Monday, March 02, 2009


Here's a list of all the movies I've watched through Netflix so far in 2009, each with a mini-review.

Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story - I love outsider art and song poems are way out there. I like the Errol Morris stylings and character studies of people associated with the genre, including people who submit poems and the "big" names in the business.

Goodbye, Columbus -- I haven't watched it yet. It's based on a Phillip Roth novella I read last year.
American Drug War: The Last White Hope -- A bit sensationalistic and scatter-brained for my tastes, but I like the little bits of personality the director throws into the mix.
Charlie Wilson's War -- A taut thriller with just enough humor to add life to it. The dialogue is snappy. Not one ounce of fat on this baby!
Powaqqatsi -- I love this entire trilogy, including this second one, which focuses on mostly urban scenes of life south of the equator. The visuals of different religious rites were stunning. As usual, Phillip Glass's score is loopy brilliance.
Nip/Tuck: Season 1: Disc 1 -- Overly-stylized soap opera dreck!
The Great Lie -- Haven't seen it yet.
Naqoyqatsi -- This is the last in the qatsi trilogy and is different from the other two in its use of computer imagery. Very trippy, but not as soul-stirring as the other two.
Entourage: Season 1 -- A guilty pleasure.
River's Edge -- This movie stars a young Crispin Glover and Keanu Reeves as small-town friends of a guy who strangles his girlfriend to death for the fun of it. This movie was darkly funny, but also a tongue-in-cheek indictment of the media.
The Sopranos: Season 2 -- Another great series!
Ratcatcher -- Incomprehensible Scottish accents. Even more incomprehensible plot. Avoid like a plague.
The Heartbreak Kid -- I saw the original starring Charles Grodin years ago. This re-make is funnier.
30 Days: Season 1 -- Although Morgan Spurlock is a little too preachy for my tastes, this series is a good concept executed fairly well.
Sicko -- Michael Moore strikes again with a documentary that should be seen by every member of Congress. Health care reform is needed. Now!!
At Close Range -- You'd think a movie with Sean Penn and Christopher Walken in it would be good, but no.
The Four Feathers -- This was part of my Heath Ledger weekend and the least favorite of the three I saw. Although well-acted, the drama was a little too heavy and action sequences a bit dodgy.
Ned Kelly -- My favorite of the three Ledger movies I saw. Ned Kelly's life is given a historically accurate treatment.
Saved! -- Funny movie about life at a Christian school. Exposes some of the hypocrisies of evangelism without being preachy.
The Dark Knight -- Yeah, there's a Chicago connection, and, yeah, it's a good movie, but I don't think it lived up to the hype.
The First Year -- A documentary about first year teachers in Los Angeles. I could relate to many of the struggles these teachers go through.
Ordinary People -- Filmed in a north shore suburb, this Best Picture Academy Award is a little dated, like Kramer vs. Kramer.
The Milagro Beanfield War -- Daniel Stern is a god. I loved the book and though magic realism gets many props, this movie is just pedestrian. Robert Redford, unlike Clint Eastwood, should have stuck to acting. Gotta work on the pacing, bro.
Confessions of a Burning Man -- Mediocre documentary about the annual desert art extravaganza.
Michael Palin: Himalaya -- Python funnyman hits the mountain trails. Palin's off-the-beaten-track sensibilities also appeal. Free food if you're Sikh.
Land of Look Behind -- Mediocre documentary about Jamaica.

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