Monday, February 23, 2009

This Week In Netflix

"My Name Is Bruce" (2006) Description from Netflix: Mistaken for the character he plays in the Evil Dead films, B-movie icon Bruce Campbell (playing himself) is kidnapped by the citizens of a small mining town who want him to save them from a vengeful demon. At first, Campbell thinks it's all part of an elaborate prank. But when he realizes the demon is in fact real, he comes face to face with a second terrifying enemy -- his own fear. Ted Raimi co-stars in this tongue-in-cheek comedy.

Very disappointing. It had so much potential. I wish they hadn't tried to make it a B-movie since that was what they were making fun of. It was too much camp even for me. The best part of the movie was Ted Raimi. Who would have ever thought that sentence would be said? As a Bruce Campbell fan, you need to see it. However, if you are not a fan, don't bother.

"How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" (2008) Description from Netflix: Life changes drastically for alternative rag writer Sidney Young (Simon Pegg) when he takes a job at Clayton Harding's (Jeff Bridges) glossy magazine. There, he's drawn into a risky affair with a co-worker (Kirsten Dunst), and his contempt for celebrity is tested by starlet Sophie Maes (Megan Fox). Based on Toby Young's memoir, the indie comedy co-stars Gillian Anderson as the dragon-lady publicist whose power plays turn Young's life upside down.

Yet another movie that Simon Pegg is good, but the movie just falls flat. So far the best Simon Pegg movies are directed by Edgar Wright or JJ Abrams. This was just a mediocre movie much like "Run, Fatboy, Run" was. Nice seeing Gillian Anderson on screen again, though.

"Reservation Road" (2007) Description from Netflix: The lives of Ethan (Joaquin Phoenix) and his wife, Grace (Jennifer Connelly), are thrown into chaos after their 10-year-old son is killed in a hit-and-run accident. When the case stalls, Ethan makes it his mission to hunt down and punish the person responsible. Violence, revenge and justice collide head on when Ethan finally finds the man who killed his son. Mark Ruffalo co-stars.

Deeply depressing movie in which nothing good happens. Great performances make a sad movie watchable, but sadly not a good movie. It just spirals downward with nothing to lighten the movie.

"Brideshead Re-Visited" (2008) Description from Netflix: Matthew Goode, alongside Michael Gambon and Oscar winner Emma Thompson, stars as Capt. Charles Ryder, an officer stationed at England's Brideshead Castle during World War II, in this big-screen adaptation of the classic novel by Evelyn Waugh. The suspenseful drama builds as Captain Ryder becomes infatuated with the castle's owners, the aristocratic Marchmain family -- particularly their grown son, Sebastian Flyte, and his elegant sister, Julia.

I hadn't read the book nor seen the TV series so I didn't know much about it. I liked it very much a heavy period movie about inappropriate love and it's consequences. If you like Merchant Ivory movies, you will like this. Great performances and beautiful locations.

"From Hell" (2001) Description from Netflix: A movie that posits the true identity of Jack the Ripper, From Hell stars Johnny Depp as an opium-huffing inspector from Scotland Yard who falls for one of the Ripper's prostitute targets (Heather Graham). The directing Hughes brothers laudably attempt to break out of their pigeonhole as "black directors" and demonstrate (like Ang Lee) that they can genre-bend with the best of them. Not for the squeamish!

I haven't read the graphic novel this was based on, but knew the premise. I thought it was just okay. There was nothing spectacular to keep me interested. I ended up working on other stuff while I half watched it. The acting was fine, but the script dragged.

On Netflix Instant:

Netflix Instant lets you watch some TV shows and Movies on your computer and doesn't count toward the DVD you already have. This is how I watched "MI-5" and I just recently finished over a period of a few weeks:

"Doctor Who: Season 1" (2005) Description from Netflix: More than 15 years after "Doctor Who" went off the air, the venerable sci-fi series got a well-received 21st-century makeover, complete with younger actors, modern editing and CGI animation. In the revamped show's first season, the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) meets his new sidekick, a department store clerk named Rose (British pop star Billie Piper); then, the duo travels to Victorian England to help a beleaguered Charles Dickens.

"Doctor Who: Season 2" (2006) Description from Netflix: David Tennant steps into the role of the mysterious Doctor Who in the second season of this popular sci-fi adventure series. The Doctor and Rose bounce back in time to battle a menacing force that threatens 18th-century Versailles, and defend Queen Victoria from a terrible creature in the Scottish Highlands. Billie Piper (Much Ado About Nothing) returns as the Doctor's charming counterpart Rose Tyler.

"Doctor Who: Season 3" (2007) Description from Netflix: The BBC's hit sci-fi series returns starring David Tennant as the time-traveling Doctor, with Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones, a medical student who joins him on his journeys as they traverse the centuries to solve mysteries and right wrongs. In the show's third season, the adventurous Doctor and Martha cross paths with William Shakespeare, get trapped in the past and take on their most formidable adversaries, the Daleks.

Going back and re-watching the episodes was fun. Amazing how they were setting things up to have payoffs later or even in the spinoff series "Torchwood." This is just a great series for the whole family. Season 4 is just brilliant as well, but not on Netflix Instant yet. It will be sad to see David Tennant go before Season 5, but I thought the same thing about Christopher Eccleston left and David turned out to do an amazing job. I'll fo a full post about Doctor Who later.

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