"What's Your Angle?"
Or: What Kind of Weird Stuff Will You Be Pushing On Us?
Maybe it was misleading to have kicked things off with a classic like His Girl Friday. What I really hope to do here is appeal to not just film geeks but average and casual viewers--those who enjoy above-average entertainment but don't always know how to find it. I'm no film buff myself (honest), but as a sometimes-filmmaker trying to understand the intricacies of his craft, my goal has always been to see as much of the good stuff, and as little of the bad, as possible. That's meant developing plenty of blind spots (which is why I don't consider myself a proper "buff"), but what I do know about I feel pretty secure in sharing.
|Smart, sexy foreign stuff: good|
I prefer subtle and thoughtful over obvious and loud. I've grown far less tolerant of violent movies as I get older, although violence with a point--or taken to Wile E. Coyote extremes--can have its rewards. And as bored as I am of seeing overly muscled men and women outrunning explosions and computer-generated debris, I do confess to enjoying the occasional comic book movie (which can be blamed squarely on a childhood comic book collection). (Okay, I still have a bunch of 'em. What of it?)
|Well-executed action: good|
But this isn't a blog simply about what I like. It's about what I like that's on Netflix Instant that you might have overlooked.
Which means I likely won't be pointing out personal faves like Mad Men, Memento, Manhattan, or A Fish Called Wanda; or worthy popular fare like True Grit, Trainspotting, Twin Peaks, or Super-8. You know about those already, and don't need me to echo what's already up on the marquee.
So I'll do my best to avoid the obvious. Which means I may argue for a kickass French action movie, or a criminally underseen '70s comedy with Richard Dreyfuss as a '20s porn director. I might also stand up for an unjustly damned Woody Allen film that was mistaken for a drama but is actually a pretty good comedy. Or try to convince you there's a place in your life for a silly '80s movie with seemingly no redeeming value. Or that, as charming as Safety Not Guaranteed was, there's a little-seen time travel romance with Marisa Tomei that's equally worth checking out.
|Lesser-known classics: bravo|
|Surprising indies: also good|
Of course one geek's "obvious" is another person's "radical." But for every one of you already hip to some of these titles, I've encountered just as many who are unaware of, or simply resistant to, them (including myself--until I learn better).
With any luck--and as long as you don't expect something with "Crocosaurus" or "Jackass" in the title (apologies to any crocs or jackasses out there)--you may find on these pages that increasingly elusive thing: a movie that doesn't waste your time. Or at least I hope you do.
So that's my angle, and I'm stickin' to it. Film buff or no film buff.
|Jackass: not so good|