Saturday, July 2, 2011

All kinds of recently viewed random Netflix movies

L'annulaire (2005)
aka The Ring Finger
Subtitled: French

Olga Kurylenko in one of her first performances is exquisitely erotic in a very French-esqu film that revolves around a loose plot and expects the viewer to become emotionally involved in the film through our senses, not so much our intelligence.  Finding herself in need of a job, Iris accepts a receptionist position with a strange doctor who helps people move past personal issues by bottling and preserving them in his lab.

*** out of 5

The Last Station (2009)

Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren give wonderful portrayals of the end years of Leo and Sofya Tolstoy in this historical drama that centers on philosophical and political discussion relating to Tolstoy's beliefs and to his final will and testament.  Some pacing issues but overall a great watch, as are most films with Paul Giamatti taking a role.

**** out of 5

Rescue Dawn (2006)

Werner Herzog directs Christian Bale in a Vietnam-era piece about captured soldiers in Laos.  The film brings good performances and creates nice suspense, but a little too much Christian Bale if you know what I mean?  Overall a good watch.

*** and 1/2 out of 5

Team America: World Police (2004)
I know I should have seen it by now but I continually feel like I've missed a lot of good ones this decade.  You would think the fact that I've been told one of the greatest sex scenes ever filmed takes place between puppets would have been enough for me to jump on this one, but I'm glad I finally got around to it anyway.  South Park creators take puppets to a new level of American pride and bad taste that works so well I finally found a comedy to laugh out loud to for the first time in a long time.  The appearance of Kim Jong Il is one of the best things in all of film.

***** out of 5

True Romance (1993)

An outstanding cast helps make this film so much fun to watch (I hadn't seen it in many many years) and nobody can forget the awesome scene with Dennis Hopper.  On the run and being hunted down in a series of drug related incidents, Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette have lightning chemistry and the all star supporting cast is a who's who: Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Rapaport, James Gandolfini and more.

***** out of 5

The Player (1992)

Again a film I hadn't seen in a long time and another with a pretty great cast.  Tim Robbins is directed by Robert Altman in this film loaded with Hollywood inside jokes but with a pretty dramatic tone.  Griffin Mill is a studio exec who is blackmailed, seemingly by a writer he rejected, and a series of events unfold.

**** out of 5

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

In a completely different type of role for Will Ferrell, he takes on the character of an IRS agent who awakens one day to find his life being narrated in his own head, but by who? and why?  Ferrell would play a similar type of character in 2011s Everything Must Go, a film I enjoyed but not as much as this one.  Maggie Gyllenhaal is good here and the offbeat nature of the film hold up well throughout.

**** out of 5

Days of Heaven (1978)

Terrence Malick directed this beautifully shot film with Richard Gere and Sam Shepard that tells the tale of a few drifters who attempt to scheme up a plot to inherit a lot of money.  Words and plot do little justice to this film as it is very much one for the senses - visually striking with few and far between lines of dialogue, it is in the change of lighting, pacing, and the viewer's internal awareness of the film that it flourishes.

***** out of 5

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