Ten Netflix Films in September 2013

         
 

01 October 2013| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Titles I happened to check out on Netflix in the month of September 2013 listed from best to worst:

Carnal Knowledge (1971, 98 Minutes, R) might have been the first film to really deal with sex addiction. It also contains one of Jack Nicholson’s three best performances (I’m sure you’ve seen “Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Chinatown” by now). Nicholson ages twenty years in the movie, from his college years to middle age, the whole time keeping female conquests on something of a scorecard. The mid-section deals with what is likely the longest lasting relationship of his adult life (Ann-Margret is the sex kitten who wants to be treated as something more). One shouting match exchange suggests Nicholson’s immaturity level, and his final scene suggests a pathetic attempt from going limp to aroused. An important film. Mike Nichols (“The Graduate”) directed from the playwright/cartoonist Jules Feiffer’s script. Art Garfunkel, clumsy with women, is the best friend. A+

DARK DRAMA / CHARACTER STUDY / MASTERPIECE VIEWING

Carnal Knowledge _FlickMinute 1971

The Vanishing (1988, 107 Minutes, R, Dutch with English subtitles) appears to be your basic slightly unsettling, connect-the-dots mystery of a man who loses his girlfriend at a rest stop and spends the next three years searching for what happened to her, and builds up into one of the most skin-crawling, can’t-believe-they-went-there disturbing answers. There’s three reasons to watch this: One, you’re looking for a film to disturb you on a cerebral level. Two, a cautionary tale of how you really should give up and move on with your life instead of waiting for an unwanted answer. And three, it’s really well done. Gene Bervoets as the boyfriend who never gives up, Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu as the sociopath abductor. George Sluizer directed. A-

DARK DRAMA / STRANGE AND DISTURBING / SATURDAY NIGHT MADNESS

Vanishing 1988 Creepy Netherlands (Cerebral Horror)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986, 119 Minutes, PG) is the Star Trek movie for those who don’t like Star Trek. It’s so good that I could watch it once every couple of years — my favorite of the series. Captain Kirk and the crew have to go back to the 20th century to save humpback whales, and what you get is a race against the clock adventure and fish out of water comedy in one. You’re not getting typical pow-wow action in this entry, but with such big stakes, the excitement is there. So is the most sublime visual beauty of the series. B+

ACTION & ADVENTURE / SCI-FI MYTHOLOGY / LAZY AFTERNOON COUCH

Star Trek IV_ Flick Minute Movie Recommendation

Room 237 (2013, 102 Minutes, NR) is a whacked but engrossing deconstruction of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” not by veritable critics but by super-obsessed fans who have found a myriad of hidden meanings and conspiracies from within the film, including the bold argument that Kubrick helped fake the moon landing and that his film was the only chance he had to spell clues to his regret in assisting NASA. But for true “Shining” lovers, this doc extrapolates on Kubrick’s fascination with subliminal imagery and how his horror classic became imbued with it. B

DOCUMENTARY / MIND-BENDER / LATE NIGHT VIEWING

Room 237 Flick Minute _Poster

Hunger (2008, 96 Minutes, NR) is a cerebral prison movie, very impressive but dispiriting, with Michael Fassbender as the real life prisoner Bobby Sands who went on a hunger strike to change conditions in Belfast prisons (don’t all prisons need changing?). This was the directorial debut of Steve McQueen (“Shame,” “12 Years a Slave”) who employs long-held shots of the monotony and reek that prisoners withstood daily. Fassbender nakedly surrenders himself to this martyrdom role. B

PRISON DRAMA / BRITISH / WINTER DESPAIR

Hunger _FlickMinute Fassbender

Rush (1991, 120 Minutes, R) has Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh in committed performances as narcotics agents who fall into addiction when they go undercover – no, it has nothing to do with the same title on auto racing now in theaters. This drug addiction entry works as an interesting character study – it’s riveting to watch two cops “lose it” – but the story itself is stubbornly anti-satisfying. B-

DRAMA / DRUG ADDICTION / FALL MOVIE

Rush 1991 Jason Patric _ Jennifer Jason Leigh

Days of Thunder (1990, 107 Minutes, PG-13) is the shallow but revved-up Tom Cruise auto racing movie with Nicole Kidman as his physician, muse and girlfriend. After an on-track wreck, Cruise’s cocky character Cole Trickle goes through some issues. Robert Duvall makes a good mentor, Michael Rooker grits his teeth as the rival. Tony Scott, the director, gives you a taste of burnt rubber. The new film “Rush” is ten times better, but this is still guilty pleasure watching. B-

ACTION & ADVENTURE / SPEED FANS / MINDLESS SUNDAY WATCHING

Days of Thunder_Flick Minute post

Admission (2013, 107 Minutes, PG-13) is the oddly dry comedy with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd with Princeton University as a backdrop, with Fey as an admissions officer and Rudd as a prep school principal. It doesn’t have the most pleasant feeling after it gets bogged down in Fey’s maternity issues. But the screenplay does employ big words. C

COMEDY / SMART HUMOR / LAZY AFTERNOON COUCH VIEWING

ZD30_1SHT_billing block_1

Choke (2008, 89 Minutes, R) is the sex addiction film with Sam Rockwell that slants more on him reconciling with his mother (Anjelica Huston) then with curbing his compulsive behavior. Rockwell is very good, but the movie goes off-track and doesn’t raise the appropriate questions. C

DARK DRAMA / CHARACTER STUDY / FALL MOVIE

Choke movie poster

Wreck-It Ralph (2012, 101 Minutes, PG) takes you inside the matrix of a video game, and how those characters live inside a virtual world. I don’t know why this movie was such a big deal to some — I found it a headache, despite some terrific vocals by John C. Reilly as the game villain who really wants to be accepted as a nice guy. I chuckled during the opening scenes at a villain’s support group, but the movie is essentially a short attention span action movie with frenetic flashing colors. C-

FAMILY FILM / ANIMATION / LOUD SATURDAY MORNING VIEWING

Wreck It Ralph _FlickMinute Post

 

Summary
Reviewer
Sean Chavel
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Ten Netflix Films in September 2013
Author Rating
5
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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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