The Shapiro Files

Monday, January 16, 2006

Netflix Weekend Wrap-Up #2

As announced last week, "Netflix Weekend Wrap-Up" is a new reoccurring feature here at The Shapiro Files comprising mini-reviews of the movies Marcie and I watch via Netflix each weekend. This weekend, we watched:

Central Station (1989) - A very charming little film from Brazil (called Central do Brasil in its original Portuguese language). It's a fairly straightforward road movie with a touch of Fellini in the second act. And although the premise is nothing new (lonely older lady befriending a lonely little boy), it was so well-acted and well-exectued that it transcended its particular sub-genre formula. Recommended. My Netflix rating: 4 stars

Hustle & Flow (2005) - Much has been made of Terrence Howard's star-making performance and for once, I think such praise is actually well-founded. He really was terrific. As for the film itself, like Central Station, its premise is something we've seen many times before--this time, an individual with limited means and innate musical talent trying to make it to the "big time." However, it doesn't transcend its specific sub-genre formula as well as Central Station does. Also, like far too many movies about music, the actual act of composing, recording, and mixing a piece of music is far from realistically portrayed. Additionally, the film's depiction of women is less than generous (bordering on misogynistic). On the flip side, the film is well-constructed, contains some very good dialogue, and features a great soundtrack. My Netflix rating: 3 stars


  • Hey Cous -

    The question remains..."Will any movie ever measure up to the 5 Star Shapiro File standard??"

    We will have to wait til next week!

    The Egel Nest

    By Blogger Bradley Egel, at 1/16/2006 10:49 PM  

  • I admit that it takes a lot for me to give a film 5 stars. :) But to give you an idea of some relatively recent Netflix rentals I did give a full 5 stars:

    City of God (2002) - A remarkable Portuguese-lanugage film about gang warfare in Cidade de Deus that is easily one of the best new movies I've seen in years.

    Catch 22 (1970) - Enormously under-appreciated black comedy directed by the great Mike Nichols and based on the great Joseph Heller's novel (one of the greatest American novels ever written).

    King Kong (1933) - The original and the greatest. A remarkable achievement for its time.

    Ugetsu (1953) - A gorgeous ghost story set in feudal Japan, directed by the great Kenji Mizoguchi.

    So there you have it!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 1/18/2006 12:09 AM  

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