Ten Netflix Films October 2012

         
 

29 October 2012| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Titles I happened to check out on Netflix in the month of October 2012 listed best to worst:

Bride of Frankenstein (1935, 75 Minutes, Not Rated) has a beserk stylishness that’s timeless. If David Lynch had made a grainy, black & white monster movie it would have looked like this. For adults, you can trace the satire that’s made into into the 21st century lexicon including jokes on “The Simpsons.” The misunderstood monster finally gets a companion, without the desired result. Boris Karloff is perfectly droll as the monster. James Whale was the visionary director (he was portrayed by Ian McKellen in a biopic called “Gods and Monsters”). A

OLD SCHOOL HORROR / CREATURE FEATURE / AFTER DARK VIEWING

Re-Animator (1985, 86 Minutes, R) is a hysterically funny and gross horror of a wacko scientist who invents a serum to revive the recent dead. Except that when the dead come alive they erupt into a murderous rage. Features a talking head, deadly-threshing intestines, and lots of boob shots of a B-actress. Director Stuart Gordon somehow got away with doing a shrewd remix of the Hitchcockian “Psycho” soundtrack. B+

GORY HORROR / CREATURE FEATURE / AFTER DARK VIEWING

Perfect Sense (2011, 91 Minutes, R) is a contagion thriller that should grip you in the same way that “Children of Men” did. When an unsolvable epidemic takes away the sense of smell from the world’s population, Ewan McGregor (“Big Fish”) as a chef and Eva Green (“Casino Royale”) as a epidemiologist embrace in sex and superficial romance in the meanwhile. As the world adjusts to the single catastrophe, a new wave of horrors consume: the mass population begins to lose the next sense, and then another. The romance becomes more poignant as they wonder what they will lose next. Britain becomes a state of siege, and it’s so believably done, that you get multiple shivers from it. David Mackenzie (the director of “Young Adam”) has made another film that spooks you. B+

SCIENCE FICTION / VIRUS THRILLER / WEEKEND FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Moon (2009, 97 Minutes, R) is such a head-spinner that you will either find it fun and nifty, or psychologically traumatic. To me, Duncan Jones (“Source Code”) debut film is a nightmarish-joke “Twilight Zone” throwback. Sam Rockwell is near finishing a solo three-year stint of helium-3 mining on the moon – which has become Earth’s primary resource – until he clashes with a second version of himself. He’s dealing with either a clone, or is hallucinating from multi-year claustrophobia. The two of them toss verbal jabs at each other, arguing if they are the guinea pigs of a conspiracy. Moon? Conspiracy? Of course it’s a valid sci-fi concept. B

SCI-FI & FANTASY / FOOD FOR THOUGHT / WEEKEND NIGHT MOVIE

A Single Man (2009, 99 Minutes, R) was another bravura turn by Colin Firth as a gay man who tumbles into suicidal depression following the death of his partner circa 1962. He is a closeted college professor who has a plan, and is slowly brought back into appreciation of life following a few eccentric women and a gay student with a crush. Firth’s Oscar nomination for this preceded his win a year later for “The King’s Speech.” It would be superb, but it works too hard towards the end to give us forced drama. B

DARK DRAMA / CEREBRAL / WINTER DESPAIR

Brokedown Palace (1999, 100 Minutes, PG-13) is a Thai prison movie with two American girls (Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale) wrongly accused of drug smuggling. “Yankee” Hank Greene (Bill Pullman) is the ingenious but crotchety lawyer who pulls some strings for the girls’ appeal. The melodrama is thick as hemp. But it has sweaty scenery, committed performances and some #$&%-up situations. On a worn-out movie night, it is a decently heart-aching plight. C+

PRISON DRAMA / ADULT ORIENTATION / FALL SCHOLASTICS 

Critters (1986, 86 Minutes, PG-13) doesn’t even qualify for grade B-movie, it’s closer to a grade-Z movie. But it has a pleasurable-masochistic weirdness. Likely made at the time to cash in on the “Gremlins” success, this one has aliens from another galaxy crash-landing, and then morphing into imitated earthlings, unleashed gremlins roll/attack in a way that’s half hedgehog and half porcupine (whatever)… to terrorize a family on their farm. The cinematic equivalent to string cheese. C+

OLD SCHOOL HORROR / CREATURE FEATURE / SATURDAY NIGHT AFTER DARK

The Funhouse (1981, 96 Minutes, R) is a modicum Tobe Hooper horror film about the freaks after dark at the carnival – they’re into perverse incest or something. They get vengeful with the snooping teenagers who witnesses more than they should have. Instead of chainsaw gruesomeness, there is murder by axe. Some of it is grossly funny, but too much of it is a yawner. C

HORROR / CREATURE FEATURE / WEEKEND VIEWING DEBAUCHERY 

R-Point (2004, 107 Minutes, R, Korean with English subtitles) is one of those that borrows elements and techniques from American thrillers and Japanese horror. In a way it is “Platoon” meets “Pulse.” Also comes to mind is “The Ring” and “The Grudge.” Battalion 53 went missing six months ago in a neutral area between North and South Vietnam, so a reconnaissance team is sent to find and extract them if they aren’t, uh, dead already. Kam Wu-seong is the only performer distinguished with multiple personality traits. More false threats than usual for this genre entry will draw on your patience early. The ending is gore without wit. The movie is very well photographed, however. C-

FOREIGN FILM / VIOLENT THRILLERS / MINDLESS SATURDAY NIGHT

A Thousand Words (2012, 91 Minutes, PG-13) sat on the shelf since 2008 until it finally got a release earlier this year. I can’t think of a more horrible, torturous way to spend Halloween than to sit through this dimwit comedy. Eddie Murphy is a fast-talking executive, that for murky reasons, will die if a Bodhi tree sheds all its leaves. This might have been okay for the little kids had it not gone into vile marital issues with his wife (Kerry Washington). It’s also one of the worst photographed movies out there. D-

COMEDY / BAD MOVIES WE HATE / UNWATCHABLE ANYTIME OF YEAR

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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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