netflix weekend roundup

Farce!

Farce of the Penguins

I’ll admit it, I’ve been very excited about this movie for a long time. Written, directed and starring Bob Sagat, (note: if you haven’t seen “the aristocrats” stop reading this, and go rent it. Now.) It is a retelling of “March of the Penguins.” Narrated by Samuel L “mothafucka” Jackson and also featuring Lewis Black, it sounded to me like the perfect comedy. However, the reviews were almost unanimously horrible, calling it all sorts of mean things.

Although it wasn’t the work of comic genius I was hoping for, I was genuinely entertained, and would recommend it to anyone who has a pretty clear idea of what they are in for. Featuring a post-ironic awareness of how ridiculous the whole thing is (Sammy the narrator routinely gets into fights with the penguins), Bob Sagat manages to put together a decent joke. It’s just one of those ideas that sounds better than it works out to be. Kinda like the Sarah Silverman TV show, versus her fantastic movie.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Featuring a very sullen Tommy Lee Jones, this was a slow, albeit gorgeous journey through rural Mexico, all while hauling his decaying friend home for burial (really, his third burial. Hence the title.) Although it gets tossed around a bit too much for it’s own good, “Quixotic” is the perfect way to describe this movie.

It even has a donkey.

School for Scoundrels

Bad Santa teaches Napoleon Dynamite to stop being a push-over in order to get the girl.

Extras: Season 1: Disc 1

I’m going to admit something right here, and I don’t expect you to like it. I’m not nuts about Ricky Gervais. I know it’s heresy. I know he’s a comic genius. I know “The Office” is the best show ever. I’ve tried to get into it, a few times, but never been smitten with it. I’ve just constantly found it too cruel, too grating, too uncomfortable. I even love the American version of the “The Office,” but the British original has just never done it for me.

So, as partially an attempt to redeem myself, I rented “Extras.” I can learn to love Ricky, like everyone else. I just know it!

I thought it was OK. That’s it, just OK. Kate Winslet got a good chuckle out of me rehearsing dirty phone sex in a nun habit, but I never found it laugh out loud funny, and Ben Stiller did my least favorite Ben Stiller character, which is the yelling, angry, petulant asshole. Think I’ll pass on disc two.

What’d you watch lately?

7 thoughts on “netflix weekend roundup”

  1. I just watched “The Departed” again, just for Alec Baldwin, and before that my girlfriend and I watched “Pan’s Labyrinth” on the say-so of Tucker. Then we both committed suicide. I’m going to rewatch “Brazil” because of this excellent article in Slate. I’m probably not going to see “23“, however.

    ~jeff

  2. You know, the Nazis weren’t nuts about Ricky Gervais! I’m just sayin’!

    (It would be much more satisfying saying that if I were responding to Jeff, but I’ll pick on someone I don’t know just because that’s the kind of thing that makes the Internet[s] so much fun. Sorry, Jesse.)

  3. Loved “Brazil”. It’s perhaps my favorite movie, along with Delicatessen.

    However, I couldn’t stomach Pan’s Labyrinth. Maybe because I was expecting it to be long on childhood fantasy and short on fascist torture, when it ended up being the reverse.

    In Pan’s Labyrinth I saw little merit in the cold dispensation of incredible suffering and injustice, whereas Brazil’s portrayals of similarly dark themes is actually sucessfully critical of cruelty and injustice and bystander insensitvity even in a less realistic and more dreamlike setting.

  4. Hey Evan – In my defense, I’m racked with guilt over not liking the office. I feel like there’s something wrong with me. Would admitting i’m obsessed with “Heroes” and “Studio 60” help at all?

    As far as some of the movies mentioned above, I love Brazil, and Departed and Pan’s were two of the best movies i’ve seen in a while.

    Right now, in the mail to me are:

    Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
    Broken Flowers
    F**k
    Mini’s First Time

    I’ve only seen the first film on the list before, so here’s hoping. The preview for F**k looked awesome.

    ~jesse

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