Quick roundup of some stuff I’ve watched recently on Netflix Instant.
Bones Brigade: An Autobiography: I expect everyone knows Tony Hawk these days, but if you rode a skateboard in the 1980s you also knew (and worshipped) Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, Tommy Guerrero, Lance Mountain, and Rodney Mullen, the core of the goofball skating collective known as The Bones Brigade. This documentary by Stacy Peralta, who founded the group, catches up with the team, many of whom are either still skating professionally or have their own skate companies. This is a decent documentary and a nice trip down memory lane for former skaters like myself. Plus, you can see who turned out the weirdest — and shockingly, it’s not Lance Mountain.
Bellflower: Low-budget award-winning indie darling about two chums who fantasize about ruling the post-apocalypse with their flame-throwing car. Problem is, the apocalypse hasn’t happened yet. Other problem is, this movie is a long, slow, sluggish turd so intensely boring and horribly acted that even its gratuitous violence fails to shock. It’s a lovely looking film directed by Evan Glodell, but the writing (by Evan Glodell) and especially the acting (by Evan Glodell and everyone else) is downright terrible. Also, pick an ending, dude. Bleah.
The Loneliest Planet: Two adorable young hippies, super-duper in love, go for a hike in the Georgian wilderness with a mumbling guide. For half the film, the couple hikes and make goo-goo eyes at each other, and nothing much happens. Then, something definitely happens. It’s an event that takes up maybe two or three seconds of screen time but completely upends their relationship. This is a long, leisurely movie where not much goes on except for hiking and a few words of conversation, but the moment, a real Oh Shit That Did Not Just Happen moment, is mostly worth the trip. Based on a short story by Tom Bissell.
All Good Things: Starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. I was keenly interested to see this because it’s based on the life story of Robert Durst, a wealthy real estate mogul whose family and acquaintances have a habit of disappearing, getting shot in the head, or getting cut up and put into trash bags. Despite a wealth of bizarre source material, this film makes Durst and his life seem utterly dull. A concise Wikipedia page should not be more interesting than a two-hour movie, but it is.
The Antics Roadshow: This documentary directed by Banksy features public pranks, activism, and general mischief. There’s very little examination of the reasons behind most of these stunts: a few are politically motivated, but most of the perpetrators just seem unhinged or maybe bored, like the guy who broke into Queen Elizabeth’s bedroom to have a chat, or the guy who dresses up in animal costumes and annoys policemen and golfers. It’s entertaining enough, and has lots of great footage of people doing bizarre things in public, but it’s not a terribly deep documentary (Banksy has said he thought of the title first and worked backwards).
Magicians: If you like Robert Webb and David Mitchell of Peep Show and That Mitchell & Webb Look, you’ll like this movie where they play stage magicians who were once partners but are now rivals. Mitchell is awkward and earnest, Webb is stupid and, well, stupid, and Jessica Hynes (who I know mainly from Spaced) is as lovable as always. This isn’t a fantastic movie by any means, but the boys are just as enjoyable as they always are in everything.