Instant Gratification Weekly Wrap-Up: July 23-29, 2011

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

New for July 25, 2011

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984), directed by W.D. Richter, with Christopher Lloyd, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, John Lithgow, Lewis Smith, Peter Weller and Ronald Lacey – Ya ya ya. “I see you, Mr. Movie Guy. You sit there in your fancy Ichi the Killer t-shirt and $19 Target-brand shorts talking all big about cult movies and yet, you’ve never seen The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. What a joke!” (Click here to read the rest) (Available until September 18, 2011) Yeah, but did you watch it? I tried. I put it on before I went to bed, but my eyes could not stay open. I made it up to the part where Buckaroo Banzai is singing “If I Can’t Have You” (Er … that’s not right. That’s a Bee Gees song.) “SINCE I DON’T Have You”  (That’s the one.) Actually, I may have made it a little farther since Ellen Barkin had joined up with Buckaroo and the gang — but it was the part with Peter Weller singing (or lip-synching, as it may be) that sold me on the fact that I should probably give this another go later on. Great song. Great scene. “No matter where you go, there you are.” Let’s just say, what I saw — I liked.

The Resident (2011), directed by Antti J. Jokkinen, with Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace, Michael Massee, Aunjanue Ellis, Penny Balfour, Kisha Sierra, Peggy Miley and Michael Showers – I’ve really had nothing but good experiences with landlords throughout the years. (Click here to read the rest) (Available until July 19, 2012)Yeah, but did you watch it? No. I’d like to blame it on the fact that I was on vacation, but the truth is — it just doesn’t look that interesting to me. However, I’m just seeing now that Peter — editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Database — gave it a good review over at Furious Cinema, so maybe I’ll keep it in my queue for now.

The Crow: Salvation (2000), directed by Bharat Nalluri, with Kirsten Dunst, Eric Mabius, Fred Ward, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, William Atherton, K.C. Clyde, Bruce McCarthy and Debbie Fan – How many of these crappy movies did they make? (The answer: four.) (Click here to read the rest) (Available until May 17, 2013)Yeah, but did you watch it? Oh, HELL no. A direct-to-video Crow sequel? I’m not even sure why I included it in my column except for the fact that I know a lot of you out there are masochists who get off on this type of thing. No, I don’t think I’ll be touching this one. Well … never say never. I did watch Birdemic. But no … I did not watch this. Did you? This is a good time to point out that the movies I include in my daily updates here are not recommendations. Watch at your own risk.

 New for July 26, 2011

The Sentiment of the Flesh (2010), directed by Roberto Garzelli, with Thibault Vinçon, Annabelle Hettmann, Pascal N’Zonzi, Emmanuel Salinger, Claudia Tagbo, Pierre Moure, Philippe Rebbot and Etienne Durot – On the surface, this looks like any number of steamy foreign erotic thrillers available to watch instantly on Netflix. (Click here to read the rest) (Available until January 1, 2012) Yeah, but did you watch it? Yes, and it was terrible. The idea itself wasn’t too bad — a man and woman bond over a freaky fetish, in this case, a fascination with their partner’s insides via an X-Ray or an MRI or “other means”. The interest has to do with the fact that, on both the outside and inside, everyone’s body has different variations and to really “know” someone is to be aware of these variations, even going as far as to be able to know the shape and weight of a person’s internal organs. The problem with the movie was that, if you’re going to take that idea and run with it, you have to be prepared to go all the way. Up until the last few minutes of the movie, I felt The Sentiment of the Flesh merely dipped its toe in the strange waters of this fetish but never really “took the plunge” … that is, until the end — and then just when it gets interesting, cut to black. GROAN. You mean I listened to these two pretentious French assholes go on and on about their weird sexual obsessions for an hour and 1/2, play around with X-Rays and MRIs, and then you end the movie just when they get going? Boooooo… Cronenberg would have made a much better movie with this subject matter.

Sonatine (1993), directed by Takeshi “Beat” Kitano, with Aya Kokumai, Tetsu Watanabe, Masanobu Katsumura, Susumu Terajima, Ren Ohsugi, Tonbo Zushi, Kenichi Yajima and Eiji Minakata – A long time ago, I rented this from the local video store where I worked. (Click here to read the rest) (Available until January 1, 2012)Yeah, but did you watch it? Yes, and I thought it was pretty good. Beat Takeshi carries this movie with his acting. One word of warning: Don’t go into this expecting it to be story-driven, because it’s not — not to mention, I found the story to be kind of difficult to follow at times. I like to look at it as more of a character study. Takeshi plays a middle-aged Yakuza fed up with his life and “career.” He’s given this job to try and make peace between two supposedly feuding Yakuza clans. His underlings for the job are all rookies and idiots. Everything that goes wrong goes wrong. When you think about it, Takeshi’s character here isn’t too different from his character in Battle Royale. How’s that for a topic of discussion? For a Yakuza having a mid-life crisis type of movie, Sonatine isn’t half bad.

 New for July 28, 2011

Scream 3 (2000), directed by Wes Craven, with David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Parker Posey, Patrick Dempsey, Liev Schreiber, Scott Foley, Emily Mortimer and Jenny McCarthy – It’s not as good as the first one and it’s not much better than the second one, but it does follow the generally-accepted rule that everything is better with Parker Posey in it. (Click here to read the rest) (Available until November 1, 2012) Yeah, but did you watch it? Indeed. I mean … I saw it a long time ago, but I re-watched it out of curiosity. It wasn’t half bad as far as teen-oriented slashers go. The whole whodunit angle is pretty easy to figure out. The whole “why” angle is far more interesting. Great set pieces for some of the chase sequences, including a recreation of the house from the first Scream on a Hollywood backlot (the plot of the movie revolves around the making of Stab 3, a film-within-a-film based on the events of the first movie.), as well as a really cool Hollywood mansion with hidden rooms and trapdoors. Fun stuff and not a bad way to kill an evening. I’m actually looking forward to seeing Scream 4 when it hits VOD.

New for July 29, 2011

Trainspotting (1996), directed by Danny Boyle, with Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle and Kelly Macdonald – My pick of the day. It’s been about 15 years since Trainspotting was injected into the bloodstream (thoughtstream?) of film fanatics worldwide and I’m happy to say that we are still coming down from the high and we may never crash. (Click here to read the rest) (Available until January 1, 2013)Yeah, but did you watch it? Of course … and it’s still fucking awesome.

The Visitors (1993), directed by Jean-Marie Poire, with Christian Clavier, Jean Reno, Valérie Lemercier, Marie-Anne Chazel, Christian Bujeau, Isabelle Nanty, Gérard Séty, Didier Pain, Jean-Paul Muel, Arielle Sémenoff – This could be interesting. Jean Reno (The Professional, La Femme Nikita) is a medieval nobleman who, along with his squire, is magically transported to contemporary times. (Click here to read the rest) (Available until January 1, 2012)Yeah, but did you watch it? I tried to watch it, but Netflix said the title wasn’t available. I’m having the same problem with WWE: The Greatest Steel Cage Matches of All Time. Anyone else having this problem? The Netflix reviews for this title are hilarious, by the way, since apparently people who tried to watch it instead were given a 22-minute long documentary on The Lone Ranger.

Hey! Follow Matt on Twitter at @CM_MattDunn!

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Click here for the 50 Movies for 50 States archive.


2 responses to “Instant Gratification Weekly Wrap-Up: July 23-29, 2011

  1. I remember watching Scream 3 for the exact same reason, and having a similar reaction. It’s a pretty good film for what it is, and Craven knows his place and does his best to keep things as fresh as you can get in well-trodden territory. On a somewhat related note, I tried watching Broken English for the same reason, one lovely Ms. Posey. I guess this would have been worse with someone else instead, but even so, it was pretty bad. I guess her mojo doesn’t have the hold on me that it used to.


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