Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Year of the Movie

Happy New Year, tout le monde.

A week ago Friday a couple of my mates came by to hang out. At some point in the night we decided it was time to watch a movie. I had two DVDs from Netflix that I had yet to view, so I threw out the options. The (predictable) winner was Superbad. I say predictable because I know one of the guys had already seen it and raved about it. My other friend and I had not yet seen it - so in it went.

Two hours later (there were a few pauses for necessary 'pit stops'...) we were finished with it. Funny, funny movie. I rated it 4/5 stars on Netflix. I liked the Beck Jr. kid much better than the other one - but the movie, as a whole, was great.

The following Wednesday I finally got around to watching the other movie I had at home. I say 'finally' because, when I looked at my Netflix account, I realized that it had been shipped to me on ... get this - 2 July 2008!

That's right. I had had that DVD for just over SIX months...

No idea why it took me so long to watch it - but that's the beauty of Netflix. No late fees! Anyway, that question became even more poignant after I watched the movie. It was awesome. The movie is called Rabbit-Proof Fence. I won't get into the details of it; you can look it up. Hopefully, if you haven't already, you'll also watch it. And don't forget the 'making-of' featurette included on the DVD.

So at that point, it had been two movies in six days for me. Two great movies in six days, that is.

Okay, so fast-forward to this past Friday. I met up with a few more of my mates for some delicious Mexican food at Rancho Chico in lovely Plainville, MA (Come on down!) and we convened at my house afterward for a few beers and much lively discussion.

The talk eventually turned to movies. Rabbit-Proof Fence was one we discussed. Another which came up was The Professional. The 1994 action flick about an assassin (Jean Reno) who forms a relationship with 12-year old Mathilda (Natalie Portman) after a crazed DEA agent (Gary Oldman) kills her entire family.

Two of us had seen it; two of us had not. The perception of the movie, for those that hadn't seen it, was that it was a hokey/cheezy kind of movie. Reading some of the Netflix reviews, I think this may be a common theme. Anyway, the two of us that had seen it described the movie excitedly and promised that it was not at all a schlocky 'fish-out-of-water' kind of movie. My two mates who hadn't seen it vowed they'd give it a shot.

More movies came up. More discussion. More insight into movies we'd never seen, heard of, etc. During the discussion I declared that 2009 was going to be "The Year of the Movie" for me. I'm making a conscious effort to watch more movies.

It's not because of my six-month 'rental' and not getting my money's worth out of Netflix. I don't look at my membership that way. The way I see it is I'm paying for a service, not simply movie rentals. Going through my queue and re-arranging it, reviewing movies, perusing movies I've yet to see, and interacting with a few of my mates that also have memberships is well worth the monthly fee for me.

It's so much better than simply going to a video rental store, ordering movies On-Demand, or catching them on the various cable movie channels. Although, "The Year of the Movie" certainly doesn't exclude movies I may find on the cable channels... They're just an added bonus in between Netflix deliveries.

But regarding Netflix - It's an interactive experience that I enjoy - and the luxury of not having to worry about late fees is a bonus for me. Sometimes, I'm just not in the right mood to watch a certain movie. Sometimes, I'm not in the mood for six whole months. So be it.

However, that six-month thing is out the window now. This is 2009, "The Year of the Movie." I've already watched one today and I think I'm going to pop one in right now to finish the night.

Here's how TYotM has begun :

> 2 January - Superbad (4/5 stars)
> 7 January - Rabbit-Proof Fence (5/5 stars)
> 10 January - WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception (3/5 stars)
> 11 January - Maléna (4/5 stars)

Tonight is going to be Full Metal Jacket (a DVD I borrowed from my brother-in-law last Christmas). And the next two coming from Netflix are The Notorious Bettie Page and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten.

There it is. It's officially begun. Enjoy a movie you've been waiting to see, tonight!

p.s. Today, 11 January, has also officially been declared "Pancake Zone Day." I had pancakes this morning, as did two of my friends - unbeknownst to me. If anyone else out there had pancakes today, I'd love to hear of it. And if you didn't today - make sure to next year.


emetic sage said...

'the professional' is one of my all-time favourite films. can't go wrong with jean reno and luc besson.

another great pairing of besson/reno is 'the big blue' -- great stuff! good luck flexing your netflix muscle...

Viszlát Sjáumst said...

Cheers, guvnah... I'll add 'The Big Blue' to the queue and check it out.

Thanks for the well wishes. I'm very much looking forward to my movie year. Although, I'm already a bit worried that a DVD has gone missing.

They claim they sent one last week and I've yet to receive it... could be stolen. Could not be here yet. We'll see. Tomorrow's the make-or-break day, I think...

Anonymous said...

I feel like I'm calling into a radio show to make requests, except there's no, "Freddy from Frewsburg is giving a shout out to a special little lady on this cold wintry evening." Regardless, I've go to put my two cents in.

Speaking of Jean Reno, how about Ronin? A few other insightful and thought provoking films to watch are Slapshot and Strange Brew. Classics.

Viszlát Sjáumst said...

I KNOW Freddy from Frewsburg!!

Ronin, eh? Didn't realize Reno was in that one. I'll add it to the queue...

Seen Slapshot 3 or 4 times; Love it. Haven't seen Strange Brew since the 80's... I may have to revisit that one, too. Although, something tells me that one might be a bit dated now?

Anyway... could this Anonymous contributor be the immortal 3-Finger Brown? Whoever you are, thanks for chiming in...

beemac said...

hey GFS... even though we have pretty similar entertainment tastes i gotta say.. i think "super bad" is well.. "super bad"..

ordered it on-demand tonight... ain't doin' it for me!

but, i think i will give rabbit proof fence a try!

slainte amigo!

Anonymous said...