You guys, I have not read a single book since the calendar turned. But at least I've watched a bunch of shit on my TV and through my Netflix account! Here are those items, in reverse chronological order, not including movies covered in my 2010 motion picture recaps (1) (2).
Bill Murray robs a bank while dressed as a clown? How did this exist beyond my awareness? Funny throughout, with supporting roles by then-famous Geena Davis then-sane Randy Quaid. Small roles filled by greats like Tony Shaloub, Phil Hartman, and Kurtwood Smith.
The Kid Stays in the Picture
If you hear Patton Oswalt's impression of 1970's movie producer extraordinaire Robert Evans, you're kind of obligated to watch this. It's okay. Evans' narration is most certainly the selling point.
Cool Hand Luke
Finally, nearly 20 years after first enjoying Guns 'N Roses "Civil War", I watched the origin of its sampled dialogue! This was one of those movie experiences where lots of other things make more sense, from the GNR song (well, not really) to the great Stella episode where the guys call their farm supervisors "Boss", just like Paul Newman and company.
It's Kind of a Funny Story
Pretty much what you'd think it is. Fine.
The Night of the Hunter
I rented this because it's the movie that originated the much repeated idea of a convict labeling his knuckles with "LOVE" and "HATE". Not bad, not great. I guess you could say I didn't LOVE or HATE it. Get it?
Won the Oscar for Best Documentary, although Exit Through The Gift Shop was clearly better. This kept economics interesting, I suppose, but I can't forgive it for playing Peter Gabriel's "Big Time" in its entirety over the opening credits. God I hate that song.
Recommended if you want to get depressed about the process of fracturing underground shale to produce natural gas. But you only need to watch the first hour - it starts to repeat itself, and the ending isn't current anymore. You can read the latest fracturing news from Pennsylvania with the time you save.
An Instant Watch movie recommended by some friends. Low budget, but not embarrassingly so. It's breezy with a sci-fi twist. Not a lot of breezy sci-fi out there, yeah? Recommended for the ladies. Caution, gentlemen: romance ahead!
Never Let Me Go
Based on the book I read, the book Time Magazine called the finest of its decade. Kim had not read the book, and the movie made her cry. Would she recommend it? She would. She just said so just now, after I prompted her. I would too. It's got Keira Knightly, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, AND it's directed by the same guy who gave us the music video for Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" - you remember, the one with the crucified monkey and the hog's head rotating on a spike?
Meh. It was Australian, I guess? I'm having a hard time remembering the plot, which is a bad sign for a movie I saw a few months ago.
Ken Burns' America: Thomas Hart Benton
Benton's my favorite muralist. His old home is now a museum in Kansas City and I keep meaning to go someday. This show taught me pretty much everything I'd learn at the museum, though, right? I should probably just stay home and look at junk on my laptop instead.
The Amish: People of Preservation
I had to spend some time among the Amish a few months ago - did I tell you that? No? I spent a lot of time thinking about their hats. Of all the hats in the world to choose from, this group picked a real stinker! An especially bad decision, since they're stuck with it and can't go out and buy a cowboy hat or a floppy beach hat instead. Right. So this was available on Instant Watch and I had it on while I did some work around the house. It focused on the Pennsylvania Amish, and maybe isn't as recommended as the occasional Amish-related docs you can find on the National Geographic Channel (which I also watched around this time).
I can't recommend this beyond those who worship with me at John C Reilly's altar.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
A documentary about one comedian. I was curious to know where the hell she came from, how she got popular enough to be a serious candidate for "The Tonight Show". This pretty much answered those questions. Solid.
I Am Comic
A documentary about comedians, a very broad topic covered broadly here. Very interesting in parts and tedious in others.
The Other Guys
Should have been better? Right?
The Ricky Gervais Show: Season 1
Podcasts on TV! A dumb idea that works fine in this instance but probably shouldn't start a trend.
Who watches the watchmen a year and a half after it's released? Me! From the perspective of a male who doesn't read graphic novels, I liked it. Rorshach's character was kind of silly to me, but the film looked amazing and Malin Akerman didn't look too bad either if you know what I mean of course you do I just wrote it explicitly.
Bored to Death: Season 1
I love noir detective stuff so much, but I was prepared to be disappointed by this HBO series. Thankfully (and in hindsight, obviously), Ted Danson + Zack Galafanakis + Jason Schwartzman = great. Not so great that I finally order HBO, but great enough to make me wish I wasn't so cheap about ordering HBO.
The Third Man
I think so highly of this masterpiece I introduced it to the lady of my life. But don't take my word for it. Take John Hodgman's podcast words for it.
The Wrong Guy
Newsradio's Dave Foley wrote and starred in this spoof of Hitchcock-style "wrongly accused man" stories. Plenty of hilarious dialogue more than makes up for the presence of Jennifer Tilly. Highly recommended.
If you type "IMDB Laura" into Google, this is the first result, because it's a top-rate noir mystery! The second result is "That 70's Show" alum Laura Prepon, beating out Laura Linney in a stunning upset. Laura Dern is predictably an also-ran. Anyway, check out this movie and see how ordinary Vincent Price looked before he entered the creepy mustache phase of his career.
Gene Hackman and Fredo are hired to spy on a CONVERSATION. Intrigue ensues. Very slowly. The ending is worth the wait.