Saturday, January 31, 2015

Perflix of the Day

Just a quick program note that I've turned on comments - sorry for the oversight I swear I turned it on at some point.  For now I will moderate them and we'll see how it goes.  I'm not really interested in criticism as we all do the best we can with what we've got, right?  I'm no Hollywood insider and I'm not a professional critic.  I just love watching movies and I like writing about  what I've seen - I'm sort of a market maven in that regard - I can't help myself. I'm more interested in your thoughts and opinions on the films I've reviewed and your perfect movie playlist, so have at it.

I'm reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy again.  Although it is extremely dark, haunting, and will make you cry, and often, I also believe it is one of the most beautiful books ever written.  I love his minimalist prose that says so much and sparks your imagination with few powerful words.  At times he has beautiful Hemingway-esque prose that is descriptive and melodic and beautiful to read - so much so that I find myself reading some passages over and over again.  And the one-two punch here is that it's an incredibly moving and mesmerizing film as well.  It is directed by John Hillcoat who did the book justice by capturing the desolation, fear and hopelessness conveyed in the book.  He is an Aussie, relatively unknown but also directed Lawless and The Proposition which I have yet to see.  Take my word for it - read the book, savor it.  Then watch the movie.

I still need to take another look at Black Swan as it definitely left an impression on me (Natalie Portman was amazing in what I think was her real coming of age film, though admittedly I don't remember watching Closer) and I also found myself reminded of Napoleon Dynamite the other day when watching The Grand Budapest Hotel - the character Zero's demeanor (played wonderfully by Tony Revolori by the way) reminded me of Napoleon's sidekick Pedro which made me think hey, now that was a good one.  Maybe just nostalgic but I'll check it out again.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is quirky and delightful Wes Anderson film.  Ralph Fiennes was perfectly cast for the leading role as the concierge and is superb.  F. Murrah Abraham as the aged Zero is always fun to watch - he has such a presence. And, as I mentioned above, Tony Revolori is terrific as Ralph Fiennes' lobby boy protégé Zero. I was happy to see Lea Seydeux (Blue is the Warmest Color) play Zero's girlfriend.  Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, and Willem Dafoe have other key roles.  There are a lot of lesser roles filled by top-notch talent - Jeff Goldblum (man I haven't seen him in years), Bill Murray who is one of my faves of all time, Harvey Keitel (always puts a smile on my face) and Tilda Swinton to name a few.  It was as enjoyable hour and forty minutes as you will spend (in a chair).

As you may know, I love sci-fi and so was excited to watch Edge of Tomorrow - one of the seemingly many Tom Cruise post-apocalyptic movies of late.  Sorta like Snowpiercer it has sort of a crazy-talk plot when you say it out loud, but in execution I loved it.  I really liked the Normandy D-Day invasion plotline.  And like many recent sci-fi movies the technology has improved vastly over the last ten years and it is visually stunning, especially military hardware and maneuvers and the many battle scenes with the alien scourge.  It is fun to watch.  Well worth your time if you're into sci-fi - even my wife didn't get up to leave.

On the other hand, we wish we had the hour an a half back from last night watching Goodbye World - totally terrible writing.  Basically a group of spoiled, privileged, self-centered - to the point that they discover they caused the apocalypse, uh huh - Stanford grads shack up in N. California to ride out the apocalypse, during which they quarrel over petty things like how much the solar-powered house is worth post-apocalypse - "the value is skyrocketing" - seriously.  They couldn't have been more boorish but as someone who worked at Stanford for 5 years, it was pretty true to form in that respect.  I don't usually bother writing about bad movies, but this one was so very bad I felt I had to be a good Samaritan as it would be immoral for me to not warn you off.

I am still greatly enjoying Californication - I think I'm in season 6.  I gotta say I love Rob Lowe as Eddie Nero.  This is one of my favorite characters of all time in any media.  Lowe has a real gift for comedic acting and I'm glad to see him achieve some success (well, ate least he's making money with all of the Dish Network commercials) after watching him in movies as I was coming of age (he's 7 years older than me) - I wanted to be him in About Last Night and I was as in love with the young Demi Moore as his character.  And of course St. Elmo's Fire was one of my favorites growing up.  I miss the days of all those rat pack movies.  They were perfect for young teens. 

  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
  28. Planet Earth
  29. Snowpiercer
  30. Frozen

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