The Shapiro Files

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Netflix Wrap-Up #12

Previous installments: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11

Moving forward, I’m removing the word “weekend” from the title of these Netflix postings, as Marcie and I don’t only just watch DVDs on the weekends. Also, I sometimes let an extra week or two lapse between getting these reviews posted, so this lets me feel less guilty about the regularly irregular nature of these postings! And speaking of letting time lapse, I’ve managed to get through several DVDs since my last posting. So I’m going to make these extra short. Here we go:

Bubble (2005) - The first of Steven Soderbergh’s planned series of location-specific digital films featuring non-actors (around whom the scripts are written). The story isn’t anything particularly fresh or exciting, but the execution (especially the very naturalistic acting) makes for a very compelling 90 minutes. My Netflix rating: 4 stars

Capote (2005) - Finally, a biopic that doesn’t fall in the trap of having to tell the subject’s full life story. Instead, you get a look at only the handful of years Truman Capote spent on his famous “non-fiction novel,” In Cold Blood. Arguably a tad on the superficial side, but still a solid piece of work. Plus, Philip Seymour Hoffman gives a terrific performance. My Netflix rating: 4 stars

Munich (2005) - From a purely technical point of view, Spielberg really has very few peers. But he is also distrustful of his audience and always feels the needs to pound his audience over the head with his central themes (“violence begets violence” in this case). It’s also a little longer than it needed to be and there’s one particularly ridiculous scene of catharsis near the end (another Spielberg trademark). But it’s still gripping, well-acted, and just so darn well-made (not to mention timely). My Netflix rating: 4 stars

Rent (2005) - While some moments are extremely effective (especially the opening “Seasons of Love” sequence and a later “No Day Like Today” support group scene), other moments play like horrible 1980’s MTV hair-band videos. Also, why is it that in films about so-called starving artists, the art they create is always terrible? My Netflix rating: 2 stars

Corpse Bride (2005) - Gorgeous animation and art direction, but laking the heart of a Pixar film and the humor of last year’s other stop-motion animation feature film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. But still worth seeing for its truly impressive technical aspects. My Netflix rating: 3 stars


  • I have seen many of these...

    Cousin Steve -

    You should consider a movie critic career path because you do such a fantastic job of describing the plotlines, characters, and always give a unique an interesting background to each movie.

    I love reading your reviews...

    Impressed as usual,

    The Egel Nest

    PS Why DOES Spielberg distrust his audience so much and need a cathartic moment during most of his movies??? ...Even Schindler's List had an over the top "moment" at the end which was especially unnecessary...(And having known a Schindler Jew...largely overdone)

    Sometimes at the end of a movie, the viewer wants to feel the pain of the plot...and not feel like a "30 minute sitcom" moment! :)

    By Blogger Bradley Egel, at 7/01/2006 12:12 AM  

  • Brad, thanks for the very kind words. I don't usually get much feedback on my movie reviews, so I'm never really sure if anyone reads them!

    As for your comments on Schindler's List, I was thinking of that exact same scene when I was talking about Spielberg's need to always have a forced cathartic moment. I agree that audiences are much smarter and don't need a nice little TV-esque bow tied around the end or some obvious emotional outburst late in the third act!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 7/01/2006 12:51 PM  

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