Goon #Netflix365

When I heard about this movie, Goon, I was thinking of a Slapshot remake.  You can make some comparisons because it is about hockey and it is a comedy, but there is a different feel about this movie.  The characters did funny things but it was their character and not done in a slapstick way.  The Goon makes you care about the characters including Seann William Scott’s “Thug” character, who only wants to please people and do the right thing.  I also feel that Leiv Shreiber is one of the best underrated actors of our time.  As far as my Netflix picks have gone I would place  Goon at one of the top spots.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

The Elephant in the Living Room #Netflix365

The Elephant in the Living Room is a documentary that explains a hidden subculture of people who own exotic animals as pets.  Everyone has seen the person who has a python or some weird animal as a pet, but this movie goes beyond that.  A man living in Ohio received a male and female lion cubs to help him out of a depression.  The man was not rich, he did not have any special zoology degrees or training, he just wanted to have a lion.  They were kept in his yard in an enclosure.  At one point there was a woman on the highway that called 911 saying there was a lion loose.  The operator at first thought she was lying.  The full grown male African lion that the man had in his back yard got loose (go figure).  The story focuses on a public safety officer who saw early on that exotic animal ownership was on the rise in Ohio where there was no legislation banning such thing.  There are many stories that are told about non native animals being kept as pets and escape or are released.  From cougars, tigers, venomous snakes, monkeys, alligators, the public safety officer does his best to educate, capture and secure the wild beast.  He states how in his part of Ohio there are more nuisance gator calls than in Florida.  The documentary states that there are more Bengal Tigers in captivity in Texas than in the wild in their native India.

I found this topic extremely interesting.  The Animal Planet shows about Wild Hogs and Pythons do not put into perspective how and where the animals came from and how the species that were alien to this continent now invade and flourish in a non native habitat and could have been completely avoidable.  The expos and flea markets that pop up in the middle of nowhere that sell these animals attract a large crowd.  This documentary is sponsored by the Humane Society in order to raise awareness of an increasing problem.

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#SeanSpeak

Silver Tongues #Netflix365

Silver Tongues places a couple that enjoys “playing” games.  They take on a scenario and become actors in it, only no one else knows that it is a made up scenario.  One example is that one accuses a pastor of stealing from the collection plate in front of the congregation.  The other plays a police detective who at first finds evidence of the theft ultimately having the congregation turn against the pastor.  At the end of each vignette of deceit the couple “celebrate” with a rough round of choking and sex in the car or woods.  The question arises as to why these people would do this? Is it just for thrills? Or is it to teach a lesson? and Who is the lesson for? (them, the people being tricked or the viewer?)

This is a low budget film with good acting and an adequate story and dialogue.  The problem I had (and was done on purpose I’m sure) was that you at one point  knew that when people were watching you knew the couple was acting.  It is when no one was around that it becomes blurry as to which was an act and which was real life, I just think that this part could have been done a bit better (not sure if it is the script or the editing that could have made this a little more crisp).

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#SeanSpeak

Bereavement #Netflix365

Bereavement starts off with the abduction of a young boy by a “serial killer”.  The boy is raised by the killer and made to watch as the killer kidnaps, tortures and kills women.  A girl moves in with her uncle, she ends up in the basement of the killer.  She tries to help the boy escape (he was captive for a few years).  The movie was an hour and a half and this was the only story.  There was basically 10 min in the beginning and 10 min at the end on this, the middle was about the girl, and why she moved in with her uncle, and a boy she met.  In this movie I wish they focused more on the boy and his transformation, to me there could have been tons more to add.  The movie was not horrible, the premise was interesting (even though it was not fleshed out enough).

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

Psych #Netflix365

Psych is a detective show.  The twist is the detective is a psychic, not really a psychic but is actually one of the most aware people on Earth and notices very small details, and pretends to be a psychic, his partner and father are the only ones that know the truth, others are either skeptical or believe in his abilities.  The show happens to be one of my favorites.  The cast is excellent, the stories are good, and the jokes are funny.  The great thing with this program is there are often themes to the show, one night might be a Hitchcock theme another a Twin Peaks theme.  The characters are likable.  The show packs in a ton of pop culture references.  I completely recommend this show.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

Occupant #Netflix 365

Occupant is a psychological thriller that may or may not have a supernatural element.  A man’s grandmother dies and he tries to move into her rent controlled apartment.  Of course you can’t just move in and take over where she left off….a lawyer tells the man he has to stay in the apartment, physically and can not leave, until he gets a court order okaying his right to the apartment with the same rent control that his grandmother had.  What happens next is you are either watching a man go crazy, or a spirit in the house driving the man crazy, or the management of the apartment building driving the man crazy, or a combination of some or all.

This movie is in the same vane as yesterdays selection of Psychosis. One of the major differences is this movie does not have Charisma Carpenter.  I will say the end of Occupant happens quick and is kind of neat.

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#SeanSpeak

Psychosis #Netflix365

Psychosis is a psychological thriller where a new couple moves into the countryside of England.  The history of the home is questionable having had a previously homicidal maniac in the area.  The wife (Charisma Carpenter) is a writer with her own past of psychological problems, finds herself going from a sane place to regressing to something less sane.  Is she crazy?  Is her husband playing mind games? Is the grounds keeper putting “magic” mushrooms in her food?  Does she have ESP and sees ghost?  Is it a combination of some, or all of these situations?  The movie can be confusing but does have some decent scenes.  The best I can say about Psychosis is that it is not horrible.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

Killing Emmett Young #Netflix365

Killing Emmett Young starts off with a police detective who is diagnosed with a painful, deadly disease.  Instead of  living with the disease Emmett Young decided that it would be better to hire a hit man to take him out before the worst of the symptoms arrive.  Gabriel Byrne plays the broker who finds the hit man and Tim Roth plays the hit man himself.  During the wait for the hit man to act, the detective is tasked with finding a serial killer on the loose.

I found the movie interesting.  Some of the twist in the plots are obvious, but others are nuanced and add to the story.  The cast is decent.  Gabriel Byrne is, in my opinion, an under rated actor.  Him and Liam Neison could be interchangeable as far as you could insert either one into a role and would not be disappointed.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

Fear Itself #Netflix365

Fear Itself is an anthology TV series that features stand alone episodes of horror stories.  There were different directors and cast for each of the thirteen episodes.  My favorite starred Elizabeth Moss as a rookie police officer who is tasked with keeping watch over an “Eater”.  The eater is a bad dude who, in this show, kills men because he has no use for them, kidnaps and keeps women, he tortures them (you guessed it) eats them.  But of course this is not your garden variety cannibal.  He is a Cajun one that uses black magic.  To combat this you do not have your average rookie female police officer either.

This is a fun series that is worth a look.  Even though it was made for TV, the quality of the episodes create a suspense and thrill that is lost on lesser programs.  

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

Battle Royal #Netflix365

Apparently I have been living under a rock, I have never heard of Battle Royal.  This is a Japanese film created in 2000 and is in their top ten grossing films ever.  Quinten Tarintino and many others have referenced this movie and I never noticed.  The film is about a change in culture at the turn of the century for Japan.  There is a high unemployment rate made worse by student aged children dropping out of school.  The kids who stay in school are running rampant and are disrespectful.  The government in order to combat this problem create a law where a class of students are chosen, they are sent to an island, they are made to fight to the death using weapons that are given to them.  They wear collars around their necks and if they do not fight or try to escape, an explosive goes off.

This is a great movie, there is tons of violence and spurting blood.  You can see where QT was influenced in his film making, particularly Kill Bill (vol 1 and 2) from the swordplay to the yellow track suit.  I know that there is at least one returning reader that enjoys this film, using the BR logo as their avatar, which again me living under a rock never noticed what the BR was even for.

There are subtitles, but people should be more adventurous and watch more foreign films.  Netflix has a great selection (you can start with an English-speaking foreign country to make things easier).

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak