Review Nuggets

Time for some more Netflix queue reviewin’ (long overdue from the looks of it):

  • Pride and Prejudice (Netflix): a great adaptation of Austen’s most famous novel. Keira Knightley is pretty good, but I was most impressed with Donald Sutherland’s acting.
  • Baby Mama (Netflix): I really liked this movie, but I’m predisposed to that on account of being a huge Tina Fey fan. Amy Poehler was much better than I expected and I found myself actually caring about the characters.
  • Kiss the Girls (Netflix): good enough thriller. The plot was interesting but there were many distracting (and glaring) holes. Like, who allows a victim to participate in apprehending a serial killer? Come on.
  • City Lights (Netflix): Charlie Chaplin’s last silent film. I know plenty of people will defend silent movies as just as good as talkies—I’m not one of them. I’ve watched enough of them to have an informed disdain—except Buster Keaton, who gets a pass because his films are still hilarious.
  • The List (Netflix): I like Wayne Brady. Wait, I liked Wayne Brady. This piece of crap belongs on Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel. The acting is terrible, the plot is predictable, and the characters are shallow. Awful—but seriously worth buying through my Amazon affiliate link.
  • Shenandoah (Netflix): James Stewart is a Virginia farmer who vigorously tries to avoid the Civil War occurring around him. But then one of his five boys gets taken prisoner mistakenly and he’s one pissed off actor. Very good, maybe a little slow, but plenty of wonderful lines.
  • Trust the Man (Netflix): David Duchovny plays a sex addict—hmm—in this relationship movie. It wasn’t bad though rather pointless. I did like Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character.
  • Hairspray (Netflix): excellent movie irrevocably marred by John Travolta in drag and fat suit. Seriously, I have no idea why they cast him as the wife of Christopher Walken. He was painful to watch and would have been perfect without him.
  • Balls of Fury (Netflix): I had extremely low expectations going into this movie. I hoped that Christopher Walken would be funny—he was—but I found myself laughing hysterically often and drawn into the story. It’s lowbrow, don’t get me wrong, but high-quality slapstick.
  • Mad Men Season 1 (Netflix): this came highly recommended from a number of sources. I watched one disc worth and had enough. The first couple episodes found me really wanting to like Don Draper, but then it got slimy and smarmy. Maybe a 60s advertising agency was like that, but it left me cold. I’m not a prude; I just don’t like watching affair after affair after affair.
  • Gone Baby Gone (Netflix): decent thriller about the kidnapping of a four-year-old that ends up being a lot more complicated than at first. I liked it but I don’t need to ever watch it again.
  • Be Kind Rewind (Netflix): Terrible. The preview made it look stupid but I thought it would be one of those “so stupid it’s funny” movies. Nope, just stupid.
  • Sunshine (Netflix): unique science fiction movie about a mission to re-light the sun, which is nearing burnout. I love the premise but then they had to mess it up with a horror twist that was wholly unnecessary. The race against time and technological limitation was compelling enough as it was.
  • Sex and the City Season 1 (Netflix): entertaining fluff to watch. I can see why so many adored the show, but it didn’t grab me. Again, maybe I just don’t enjoy watching whiny, promiscuous women.
  • Raise the Red Lantern (Netflix): incredible and beautiful film about polygamy and arranged marriages in China. The period is ambiguous. It focused on the interplay between the wives; I would have liked to see more about the master.
  • Deadwood Season 1 (Netflix): I rented this once before and never got into it, which is surprising since I will watch any Western that crosses my transom. It’s gritty and vile, making it perhaps more authentic to the real Deadwood.
  • Assume the Position with Mr. Wuhl (Netflix): comedian Robert Wuhl channels Howard Zinn for the benefit of some NYU students. There’s definitely a liberal slant here, but it is funny as hell nonetheless.
  • Mrs. Henderson Presents (Netflix): Judi Dench decides to invest in a theater in World War II-era London, hiring Bob Hoskins as the manager. They turn the show into a continuous burlesque while conforming to the strict standards of the time and become a sensation. Hoskins is great and the movie is worth watching.
  • August Rush (Netflix): This one was just a little too pat for my tastes with a resolution that was both utterly predictable and a horrible groaner. It could have been so much better, but they blew it.
  • P.S. I Love You (Netflix): a husband finds out he has a brain tumor and writes a series of letters to his wife in an posthumous effort to help her through the grief. Very sweet, tender, and believable movie. I’d recommend it.

If you want in on my Netflix friendship (hey, buddy!), feel free.

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