Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Perflix of the Day

No changes this week but a few reviews for ya.  I'm playing catchup today, having seen a number of films over the last few weeks.  Here are some quick thoughts on each.

Elysium (2013) stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster and is directed by Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame (I can't believe District 9 was his debut feature film - outstanding!)  Elysium is worth a look. Visually captivating - especially the technology depicted - and believable in the same vein as District 9. Jodie Foster kills as the heartless bitch in charge of defense of Elysium, a giant space station for the 1% (yes, the timing is apt).  Matt Damon's performance is, as usual, passable but forgettable.

Up (2009) is one of my favorite animated features of all time and I've been meaning to tell you about it. Starring Ed Asner as an old codger pursuing a lifelong dream, Up is very funny and well written, endearing and heartwarming.  Entertaining for all ages.  Dug is one of the finest characters written in any animated film ever.  You will love Dug.  Reminds me of my fondness for Maximus in Tangled (which if you haven't seen is the only other animated feature on The List).

American Beauty (1999) starring Thora Birch, Mena Suvari, Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper, Annette Bening, Kevin Spacey - wow what a cast.  This movie just made me feel dirty and sad.  But it also made me feel lucky for what I have.  I remember seeing it in the theater and at that point in my life hoping to god I didn't turn out to be another ordinary shirt living a meaningless life in a job I hate.  After failing to change careers to be a park ranger, I do find myself in a job I hate (it's in health insurance for christ sake) and am resigned to the fact that I am very much ordinary, average, and unimpressive, and, while some people may think my life is pathetic, my boys bring me so much joy I can honestly say I am, if not completely satisfied,  happy and comfortable with who I am and my station in life, and I couldn't care less what anyone thinks of me. We can't all be great after all. We can't all be POTUS, or an astronaut, or a pro athlete.  We will see if I still feel that way when Colin and Aiden are teenagers - maybe they will despise me and thus strip away whatever modicum of joy I have achieved to this point.  Anyway, getting back to the movie, hey, it won 5 Oscars including best picture.  Who am I to judge?  But I gotta say as good as it is, it just didn't do much for me.  It felt over-produced in some strange way to me (thinking of the day-dreaming of Spacey's character).  It is a great great movie, but perfect? Not in my opinion, at least not right now.

All the Pretty Horses (2000) - Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz, Directed by Billy Bob Thornton but I didn't find anything outstanding about the direction - it was pretty run of the mill stuff and took no chances.  One of Matt Damon's better gigs.  Penelope Cruz is easy on the eyes and I'm a sucker for her accent so anything she says sounds great to me.  Based on a Cormac McCarthy novel.  One of my favorite authors (The Road is one of my favorite books of all time).  My advice: skip the movie and read the book; and while you're at it, read The Road and No Country for Old Men - quick excellent reads both.

Next up:  Reviews of American Hustle, Moon, Blue Jasmine, and Man of Steel - I know I know I've been promising Moon and Jasmine for some time now - I will get there (but...spoiler alert! none of these are Perflix).

  1. Alien
  2. Top Gun
  3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  4. The Road
  5. Warm Bodies
  6. The Shining
  7. School of Rock
  8. Say Anything
  9. High Fidelity
  10. Fight Club
  11. Risky Business
  12. Star Wars
  13. Brokeback Mountain
  14. Animal House
  15. Jerry McGuire
  16. Silver Linings Playbook
  17. Dallas Buyers Club
  18. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  19. No Country for Old Men
  20. Tangled
  21. Children of Men
  22. War Games
  23. 28 Days Later
  24. The Graduate
  25. From Dusk Till Dawn
  26. Lost in Translation
  27. The King's Speech

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