Matthew Lillard as “Spooner”
Netflix Instant Picks for January, 2012
It’s a new year and we are now reevaluating our Netflix subscription. We both agree that the instant streaming will remain but we are seriously considering dropping the mail delivery of new movies. We have experimented with Redbox and so far it seems to work well. Maybe someday Netflix will instantly stream everything, but I don’t think it will happen soon. If it does happen I predict that there will be at least a 50% increase in the monthly fee.
At present, it just takes a little longer to separate the quality streaming movies from the flood of refuse that Netflix stuffs their online offering with. To that end, here are my picks for this month:
Blitz, 2010, 1 hr and 37 min.; Action.
This movie from the U.K. is best described as an action/crime/buddy flick. The only hurdle you may have is getting used to the strong accent and quiet delivery of the star, Jason Slatham. The drama centers on a serial killer who is killing cops in one brutal murder after another. The police make the wise and desperate decision to sic their most undisciplined man on the trail of the homicidal brute. Our cop hero teams up with another officer who happens to be gay and therefore not the most popular man about the office. Once these two get going the action never stops. This movie is brutal, just what I was looking for in an action film.
Starring: Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, and David Morrissey
The Vanishing, 1993, 1 hr and 49 minutes; Action/Drama
Imagine losing your girlfriend at a highway rest stop. You both get out of the car, maybe you go to purchase some food and she heads for the ladies’ room. Then she never comes back. Would you spend three years looking for her? The lead character in this movie did. It may sound like a long haul; but, this thriller will have you on the edge of your seat for every minute. (Note: Sandra Bullock was in this in what turns out to be a minor part.)
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Keifer Sutherland, and Nancy Travis
PS: There is also a Dutch version of this film (in French) that came out in 1988.
Spooner, 2008, 1 hr and 23 min.; Romantic Comedy
This is a quirky, slow, indie romantic comedy. My wife fell asleep during this one and she is a great fan of romantic comedies; she just does not have the patience for a slow buildup. I do. All you need do is to coast along with this strange little movie and you will find that you like it more with each passing scene. The story? Spooner is a guy just turning 30 and his parents are finally throwing him out of the house at exactly the same time he meets the most awesome girl in the world. I think you will like it.
Starring: Matthew Lillard, Nora Zehetner, and Shea Whigham
Gunless, 2010, 1 hr and 29 min.; Western?
It’s a western. It’s a comedy. It’s a love story. This little flick is an underappreciated gem. A man pursued by bounty hunters arrives in a North West Canadian town of 17 souls. His interaction with the strangely common residents is a life changing event for all. Relax and enjoy this one.
Starring: Paul Gross, Sienna Guillory, and Dustin Milligan
The Warrior’s Way, 2009, 1 hr. and 40 min.; Martial Arts
A martial arts film? Are you kidding me? I know, I know, you gave up watching that stuff back in the ’80’s. Well, it’s time to take a look at the twenty first century offerings. This is a martial arts film like few others. The greatest assassin the world has ever seen spares the life of his final enemy, an infant girl. He then becomes a marked man as his own tribe members pursue him around the world. Where does the assassin flee to? The American Old West, of course. This does not look like any western you have seen before. The surrealistic settings, extreme violence, and characters painted in glaring hues all combine to make this retribution film work. When it is all over you just may decide that you like it; but, you won’t be sure why.
Starring: Dong-Gung Jang, Kate Bosworth, and Geoffrey Ruoh. Directed by Singmoo Lee.
Note: Previous reviews are also available in my “Movie Reviews” category.