I couldn’t find a single new movie compelling enough for me to go out to the movies this week. *shakes fist at January*
Maybe it’s the steady buzz of the cold medicine, or maybe it’s the long, gray, cold death of winter, or maybe it’s the slow erosion of my sanity as my children whine about being bored for the billionth time, but I think this week instead of venturing out, I’ll instead take this opportunity to illuminate you on a few great picks waiting for you on Netflix streaming.
Don’t say I never gave you anything.
1) Goon – Stifler stars as the least Stifler character on his admittedly Stifler-heavy resume. This is one of the best unsung movies of last year. It’s the semi-true story of a guy who can’t skate being drafted onto a semi-pro hockey team because he’s good at fighting. So yeah…there’s a lot of graphic fighting in this one. The acting and the humor in it makes it worthwhile though. The performances turned in by Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, and Allison Pill are all brilliant, subtle and nuanced. It looks like a stupid comedy…and a lot of times it IS a stupid comedy…but if you don’t fall in love with “Doug the Thug” a little, your heart is made of stone, my friend. OH! The language! I should mention that if you watch this with your teenage daughter you will absolutely cringe through half the movie at the atrociously explicit and foul-mouthed language. So that’s a big plus.
2) Butter – Not a whole lot was made of this Ty Burell, Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman movie when it came out, but I wanted to see it and then POW! there it was on Netflix. The story, about the cut-throat world of competitive butter sculpting, sounds like it was pulled directly from a Christopher Guest brainstorming session. The wild card of this comedy, and I’m already cringing at the terrible pun I can’t seem to stop myself from writing, is Olivia Wilde, who is beautiful and plays a stripper / call girl who gets angry and enters the butter contest out of spite. I seriously might be in love with her. I just had to get that out of my system. Jennifer Garner, in a Juno-esque twist plays a dickhead, while Rob Cordry, amazingly, plays a person I don’t want to punch in the face. It’s good to see him break away from the caustic asshole roles he normally embraces. He’s crazy likable when he’s being human. Again, it’s all about the performances with this one, the story is only okay. But totally worth the watch.
3) 13 Assassins – This is one of the best samurai movies I’ve seen in forever. Good vs. Evil. Right vs wrong. Shiny swords vs. everything. Wonderful. It’s got subtitles, but I’ll save you some time: The guy in the white is bad. The guys in the black want to kill him. GO! It’s a straight up revenge / justice movie. The action, once it gets rolling, doesn’t stop. Not even for a minute. So awesome. If this had Olivia Wilde‘s erect nipples in it the way Butter did, it would be my film of the year probably.
4) Jeff, Who Lives At Home – This Jason Segel, Ed Helms comedy is my favorite on this list. The critics kinda were indifferent about it, but I just love it. It’s got a funny aggressive undercurrent running through it. Like everyone except Jeff seems angry with one another. I wonder which character will bring them all together? I know. I know. That seems like an impossible puzzle to solve, but I believe in you. It also stars dream girls Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon. And Rae Dawn Chong, who is still alive, it turns out. Anyway, the storylines in this well-crafted Duplass Brothers film all dovetail spectacularly, and at the end, you’ll feel better having seen it than you do after a burrito and a couple bottles of Corona. If that’s your thing. Drunk.
So there you go — no need to leave the house today. You’re welcome.