Stream Cuisine

Stuff I’ve Watched on Netflix Lately


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.

Stream Cuisine

Stuff I’ve Streamed on Netflix Lately


Just some quick reviews for stuff I’ve recently watched on Netflix Streaming.

Sleepwalk With Me: Autobiographical film written, directed, and starring Mike Birbiglia, based on his stand-up comedy career, personal life, and his REM sleep behavior disorder, a dangerous and terrifying condition which makes him act out the dreams he’s having. If you follow Birbiglia’s comedy and writing, none of this material is new to you (especially some of the same jokes he’s been telling for, like, eight years now) but it’s still an enjoyable, funny, sad, and interesting film. If you don’t know Mike Birbiglia, this is an excellent place to start.

The Queen of Versailles: An excellent documentary about the ultra-rich Siegel family, owner of Westgate Resorts and proud builders of the largest home in America, an unfinished 85,000 square-foot monstrosity which cost $100 million dollars. An interesting and personal examination of how the U.S. economy tanking hit the wealthiest of Americans, though it’s hard to feel completely sorry for someone complaining about financial troubles while they’re in the midst of building a home with 30 bathrooms.

Headhunters: Norwegian thriller. I was reading the description and accidentally hit the play button and was like, Eh, guess I’ll watch it, otherwise I’ll have to press another button. Anyway, it starts out as the promising tale of a clever art thief living above his means until he goes for that one big heist that winds up being a lot more trouble than it’s worth. I was into this for a bit, but about halfway through it just descends into absurdity. Stars one of those guys who I think is in Game of Thrones. Yeah, I’m a good film reviewer!

Fire With Fire: 2012 action film starring Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Vincent D’Onofrio, 50 Cent, Vinnie Jones, Josh Duhamel, and right about now you’re thinking “Why the hell did I not hear of this?” and the answer is because it went straight to DVD, because it’s a very, very bad film. Josh Duhamel is a firefighter who goes all vigilante on some gangsters after they try to kill him to prevent him from testifying against them. I’m pretty sure Bruce Willis was just doing someone a favor, and I’m pretty sure they only had him for one day because all of his scenes are of him talking while walking down the same hallway a bunch of times.

The Next Three Days: Russel Crowe’s wife goes to prison for a murder she may not have committed, and Russel Crowe comes up with a plan to spring her, and you will not be spared a single minute of his extensive, laborious, endless careful planning. This isn’t a terrible movie by any means, it’s just slow, and not particularly interesting. I don’t know. It was okay.

After Porn Ends: Former pornography performers are interviewed about how their careers began and how they adjusted to life after leaving the porn industry. An interesting subject, and as you might guess, fairly depressing in a number of instances, though at least a couple of the actors seem to have survived and remained well-adjusted. Mostly not, though. This will bum you out and make you not want to watch porn again for, like, almost a whole day.

Heckler: Jamie Kennedy’s documentary about people who heckle stand-up comedians starts well, probing the heckler’s motivations (sometimes– mindbogglingly– they actually think they are helping the comic). However, the film quickly turns into a counter-attack on what Kennedy seems to feel are the real hecklers: film critics. He has a fair point: critics and bloggers can be overly harsh and brutal in their reviews (I know I have been, probably on this page), but then again, he doesn’t seem to mind using positive blurbs from critics to cover the poster for Heckler. So, maybe you have take the bad with the good?