I’m getting these down to a science! But they really are fun. And as someone who grossly abuses the web-streaming services at my disposal, it is only right that I should use that experience to sift out the best of the best, or at least some of the most interesting contenders.
When I am very alone, especially if I feel sick or sad or extremely tired, I like to watch old rom coms that I’ve never seen before. I had pretty low expectations for Practical Magic but it turned out to be a whole lot of fun. Young Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star as sister witches, cursed to have every man they ever love die. That sounds like a bit much, right? Well somehow it is endearing and fun and has all the pieces of a classic heartwarming film, even if a little bit of murder happens to occur in the middle of it. You’ll wish you could hang out with the older women in this film, not to mention join in their after-midnight tequila-driven dance parties. If I’m that exciting after 60, I’ll be happy. Overall, this movie was far more substantial (and dark) than I assumed it would be from the cover photo. Definitely worth the watch if a supernatural rom com is in your wheelhouse.
Are you ready for some absurd prosthetic penises? If not, this might not be the film for you. It’s only fair to warn you that if you watch this, you can count on those happening for a short span of time. From my beloved Duplass brothers, this indie comedy goes heavy on the indie. The cast is great, featuring Adam Scott (known as Leslie’s favorite butt-haver on Parks & Rec), Taylor Schilling (in a performance much more likable than her Piper of OITNB), and Jason Schwartzman (if you like Wes Anderson, you’ve seen him). The plot follows two parent couples who meet and hang out for a night of increasing insanity. So much tension, so much mystery, such confusing intentions. It’s intriguing, witty, and fun, though also super out there. You have to be ready for that. The film is odd, surely not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for something different you should give it a shot.
I only watched this Galaxy Quest whole way through this year, and this throwback is amazeballs (way better than Spaceballs). Big caveat: I watched this before the emotionally devastating passing of Alan Rickman. Since that day I have not been able to bring myself to watch one of his works. Hell, I still can’t watch anything with Robin Williams in it without getting super sad. I am a tornado of emotion at all times. But if you are able to bring yourself to view something so beautiful, or if that’s the way you celebrate the lives of our favored, timeless actors, this is the film for you. It’s the perfect balance of spoof, camp, and genuine feeling. The cast is great (looking at you, Monk!) and I did cry at least once. You also get to see a baby nerdy Justin Long, which is just as fun as it sounds. You’ll laugh, you’ll have feelings, and you’ll question everything you know about the “fiction” of the sci-fi genre.
The Artist Is Present
If you know nothing at all about performance art, here’s your chance to dive in headfirst. This documentary profiles Marina Abramovic, an artist who seems to be something of the Meryl Streep of the performance art world. You learn all about her career, her many installations, and even get to see her endure her recent work, “The Artist Is Present.” Abramovic is an incredibly interesting subject. The way that people talk about her, she seems to have a hypnotic effect on all she meets. You will come out of this film feeling like you learned something new about the world, maybe even feeling inspired to create art yourself. A personal highlight for me was when James Franco attended her piece, discussed it with some older gents, and one of them said, “Oh, are you an actor?” Dear, dear, James Franco, this is not your demographic. But performance art is for everyone! You’ll see, just watch the film.
Technically this is a buddy cop film, but in reality it is much, much more. For one thing, this film is so much better than it had to be. It is funny, well-plotted, full of twists, and somehow both down-to-earth and totally surreal at the same time. The protagonist is the best cop that the British police force has ever seen, though he’ll scold you for calling it the force (too intimidating). He is kicked out of London for making everyone else look bad and sent to a small town with the lowest crime rate and highest accidental death rate in the country. There’s mystery, there’s camaraderie, there’s absurdity, and there are plenty of lame action movie lines along the way. For a good time, hit up Hot Fuzz.
So many films, so little time. Unless you’re the average American and spend 90% of your free time in front of a screen. Then there’s probably more than enough time on your side!
P.S. If anyone knows who Weebly has suddenly stopped letting me change fonts, let me know in the comments. I miss my subtitles lookin' big and stately!