Sunday, March 19, 2006

this week's netflix

In Her Shoes: This quintessential chick flick had a couple of things to recommend it: L.A. Confidential director Curtis Hanson and one of my favorite actresses, Toni Collette. Collette stars as the long-suffering sister of spoiled brat Cameron Diaz, and I'd have to say Diaz was the most compelling thing about the film. She can do downright bitchy as well as she does angelic ditz.

Elizabethtown: I always want to like Cameron Crowe films, but it never really happens. Orlando Bloom was pretty to watch as a man, recently fired for creating a colossal failure of a sneaker, whose father suddenly dies. (Did anyone pick up on what exactly was wrong with the sneaker? Who ever heard of a sneaker recall?) Kirsten Dunst was cute enough, but on the whole, the film is pretty forgettable.

Last Days: Gus Van Sant's film is supposedly inspired by the last days of Kurt Cobain. If Kurt Cobain's last days were anything like this - long, paranoid, incoherent, drug-addled hours among friends who are more concerned with their demos than their overdosing host - it makes me so sad. Van Sant's portrayal is not very engrossing or enlightening, and I don't quite understand its purpose.

The Tenants: Based on Bernard Malamud's novel of the same name, this film pits two writers - one black (Snoop Dogg), one white (Dylan McDermott) - against one another as they squat in a Brooklyn tenement in the early 1970s and fight over Snoop's white girlfriend. I really liked the premise, but the execution was somewhat flawed, with giant leaps of logic and some overblown racial tension. Your time would be better spent reading Malamud's novel The Assistant.

Bubble: There was much ado about Stephen Soderbergh's latest release: the first of six low-budget films with no-name actors to be released simultaneously on DVD, in theaters, and on HDNet. The story centers around a trio of doll factory employees in a small town, and the absence of Hollywood pretense is so refreshing. It feels less like watching a film than getting a glimpse into the lives of these characters in all their pathos and mundane routine. The doll factory details are fabulous.

Mad Hot Ballroom: This documentary about NYC public school students competing in a ballroom dancing competition ran a little long, but the dancers' triumph made it all worthwhile.

1 comment:

Dicker said...

Did not understand what so many critics and the NYT especially saw in Last Days. So goddam boring. And I really wanted to like it.

I was the only male in a theater of 30 for In Her Shoes. I quite liked it. The movie I mean.