Saturday, March 15, 2008

Battle of the Netflix Stars #1

I really haven't had much movie coverage on this here blog. It's not because I don't like movies, but it's just that they're so expensive now that I usually wait until they come out on DVD. I never rented with that much frequency, but now that I'm a proud member of Netflix nation, I can finally understand all of the movie references that the cool kids are talking about.

I've decided to start a new feature here at The Pop Eye, called (obviously) "Battle of the Netflix Stars." Since I've already seen several flicks via this wonderful service, I thought doubling up on the movie reviews would save me some time and energy. But then I thought, hey, why not make these movies fight each other for my love all the time? And thus, a new recurring topic was born.

Bout #1: Battle of the Indie Horror Flicks

Movie:The Devil's Backbone

The Abandoned

Director:Guillermo del ToroNacho Cerdå
Star Power:None (but there's a hot Spanish dude to make up for it).None.
Plot:After his father dies in the Spanish Civil War, Carlos comes to live at an isolated orphanage. He sees a lot of strange things, including an unexploded bomb in the middle of the courtyard, a very shifty (but hot) caretaker, and the ghost of Santi, a boy who mysteriously disappeared from the orphanage years earlier. Santi starts visiting Carlos regularly to warn him that many people will soon die. Are his warnings the threats of an avenging spirit or predictions of the very real dangers of war?A woman travels to Russia in search of information about her birth mother, who died shortly after she was born. Upon arriving at the creepy family farm, she realizes that something weird is going on, and that she's not the only one in search of answers.
Pros:Well-written and acted, beautifully filmed, creepy atmosphere, sub-plots that are just as interesting as the main plot, no story lulls. (Oh, and did I mention the hot caretaker?)The voice-over at the end was kind of funny.
Cons:It's subtitled.The voice-over at the end wasn't supposed to be funny.
My Thoughts:Don't let the one "con" scare you away - I barely noticed the subtitles because I was so completely engrossed in the film. I really don't even think this belongs in the "horror" genre, because it's more of a drama with a supernatural element, like The Sixth Sense, but even more rooted in reality. There's something for everyone here: chills, intrigue, war, friendship, unrequited love and even a little humor.I must have said, "This doesn't make any f'ing sense" about 20 times out loud while watching this piece of garbage. The writers, Karim Hussain & Nacho Cerdà, must have just ripped off a bunch of ideas from The Twilight Zone and movies like The Others and Identity, and jammed them into this jumbled mess. There is no character development, so you have no sympathy for these idiots and "the twists" are so easy to figure out that you just can't wait for everyone to be dead already. Take a pass on this one. I'm sure you can think of something more interesting to do with those 94 minutes of your life.
Final Grade:AF


Distributorcap said...

i am glad you watch so I dont have to 8-)

like you i cannot remember the last movie i went to -- way too expensive.

Bluez said...

so are you gonna watch Top Chef? *hint*

You've only missed one episode that played all weekend...

I was a member of netflix for years. Now I get out of work so late they started making money offa ME. I DVR everything now.

I did catch a really good flick on demand called "Gone baby gone". check it out.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You used a chart! Your coolness factor has just skyrocketed.

I actually like subtitles (makes me feel all cool and indie), so I'll be keeping an eye out for The Devil's Backbone.

Molie said...

I watched The Devil's Backbone on the advice of a freind and thought it was very good. I think it was one of the first movies with subtitles I watched, I thought the subtitles would bug me but didn't.

Because of this movie and other good (and not so) foreign movies I've rented from Netflix I am no longer afraid of movies with subtitles.

Suze's Sass said...

As a card carrying Netflix member, I welcome you. I watched "No Country for Old Men" and "Awake" this weekend. Personally I didn't like either of them.

BTW, your chart - AWESEOME.

Travis said...

This is a great idea for a new feature, with a chart and grades and the whole works.


FranIAm said...

You've got mad skillz sister.

Someone should so seriously be paying you to write.

Bubs said...

I hope you're going to make this into a regular feature. This was excellent.

fran said...

"Devil's Backbone" sounds suspiciously similar to "The Orphanage", which Del Toro produced but did not write or direct. Hmmm....

mellowlee said...

I love your new feature. Like Barb, I like subtitles too hehe! I will watch for The Devil's Backbone as well, it sounds pretty good!

SkylersDad said...

Nice table! Strong with the force your HTML skills are!

BeckEye said...

Gee, if I had known that all it took to impress you people was a table, I'd have been making tables for everything! I'm changing this blog's name to The Pop Table immediately.

Red said...

Welcome to Netflix. It's like crack, I swear.

I'm a big Guillermo del Torro fan. I'm totally adding this to my queue. Thanks for the review.

pistols at dawn said...

I remember a time when I watched movies. It was called "the 80s," and it was full of magic.


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