Monday, June 30, 2008

moving through the netflix queue

Since the hockey season is over, I have reached the point that I reach every summer where I get incredibly bored. Oh, sure, the Entry Draft came and went, providing me with about two hours of entertainment. The free agent signing period begins tomorrow (July 1), and that should provide me with a couple of days of excitement, but for the most part, the period between mid-June and early October is boring. So I've been putting a pretty good dent in my Netflix queue. In a half-assed effort to keep this thing afloat, I'll enlighten you (all two of you) with some of my recent selections.

  • Days of Wine and Roses (1962) Starring Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Jack Klugman. Directed by Blake Edwards.

    Holy shit! What an excellent movie. Jack Lemmon plays a PR guy who happens to be a drunk. He falls in love with a girl from the office who is a goodie-two-shoes. He converts her to alcoholism. They battle demons and each other. Jack Lemmon is phenomenal in this role. He was nominated for best actor, but unfortunately, it was the same year that To Kill a Mockingbird came out, and Gregory Peck rightfully walked home with the Oscar. The greenhouse scene is sensational. I've got goosebumps just thinking about it. Highly recommended!
    Normally, when you hear "Directed by Blake Edwards", you would think zany sex comedy. This isn't even remotely a comedy.
    This movie just skyrocketed all the way to #2 on my list of favorite Jack Lemmon movies. #1 is, and will always be, The Apartment.

  • loudQUIETloud: A film about the Pixies (2006)

    I wouldn't really say that this is a film about the Pixies. More accurately, it's about their short-lived reunion in 2004. It's not terribly enlightening, and certainly not very Edddddd-uuuuuuuuu-caaaaaaaay-shunnnnnnnnn-aaaaaaaaaal, but it's entertaining. It definitely reminded me that the REAL genius in the Pixies was Joey Santiago. Unfortunately, since he wasn't the singer or the girl, he didn't get talked about.
    It was sort of strange to see them all at 40, living responsible lives with families and whatnot.
    I feel like the filmmaker went out of his way to point to the fact that Kim was just out of rehab. Part of her healing is that she demanded that their dressing room be clear of all alcohol and drugs. In an 82-minute film, it seems like 30 minutes was spent covering Kim's nowfound sobriety. The other side of the coin was David Loverling's abuse of Valium and red wine.

    I feel like the director set out to make something a lot like I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. He didn't succeed.

    It was okay, but I wouldn't see it again, and I can't really say that I would recommend it.

  • Screaming Masterpiece (2005)
    Another music documentary. This one touts itself as a look at the 2000-year history of Icelandic music. Honestly, with that description, I wasn't quite sure how much of the ancient history I was gonna get. The answer : none. There was very very little mention of traditional or "folk" music of Iceland. No explanation of where it came from or why. Only that, just as any other culture, the traditional music is based in poetry.
    As should have been expected, the main focus of this film was Björk, Sigur Rós and Múm. There were dozens of other bands, but all of them were contemporary and none of the others are worth mentioning. I learned absolutely nothing from this picture except these "facts". Icelanders don't consider themselves to be Scandinavian. They are, simply, Icelanders. They have only, just in the past 30 years or so, realized (according to Björk, anyway) their own identity. They just now realize that they are Icelanders rather than Danish colonists.
    Iceland is a country of just over 300,000 people, and there are an insane number of rock bands. Most of them suck.
    As much as I wanted to love this, I actually hated it. I found myself bored to tears, fast-forwarding through bits. Even the live footage didn't do much for me. I didn't imagine this would be the case, but I was really glad when it was over. Even if you're a huge fan of any of these Icelandic bands, I wouldn't recommend this movie, except as a cure for insomnia.

There have been a few others recently, but those are the most recent. The next six or seven will be seasons five and six of Scrubs. I can't wait for those.

1 comment:

Bill Purdy said...

loudQUIETloud was the inaugural episode of's "One Week Only" feature, where they show -- for free, on your computer, broken into easily downloadable 10-minute segments -- feature-length music movies for a week at a time. I'm a Pixies fan, so I watched a good bit of that one. Still, it's hard to watch television (or film, for that matter) on your computer, no matter how decent the resolution (or the subject matter) is.

Last week's episode was -- you guessed it -- Screaming Masterpiece (which is still up, I noticed). I watched the first segment only -- you clearly stuck with it longer than I did -- but I was pretty impressed by the Bang Gang tune. Doesn't surprise me there was little revelatory material after that, though.