Monday, April 30, 2012

Netflix streaming catalog?

I have the same problem…


From: Robert


Is there a place you can look that lists what currently is in the Netflix streaming catalog?


I’m not interested in scrolling in their interface.  I want to see a list that I can browse by title or search.  Is the list a secret from the competition (Apple)?  You don’t know if something is available until you go look for it and see if it is or not?  And that’s only after you signed up for the service?


I wanted to watch Titanic over the weekend but couldn’t figure out if it was in the streaming catalog or not.  I got indicators that it was, but since I dropped streaming long ago I could not see what was in the catalog.  Well my streaming is now active and I see that Titanic is not in the streaming catalog.   PHFFT!


Monday, April 23, 2012

The Immortals and The Darkest Hour

From: Witmer, R


I watched Immortals and The Darkest Hour.  Both were big disappointments for me.  I cannot recommend anyone watching either of them.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Crow (Rating: B)

The Crow is a Gothic-revenge-action-picture comic book adaptation staring Brandon Lee.  It takes place in an evil version of Detroit ruled by thugs, where it seems to be mostly night and raining.  Eric Draven is resurrected by a mystical crow so that he can avenge his murder.  Since he is already dead, it seems that he is invincible, and he goes around killing the bad guys without mercy.

I found myself wondering what the point of the film was?  The main character is in essence a super hero who goes around killing people with impunity.  If he can't be killed, and he gets shot dozes of times without suffering any real harm, then where is the suspense in that?    Well, it turns out that he has a vulnerability and the bad guys figure that out in the last 20 minutes of the movie.  If it wasn't for this, then the story might have seemed flat.

Any action picture wouldn't be complete without a good cop and a bad cop and cute little girl thrown in, which makes the movie seem a little cheap,  but it does give the movie a little variety.  The movie works as a revenge picture because most of the characters are somewhat interesting.  That includes the good guys and the bad guys and a couple characters who are a mixture of both.

Brandon's Lee's performance is good when he is being all Gothic and vengeful, but in a couple of  moments where his character tries to just talk to people, his character seems inconsistently wimpy.

It is unfortunate that Brandon Lee died from a gun shot accident on the set of the film.   After this tragic accident, his mother and fiance both supported the completion of the movie.  Other actors were used to finish the incomplete parts of the movie.

Snow Doesn't Melt Forever

Bizarre trailer.  I believe that it is a Russian made horror movie due out in 2013.

Introducing "David 8" from the upcoming movie Prometheus (An "Alien" spiff off)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Ides of March (Rating: A-)

I have been disappointed with a few George Clooney movies because I thought that those movies hit us over the head with left leaning political messages.  I was a little uneasy about watching "The Ides of March" because I thought that it would be more of the same.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  This movie is not about politics, but politicians and the campaign process.  Given the hotly contested Republican  primary that is taking place right now, it couldn't be more timely.  I like this movie for the same reason I liked Good Night and Good Luck;  The movie is really smart and knows its subject matter.  This film might be better than Good Night and Good Luck which was more of an ensemble piece, because this film creates a tension around one central character, played by Ryan Gosling.  He plays a naive junior campaign manager who quickly becomes corrupted when he gets in a little over his head in a political scandal.

I like that Clooney only plays a supporting character.  He plays a smooth politician who behind the scenes is a little less than holy.  We get to experience Clooney's character through the eyes of Gosling's character, who starts out so full of hope, but soon gets a few hard lessons in reality.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie.  I pretty much know that when he is in a movie that it is going to be a good film.

The expression "Ides of March" literally means middle of March, but it can also refer to the betrayal and assassination of Julius Caesar.  There is a whole lot of backstabbing that takes place in this movie.  The movie is rated R only for language, but that strong language is there to illustrate that behind the scenes politicians are tough bastards who aren't afraid to get their hands a little dirty.

The ending is an extended shot of an actor's face like in Michael Clayton.  It was a disaster in that movie and only barely works in this one.  It can get a little dull, but at least in this film it has more of a  point.

It seems to me that everything in this movie could apply to the current Republican primary race, but this movie is about Democrats.  Everything I saw in the film made me think of Republicans, so why isn't the movie about Republicans?  Either Clooney didn't want to play a Republican, or it was a deliberate decision to not infer anything about the people currently running for office.  It might have been fun to see Clooney play a conservative for a change.

I notice that a portion of the movie takes place in Kentucky, as do many Clooney movies.  Clooney is from Kentucky.

The movie makes a passing reference to "Operation Chaos."

Since George Clooney wrote and directed this film, I am starting to develop a new appreciation for his work. I might actually become a fan.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Dangerous Method. (B+)

A Dangerous Method is the story of psychoanalyst pioneer Carl Jung, his affair with a patient who would later become a psychoanalyst herself, and his rivalry with Sigmond Freud.  This movie works on so many levels ...

1.  A lurid love affair.  Seems that everyone in this movie is interested in sex.  Freud studies it and everyone else has it.  The movie is not very graphic, no more than say "Titanic", and probably should have been rated PG-13 were it not for one naughty word.

2.  An insightful history lesson about early psychoanalysis.

3.  An extremely well acted and beautifully filmed period piece.  I really like how well the actors portray these characters.  Jung is frequently conflicted but subtly so.  Freud seems determined to maintain some sort of superiority.  

Near the end the movie seems to slow down a bit.  I thought that maybe it was becoming too much of soap opera, but everything up to that point I found deeply fascinating.  If you have no interest in history nor psychoanalysis then you might get a little bored.  

Best wishes,

John Coffey