Latest movies: June 1 – July 1

[Number of movies rated as of 7/7/2014 is 1421]

 

Ok it’s been a while, cut me some slack; it’s summertime and one just doesn’t feel like being indoors watching movies, particularly if one watches them on one’s laptop in one’s 10×10 apartment bedroom because one doesn’t have a TV. Anyway, this is what happened after I finished Orange is the New Black #OITNB.

 

Swordfish

Netflix summary: Determined to get his mitts on $9 billion in a secret DEA account so he can use it to fight terrorism, rogue agent Gabriel Shear recruits encryption expert Stanley Jobson to hack into the government mainframe.

★★★ While anyone who knows anything about network security might find this movie farfetched (did I just out myself as a network nerd?), that’s not really the purpose of the movie…Ok why didn’t anyone tell me Hugh Jackman was this hot in 2001? Also, Halle Berry’s boobs. I can’t say that I wasn’t entertained.

 

Best in Show

Netflix summary: Master mockumentarian Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman) is at it again with this snarky send-up of canine culture that traverses the galloping neuroses surrounding one highly competitive dog show in Pennsylvania. Talented improvisers Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean and Catherine O’Hara elevate this satire to the stuff of genius. Fans of This Is Spinal Tap, television’s “SCTV” — and dogs, of course — will find much to love.

★★★★ I loved this movie when it originally came out (2000). The jokes about Starbucks seemed so cutting-edge back then. This movie does a good job exploring the strange relationships people have with their dogs, particularly in the dog show industry.

 

Japanese Story

Netflix summary: During a field trip, geologist Sandy (Toni Collette) has the unfortunate luck of being marooned in the Pilbara desert with a man she can’t stand. Finding him completely irritating and rather egotistical, Sandy soon learns that his feelings for her are just as contemptuous. The saying that things can only get better doesn’t apply to these two, as their increasingly remote location only adds to the already challenging situation.

★★★ Well of the many Australian movies I’ve rented this year, I thought I might find more than two that weren’t completely depressing. The plot summary above does not hint at the tragedy this, and most Australian movies are. After discussing it with a couple Aussies I learned that “Australian people don’t even watch Australian movies.” Although I thought the acting was good and the plot somewhat compelling, I have removed all other Australian movies from my queue. You may be wondering what were the two Australian movies that don’t make you want to end your life: “Kenny” and “The Castle.”

 

Being John Malcovich

Netflix summary: When puppeteer Craig Schwartz discovers a portal into John Malkovich’s brain, he decides to sell 15-minute excursions into the esteemed actor’s mind. But soon, Craig’s wife becomes obsessed with the experience.

★★★★ Didn’t entirely get this movie when it first came out, possibly because I was in 6th grade. But on revisiting it, I found it hilarious. Thought-provokingly layered while also being self-deprecating. And overall just trippy. John Cusack does a great job.

 

Persuasion (1995 version)

Netflix summary: Nearly a decade after breaking her engagement to sea captain Frederick Wentworth because of pressure from her financially strapped family, Anne Elliot meets up with him again and finds she still has feelings for the now rich and successful officer.

★★★ I put this in my queue after reading the book earlier last month. It was meh. A typical situation where the movie veers from the book and I didn’t nearly enjoy it as must as I could have. No chemistry between the main characters is a big no no for any Austen adaptation, in my opinion.

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