Netflix 2007

I really should take the time to post reviews of movies as I see them, but most of the time that doesn’t happen, so here’s another end of the year roundup of the films I saw in 2007 (at least to this point) that were rented via Netflix.

Brilliant:

The Lookout [5/5]
It’s not quite Brick, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a heck of an eye for scripts.
Letters from Iwo Jima [5/5]
Powerful and moving.
Pan’s Labyrinth [5/5]
Fantastic, both magical and brutal.
Little Miss Sunshine [5/5]
Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always great.
Requiem for a Dream [5/5]
Harrowing. This one will stay with you for a long time.

Classics:

Double Indemnity [5/5]
Fred MacMurray in a noir film? Believe it. Maybe Billy Wilder’s best film.
Dial M for Murder [5/5]
A masterpiece by Hitchcock.
Sunset Boulevard [4/5]
“All right, Mr DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”
High and Low [3/5]
I found the pacing to be a bit slow at times, but still a good film.
Dr. Strangelove [4/5]
“I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

Very good:

Once [4/5]
Charming, and the music (specifically “When Your Mind’s Made Up”) is still going around in my head.
The Namesake [4/5]
A strong story about a different sort of immigrant experience.
Notes on a Scandal [4/5]
Both Dench and Blanchette deserve Oscar nods.
Not One Less [4/5]
A small, yet powerful, story.
Bend It Like Beckham [4/5]
A coming-of-age tale about soccer and differing values.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley [4/5]
I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to, mainly because of the plot structure, but still very good.
Walk the Line [4/5]
No real surprises, but still worth seeing.
Black Snake Moan [4/5]
A strange movie with great music.
Identity [4/5]
It really is better than it sounds from the descriptions.
Breach [4/5]
An excellent thriller that’s lacking in both car chases and gun battles (which is a nice change).
The Last King of Scotland [4/5]
Whitaker’s excellent performance as Idi Amin carries this movie.
Stranger than Fiction [4/5]
Will Ferrell does a surprisingly good job.
Miller’s Crossing [4/5]
Lots of great stuff, though I watched it again mostly to see Albert Finney’s Liam O’Bannon shooting people while the great Frank Patterson sings “Danny Boy.”
Curse of the Golden Flower [4/5]
Though there are some martial arts scenes, this is mainly a great period drama.
The Queen [4/5]
Helen Mirren is extraordinary as Queen Elizabeth II.
Children of Men [4/5]
A well-done dystopian thriller.
Shut Up & Sing [4/5]
I wasn’t much of a Dixie Chicks fan until I saw this movie.
Half Nelson [4/5]
Excellent.
The Illusionist [4/5]
The stronger of the two period magician movies that came out in 2006.
The Prestige [4/5]
I didn’t think it was as good as The Illusionist, but it’s still a fine movie. Plus, you can’t go wrong with David Bowie as Tesla.
Mrs. Henderson Presents [4/5]
A charming film.
Trainspotting [4/5]
Great work by Ewan McGregor, and it doesn’t seem nearly as dark if you see it the week after seeing Requiem for a Dream.

Fun:

Shaolin Soccer [4/5]
Over-the-top kung fu soccer fun.
You Kill Me [4/5]
If you like black comedy, you’ll love Ben Kingsley as an alcoholic hitman.
Hot Fuzz [5/5]
I thought it was even better than Shaun of the Dead.
Snatch [4/5]
Bloody good.

Disappointing:

Grindhouse: Planet Terror [3/5]
I like zombie movies. I expected to love this. I did not.
Zodiac [3/5]
Too long, too dull, too inconclusive.
Volver [3/5]
Some of the themes weren’t at all funny.
Casino Royale [3/5]
Take a good Bond film, tack on some falling in love so our hero can then be betrayed, and you end up with this.
Babel [3/5]
It’s Crash without the various threads actually feeling very connected at all.

Just say no:

The Hoax [2/5]
Dull acting, bad screenplay.
Hollywoodland [2/5]
The part with Affleck as George Reeves was good, the framing device of Brody as a private eye was a waste.
Clerks 2 [2/5]
Weak.
Blue Velvet [3/5]
I loved this the first times I saw it, but now basically every scene without Dennis Hopper seems pointless.

Next up in the queue is Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, which starts off the next year’s worth of movies with a bang.

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