Adventures in Instant Play: Teen Angst, Gay Artporn (which is a word now), and Demi Moore Gets Hysterical

Friday, July 23, 2010 5:51 PM By Simon

Hello, my loyal and trusted 71 followers (suck it, yesterday's 69!). If you are not just joining us, you'll know I have often bemoaned the introduction of Netflix into my life. Specifically, the Instant Play option. I have not slept in two days, people.

So, here's a quick round-up of how I spent those waking hours:

The Tracey Fragments

-Tracey Something-owitz (along those lines) is a dissaffected teenager living in Canada (those Canadians, they always sneak up on me) with her extremely dysfunctional parents and her little brother, Sonny, who she hypnotized to think he was a dog. At school, some over-the-top bullying goes down amongst a bunch of skinny bitches Ellen Page could break in half, so why doesn't she? Anyway, she meets some new Euro-emo boy, Sonny goes missing, she meets a drug dealer guy who's actually cool, unlike Euro-emo boy, who's a toolbox, and then some stuff happens, she runs away to find Sonny, some angsty shit goes down, there's a therapist played by be-dragged Julian Richings, more angst, Tracey ends up naked under a shower curtain, riding the bus. And scene.

-What I didn't like was the editing. It was compromised of a split screen a la Conversations With Other Women, except not split, a million different windows showing a million different things, some different vantage points of the same thing, some of scenes happening elsewhere, depending on where it is on the screen. I appreciate what the director and the editors are trying to do here, but I can't watch it without getting a headache. Still, Ellen Page, basically carrying the movie on her shoulders, gives a painfully honest performance, and it is fairly entertaining when my eyes weren't bleeding.

Otto; or, Up With Dead People

-Um. A for effort.

-My first inclination was to call this a piece of Euro-Canadian (them again!?) arthouse shit, but then they got into the whole is-it-or-is-it-not-a-story thing, some enat little gimmicks and some fairly entertaining satire, and I gotta say, it grew on me (painfully). It's about this guy, Otto, who apparently rises from his grave and zombies around for awhile. At first, it is alluded that zombies are commonplace, but then the line between reality and avant-garde fiction blurs. He ends up cast in a documentary by underground filmmaker Medea Yarn, her girlfriend Hella (who appears as a silent movie star, completely filmed in scratchy black-and-white and all), some other people, etc...

-This movie is weird. There's actualy gay pornstars actually fucking, but there are maybe three sex scenes in the entire movie, and it both mocks and plays straight psycho-political avant-garde filmmaking, and the acting is anywhere from off to bad, and they all live in Germany, and are clearly German/Belgian from their thick accents, and yet they all speak English. And there's the whole Hela thing, which is cool, but very random, and there's the almost-cute, almost-sad ending, metaphors for disenfranchised consumerists, what is real, what is fake, all breaking down to: is Otto actually a zombie? He certainly thinks so, and the opening narration would have you think it, but as the movie goes on, nobody ever even considers it the realm of possibility that he was a zombie, and he eventually meets his old boyfriend, the one aspect of his pre-mortem life he remembers, and learns that he has all kinds of mental problems, shit like that...

-I am so horrible at describing things lately.

The Juror

-A single mother gets called to jury duty for high-profile mafia hits, and Alec Baldwin is menacing. To be honest, I just skipped through everything not involving Anne Heche (as the doctor best friend who has sex with Alec Baldwin's character, and then he forces her to fatally overdose) or Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as the son who keeps getting a-threatened by Baldwin, and who's adorable, even if he wears nineties-plaid and still has that dreadful 3rd Rock From The Sun Seasons 1-3 hair.


Robert said...

Tracey Fragments is on Netflix On Demand? MUST WATCH! Except I'm in Canada right now and Netflix doesn't let you watch if you're outside of the US. Oh, the irony!

July 23, 2010 at 9:18 PM
D Swizzle said...

robert--that? is the very definetion of irony.

July 23, 2010 at 9:39 PM
Runs Like A Gay said...

I remember seeing The Juror at the cinema. I would say you did right by forwarding through to the best bits, but I'm not sure I can remembr any best bits.

July 24, 2010 at 1:21 AM
Simon said...

Robert: Have we not been through this? Canada will be the only safe haven from the zombie invasion brought on by Netflix.

Danielle: Spell. Check.

Runs Like A Gay: The best parts involve Anne Heche and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which is why I skipped to them.

July 24, 2010 at 10:14 AM
Franz Patrick said...

"Otto; or, Up With Dead People" -- It was one of those movies where I didn't fully know what the hell was going on but I had fun with it as a whole. I could've used more sex scenes (zombie sex!) and less commentary about consumerism, to be honest. ;)

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