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My Roku is my BFF

January 15, 2010

I watch a lot of movies, and often I think about blogging about them but I never get around to it. Below, a quick roundup of some things I’ve seen lately:

Tyson: I watched this on my Roku yesterday. This movie is pretty much an hour and a half of Mike Tyson talking about himself. It’s fascinating. He’s utterly insane, and he knows it.  The great tragedy of Mike Tyson is that he’s a guy with a rare amount of self-awareness with an equally rare dose of honesty, but he’s bitter and angry and dangerous. He’s got a flawed logic that he lives by, and this movie lets you take a peek inside it.

How to Lose Your Lover (or, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover): This looked like a promising romantic comedy. I should know better by know. Owen’s a ghostwriter who decides to shake things up by becoming a total asshat to everyone he knows, burning bridges left and right before he moves to the East Coast. But he meets a girl, and in a really psycho turn of events, he cancels his trip and tries to woo her in an accelerated version of a relationship that is intensely painful to watch. I hated this movie. It seems like all too often, male leads in romantic comedies are either spineless and unlikeable or assholes and unlikeable. It’s hard to care at all about Owen because he transforms himself into just that much of a jerk. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like watching movies about unlikeable characters. The only bonus to this movie is that you get to watch Owen get punched in the face multiple times.

CSA: The Confederate States of America: Frightening and enlightening. What if the South had won the Civil War? It might not have turned out just like this, but this movie is interesting food for thought. It’s hard to sum up my feelings about this movie. It didn’t really bring anything new to the table regarding race relations, but it was a different way to provoke thought about the same issues. I liked it.

(500) Days of Summer: I saw this on the plane back from Denver, so it was edited for language and some content, but I don’t think I seriously missed anything. I’m not dumb, I know that wasn’t “panda” they were shouting in the park. Anyway, this is a movie about two spineless, wishy-washy people who fall in love, and, not surprisingly, can’t handle a real adult relationship. It has a lot of cringeworthy moments (although the scene that I thought would be the worst, the dance sequence, was actually my favorite part of the movie), and I often got annoyed with the tweeness of Zooey Deschanel’s character. She’s the prototypical manic pixie dream girl. Can we move past this stupid fantasy already? Kthanks. I might have liked this movie in the end but it really bothered me that its main message throughout seemed to be speaking out against the idea of a fairy tale kind of love, but in the end (spoiler alert!) Summer gets just that. What are they trying to say here?? The diluted, mixed message moved this from “meh, harmless fun” to “This sucked.”

Star Wars: Episode I–The Phantom Menace: I’d seen this is the theater when it came out, but that was 10 years ago. I recently rewatched the original Star Wars trilogy, which I hadn’t seen since I was too young to really understand them, so I thought I’d watch the second (first? whatever) three movies with the originals fresh on my mind. I thought the reason I didn’t like it the first time was because I wasn’t a total Star Wars geek who knew the movies well, but now that I do know and love the movies, this one is that much more of a tragedy. It seems geared for the 10 and under set, especially with Jar Jar Binks providing a huge amount of what’s supposed to be comic relief, but it comes with a boring plot of politics and trade routes and…blergh. I got bored and started doing other things while keeping one eye on the TV. This movie just felt way too engineered and green-screened and disappointing all around. I was going to rent Episodes II and III too, both of which I’ve never seen, but now I won’t bother.

Lest you think I hate more movies than I like–

Objectified: A cool documentary if you like design and such. I’m in no way a design expert but I have a bit of an interest and appreciation and keep up on some design blogs. This isn’t groundbreaking but it has some insightful interviews with design folks and shows you just how intentional even the simplest things can be. It held my attention and didn’t annoy me, which is more than I can say about most scripted movies nowadays. This is probably why documentaries are becoming one of my most-watched genres. I also just finished The Botany of Desire and that was pretty cool. I haven’t read the book but I’ve read some of Michael Pollan’s other stuff and I’ve liked it.

Also of note: Netflix had the first season of “Airline” , the reality show that was on A&E a few years ago, and I loved it. I found myself yelling at the TV,  talking back to the rude customers, which, after a career in retail, was cleansing. People transform into total douchebags in airports, I’ve seen it firsthand. It’s amazing how entitled they are, and it makes for amusing TV. I’d like to watch the second and third seasons, but I think I’m going to create a drinking game for it first. Someone says, “I’m suing Southwest!” DRINK. “I’m never flying Southwest again!” DRINK. “I’m not drunk!” DRINK. Missed flight? DRINK.

Maybe I’d like more movies if I drank at home more often.

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