believe that "myth", not exactly, but basically. I myself wrote a story with similar symbolism and perspective. I loved the story, which I only realized at the end, and I'd love to follow this writer.

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    10. Glad to hear you liked it!

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    11. Oh thank you, I did! I'm thankful for the recommendations for great movies I'd never see otherwise.

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  3. As ridiculous as it sound, in ip man 3, the mike tyson fight is good, and the whole movie is great. I was a bit disappointed with ip man 2, but 3 is closing the series in a beautiful way

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  4. "Watching Basket Case 3 for the second time. I'm the worst"

    Haha, you're actually one of the best, much like Basket Case 3 itself.

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