Monday, January 29, 2007

Netflix Roundup #2

  • Microcosmos. Bugs, bugs, bugs. Pro: No moron narrator. Con: Not good for watching while on the elliptical trainer because bugs move so, so slowly. Also, I forgot when I put it on my queue -- I'm not very fond of bugs and absolutely loathe caterpillars. So I watched the whole movie in fast forward and closed my eyes at the ikky parts.

  • The Station Agent. A taciturn dwarf, burned by the stupid prejudices of humans, retreats to life in a deserted railway station in rural new Jersey and meets wacky characters who accept him. I liked it a lot - it reminded me of A Man Without a Past, wherein a taciturn Finnish laborer loses his memory in a mugging and goes to live in a community of shipping containers and meets wacky characters. None of my neighbors are as much fun as these people.

  • 3rd Rock from the Sun. Aliens settle outside Chicago. As long as I don't watch too many of these in a row, they make me giggle helplessly. John Lithgow and French Stewart, in particular, are smashing.

  • To Serve Them All My Days. A BBC series. John Duttine, as a shell-shocked WWI veteran come to teach at a boys' school, is incredibly handsome and has a gorgeous speaking voice; the story, the writing, the directing, all spectacular. However, near the end of the disk I just watched, something horrible happened and I've had to give it up. Life is horrible enough. Too bad, this is 5-star tv.

  • Murphy Brown. Candace Bergen as a cocky tv newscaster with 80s big hair. The episodes are alternately funny and annoying. I love her voice and the music is great.

  • Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. Artsy framed riff on the "unfilmable" novel. It's not as much fun as Casanova and the artsy stuff = not as successful as advertised. After enjoying about half of it I started fastforwarding.

  • The Duchess of Duke Street. Girl of humble origins becomes a cook in a fancy house, meets famous people, and becomes a salty eminence. One of my favorite BBC series of all time. Gemma Jones is delightful and reminds me of my favorite aunt. (An aside: I'm soft on costume dramas and these are the best Edwardian outfits every seen on tv.) The quality of the individual storylines waxes and wanes but the show always keeps my attention.

  • Ladies in Lavender. Two fluttery elderly sisters meet a handsome young Polish violinist with amnesia (he washed up on their beach) and fall in love with him and try to keep him from rejoining the world. It's utterly ghastly, worth throwing out the window if dvds made a more satisfying clatter when they hit the ground. What a waste of Judy Dench and Maggie Smith.

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At 1:58 PM, Anonymous sylvia said...

Some friends and I have been getting together to watch The Duchess of Duke Street. We are loving it!

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen ''Under the Tiscan Sun?'' I think you'd like it. There are beautiful scenes of Italy and some handsome dudes. The story is a fictionalized account of a true story written by a college English prof who divorced, remarried, and bought an ancient home in Italy and renovated it. She also wrote ''Bella Tuscany'' and ''A year in the World.'' ---both are excellent accounts of her travels. Have you read anything by Bill Bryson? He writes very clever accounts of his travels . My daughter often buys me his books. He reminds a little bit of Dave Barry. Also, did you ever watch ''Northern Exposure?''-- lots of quirky Alaskans in that. The new show ''Men in Trees'' reminds me of it and is pretty funny. My kids love ''The Office.''~~~Susanlynn

At 8:01 AM, Blogger NinaK said...

My husband and I loved To Serve Them All My Days 20-odd years ago on Masterpiece Theatre. As for the Station Agent, I had high hopes for it, but I actually found it tedious/pretentious and returned the disk after watching about 20 minutes. It's usually the type of film I like.


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