Tuesday, August 2, 2011

6 recently viewed Netflix movies

I'm hitting home runs with Netflix lately - lots of good ones seen for the first time and some for seconds

Oldboy (2003)

You'll never forget the name Oh Dae-Su after watching him turn made and seek revenge after years of imprisonment for reasons he can't understand.  Brilliantly violent with an amazing story, make sure to ONLY see this in the original Korean language with subtitles and NOT the dubbed version - night and day difference.

***** out of 5

The Thin Red Line (1998)

Famed director Terrence Malick created one of the best movies not widely seen in the late 90s.  In just about the greatest travesty of a category, the 1998 Oscar for Best Picture went to Shakespeare in Love when it could or should have gone to any of the other contenders (The Thin Red Line; Saving Private Ryan; Elizabeth; Life is Beautiful).  I enjoy Saving Private Ryan, like many, but the Thin Red Line really is a much better film in every aspect except it doesn't have Tom Hanks and Matt Damon to draw in the crowds.  What it does have is Nick Nolte and an amazingly long cast full of credentials taking part in war where things are portrayed in a very real way.  It is long and at times can feel drawn out but does so in a way that makes the viewer feel what these soldiers feel.  Just a top film.

***** out of 5

Children of Men (2006)

In 2027 a strange thing has happened on earth - women can no longer get pregnant.  Obviously this will lead to disaster, so it is quite surprising when a small band of rebels are discovered to be transporting a pregnant girl to scientists who will hopefully be able to solve a problem that will eventually lead to the extinction of mankind.  Clive Owen is a very strong lead and the supporting cast is fine as well.  Not an outstanding movie but a very good one worth seeing.

**** out of 5

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

The leads! The leads! That's what this movie all about, sort of, and if you're a sales person you need to move this movie to the top of your to-see list.  An outstanding cast with more than one award worthy performance and several memorable and quotable lines make this a compelling drama with a lot of comedic dialogue.  Kevin Spacey as a slimy and spineless boss is juxtaposed perfectly with the brash and seasoned salesmen played by Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, and Al Pacino.  Of course the speech by Alec Baldwin is one of the most famous speeches ever given on film, so if nothing else, see it for that alone.

***** out of 5

Big Fish (2003)

Director Tim Burton used all of his creativity to bring to life the stories of a dying man who has told them so often to everyone around him that he may actually believe they are true, fantastical or not.  Ewan McGregor is pitch perfect with a wonderful supporting cast who take a lifetime of tall tales and  leave us wondering just what is and is not a big fish story.  I can't wait to watch this again and again.

***** out of 5

The French Connection (1971)

Before he made his masterpiece, The Exorcist, in 1973, director William Friedkin made another masterpiece that just happened to win Best Picture as well as giving Gene Hackman a statue for Best Actor with his portrayal of "Popeye" Doyle, a NY narcotics detective who, along with his partner, the great Roy Sheider, seek to bring down a drug king from a foreign land, Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey).  Pacing and the score are key components to this film which may feel a little outdated today if you're seeing it for the first time, but a film like this is so rare that you must give it a chance, if for nothing else because it contains what an actual master car-chase scene should look like.

***** out of 5

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