Ten Netflix Films in May 2014

         
 

02 June 2014| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

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

Breaking the Waves (1996, 156 Minutes, R, Danish but all in English language) by world class filmmaker Lars von Trier remains a harrowing and incomparable romantic tragedy. Von Trier took handheld Panasonic film, transferred it to video, and then back again – coming up with a sheer intimate documentary look. Bess (Emily Watson), a virgin, marries Jan (Stellan Skarsgard) with utmost commitment to honor and obey him. Jan has an oil rig accident that paralyzes him, and in the depressed stupor aftermath, tells Bess to sleep with other men and relay the erotic stories back to him. That Bess submits to the request is either madness or a choice of compliance to God and obedience to marriage. Somehow, at least to me, God makes his presence known in the final denouement – even if you can’t visibly see it you still might sense a higher power. A

ROMANTIC DRAMA / TRAGEDY / MASTERPIECE VIEWING

Breaking-the-Waves_Masterpiece Flick-Minute_Lars-von-Trier

Sorcerer (1977, 121 Minutes, PG) is an anti-formula action flick by William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”). He directs action in suspended moments in time, soaking in the detail, instead of most directors who cut hastily ahead. The characters fail to be as emotionally engaging as its predecessor “The Wages of Fear” (1953) from which it is based, but stick around long enough and you will find shades of character. Roy Scheider is one of four men who has to navigate a transport truck over mountainous South America terrain while carrying lethal nitroglycerin. The slightest accident can blow them all to smithereens. Friedkin directs the climax as a state of delirium. The location backdrops are jaw-dropping and the action for some forty sustained minutes is mesmerizing. In recent years, it is gaining classic status among finer critics. A

ACTION-ADVENTURE / RACE AGAINST THE CLOCK THRILLER / LATE NIGHT THRILLS

Sorcerer-1977_movie-poster-William Friedkin Thriller

K-19: The Widowmaker (2002, 138 Minutes, PG-13) is the grim but riveting true story of a disaster on a Soviet nuclear submarine back in 1961, at the height of the Cold War. Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson are improbable as Russian Captains, but you concede to their persuasive authority. On voyage into common-shared waters, there is a nuclear reactor leak. To prevent a massive explosion, the Captain must order his men into certain radioactive-poisoned death to fix the reactor, or everyone will die and war will officially be waged. It’s kind of disturbing material for a big budget commercial film. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”). B+

BIOGRAPHICAL DRAMA / THINKING TEENS / LATE NIGHT THRILLS

K-19 _Widowmaker_Movie-Review

Slither (2006, 95 Minutes, R) is such a disgusting slug-slime monster movie that it’s hysterically funny. They start out as worms, and then they digest and fuse human bodies inside of them. It’s more than disgusting, it’s a vomitorium – but fun if you got the stomach for it! Michael Rooker and Elizabeth Banks play the would-be heroic couple in a small town, Nathan Fillion as the Sheriff. B

HORROR / CREATURE FEATURE / LATE NIGHT YUKS

Tremors (1990, 95 Minutes, PG-13) puts small town citizens on the run from underground slug monsters of menacing speed. Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Reba McEntire and Finn Carter are among the prey who hop on top of buildings, tractors and boulders to stay above ground. Gross, but restrained enough to be fun for youngsters just under 13. B

HORROR / CREATURE FEATURE / LATE NIGHT YUKS

Tremors_DVD _Movie-Review

Goon (2011, 91 Minutes, R) is bloodthirsty action on the hockey rink, based on the true story of Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott). Doug is a bar bouncer and hockey fan, but with no skating talent, who decides to try-out for the minors and makes the team only because he makes a tireless pugilist. He eventually goes up against his hero Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber) in a game that’s not about the win-loss competition but about knocking the other guy out for the sake of glory. There is also a quirky love subplot with Eva (Alison Pill), a slut who learns to settle down. B-

SPORTS COMEDY / LATE TEENS / LAZY AFTERNOON COUCH VIEWING

Goon_DVD Movie-Review

Bad Milo (2013, 84 Minutes, R) is a gross low-budget horror comedy that crosses the line into bad taste on two occasions. Still, I sort of forgive it. Ken Marino plays a guy who develops a gremlin in his digestive tract – the thing pops out and kills people. Dumb as hell, but ludicrously funny if you’re in a tasteless mood. C+

HORROR / CREATURE FEATURE / LATE NIGHT YUKS

Bad-Milo_ Indie-Horror-Cool-Flick

Youngblood (1986, 110 Minutes, R) has less good scenes for a hockey movie, but a few fast compelling ones detailing training that I’ll remember. Rob Lowe, who was treated like a piece of meat in his early career (all those butt-moon shots!), is the talented rookie who has to shake off the pain and continue to play. The whole movie is a compendium of 80’s movie clichés. C

SPORTS DRAMA / LATE TEENS / LAZY AFTERNOON COUCH VIEWING

Youngblood_1986-Rob Lowe_Review

Diana (2013, 113 Minutes, R) has Naomi Watts as the late Princess of Wales. The movie gets right the terrorizing paparazzi that invaded not just her privacy but her life. The concentrated love story between her and Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews) is an endless argument on how they should be together but why they shouldn’t be together, up to the point the last hour is a long whine. Almost something good here, then it goes way off track. C-

BIOGRAPHICAL DRAMA / THINKING TEENS / SUNDAY LATE NIGHT

Diana_ Movie-Poster_Review

Virtuosity (1995, 105 Minutes, R) is like a low-rent “Minority Report” with grubby cinematography. Denzel Washington is an imprisoned disgraced ex-cop released so he can chase Sid 6.7 (Russell Crowe, early role), an entity from a cyberspace program that escapes and creates havoc in the three-dimensional real world. The story is very thoughtless and the chases are all very routine. D+

SCI-FI ACTION / BORED TEENS / LAZY AFTERNOON COUCH

Virtuosity_Movie _Review

Summary
Reviewer
Sean Chavel
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Ten Netflix Films in May 2014
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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