Director: Duane Journey
Writer: David Tillman
Starring: Lara Flynn Boyle, Molly C. Quinn, Lochlyn Munro, Michael Welch
Genre: Horror, Action, Comedy
Review: Stoner Horror has been around for a long time, maybe. I'm guessing it has because it feels like it's been around forever; like they were around during the days of opaque projectors. Despite being a fan of horror films I've never watched this particular sect of the genre, and I'm glad this was the first.
Hansel & Gretel Get Baked stands out with its comically bad performances and unevenness, but these are not bad things. Things like its credit music, absurd camera angles, and the fact it's made by Tribeca Films, aka American Express Studios only make the 86 minute run time all the better.
None of the characters, despite perhaps Octavio's (hereby known as Thug #2) transformation into a sheepish man-child, are likable in any capacity. The titular characters are both self-involved losers who dress like idiots. Lara Flynn Boyle (hereby known as The Witch) turns in a performance so brain-meltingly awful your pants will likely shit themselves before you have the chance.
BUT IT GETS BETTER FUCK!!! The murders perpetrated by The Witch are and will be unique and refreshing to even the light horror fan. Most all of the creativity used was in the way characters die which pays off for a film that lives or dies by its irreverence. This one is a stand-out sleeper film as long as you can take your movies with whimsy. I would absolutely recommend H&GGB.
Favorite line: "Maybe if I whistle you can follow the sound?" - Thug #2, spoken like a lamb mewing to his mother.
Favorite moment: Lara Flynn Boyle getting slapped in the face.
Rogue observation: Reynaldo Gallegos kills it as Carlos.
Another Netflix Review guest post from Bryan James Dougherty. Enjoy.
Director: Warren P. Sonoda (Unrivaled)
Writer: Eric Lunsky
Starring: Jim Annan (Repo Man), Jason Blicker (The Day After Tomorrow), Liam Card (Textuality)
Genre: Action, Sports, Comedy, Hockey
Review: There have been many great Hockey movies over the years; Slap Shot, The Mighty Ducks, Les Boys and recently, Goon. These are films that encapsulate the purity and excitement the sport inherently possesses and reminds fans why they love the game. The Puck Hogs is a film that understands why these films are successful and imitates them to almost parody-like effect. Not to say I didn’t like the film.
I can’t dislike this film because it’s not really about Hockey. If this film were about the 12th annual butter-slathering championships it would not have been different. In fact, it couldn’t have hurt as they could have done that more believably than play hockey. This mockumentary is campy and lacking seriousness, although the latter was probably somewhat unintentional. It’s light-hearted and doesn’t try to make a statement. And most surprisingly, it’s funny at moments.
All my complaints about the film are small and do not affect the film too much, except that no one affiliated with the production of this film knows much about the sport. How do I know? Take this line from the coach of the Puck Hogs:
“Shoot at the net!”
This is advice I would expect to hear one poacher tell another poacher, not a guy who is supposed to be coaching Hockey players. It’s something I imagine a women’s basketball player would scream during climax. How that line made it in to the film is absurd but not implausible.
If it had tried to be a Hockey film instead of a film featuring Hockey, I would have resisted it wholly because I take hockey seriously probably due to my otherwise uninteresting character. I don’t know. The point being that the greatest strength of the movie is that it doesn’t go deep into the game because it would have failed horribly. Since it didn’t, it stands as a mediocre sports comedy with some redeeming attributes.
Score: 16 missing teeth out of 32
Bryan James Dougherty is a writer and comedian from Chicago, IL. Well, he says so. He and 20SomethingAwesome met on the Ambassador Bridge while selling lollipops for political influence. After a shouting match over how to break change for Ethics Committee clout, the two became quite close. In his free time, Bryan James enjoys lengthy debates on potato soup and labor economics. Check him out on Twitter (@adunkirkspirit) or Tumblr (adunkirkspirit.tumblr.com) He's not boring.
Director: James C. Strouse (New York, I love you, Lonesome Jim)
Writer: James C. Strouse
Starring: Sam Rockwell (Moon, The Green Mile, Iron Man 2), Emma Roberts (Nancy Drew, Wild Child), Rob Corddry (The Daily Show, The Hot Tub Time Machine), Emily Rios (Quinceanera, Vicious Circle), Rooney Mara (Youth in Revolt, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Genre: Comedy, Sports, Basketball
Why You Should Watch It: The Winning Season was recommended to me by a friend. He described it as, “An alcoholic for some reason starts coaching a small town’s high school girl’s basketball team. It’s funny and will make you ball your eyes out.” (Please note: This quote is paraphrased but the sentiment was the same. Also, "friend" may be a figment of my drunken Modern Warfare 3 playing imagination. Double also, pun was intended in this fake quote.) This fuzzy memory quote is pretty much spot on. A divorced, alcoholic, dish-washing man is given this girl’s basketball coaching gig because in his glory days he was a basketball star. In those star days, things didn’t go along as planned which lead him to being in his 30’s and being a busy-boy at an Applebee’s knock off. The team he inherits is a mess, he has no idea how to handle teenage girls, and his bad relationship with his ex-wife and daughter has him hitting the bottle even harder. With the help of the bus driving lesbian coach and the love from the girls he coaches, he starts to get himself straight but it’s too little, too late in the eyes of the school principle (Corrdry). Throughout The Winning Season there are some good laughs, and you you will also feel a bit for the main character. He's not a terrible guy, just an alcoholic and depressed. There are even some side plots with the high school girls that are interesting but admittedly not very deep. What makes it enjoyable is that you will have some level of emotion in the movie even thought it never take itself to seriously. You could argue it’s the subpar acting and poor writing that leads to this lack of deep emotional connection and you may be correct but either way, it makes it more enjoyable. It’s only PG-13, so the adults and children will enjoy it alike. So make your teenage daughter stay home thus ruining her life, let your 10 year old stay up past 9pm on a Friday, pop some popcorn and fire up your Netflix watching machine.
Editor's Note: This movie might not be technically new to Netflix, but that's okay, I hope.
Director: John Fortenberry (The Kids in the Hall, Rescue Me)
Writer: Steve Koren (Bruce Almighty, Click), Will Ferrell (Zoolander, Elf, lots of movies), Chris Kattan (Corky Romano, The Middle)
Starring: Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Jennifer Coolidge (American Pies(s), Legally Blonde), Molly Shannon (Superstar, SNL, Never Been Kissed), Michael Clarke Duncan (Green Mile, Armageddon), Richard Greico, Dan Hedaya (The Usual Suspects, Commando)
Genre: Comedy, SNL
Why You Should Watch It: Despite the 11% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, A Night at the Roxbury is a SNL comedy gold mine. You might think this comment is based on the memory of a teen-aged Mike, but no, I re-watched this movie three days ago. It still, very much, entertains me. The jokes still land, the quotes are still quotable and “What is Love?” is just as awesome as you remember. For those of you who haven’t had the joy of this movie yet, Roxbury follows two 20 something brothers (Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan) who enjoy clubbing, living with their parents and working for their parents at a fake plant store. Sure, they are dumb, but they do have a vision and the motivation to make it happen. They have big club ideas to top the likes of the famous Richard Grieco. With some ups and downs, fake love to go with those fake plants and some great clubbing nights, they make their way through the weak plot line to score a life victory; they become the proud managers of L.A.’s newest and hottest indoor/outdoor club. Hell, they might even find some real love in there, unless they're still trying to figure out what it is...
Bonus Video - A Night at the Roxbury skit from SNL featuring Jim Carrey:
Director: James Foley (Perfect Stranger, Fear)
Writer: David Mamet (Hannibal, Ronin, The Untouchables)
Starring: Al Pacino (Scarface, Any Given Sunday, Gigli), Jack Lemmon (Some Like It Hot, Grumpy Old Men), Alec Baldwin (The Departed, 30 Rock, The Hunt for Red October), Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, The Usual Suspects, Moon), Ed Harris (The Rock, A History of Violence, The Abyss), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine, Edward Scissorhands)
Genre: Drama, Play
Note: I got a little carried away with the intro to this New on Netflix Instant post, so if you want to read just about the movie, please scroll down to the bold, “Why You Should Watch It” below.
I had first heard of Glengarry Glen Ross in high school (Class '05 wahoooo, or something) when a group of friends planned on watching it. Had I watched it then I doubt I would have enjoyed it very much. Luckily, I guess, I could not make the Glengarry Glen Ross viewing party for whatever reason. Having recurring memories of what I missed at that GGR viewing party, I’ve been wanting to watch it for the next 8 years. I decided 3 weeks ago, enough is enough, I was going to buy this movie. Yay, real jobs and still having some disposable income because I still live with my parents! Bonus, it was pretty cheap on Amazon. As I drunkenly added it to my shopping cart, I sat for minutes wondering if tonight was the night I was going to spend $50 dollars on 3 things: Step Brothers, Game of Thrones, and GGR. I surprisingly made the correct choice and decided to sleep on it.
Guess what happened next. Go ahead. Guess.
Three days later, before I made the “Amazon Decision of late Summer 2013” as I’m now calling it, GGR ended up on Netflix Streaming. Talk about the benefits of great drunken self control! Well…sometimes.
I gave it a few days because I knew I had to be able to pay attention to a film of this caliber. I had to be in a mood where I wanted to think. I wanted to analyze. I wanted to be wowed by the dialogue. I wanted to see a young Alec Baldwin be a young, ball-busting Jack Donaghy. I wanted to see a weak, old, Jack Lemmon feel hopeless and vulnerable, all while relating and feeling sorry for him. I needed to want all of those things. The stars aligned and one night, it happened. I started the film and never looked back.
Why You Should Watch It: Glengarry Glen Ross starts with a quintessential 90's opener. Music, names flickering in a sweet looking blue, and subway track noises. Don’t worry though, this movie isn’t quintessential anything, except for the quintessential play to big screen conversion. Well that, and the opener I just said was quintessential. But those are the only two. GGR being originally a play is obvious too, with the few set pieces, the dialogue driven plot, and slow pacing. If you pay attention and entrance yourself in the story by the end you will be thinking, “What? That’s it? I need more. THIS CAN’T BE OVER YET. Blake, get back, bring your brass balls too. Can’t we watch Shelley Levene's sad spiral crash all the way to the bottom? I NEED CLOSURE DAMN IT!!!” In fewer words, you will not find this movie to be slow moving and you will be wanting more. GGR will introduce you to the world of sales. The depressing, drink filled, ball-busting, cut-throat, and lie filled world of sales. It is obviously fiction but the world it portrays, I’m sure, is relatable to many of the World's salesmen. Hell, I can relate from “trying to sell” crap insurance plans at a retail store. If you’re in business or sales this is a must watch. Actually if you're a English speaking Human, this is a must watch. You might even learn a thing from Blake (Baldwin). Always remember ABC and AIDA.