Thursday, July 02, 2009

it's showtime

Charlie and I began a subscription to Netflix in mid-May and since that time, we have watched 14 movies. For the past six weeks, we've been averaging at least two movies a week. We haven't watched this many movies since before children ... and I've got to say ... it's been awesome.

My husband is currently watching our 15th movie. I'm not watching this particular movie with him, because I read the book that the movie is based upon a few years ago and the storyline is so disturbing I can't stand to watch the stupidity unfold.

So while Charlie watches this most recent movie - and keeps gasping at the idiocy - I'm going to review the movies that we've watched thus far and provide my opinion on each. Beginning with ...

This is a documentary that Charlie rented, detailing the story of a man who walked across a high wire connecting the Twin Towers in New York City in 1974. We own the book, "The Man Who Walked Between The Towers" and when I first read this story, I thought for sure it was fiction. It isn't. Someone actually walked on a tightrope between the Twin Towers. This was an interesting movie, even though I fell asleep midway through.

Sakes alive this is an awesome movie. The scene where Liam Neeson asks the guy to translate, "Good Luck" in Albanian?! I was on my feet CHEERING. Liam is the man. I didn't fall asleep once during this movie. If anything, I laid in bed awake - replaying scene after scene. This is a great movie. A fabulous movie. Although, I must admit, any desire I had to visit France has totally vanished.

This was another documentary that Charlie rented. Moderately interesting. But I fell asleep midway through. Charlie really liked it. He thinks it was fascinating. Charlie is a nut sometimes.

Yet another documentary courtesy of my husband. This one was very good and in my opinion, might be one of Michael Moore's best films. I particularly enjoyed the scene when they rented a boat, loaded it up with various patients who are hitting roadblocks with medical treatment in the United States, and floated over to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. After watching this movie, Charlie wants to restore his Canadian citizenship and move our entire family north.

Death at a Funeral

This movie dabbled in a lot of taboo topics, but it was absolutely hysterical. I laughed so hard, my ab muscles were sore for two days. The scene with the uncle in the bathroom and the dwarf in the casket? I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

I must admit, I actually got up and started to do some work during this movie. It just didn't capture my attention. Charlie liked it. But even he confessed that it realllly dragggged onnnn afffter a whiiiile. The storyline had to do with a greedy, ruthless man drilling an oil well. Since I caught the last bit of the movie, I'm fairly certain that greedy, ruthless man goes to hell after what he did to that nice minister.

This was a good movie. Very thought provoking. It definitely dabbled in some taboo subjects, but it also made me feel like giving up everything we own and moving to Humboldt. The last scene in the movie had me laughing - but yet - made me feel quite bad for the father. I wonder how long he sat there ... just eating his sandwich?

This was a great movie. It certainly made me think about my own political views and well ... I sincerely hope that one day everyone will have equal rights. And that's all I have to say about that.

Goofy. Funny. Hillbilly humor. Stereotypical Will Ferrell at his finest. The scene with the cougar in the backseat was rip roaring. Although that might be a result of the bottle of wine Charlie and I were sharing.

The Visitor

This was an incredible movie. I absolutely did not want it to end ... or ... I wanted there to be a sequel. Charlie really enjoyed it, too. The title is perfect.

Very disturbing movie. Some might disagree, but I think the parents in this movie were largely to blame. Talk about ENABLING. And the scene with the baby in the crib?! Unbelievable, although I absolutely saw that coming. Who shoots up heroine with an infant crawling around the house?! Days after I watched this movie, I read that every year, 320,000 babies are born in the United States to drug-addicted mothers. A baby on formula* is one thing.

But a baby on phenobarbital?!

(*Three of our children were supplemented with formula, which was a GOOD thing, lest you think I'm being judgmental.)

Seriously. I watched this movie and all I could think was that people should be screened before they are allowed to reproduce. And if they don't pass the test, they are spayed or neutered on the spot. Men and Women. Bada Bing Bada Boom. Next in line?

Great movie and the premise is beautiful. But in my opinion, the acting - particularly the role of the grandson (i.e. the main character) - was a little weak at times.

Yet another Charlie documentary. This was a very interesting movie. Although I did fall asleep midway through, I woke up in time to see the bull that had been genetically engineered. And well, I kind of wish I hadn't.

Yes, I know this movie was released 27 years ago. But what a classic. I thought the kids might like it and for the first five minutes they really did. Then there was an alien. And men in space suits. And wow - who remembers that this movie is so corny? Ultimately, William and Carolyn were riveted and wanted to watch the entire show. Elizabeth buried her head in to my chest crying, "I don't love E.T.!! I want to watch Cinderella!!"

Which leads me to the 15th movie my husband is watching without me, tonight...

Who has read the book A Simple Plan? I read it a few years ago and I couldn't put it down. I was totally captivated by the stupidity. And greed. And stupidity. And greed.

But mostly, stupidity.

Tonight, I tried to watch this movie with my husband. I really did. But I just couldn't bear to watch the scenes unfold - that I knew would unfold - when they tried to cover up their dumb tracks. If Charlie ever came in to the house carrying a bag with $4.4 million dollars in cash that he found while he was out for a walk? I'd be moving so fast to get the police involved, I'd be breaking SOUND barriers. Not for a minute - in any shape or fashion - would I think about how we could keep it.


Since our movie queue is getting dangerously low, now it's your turn.

What do you recommend?


  1. You may have already seen them already, but I would recommend...

    In America (

    Etre et Avoir (french documentary with subtitles, so beautiful

    Babel (

    Those are all a few years old, probably even before the trips were born, so you have probably seen them already... I'll try to think of some more of the ones we've enjoyed in our family!

  2. Marley and me
    Final destination-1(sequeal is not that interesting)
    Gods must be crazy(the whole series...)
    Mel Gibson's APOCALYPTO....
    there's more...will update later.

  3. the italian job, 2003, mark wahlberg & charlize theron

  4. Little Miss Sunshine?

    The Pursuit of Happyness?

  5. We have watched a lot of those too or have them in our queue to watch soon. Some others that we've seen lately are The Business of Being Born, Chop Shop, The Deal, Without the King and Super Size Me. My husband has been really into documentaries lately. as well as westerns. The westerns he watches when I'm not around...not really my favorite.

  6. We do Netflix and it is the only reason I have seen anything at all in the last 2 1/2 years. My 13 year old son is a James Bond fanatic so I alternate movies with him. Recently we have rented Slumdog Millionaire, Wanted and Doubt. I recommend them in that order with Slumdog being a must see if you haven't already seen it!

  7. After reading this post, I'm more than ever convinced that my husband and I need get to sign up for Netflix. Since our son arrived 2.5 years ago, we've been to the movies together twice. I sneak out more often to go to the theatre by myself or with a girlfriend, but I miss sharing a tub of popcorn with my husband. And we moved into a community where the closest Blockbuster is 10 miles away. Netflix may be our answer.

    I do want to suggest a couple of movies that I think you and Charlie may enjoy. If you haven't seen it already, I highly recommend "Once". Great movie, and the music is even better. "Waitress" is another good one. "Gracie" is about a young girl who fights to allow women to play in a competitive men's soccer league. It didn't do very well at the box office, but it's a very worthwhile movie to watch. The last movie I'll suggest is called "Bella". I stayed up many nights thinking about it and what I would have done if placed in the same situation. It does have some religious overtones (mostly pro-life versus pro-choice), but it is very well done.

    Oh wait. I do have one more suggestions. "Slumdog Millionaire" is a MUST see. Must. See.

  8. Oh, I remembered another one. Really enjoyed Rabbit Proof Fence, very moving story.

    Sounds like a good program, by the way. I'm going to look into signing up for Netflix... we've been doing it the old fashioned way for years, but after a $13 fine for losing the last DVD for several days, I think Netflix is the way to go.

  9. slumdog millionaire - warning: sad

    the reader - i read the book and loved it. don't know how the movie is, but i am dying to see it

    little miss sunshine

    amelie (french - approx. 6 years old, but a must see)

  10. Lars and the Real Girl


    Grizzly Man

    come to mind. We canceled netflix because we were no longer watching many movies, but are thinking about canceling cable and getting netflix again....

    If we do, I'll refer back to this post, as many of these movies seem like we would BOTH enjoy.

  11. The Queen. It's amazing.

  12. Love Actually is a must see. It's got Chritmas holiday theme so maybe wait until December to watch it.
    Nanny McPhee for the kids. You'll also like it too.
    The Red Violin
    The Guru, silly and funny.
    Have you seen Sideways yet?
    Another wine themed movie is Bottle Shock.
    My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

    These are all movies we bought the DVD's and watch multiple times.

  13. I second Amelie and Little Miss Sunshine. Those are good ones too.

  14. We like historical nonfiction. That is my disclaimer. We're on a movie kick as well. In the past couple of weeks we've seen:

    Slumdog (which I know you've already seen)
    The Other Boelyn Girl (VERY good)
    The Wrestler (interesting, kind of depressing, my husband loved it and I keep thinking about it so it must have been decent)
    The Tupac movie (can't remember what it's called)
    He's Just Not That Into You (needed something light for a change!)

    It's nice to hear your thoughts on Trainspotting. I watched it in college when it first came out and it haunted me. I was working a lot in the newborn nursery that served one of the biggest projects in Chicago and I KNOW some of those babies were going to live in situations depicted in that movie. I was so disturbed I didn't sleep for a week. It made me physically ill. To this day I think that is the most horrifying and disturbing movie I have ever seen. I don't understand the following it has.

  15. Also, have you considered doing any TV series? Six Feet Under is awesome! We also enjoyed the Sopranos.

  16. I would suggest Saving Grace. It's a really great British comedy about a woman trying to save her estate after her husband dies destitute.

    Best in Show was also a very funny comedy.

  17. Love this post! Making a list for future reference. Thanks!!!!
    Haven't been to a movie theatre in 4 years so I can't help you out with suggestions. :(

  18. Since you raved about "Taken," then you must must MUST see (if you haven't already) "Man on Fire" starring Denzel Washington.

    I had always enjoyed Denzel, but never had I been what I would describe as a full-fledged Denzel Washington "fan." This movie converted me.

  19. Don't know what type of movies you like, but here are a few I don't hesitate to watch a few more times =)

    Man on Fire
    Blood Diamond
    The Interpreter
    The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne's Matt Damon at his best
    Ice Age (sequel wasn't that great)
    Miss Congeniality (love Sandra Bullock!)
    National Treasure

  20. I want to see 'Bella' was done by the guy who used to be out youth minister at church.

    fun note: the little girl (young version main character) is our friend from our local community theatre. She is a doll.

    Thank You for Not Smoking; haven't seen it but a few of my friends recommended it
    Shawshank Redemption; oldie but goodie favorite
    I second the vote for Man on Fire!

  21. Without a doubt, Slumdog Millionaire. I don't watch many movies but, this one is great. Also, Fireproof is a great one whether your marriage is great or on the rocks. The acting is horrible but, the message is powerful!

  22. I second "The Queen." And I'll add in that getting TV series on Netflix is a completely awesome way to see stuff. I'm hooked on "Psych" and my husband loves "Burn Notice".

    I had major issues with "E.T." as a child, so I really feel for Elizabeth! How about getting seasons of "The Muppet Show" for the kids? Mine LOVE it.

  23. Movie? What's a movie?! I don't think we have time to watch a movie up here. Too much stuff going on during the daylight to catch up from winter.

    BUT I will say that I went to the "city" this past weekend. (Yes, flew on a jet 700 miles just to watch a movie) My sister and I watched, "My sister's Keeper."

    OH. MY. GOD. I cried, nay, I BAWLED throughout the ENTIRE movie. I mean, the ENTIRE thing. I cried so hard I threw up. I cried so hard that I gleeked, and dribbled and gave my chest a rash. The poor people sitting behind us asked if I was OK. Seriously.

    People who have somewhat sick kids, or kids who are hospitalized should NOT watch this movie.

    I read the book a while back, actually I read it a few times, and it was much better than the movie, but Jodi Picoult's books always are. They took a few things out and changed the ending, but in all, it was a very emotional movie. Very good acting. Cameron Diaz (who normally I dislike) did a SPECTACULAR job as a crazy mother, who will do ANYTHING to save her terminally ill daughter. I can't say that I wouldn't have acted the same way. more novels. Sorry I can't help you with netflix, but when that movie comes out on DVD, and you're NOT on your it. In the daytime, with your kids in full view.


  24. Slumdog Millionaire
    Charlotte's Web (Dakota Fanning and Julia Roberts)
    Catch Me If You Can

  25. Thanks for the recommendations! I would definitely agree with the Slumdog Millionaire rec. We are currently working our way through some of the HBO series that we didn't see on tv... Big Love and Mad Men.

  26. We just got back from a little get away where we watched "Defiance" in our hotel room. Excellent movie.

  27. Last awesome movie I watched was "7 pounds"


  28. Thanks for the movie reviews and recommendations! Tom and I are just starting to watch them again, so it's great to have a list to work off of. I don't have any to share with you though, the few we have seen are listed. One of my all-time favorites though is 'Cinema Paradisa', love that one.

  29. This is great. However, haven't rented, bought, a video due to a broken dvd player - that the boys broke - which I keep forgetting to replace. Come to think of it I haven't been to the theatre in so long - I wouldn't know what to do! But.... when I do - I will surely refer to these list! This is great. ;-) Marg.

  30. THe Commitments, Doubt, Calendar Girls, Das Boot, Young at Heart and just about every movie that other people listed. Especially Slumdog.

  31. we've been doing the Red Box thing a lot lately - so convienent and cheap too! We loved Taken too!!
    things we've seen lately and liked:

    Gran Torino
    Dan in Real Life
    The Uninvited (okay)
    Valkyrie (okay)

    we're about to watch 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', which I've heard good things about, and next week we will see 'Push'. 'Transformers' was really good too, haven't seen the 2nd one yet though. And although the movie has so many flaw, I LOVE 'The Day After Tomorrow'

  32. This is great Jen....Thanks!! I am going to remember this and refer back to it.

  33. we only just joined netflix a couple of weeks ago and all I can say is that we've seen some weird movies. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", "Closer", and "No Country For Old Men". All of them weird, but good in a way. Movies that I have on the desk ready to be played are "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Reader". I have no idea what to expect from these two.

    My all time favorite movie is "Love Actually". But I also like "Two Weeks Notice" and "Erin Brockovich".

  34. This is great. Thanks for the reviews. Not on Netflix yet. I still go to Blockbuster.

    Most recently seen comedy:
    Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
    Fu@king funny.

    Tracy B

  35. Oh, and if you do watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall also watch the scenes that weren't in the movie. Fu@king funny.


  36. Netflix is the only reason we get to see movies anymore-love it! I recommend: Memento, Amelie, Frequency, and the LOST seasons.