Archives for posts with tag: netflix

This month I watched the film Visioneers, starring Zack Galifianakis and Judy Greer.

visioneers

Jeffers morning to you all.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I selected this movie. Really, the thing that made me pick this one was the cast. I like ZG. He’s a funny guy. He’s also kind of weird, so I figured that any movie featuring him as the starring actor is going to be a little off-beat.

Welp. I was right. This one is definitely well off the beaten path.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this movie. It’s just…different.

Visually, I would place this somewhere between American Psycho and American Beauty. There are many scenes that are just…barren. Austere offices and homes with neutral tones. For the first half of the movie, colors are washed out. The only time they ever seem to pop is on a television program or in a dream sequence.

In terms of narrative and plot, this movie reminded me of Mike Judge’s work. It was a little more heavy handed in some respects, but there was definitely a clear sense of social satire similar to Idiocracy‘s or Office Space.

Basically, Visioneers is about a world where intimacy and independence are rapidly disappearing commodities. People spend all their time worshiping television personalities, binge eating, and being productive employees.

Everyone lives in constant fear of…well…exploding. I don’t mean that as a metaphor- people fucking explode in this movie.

And what’s great about this plot element is that everything is permeated by a thick layer of tension and anticipation. It could happen at any moment and people go to great (absurd) lengths to avoid it.

It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people explode because they’re stressed (and repressed, and forced to behave as a cog in a machine) and they’re stressed because they might explode.

A lot of the humor in this movie comes from the sheer absurdity that is played with a completely straight face. The very first scene has the main character greeting his coworkers at the Jeffers Company with a good morning and a middle finger, which has become the “Jeffers Salute.”

There were some issues with pacing, and as I said before, things were pretty heavy handed in some respects. But in all, this is a pretty good movie. I would say if you’re looking for something watch and reflect on a little, Visioneers would be a good choice.

I have decided to change the name of this monthly segment to “Nothing to Watch on Netflix,” as I thought of it when I wasn’t hacking up a mouthful of blood.

robot_and_frank

In my period of sickness, I got the chance to watch the movie Robot and Frank.

Keeping with the theme of old people meeting robots, Robot and Frank is much happier than the short I shared last week.

This one tied for the  Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Taking place in the distant future, Robot and Frank is about an old man whose son buys him a robot helper. Frank is the epitome of a grumpy old man. He grumbles, he rolls his eyes, and he goes on about how he doesn’t need help from some newfangled bucket of bolts.

However, Frank is slowly slipping into senility and actually does need the help. He is resistant until he realizes that Robot doesn’t have to obey the law. Frank, being a retired jewel thief, realizes that Robot is the perfect accomplice.

Going on in the background is the political implications of widespread use of robots. Frank’s daughter is an avid anti-robot activist and gets thrown into the mix while Frank and Robot are planning heists.

Robot and Frank

Directed by Jake Schreier
Produced by Lance Acord
Sam Bisbee
Jackie Kelman-Bisbee
Galt Niederhoffer
Written by Christopher D. Ford
Starring
Frank Langella
Susan Sarandon
Peter Sarsgaard
James Marsden
Liv Tyler
Music by Francis and the Lights
Cinematography Matthew J. Lloyd
Editing by Jacob Craycroft
Studio: Park Pictures
White Hat Entertainment
Dog Run Pictures
Running time 89 minute

Check this out.

Be sure to send recommendations for next month to my email

Pictured here: nothing to watch.

Pictured here: nothing to watch.

I have decided to start a new monthly segment called “What’s On Netflix.” Not the most clever name, but at least it’s to the point.

Have you ever found your looking at the Netflix browse screen complaining that there’s nothing to watch? If so, guess what? You’re a fucking asshole.

There are literally thousands of hours of media on Netflix to enjoy, all available at the push of a button, and you have the cojones to piss and moan about there being nothing to watch?

Well, I got news for you, you spoiled little brats, you’re not going to be able to complain much longer.

Because, really, what you mean when you say “there’s nothing to watch” is “I don’t feel like stepping out of my comfort zone.” And fine, whatever, you don’t want to gamble with two hours of your life.

So, I’m doing the gambling for you. In this monthly segment, I will watch a relatively obscure movie on Netflix (recommended by YOU) and then review it, thus saving you from the bad movies and pushing you toward the good ones.

This month, I watched the movie Pi, recommended to me by my roommate, Dan.

Pretty much what the movie is like.

This poster really captures the experience.

Pi is the breakout film of Darren Aronofsky. You might remember the name because he also directed Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, and the newly released Noah.

Pi was his first film to hit theaters and you can definitely see the flight path of his work.

Pi is shot in high contrast grainy black and white, making everything seem all the more surreal, as though it were a fuzzy memory or a bad dream.

The film follows Max Cohen, a brilliant young man with a mind for numbers. However, Max’s passion borders on obsession as he works to find a pattern in the apparent chaos of the stock market, which is somehow connected to a mysterious 216 digit number.

As the movie goes on, Max becomes more unhinged, experiencing nightmarish hallucinations and bouts of paranoid psychosis. While he struggles to keep his head, he is also pursued by people who are interested in using the 216 digit number for their own ends.

Now, I’m not gonna give everything away, but I will say that Pi’s ending is way less depressing than some of Aronofsky’s other films, so there’s that.

I definitely enjoyed this film. Even if some scenes were slow, the pure aesthetic of what was on the screen was enough to keep me entertained.

Pi

Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Produced by Darren Aronofsky, Eric Watson, Scott Vogel
Screenplay by Darren Aronofsky
Story by Darren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette, Eric Watson
Starring Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Samia Shoaib
Music by Clint Mansell
Cinematography Matthew Libatique
Editing by Oren Sarch
Studio Protozoa Pictures
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
Release dates July 10, 1998
Running time 83 minutes

Check this one out.

Be sure to send recommendations for next month to my email

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