Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Netflix Diary 2

Bonnie & Clyde [1967]
1967 was the year that movies changed, and this was one of the great few that changed it (along with The Graduate, Cool Hand Luke, and In The Heat Of The Night, among others). I would say it’s not a hands-down masterpiece, mostly because it hasn’t aged as well as some of the other films of the time – Estelle Parsons’s Oscar-winning supporting actress turn comes off as a bit grating now – but its classic status is still evident when watching. The violence was definitely revolutionary as far as what you could show and how you could treat it emotionally, and Clyde’s sexual hang-ups were definitely an interesting development of how a male lead could be portrayed. Throw in Gene Hackman’s breakthrough, a bit part by a super-young Gene Wilder, and Faye Dunaway in one of the sexiest performances of the 60’s, and you have a cool flick to go back and discover.

The Host [2006]
I’ve wanted to see this for about a year, and so when I got Netflix, I put it right at the top of the list. I think it’s always interesting to see what big budget blockbusters look like when made in other countries. As a monster movie, this is way more fun than, say, the Matthew Broderick-led Godzilla, wisely choosing to have the creature be smaller than most movie monsters – this thing is about 20 feet tall – so that during the action, whichever human is there engaging it can be fit in the same shot, instead of separate giant monster shots and tiny ant-of-a-person shots. Add in some good acting and classic slapstick humor from the Korean cast, and a little social commentary in the script, and you have one satisfying viewing experience, destined to be a cult classic.

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