Friday, April 15, 2005

Netflix (Redux)

We're subscribing to Netflix (again), so I thought I'd provide a quick look at what we've gotten so far (with the occasional capsule review thrown in here and there):

Winged Migration

I was stunned by this drop dead gorgeous film about migratory birds. (If a bit disillusioned by the "Making Of" featurette.)

Watership Down


2001: A Space Odyssey

I like Stanley Kubrick. I like him because he had respect for his audience; he let them (and seemed to they could) think; he let them figure things out for themselves. He seemed to believed that the average moviegoer has an attention span longer than five minutes.

He was wrong of course, but that doesn't detract from his brilliance as a poet. Yes the film is demanding and (at times) confounding, but when was the last time Truth was served up on a silver platter?

The Return

Jeffrey Overstreet's favorite film of 2004 (though a actually from 2003) has "parable" written all over it; with such elements as father-son relationships, hidden money, a strange journey and the like. But it's something of a head-scratcher; if the goal of Art is to pose questions and explore (as opposed to making a statement or preaching) then this film's a triumph, if not, then this is merely beautiful film with strong acting all round.

I, of course, fall on the side of Art As Meditation; so I heartily recommend this film for group viewing and discussion. I think it would well worth your time.


The Year of Living Dangerously

A Man Escaped

The Story of the Weeping Camel

The Mission


A Hard Day's Night


Four year old Victoire Thivisol gave a breathtaking performance as Ponette - a girl who has lost her mother to a car accident. And we, the audience are left to watch quietly as little Ponette grapples with this loss, as she brings her questions to her family, her friends and, in the end, God himself.

I don't quite know how to put into words how this film effected me; and maybe that's alright. I can say that this film broke my heart, and without the insulting manipulation that the filmmakers could easily could have used.

Oh dear, I'm doing a bad job at this: can I just link to Jeffrey Overstreet's review? Or would that be cheating?

Diary of a Country Priest


JD said...

Most interesting. A movie/DVD rental place just opened downtown. I'm hoping they will have some movies in english.

stan said...

I watched Winged Migration last year, and was completely blown away by the gracefulness of the imagery. There are these cameras just flying SO CLOSE to these birds - how in the heck did they DO that?!

But then when I saw the behind-the-scenes footage, and learned how in the heck they DID that, it actually sort of ruined it for me. It definitely took away much of the magic of the film for me.

Just something to keep in mind.

I loved Spellbound. I never thought a spelling bee could be so intense (I was in a few, back in my day), but this thing was absolutely riveting.

eucharisto said...

What is your opinion about 'The Return'? And how did you like Watership Down?

stan said...

I don't know if you are asking me that question, eucharisto, but I'll answer the only way that I can:

I haven't seen either film, although my parents might have rented Watership Down for my sis back in the early 80's. I did see the trailer for The Return today, and it looks quite intriguing.

I saw Vertigo once, a few years ago, but I honestly don't remember anything about it. I also started watching 2001: once, but I had just taken some muscle relaxants, which just knocked me out - so I don't remember that one, either...


'Thought & Humor' said...

Thought I would stop in to say, "Hi"!!!


'Thought & Humor'

Queen of Arts and England said...

Yea! You watched A Hard Days Night!You probably didn't find it quite as amusing as I did, though!

Foolish Knight said...

Well gee wiz, Queen; that goes without saying: no one could find that movie as amusing as you do!

Still, it I thought it was a very entertaining and enjoyable farce and I found all of the Beatles' performances to be very endearing. Especially Ringo’s, who's plight brought me very close to tears several times.

(I'm joking of course.)

But all joking (lame or otherwise) aside A Hard Day's Night has to be one of the most fun pieces of fan memorabilia ever made. So in summery, yes, I did like it.

To Eucharisto (New name! Must get used to new name!)

I’ve added a few more thoughts on The Return to the post hoping to clear things up a little bit there.

About Watership Down: as you know I’m an admirer of the book but unfortunately in regards to the movie I found myself sympathizing with the filmmakers more than the rabbits; wishing they (the filmmakers) had been given more money and had been able to extend the movie by another half an hour at least.

Still the film succeeds overall, and should at least intrigue viewers enough into looking into reading the book for themselves.

Which is something I’ll applaud any day.

To Stan, it’s interesting that you should say that about Winged Migration; I had the exact same experience you did, of watching it and being amazed but afterwards being disillusioned by the “making of” feature on the DVD.

Still amazing bird footage is amazing bird footage, right?

To JD,

Great news! I hope they have a few english movies too, not to mention good english movies.

Maybe I can get a list to you of possible rentals if turns out to be the case.

JD said...

Is it true that you might be interning under a christian movie maker? I so envy you!

And yes the DVDs will play in english if you so choose to play it in that language. :) So some movie rental ideas would be most greatly appriciated. ( I was trying to try to spell that word, but failed! )

midnitcafe said...

So, what do you think of Netflix overall. I had them way back in the begining and found them to be way to slow for my taste, and money. But this was when everything was routed out of California and it took several days for the movies to travel through the mail. Have they gotten any faster now that they are an enormous company?

Foolish Knight said...

I swear by Netflix, in the short interludes that we've done it, I have seen many many wonderful films that I would never have seen otherwise. I have been disappointed by their selection exactly three times (they did not have Twelfth Night, King Kong or Ordet)

And yes, it seems they must have undergone some improvement: I could count on putting a movie in the mail on Monday and having a replacement back by Wednesday; I wouldn't know what would happen in France however.

The only drawback being the price, 24.99 a month is a little over our family budget so we compromise by only doing it once in a while as I've said. But it works for me; it makes me so giddy that I could take it in small doses anyway.

midnitcafe said...

Thanks. Hmmm, they have gone up in price. Not sure if the wife will let me spend so much on rentals....It wouldn't be for my time in France. We head back to the states in July, and I'm already thinking ahead.

Foolish Knight said...

Ahh... Well there is the $18ish a month offer too. But that's only for four movies a month.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Ponnete is a great movie. We actually own it. Mind you, it's all in french, but our version has subtitles, which is always helpful.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy it.