Ten Netflix Films in April 2014

         
 

30 April 2014| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Titles I happened to check out on Netflix in the month of April 2014 listed from best to worst:

An Unmarried Woman (1978, 124 Minutes, R) begins with Jill Clayburgh (superb) married to Michael Murphy raising a teenage daughter in a high-rise Manhattan flat. He whips up manufactured tears when he tells her he’s leaving her for a younger woman, meaning she will have to have to learn how to be single all over again. This movie has been around 35-years and is still fresh and contemporary (while being a legit 70’s time capsule on Women’s Lib), surprisingly riveting for a foibles relationship portrait. Written and directed by Paul Mazursky, who had at least a half dozen good movies in him, the talk and tone is enduringly cynical, insightful, behaviorally reckless, a little wise, and… the men in the movie are a little too annoyingly selfish left to right. Still, it’s a remarkable chick flick with brains, and as a man I’ve learned about women from this movie. Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Screenplay and Actress. A-

DRAMA / CHICK FLICK / WEEKEND LAUGHS AND TEARS  

An_Unmarried-Woman_Review-1978-FlickMinute_Feminist_Classic

Home (2010, 93 Minutes, NR, Swiss with English subtitles) is about a happy family that has lived off of an incomplete highway for years, only for public road construction to begin again and thus spoil their living space. Slowly, we come to see this as a dysfunctional family (Olivier Gourmet, Isabelle Huppert as the parents) that has had long dormant fears and aversion to adaptation on a number of levels. Thoroughly compelling, psychologically absorbing, and nearly flawless. A-

FOREIGN FILM / TWISTED DRAMA / LATE NIGHT CURIO

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Cell 211 (2010, 110 Minutes, NR, Spanish with English subtitles) is one of the few prison dramas/thrillers of the last twenty years that’s worth a damn. Juan (Alberto Ammann) reports a day early to his new job as a guard and coincidentally finds himself assimilating with the rest of prisoners during a prison riot. Malamadre (Luis Tosar) is the head honcho prisoner, and it’s a crazy enough characterization that makes the movie riveting. If the movie isn’t perfect, it’s due to perhaps two far-fetched convolutions of the plot (one involving Juan’s wife straining too much to help her husband when she learns he’s trapped). Overall, pulsating and nerve-racking, and this is truly rough, rough, very convincingly rough block of prisoners. B+

PRISON DRAMA / SPANISH / LATE NIGHT THRILLS

Cell-211_Underrated Spanish Movie_2010

Blue is the Warmest Color (2013, 179 Minutes, NC-17, French with English subtitles) has hot graphic sex scenes between lesbians that transcends above others – heterosexual couples could learn from them. Ultimately, this is a conventional story of heartbreak. It has a place in film history, but three hours will keep many from watching it a second time. Still, it’s the meaning of the emotional connection between Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos) and Emma (Lea Seydoux) that stirs inside you for a long time after it’s over. B+

FOREIGN FILM / SEXY FRENCH IMAGES / LATE NIGHT HUNGER

Blue-is-the-Warmest-Color _French-Film-Cannes-Winner

Cry Baby (1990, 85 Minutes, PG-13) by John Waters not only recalls 1954 kitsch and musical malarkey but recalls a time when Johnny Depp was a vivacious and spirited actor before he fell into the dumps. Depp is Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker, a high school rebel who plays by his own rules. The joke is that the “squares” are far more cruel and prejudice. Amy Locane is the good girl gone bad, the others Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake and Traci Lords bring the right amount of sass and vulgarity. Loony and fun. B+

MUSICAL COMEDY / GOOFY / WEEKEND SLUMBER PARTY

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North Dallas Forty (1979, 118 Minutes, R) is the kind of odd case that must have been a really good movie in 1979, but is unfortunately dated now. The strongest storyline is how the team office does everything they can to assassinate Nick Nolte’s character so they have an excuse to let him go, but only after they have pushed his physical limits and reaped his last abilities. But the actual on-field plays and relationship with the fans is not up to snuff dramatically. C+

SPORTS DRAMA / LATE TEENS / LAZY AFTERNOON COUCH VIEWING

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Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013, 105 Minutes, R) ain’t no big deal. Casey Affleck commits a robbery to support his future baby, gets caught, and tries to reconnect with his girlfriend Rooney Mara after a jailbreak a few years later. The director David Lowery is a semi-David Gordon Green, but while he comes up with some assembly of poetic imagery, it isn’t deep enough. C

AVANTE-GARDE / CEREBRAL THRILLER / LATE NIGHT PUZZLES

Aint Them Body Saints_2013-Review

Out of the Furnace (2013, 116 Minutes, R) has a simmering Christian Bale performance out to avenge his brother’s demise, and squalid Pennsylvania backdrops – but Jesus H. (#$&%!), it’s not worth it. Casey Affleck is the pugilist brother (that he wins bouts is ridiculously unconvincing), Woody Harrelson is the dangerous mobster, and Zoe Saldana as the love whom Bale loses. The last half takes forever to make its points, and believe me, it tries so goddamn hard to make its points. C-

ACTION-DRAMA / REVENGE / LATE NIGHT SNOOZER

Out-of-the-Furnace _Movie-Review_Christian Bale_2013

The Great Beauty (2013, 142 Minutes, NR, Italian with English subtitles) was this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, and it’s the worst film to win Best Foreign Film of the last twenty years (I went back to count, and I’ve seen 17-of-20 of them). Superficially verbose and garish photography, it attempts to update the Fellini classic “La Dolce Vita.” Chauvinistic men, sexpot women, endlessly cynical and shallow pronouncements, no real plot. D

FOREIGN FILM / SEXY IMAGES / LATE NIGHT SEPPUKU

Great-Beauty_Overrated_Italy-Oscar-Winner

Zapped! (1982, 98 Minutes, R) is a sex comedy about a science nerd who gains telekinetic powers to strip nubile high school females and batter male bullies. I’d give the movie a grade D, but what drops it lower is Scott Baio, who comes off as a total dweebish retard with an inability to verbally express himself. I don’t care if he did “Charles in Charge” later on, Baio should have to apologize for the remainder of his life and copy out long volume texts on phonetics for being such an idiotic mumbler. Seriously, I want to beat the living crap out of him. F

COMEDY / BAD MOVIES WE HATE / LATE NIGHT LABOTOMY

Zapped_Review-Flick Minute

Summary
Reviewer
Sean Chavel
Review Date
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Ten Netflix Suggestions for April 2014
Author Rating
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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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