People! I return to tell you about movies.
In their latest refresh, Netflix released a handful of excellent1 movies that are well worth your time. But, if like the majority of Americans, you don’t have a whole lot of time to devote towards watching movies allow me to recommend one: Sneakers (1992, ★★★★★) . A heist film with an all-star, 90s-era cast featuring Robert Redford, Ben Kingsley, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, David Strathairn, and Mary McDonnell, it’s one of those “What would happen if the Sandlot kids all grew up and became gray-hat security professionals” films. Make sure you stick around for the ending where we all laugh about the NSA spying on Americans:
This is outside the NSA’s jurisdiction. Unless the NSA didn’t want anybody to know about Janek’s little black box. I keep thinking about something Greg told me. He said our codes were based on an entirely different system than the Russian codes, so this box really wouldn’t work on them. The only thing it would be good for is spying on Americans.
Some other recent additions that are worth watching (maybe just for nostalgia reasons), and one Oscar-nominated movie from the 60s:
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2003/2004)
No joke, for many years my Valentine’s Day ritual was a box of fried chicken from Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken and a Kill Bill double feature. It’s one of my favorite Quentin Tarantino films. ★★★★★★
Don Jon (2013)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, acts, and directs this film about a pleasant Jersey fellow and his nightly solo flights to Pleasureville. ★★★★★
Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
Bradley Whitford is a douchebag, and Elisabeth Shue sings the blues. ★★★★★
Romancing the Stone (1984)
If you look at one illustrated adventure-film poster from the 80s, let it be this one. ★★★★★
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
What’s scarier than pregnancy? ★★★★★
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In theaters: Under the Skin
Have you ever wanted to see an entire movie based on the Giant Space Baby portions of 2001: A Space Odyssey? How about one with almost zero dialogue? No? Are you sure?
Under the Skin, director Jonathan Glazer’s (Sexy Beast) most recent film, is the weirdest film I’ve seen since Upstream Color (2013, ★★★★★). And, just like Upstream Color, I think I loved it? It’s hard to tell with such a strange movie that’s either about nothing at all or a terrifying woman that’s black widowing men in Glasgow. Watchers beware, though: what’s already an extreme slow burner doubles down on pacing and removes almost every bit of dialogue. It’s a beautiful, slow, sometimes dull, sometimes frightening thing to watch. Definitely not for everyone.
- Why you should see this movie: You’ve always thought ScarJo had a dark side and you would like to see it (and most of the rest of her, too).
- Why you shouldn’t: Almost nothing happens…UNTIL IT DOES. The payoff for weathering long, silent scenes may not be enough for some moviegoers.
- Bechdel Test: It’s hard to pass the Bechdel Test with no dialogue.
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Hey! There’s a podcast wherein Susan Howson and I excitedly talk about movies…and life. This week we work through a timeline of superhero comic book movies, and I try and make the case that Christopher Nolan has ruined everything.
- Some of these films are clearly not excellent. But I have such fond memories of them that I can’t not include them! ↩