Monday, January 11, 2010

Instant Cassette

This weekend the Bluray player saw a lot of action, which was partially due to a desperate attempt to get rid of some Netflix titles that had been lingering for weeks (curse moving!) and the fact that I let resolution #3 get way out of hand at Target yesterday. But, for better or worse, that made today seem like an excellent time to make good on another resolution and bring back Instant Cassette!

This weekend I finally got a chance to watch District B13, a french action film pumped so full of energy it nearly tripped the circuit breakers. It does action right, offering enough plot to justify it's existence while not so much that we get tied up in it and resent the action. And ooh is there ever action. Not only is it chalk full of free-running goodness, it also offers us action sequences filmed from angles that show us everything that's going on, a feature often lacking in american action films. I find myself wondering if the success of this movie has anything to do with how the action sequences were filmed for the up-coming Book of Eli. If so, I must imagine the movie is better for it. We'll see friday
Queue it.

Also on the list was 9, a star-studded spiritual successor to the short film of the same name. It offers a surprising amount of heart for a movie only 80 minutes long, and tells it's dark story through gorgeous visuals, and often little else. That I could have used a little more story from the movie is a debatable note; it could be said that we know, in terms of details, what the characters know about the world they awoke to- very little. All said, it's well worth a viewing.
Queue it.

Second Run
6 years later The Machinist is still affecting, even beyond Bale's disturbing transformation. As an ex-insomniac this movie still speaks to me; I wondered if it would now that I've made it through that part of my life. This is certainly one of those movies where you catch something new every time through, as enthralling as the story may be. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth the experience.
Queue it.

Today's Breakout Title: Julie & Julia
This is a movie I thoroughly enjoyed for, among many other reasons, it's simplicity. We are offered a window into the life of two separate women, from two separate times, united by the one thing they could know they had in common- that is exactly what we get. On top of that, we are treated to a movie where not one, but two husbands are supportive and thoughtful, a true rarity these days.
We also get, from Meryl Streep, a deft balance of the need to encompass the oddly ostentatious euphemisms of Julia Child, and the danger of falling over the edge into early Old School Carey-esque overacting. She delivers both an exhausting exuberance and a fleeting, tempered sorrow with the kind of skill that makes it seem absolutely simple.
And then there's Amy Adams...
I think I needed this movie this weekend. I needed it to remind me that the vacuous and uninspired crap (yes, crap) I witnessed Friday was the exception for her, not the rule. This is an actress who's biggest talent seems to be making audiences love her; from the timid assistant, to the impressionable young nun, to the misguided mistress endeavouring to be better- even as the girl who'll eat anything on that episode of Smallville. Even in Leap Year she works her magic, in that case simply making the movie bearable. Amy Adams oozes charm, Julie & Julia is elegant proof of this.
I can see where some may say it runs a bit long, but it doesn't run long for lack of meat like many other movies, and it is most assuredly not a deal breaking flaw... if you can even call it that. Any one who can make it through a movie with no explosions will benefit from it's dose of heart-warming entertainment. Your Netflix queue will be a better place with Julie & Julia on board.

It feels good to have Instant Cassette back on duty, don't you agree? We'll end with the new additions to the house library starting with Christmas and working forward. Please don't judge me pertaining to the embarrassingly high number. Sadly, I've still yet to track down a Bluray copy of Bladerunner, but I will not rest until I have victory. Be sure to come back for Five!! later this week!

  • Star Trek
  • Inglorious Basterds
  • Terminator Salvation
  • The Ugly Truth*
  • 28 Days Later
  • Julie & Julia
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen*
  • Point Break
  • Reservoir Dogs
*These are titles voted upon by residents and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Reel Deal.

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