Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A couple of pleasant Netflix surprises

I came across two movies recently on Netflix that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. (Which was admittedly not at all)  You may be asking why I would watch movies that I did not expect to be good. I am one of those people who can get suckered into watching something by an especially well written synopsis, or if the movie looks like it was based on an interesting idea but was cheaply or badly made.  I thought that would be the case for these two movies, but I was (mostly) wrong.

"The ABCs Of Death" was the first movie.  Actually, it is a collection of 26 short films made by different directors about death and featuring a word starting with the appropriate letter.  For instance "A is for Apocalypse" or "C is for Cycle" or"Q is for Quack".  All of these are real titles from the movie by the way.

Of course being made by 26 different film makers means that some segments are stronger than others, some are not thought out as well as they could be, and some are downright weird. (The Japanese directed "F is for Fart" is so strange  that it is entertaining, while once again making me exclaim "WTF Japan?")  Overall though an interesting and fun movie that really only became dull when film makers tried to get all "meta", like in "Q is for Quack", which still managed to make me chuckle with its silly ending.  I don't expect the concept to hold up for the sequel, but it is on my list so we'll see.

The other movie was "It's a Disaster" starring Julia Stiles and David Cross.  The story begins with Julia's character bringing David's character to a couple's brunch to introduce him to her friends.  There is a lot personal drama going on amongst the couples.  During the course of brunch they find out that a series of dirty bombs have been set off across the country, and that their death is imminent. Rather than putting a halt on the personal drama, this news just puts an interesting spin on it all.

The movie was funny and took a couple of unexpected turns.  I also thought it was well acted and managed to play out the doomsday scenario without showing anything particularly horrifying or having to break the budget with special effects.  Actually the ordinariness of the setting and quiet of the neighborhood are what give the movie it's only touch of creepiness.  My only complaint is that the movie just could not seem to commit to it's dark ending, and left it a bit ambivalent.

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