Monday, January 19, 2009

This Week in Netflix

"Dune" (1984) Description from Netflix: Frank Herbert's wildly popular sci-fi novel gets a mesmerizing treatment from director David Lynch. It's the year 10,191, and the world is fighting for control of the desert planet Dune -- the only place where Spice, a time-travel substance, can be found. When one leader relinquishes control, it's only so he can stage a coup with some very unsavory characters. Fans of rock musician Sting will love his turn as the villain Feyd.

I am a bad geek for taking this long to see this movie. I think I need to read the book because I had no idea what was really going on for a good chunk of the movie. This is a perfect example of why average folks don't like science-fiction in general. They think all scifi is like this. It was dense and really hard to follow. However, I now get a whole lot more Dune references than before. I now know that the song "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim is quoting this movie with the line "Walk without rhythm and you won't attract the worm." Who would have thought?

"Middletown" (2006) Description from Netflix: A preacher takes zealotry to new levels -- and faces the wrath of his brother -- when he returns to his vice-ridden hometown in this thriller. The Rev. Gabriel Hunter (Matthew Macfadyen) is stunned to find the village of Middletown awash in sin; but when he begins a mission to save the town, he's shocked to find opposition in his own brother (Daniel Mays), sending his soul-saving efforts into overdrive and setting up an explosive confrontation.

This is only and hour and a half and I had to shut if off after 45 mins. It was way too melodramatic for me and none of the characters were worth caring about. I rented it purely for Matthew Macfadyen and it wasn't worth it. Do not consider watching.

"Miss Potter" (2006) Description from Netflix: Blending lush animation sequences with live-action drama, director Chris Noonan constructs this biopic about the personal life of beloved children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Featuring the Academy Award-winning Renee Zellweger as the title character and co-starring Emily Watson and Ewan McGregor, the film traces Potter's private life as well as her contributions to literature such as the timeless "Tale of Peter Rabbit."

I found this movie to be adorable. Sad at parts, but overall, just as sweet and cute as the fluffy bunnies that Beautrix Potter wrote about. Worth renting if in the movie for a popcorn romantic comedy.

"Pride and Prejudice" (2005) Description from Netflix: In this retelling of Jane Austen's novel set in 19th-century England, Mrs. Bennet (Brenda Blethyn) is all atwitter in hopes of marrying her daughters to prosperous gentlemen callers, especially when a wealthy bachelor moves nearby. Headstrong daughter Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) meets her match in Mr. Darcy, but misinterprets Darcy's honorable intentions and jeopardizes her chance at love. Donald Sutherland, Judi Dench and Jena Malone co-star.

I saw this in the theater and didn't like it. I wanted to give it a second chance to see if maybe it was worth a second viewing. Nope. I actually hated it more now having read the book. This is just an abomination and should not be watched.

"Mansfield Park" (1999) Description from Netflix: Penniless heroine Fanny Price (Frances O'Connor) is sent to live with wealthy relatives in 1800s England, where her wit and writing talent find the room -- and circumstance -- to grow. Her friendship with cousin Edmund (Jonny Lee Miller) evolves into a deep love, but Fanny is pursued by an eager suitor (Alessandro Nivola), whose sister is after Edmund. The film is loosely based on Jane Austen's most autobiographical novel.

They say that only true Jane Austen fans can like this movie because it is so mediocre to her other stories, but it is also supposed to be closer to her real life and any of the others. I thought it was good, not great. It was weird seeing Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller) with a British accent and not being chased around by George Michael. I will read the book now and see if the movie is a good representation or not.

"Persuasion" (1995) Description from Netflix: In 1814 England, Anne Elliot (Amanda Root), the daughter of a financially troubled, aristocratic family, is persuaded to break her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a young sea captain. Eight years later, money troubles force Anne's father to rent out the family estate to Admiral Croft, and Anne is again thrown into company with Frederick -- now rich, successful and perhaps still in love with Anne. Based on Jane Austen's novel.

I thought this was dreadfully slow compared to her other books. Wentworth is not as amiable as her other romantic leads. The heroine is a tolerable girl who puts up with a whole lot from her dreadful family with no complaint. I think this was my issue with it. All her other heroines had someone to confide in and someone to tell her feelings. It's well acted as you see she is bursting at the seams to talk about her inner turmoil, but has insane amounts of restraint. I would rank this one and "Mansfield Park" on the same level tied for fifth place behind "Northanger Abby," "Pride and Predjudice," "Sense and Sensibilty " and "Emma." I may put off reading this book for a while.

I'm back down to 3 movies-at-a-time so I'm not sure how much that will slow me down going through all these movies. Not to mention that the regular tv season is coming back to full strength.

Also, sad to report my Netflix ranking has dropped to: 12,852 (up 101 from 12,751). I'm slacking.


Andy The Killinator said...

watch the mini-series dune. its much better.

James said...

Fuck that! I hated the miniseries.