Instant Gratification Quick Takes: July 18, 2011

Highlighting odd and off-beat new releases to watch instantly on Netflix

New for July 18, 2011

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990), directed by Pedro Almodóvar, with Victoria Abril, Antonio Banderas, Loles León, Julieta Serrano, María Barranco, Francisco Rabal, Lola Cardona, Montse G. Romeu, Rossy de Palma – I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! I mean, I had an idea. I had seen one or two films by Almodóvar before and had a grasp of what he was all about. Still — “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!“? Rated NC-17, nonetheless? I put the kiddies to bed early and settled down with the wife for what I expected to be an eye-opening night of Spanish S&M kink.

Well, not exactly — and if that’s the kind of movie you’re expecting, you’re going to be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. There’s some nudity from the lovely Victoria Abril (who plays a porn star, incidentally) and a little from a young, hunky Antonio — How to do you say? Ah yes… — Banderas. There’s even a sex scene — as in “scene” — singular. However, it’s not a particularly “steamy” movie, despite what Netflix tries to tell you.

That being said, it’s easier for me to tell you what Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is not rather than tell you what it is. Because it can be a lot of things. Quite clearly, it’s a comedy — but where do you go from there? Depending on how you look at it, it can be a romantic comedy, a black comedy, a satire or any combination of the three.

Antonio Banderas plays Ricky, a man who — having just been released from a psychiatric facility — sets his sights on Marina (Abril). Marina is a porn queen (and junky) attempting to branch off her career by starring in an exploitation horror movie. On the last day of shooting, Ricky kidnaps Marina. Ricky proceeds to hold Marina hostage at her apartment. He tells her that he wants to be her husband and that he will be a great father to their children.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Saying much more about this film might ruin your enjoyment of it. Needless, to say, if you’re interested in watching an Almodóvar film, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is as good place to start as any. (Available until January 1, 2012)

Hey! Follow Matt on Twitter at @CM_MattDunn!

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