telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Netflix Rundown: July 09 by Barbecue Bros

After a slow June, my Netflix viewing came back in a big way in July with 10 total movies/tv shows watched (8 on disc, 2 instantly).

United 93 (2006)
– 9/10 – The gripping story based on the passengers of Flight 93 overtaking their hijackers on the fateful day of 9/11. Paul Greengrass employs his usual style of shaky-cam cinema verite to great effect. I’m really becoming a big fan of Greengrass.

Spaced: The Complete Series (1999)
– 9/10 – Highly recommended if you enjoyed either of the two features from Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost, Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. This is the british tv show where they honed their horror-style-of-editing-for-comedic-effect. Tons of pop culture references, some very slyly thrown in or set up. Jessica Stevenson (now Jessica Hynes) was great as roommate Daisy, and she also co-wrote the episodes with Simon Pegg.

The Good German (2006) – 7/10 – Steven Soderbergh shot this film as if it had been made in 1945 on back lots with specific lenses and lighting techniques, which is kind of cool to see on film. A decent noir-mystery, though its kind of unbelievable that Tobey Maguire’s character could kick George Clooney’s character so easily.

Rambo (2008) – 7/10 – A violent, somewhat gory action flick that sees Stallone reprise his role as John Rambo. The social issues of the oppresed Karen people in Burma was very interesting and led to some further research after the film. As a film, its a decent, quickly paced film that doesn’t let up once it gets going.

The Fog of War (2003) – 8/10 – An interesting Errol Morris documentary about the life of Robert McNamara and eleven lessons he learned from his position of Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War (nicknamed “McNamara’s War” by some). McNamara is very forthright and candid in his interviews with Morris about his successes and failures in life.

Fanboys (2008) – 6/10 – Fanboys is a love-letter to the Star Wars universe and George Lucas with several cameos by Star Wars alum (Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Roy Park). It’s a goofy film set in 1999 about four friends travelling across the country to get a sneak preview of Episode I before one of them dies of cancer. Expect lots of Star Wars references, both in dialogue and scene. There are also tons of other cameos by Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Danny Trejo, William Shatner, Kevin Smith, Will Forte and Craig Robinson.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
– 6/10 – I decided to rewatch this after finally watching Curse of the Black Pearl on SyFy HD, with the idea of watching At World’s End to go ahead and complete the trilogy (not that its an important trilogy for me to watch, it just kind of happened). Obviously I knew what to expect, but I just can’t get over how striking Keira Knightley is.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li (2009) – 4/10 – No matter how cute Kristin Kreuk is (and she is damn cute in this movie), there was going to be no saving this movie. Chris Klein is hilariously awful (I expect several Razzie nominations in his future), there was more gunplay than actual street fighting, and there was only a handful of characters from the video game in the movies. Funny enough, they set up another film for Ryu, but I kinda doubt it will ever get made.

Goal II: Living the Dream (2007) – 7/10 – The second movie in the planned trilogy about Santiago Munez, this time seeing him getting traded to Real Madrid and dealing with fame and money. The cool part for a soccer fan is the access to the Real Madrid facilities and how the actual players are featured in the film. We’re talking about Beckham, Ronaldo, Zidane, Roberto Carlos, Iker Casillas, etc.  – big names who seemed to go along with the idea of being in a movie. The soccer action is mostly believable until the Champions League final against Arsenal (which in reality was a semifinal and Madrid lost). Also, what was up with Nick Cannon’s unnecessary cameo as an Arsenal striker?

Made of Honor (2008) – 4/10 – I could say that LAM made me watch this against my will, but it was always in my watch instantly queue. Still, not a good film by any means.


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