This Week’s Netflix – “Then we will fight in the shade.”

Last few from my Netflix queue (ranked from 1 to 5 §):

Gone Baby Gone – §§§ – I remember Casey Affleck got good reviews for this role and I liked him in it. Amy Ryan got an Oscar nomination out of it as the deadbeat, druggie mom. I liked the story and there was a pretty good twist at the end. It felt phony to have Affleck and his girlfriend be private investigators, because neither of them look anything like a PI. The girlfriend was mostly dead weight, just sitting around looking worried at various points and sometimes tearing up. Otherwise a pretty good film.

The Assassination of Jesse James– §§ – Long and slow. I spent a lot of time during the movie trying to remember who all the random guys were that Jesse James kept killing and why he felt he needed to kill them in the first place. There weren’t any characters in this film that I liked. Brad Pitt as Jesse James comes across as a twitchy, slightly insane killer with a soft spot for his family. Casey Affleck’s Robert Ford is just a weasel. Some cool shots of the countryside though.

300 – §§§ – A decent action flick. The cartoonish special effects got a little old, but I guess I’m a sucker for the heroic storyline. The Spartans come across as guys that even Chuck Norris wouldn’t mess with.

Michael Clayton – §§§§ – A story about corrupt lawyers. To me it seems this is the perfect character for George Clooney to play. He’s morally ambiguous lawyer who’s job is cleaning up the messes left by the firm’s attorneys and their rich clients. I think the plot is a little over the top, but I’ve seen it a couple times and it’s kept my attention.

Children of Men – §§ – I was really interested in this movie when I heard about it because it’s based on a novel by P.D. James, one of my favorite authors, and it stars Clive Owens. But I was put off by the overly politicized story and it wasn’t terribly exciting.

Dirty Pretty Things – §§§ – The girl from Amelie and the Operative from Serenity are illegal aliens working in London and surviving corrupt bosses and officious bureaucrats. I enjoyed both the lead actors and their supporting cast and it was a good story.

Across the Universe – §§ – Mix Beatles music with a boring story about war, drugs, love, and art. Bono was funny as Dr. Robert and I really liked Eddie Izzard’s psychedelic circus even though I’d never heard the song before.

The Lives of Others – §§§§ – Story about a German couple, a writer and actor, living under suspicion of the East German secret police in the 1980’s. You watch them through the eyes of the agent who is assigned to their case. Bleak, but worth watching.

The Black Dahlia – §§ – Tries to be a gritty, film noir about a famous murder that took place in Hollywood. Ends up a ridiculous tangle of lies and double-crosses, with a bunch of boring actors.

Good Luck Chuck – § – Hours of my life that will never be recovered. I should be kicked in the head for requesting it from Netflix.

The Man Who Would Be King – §§§§ – Michael Caine and Sean Connery are two English soldiers in colonial India who come up with a brilliant plan to find a backward country, conquer it and become rich beyond their wildest dreams. Based on a story by Rudyard Kipling. Quite funny at times and a good buddy movie.

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