This is a list of all the movies and TV shows I watched courtesy of Netflix, that soothing opiate of the people that massages our eyes as we waste our lives.
This list (in reverse chronological order, excluding films that were released in 2009) contains a few sentences regarding each program. As you can imagine, it took a bit of time to compile. If you could let me know if this kind of thing is useful or appreciated, it will help me guide Tornado Slide into the future.
I thought I had seen Robocop. After all, Grandpa bought us grandkids the sucktastic NES video game. Look at this dumb game! You punch motorcycles and shoot dogs!
Either I was too young to remember this masterpiece of cinema, or I blocked its greatness from my mind. This movie is great! It's like Idiocracy/WALL-E crossed with Roadhouse crossed with Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. If it wasn't full of curse words and gratuitous breast shots, it would be on cable every weekend, and every weekend would be a party. This is not sarcasm: rent Robocop!
Please do not watch this modern London gangster movie. Check out a couple clips of Ben Kingsley acting up a storm and call it a day.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
I wanted to remember how far we've come from the original Star Trek films to the 2009 reboot. How far? Well, for one, we don't put Kirstie Alley in them anymore. The special effects are much improved, of course. The spaceship battles are no longer boring. I could go on. But Khan is okay.
Hitchcock movie where Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman spy on Nazis living in South America. After the first 20 minutes or so I thought I was in trouble, but the movie improved significantly as it went forward. Very good stuff. For the Minority Report superfans out there, watch for the scene that inspired the framing of the Tom Cruise/precog embrace.
A watchable Hitchcock movie about a wrongly-accused man trying to clear his name. There is too much overt war-era patriotism, and many characters help the accused for no good reason.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
I read the plot synopsis of the remake, and I'm so glad I watched the original 1970s film instead. The best thing about the original is the swinging '70s action movie music, Walter Matthau, and lack of John Travolta.
The Mighty Boosh: Season 1
Like, uh, a British "Flight of the Conchords"? Set in a zoo? About 15 minutes in, you'll know if you like it or not. I don't.
Amy Adams and Emily Blunt clean crime scenes. A neat idea and a good cast, but it's forgettable.
I watched this because of a Patton Oswalt recommendation: "The first one that came together was the Walter Matthau double feature [The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three and Charley Varrick]. Those are two of the best action/suspense movies of the '70s, and the fact that Walter Matthau is the John McClane character—I mean, that's how great movies were in the '70s: Walter Matthau was your badass action hero. Who's gonna save the world? Oh, Matthau. The guy who's hungover and kind of slouching in a really cheap suit and eating a hot dog. That guy. I love it." Walter Matthau is this small-time bankrobber, but by the end of the movie he's basically James Bond. The best part, though, is a scene where the bad guy repossesses a guy's car, punches the guy, and the camera pans over to the guy's son watching through the living room window, silently crying. The movie never revisits the guy or his son. I'm beginning to think there was a lot of cocaine abuse in Hollywood in the 1970s.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
A classic I'd never seen. I love the over-the-top Capra patriotism, even if it's hokey and unbelievable. Am I really to believe that some political machine thugs could turn a fire hose on a group of boy scouts -- in the middle of town in the middle of the day -- and there would be no fallout? The town is just like, "Boys will be boys hosing down boys! La la la! There is probably no reason to look into this!"
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Humphrey Bogart and some dudes decide to mine some gold, so they do, but problems arise. Featuring the worst beard ever captured on film (Bogart's). Okay, but probably not worth the running time.
This is obviously great. I saw it in theaters and wanted a refresher.
Robert DeNiro tracks down Charles Grodin. An excellent movie to explain why the hell Charles Grodin keeps popping up to be interviewed on Letterman. Really funny, actually, for an '80s action comedy.
The Man Who Would Be King
Michael Caine and Sean Connery take over India or somewhere. Kinda fun. Why don't they show movies like this on cable now and then, instead of "National Treasure" over and over again?
Eastbound and Down: Season 1
Danny McBride is funny, duh, as Kenny Powers. I also like Andy Daly as the high school principal. I recommend listening to this podcast interview of Daly, which features some of his comedy CD bits. If you purchase "Sing-a-long with Skip McCabe", you won't regret it.
The Larry Sanders Show: Season 1: Disc 1
The '90s were a strange time. I might get the best-of DVDs of this show, but I certainly don't need to watch every season.
In a Lonely Place
Humphrey Bogart is a writer who has to convince his lady that he didn't murder another lady. Kind of dumb, and there aren't any characters to root for. I'm all like, "Maybe you didn't kill that lady, but you should kill this lady! And yourself!"
Tell No One
A French mystery thriller about a man who receives an email from his murdered wife. Good if you like that genre and subtitles.
Spaced: The Complete Series
Matt implored me to watch this for well over a year now, but the proper DVDs weren't released until 2009. Matt was correct, it is really, really, really funny! And like many BBC TV shows, it's only a couple of seasons long, so you can finish it in a lazy weekend.
Tom Petty: Runnin' Down a Dream
Four hours or so of Petty-related interviews and concert footage and whatnot. Recommended if you like: Tom Petty or The Heartbreakers. Or Mudcrutch.
An Oscar-winning documentary I watched at Tom Arnold's suggestion via the Adam Carolla podcast. Weird, huh? Anyway, there was a big strike at a Hormel plant in Minnesota that lasted a really long time. The business was predictably heavy-handed and the worker's union was insanely incompetent, and after 10 months, over 700 people lost their jobs! Watching this will make your stomach hurt, and if you then start to think about all the production jobs that used to belong to working-class families that are now fought over by desperate people, your brain will also hurt.
Party Down: Season 1
A very funny TV show that airs on Starz for some reason. Catering company hijinks. Highly recommended.
The Depression! Kansas! Con men! This is the best movie I watched all year, which I previously urged you to rent. Try to forget the Ryan O'Neal / Farrah Fawcett situation and enjoy.
John Wayne hates Indians, or "Comanch" as he calls them, because they took his beloved niece during a raid. Not enough killing in this Western, and the comedy tacked on is INSANE. You tacked on a "funny" marriage subplot to this film about a girl being kidnapped by Indians! She was forced to live among them for years and years! Sometimes I think Hollywood is out of touch.
This movie is so full of doubt! I have no doubt it is an amazing play, but the film is not great.
Ricky Gervais: Out of England
Ricky comes with high expectations, and this was only okay.
Dana Gould: Let Me Put my Thoughts in You
My favorite joke from this stand-up. "My whole approach to marriage is simple: my wife will do something that drives me insane, I won't say anything, and then, later, I'll die of cancer."
I have Netflix so I can watch movies like "Raging Bull", which I'd never seen, but is acclaimed as one of the all-time greats. I didn't love it. I suppose anyone from my generation and beyond won't ever appreciate boxing movies, and I suppose that's why no one went to see "Cinderella Man".
Paul Newman is an alcoholic lawyer. For a David Mamet script, it was pretty low-key, but it's nice to see a courtroom drama that is somewhat believable instead of "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH"-type malarkey.
People have said it's got the same plot as "Idiocracy", and they're correct. I spent the whole time thinking about SkyNet reaching self-awareness and saying, "Man, he really wants to fuck that lady robot!"
Rachel Getting Married
Well acted. Solid. But if I ever go to a multicultural wedding like this, I'll have to get insanely drunk to withstand it.
Let the Right One In
This Swedish vampire movie will get an American remake, which could be bad. The original's slow character development and cinematography are its strong points (the climatic swimming pool scene is amazing), and I assume the American version will be sped up.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
A pretty pleasant little comedy. Its brevity works in its favor.
Bringing Up Baby
Professor Cary Grant is pursued by Manic Pixie Dream Girl Katharine Hepburn. Zany in a really, really good way (not like a Cannonball Run way). Highly recommended
Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy are married, and they go up against each other in court. It's supposed to be a comedy, but the jokes about spousal abuse and infidelity must have been funnier back in the black-and-white era. Now they're really confusing.
New York kid likes early 90's hip hop and selling pot to his therapist, Ben Kingsley. One of those movies that you like, but can't recommend, because some people will hate it.
Richard Jenkins gets involved with illegal immigrants. I watched it because of his Best Actor nomination. He is good, the movie is not good enough.
Two normal guys compete for the same supermarket job. John C Reilly continues to be The Best. I've already mentioned my love for it, comparing it to "Election".
Ace in the Hole
1950's journalist Kirk Douglas instigates a media circus. Okay, but a little heavy-handed and preachy.
The Asphalt Jungle
1950's heist movie. Recommended if you like either of those adjectives, but don't expect it to blow you away.
Ricky Gervais is an asshole dentist. It made me laugh many times. It's better than "Ghost", which I re-watched in '09, and "Ghost Dad", which I've never seen but I confidently assume it sucks.