Monday, December 29, 2008

Last Week of the Year in Netflix

"Time Bandits" (1981) Description from Netflix: In Terry Gilliam's fantastic voyage through time and space, a young boy escapes from his gadget-obsessed parents to join a band of time-traveling dwarves. On their journey, they visit Napoleon (Ian Holm), Robin Hood (John Cleese) and King Agamemnon (Sean Connery), among others. It's a giddy, visually outrageous fairy tale, a revisionist history lesson and a satire on technology gone awry.

This was one of my favorite movies as a kid and I was curious how it held up. I remembered a lot more than I thought I did. I didn't remember Ian Holm in it at all, though and he was brilliant as Napoleon. It was just as good as I remembered it.

"Brazil" (1985) Description from Netflix: Part social commentary, part outrageous fantasy, this black comedy presents a future where society is completely controlled by an inefficient government. Sam Lowrey (Jonathan Pryce) is a daydreaming civil servant who spots an error in a sea of paperwork, leading to the arrest of an innocent man. While Lowrey attempts to right the wrongful arrest, the state incorrectly assumes him to be terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro) and goes after him.

I had seen bits and pieces of this over the years, but never watched the whole thing until now. It was a nice surprise the movie takes place at Christmas time and has now been added to my list on non-traditional Christmas movies. I thought it was a bit slow compared to Terry Gilliam's other movies and I'm not sure I would have the inclination to see it again. However, the music is brilliant and makes the use of it in the Wall-E commercials all the more funny.

"The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" (1989) Description from Netflix: Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam goes the fantasyland distance in this journey to the moon, to the inside of a whale and back again with a Baron in search of his old comrades-in-arms. Although it's not the crowd-pleaser Gilliam's Time Bandits was, this highly imaginative, fun-loving story still entertains all ages. Look for Robin Williams playing the Moon King and Uma Thurman as Botticelli's inspiration for Venus.

I liked this the best of the three. It reminded me a lot of "The Fall" which came out this year. If you like one, you'll like the other. I think if I had seen this when it originally came out, it would have been one of my favorites. It is still very odd and Robin Williams is even odder.

"Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" (2007) Description from Netflix: John C. Reilly stars as fictional pop star Dewey Cox in this parody of the increasingly predictable rags-to-riches music biopic. On his hard-knocks journey toward stardom, Dewey crosses paths with the likes of Elvis, Buddy Holly and the Beatles. Before long, Dewey is writing hits, making women swoon and doing food endorsements -- in between over-the-top moments of silliness, which producers Jake Kasdan and Judd Apatow are so adept at creating.

This was trying to make fun of all the music bio movies that have come out the last few years. It had it's moments, but the over-the-top comedy and the weird pacing ruined the movie for me. I didn't like it very much, however, it does have very quotable lines. Had Judd Apatow actually directed it, I think it would have been much better.

"Monster House" (2006) Description from Netflix: Monsters under the bed are bad enough, but what happens when an entire house is out to get you? In this Oscar-nominated animated adventure produced by Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg, three teens go up against a decrepit neighboring home and unlock its frightening secrets. The all-star voice cast includes Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jon Heder, Jason Lee, Catherine O'Hara, Kathleen Turner and Fred Willard.

LOVED this movie. This is a perfect kids horror movie. Completely nailed the characters and made a very funny and scary at times movie. I HIGHLY recommend. I'm mad at myself for not seeing this in the theater when it came out. Amazingly good for a non-Pixar movie.

"P.S. I Love You" (2007) Description from Netflix: Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank), a young widow living in New York, has just lost her beloved husband Gerry (Gerard Butler) to a brain tumor. Inconsolable, Holly finds that Gerry left for her a series of letters to help cope with the grief. As months pass, Holly discovers new messages from Gerry encouraging her to go on living. And while Holly's friends fear the letters will mire her in the past, they, in fact, give her strength for the future.

Completely mediocre. The commercials ruined it for me because I kept waiting for scenes to come up. Meh at best. The scenes in Ireland were pretty, but that is the nicest thing I can say about it. Not worth renting. Maybe catch it on cable when there is nothing else on.

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