Friday, November 21, 2008

Add This to Your Queue

I've been a movie watching machine lately. (I think I have SAD. Is it possible to get it even if the weather isn't bad and cloudy?) Here are some suggestions of things to watch or leave on the shelf, should you be looking to rent a movie this weekend:

See it ASAP

Lust, Caution - A Chinese language film, directed by Ang Lee and set in Japanese occupied Shanghai during WWII. It's got murder, intrigue, double-crossing and some pretty graphic sex scenes.

The Visitor - From the writer/director of The Station Agent, it's a film about loneliness and immigration. Sounds incredibly boring, right? It's's really wonderful and may garner character actor Richard Jenkins some serious award consideration. One of the best movies I've seen all year.

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid - An older Steve Martin movie, it's a parody of old Hollywood detective films. Scenes of Martin and his co-star, Rachel Ward, are spliced with actual old film noir movies. So, the cast includes Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep and Ingrid Bergman in Notorious. It's really a genius idea and the results are pretty damn funny. I can't believe it took me so long to watch it.

See it if all other options have been exhausted

Nightwatch - Ewan McGregor is a law student who takes a night job in a morgue. Josh Brolin co-stars as his weird ass best friend. Bonus points for a pre-Lorelei Gilmore Lauren Graham.

Velvet Goldmine - A psuedo-send-up of David Bowie starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor (what can I say? I'm on a Ewan kick...always), Toni Collette and Christian Bale.

Skip it
Leatherheads - George Clooney went from directing Good Night and Good Luck to this? Seriously? It's entertaining enough (and I'd watch John Krasinski brush his teeth and still heart him), but Renee Zelwegger is seriously miscast and it just not very funny.

Meatballs - Bill Murray goes to camp. I didn't even finish watching it.

Hope that helps get you through the weekend if, like, me your weekend includes avoiding human interaction at all costs.


Falwless said...

This is a perfect chance for me to state how much I love Toni Collette. I don't know why, but she totally draws me in. I love her look, her acting, her presence, she is phenomenal. I've been impressed with every performance I've seen from her.

pistols at dawn said...

Meatballs gets way too much credit for being a movie that just isn't that good. Better than the sequels, though, where there's a talking alien, which is never a good sign.

Also, The Visitor is the one with the immigrant couple that move into the professor's apartment, right? And the immigrant guy is like a drummer teaching him life lessons? That looked like the worst thing in the history of mankind, including Kevin Costner movies. I can't get past any movie where the ethnic drummer teaches the white, stuffy guy how to be less uptight. I just can't. Probably because no ethnic drummer is teaching me how to be less uptight.

pistols at dawn said...

I actually can't deal with it because it's the only movie plot that's sub-the-premise-of-Dharma and Greg.

red said...

The African drummer teaching the old white guy to drum is such a minor plot point, it's totally not worth writing off the entire movie because of it.

Liz said...

I've been meaning to see Nightwatch for literally 12 years (since I saw the trailer before Trainspotting). I just love Ewan McGregor and will watch pretty much anything he's in. Thanks for the reminder!

words words words said...

Leatherheads was the only movie on this list that I've seen. It was mediocre, but it feels worse than that because it SHOULD have been so good.

I need to watch more movies.

McGone said...

Leatherheads was such an abysmal failure that I yelled at the DVD box. It really should have been good but it was flat all over. I spent most of the movie recasting Zellweger's part and by the time I got to Kathy Bates I realized anyone would have been better. Her and Clooney dated in real life, didn't that? Where was the chemistry?

It's a damn shame because the production design in that film was amazing.

I have a few things to say about MacGregor, but I'll save that for the IHoB.

BeckEye said...

You had me at Ewan. And his penis.

I remember going to see "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" when it came out in the theater. I can't remember much about it though. Except that someone's name was Carlotta. Why that sticks out in my mind, I have no idea.

Dr Zibbs said...

Haven't seen meatballs in ages.

words words words said...

McGone, I actually thought Zellweger was pretty well cast in that movie. She's okay for a spunky 20s chick. That said, I think Elizabeth Banks or Parker Posey would have done a bang up job.

red said...

I'm with McGone. I, too, spent most of the movie imagining actresses who'd have been better than Renee.

Anonymous said...

Being a movie snob (ie an East Coast elite) I saw the Visitor last night (Thursday) which was one of the movies i've been meaning to catch for a long time. I thought it was a good movie, but slow at times.

It's good because it actually tries to show real human emotions and dilemmas like the feelings one goes through if you are stuck in a job that deadens you.

Just finished watching a documentary called Young at Heart about senior citizens from Mass who travel around the world singing to audiences. My favorite musical sequence was:
And one of the more touching moments was this one:

I'm pissed off that I missed my chance in catching JCVD in the theatres. If you don't know what it is, it is a movie about Jean Claude Van Damme playing his greatest role ever, as Jean Claude Van Damme. You should definitely check out the trailer.

I'm now aiming my sights on Slumdog Millionaire, a movie set in India which poses the question of whether there is thing called destiny. It's been getting rave reviews.

Lust, Caution is definitely on my to do list, mainly because i have an asian fetish.

Yes, I'm an indie snob.

East Coast Elite

By the way, being 30 isn't so bad. It's only the aches in the knees that kills yeah.

red said...

Young at Heart is a great movie. Liz, Garney and I all totally enjoyed it.

JCVD is playing right down the street from me and I was thinking of catching in tomorrow. I'll let you know how it is.

And I am a movie snob, too, but I'll have to settle for being West Coast Elite, I guess. Does that even exist?

Garney said...

When we talk so much about movies in gmail it's hard to come up with an interesting comment for your gingers posts so I'll just suggest other titles relative to yours in each category for any other latecomers:

See it ASAP:
Chungking Express - a Chinese language film, directed by Wong Kar Wai with a recent Criterion release, see why Quentin Tarantino is a fan (it was one of the first titles he distributed on his own Rolling Thunder video label)

Transsiberian - from Brad Anderson the writer/director of Next Stop Wonderland and The Machinist, another great indie film from this year... a Hitchcockian suspense film starring Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer as American tourists on a train with a Russian detective played by Ben Kingsley

Being There - an older Peter Sellers offbeat comedy that's underappreciated

Exhausting other options (two more with Ewan McG):
Shallow Grave
Miss Potter

Skip It:
War, Inc. - Grace really is gone for John Cusack and everyone else in this boring laughfree satire

Larger Than Life - Bill Murray and an elephant, I saw the trailers and that was enough