Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What's In the Netflix Queue #23

With quite a few days worth of vacation and travel coming up, the movies coming to me will experience a delay. Nonetheless, the next ten titles:

1. Tough Guys Don't Dance- One of writer Norman Mailer's directing gigs starring Ryan O' Neal and Isabella Rossellini. I can't say I've seen any of Mailer's directorial efforts.
2. Sunday Bloody Sunday- John Schlesinger's sexual chess game starring Peter Finch and Glenda Jackson.
3. Spiders- Thanks to some ongoing discussion at The Listening Ear blog about Fritz Lang, I've decide to delve into his work. I've seen the highpoints ("M", Fury") but, sadly, long overdue for everything else he's done. Time to remedy that. Starting towards the beginning, this film from 1919 is "the earliest surviving film of Metropolis director Fritz Lang. The Spiders represents the first two chapters of a planned four-part serial (the final two parts were never made). Armed with a secret map, adventurer Kai Hoog (Carl de Vogt as a silent version of Indiana Jones) battles gangsters and femme fatales to find an Incan treasure. The film, which co-stars Lil Dagover (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), was thought lost until its 1978 restoration."
4. Chinese Coffee- This is real oddity. Directed by Al Pacino and essentially a two-actor character study (with Jerry Orbach), I've never heard of it. I admired Pacino's other directorial work "Looking For Richard" so it's worth a shot.
5. Blind Mountain- Lang Yi's other "blind" film named "Blind Shaft" was an engrossing side of Chinese life about down and out mine shaft workers. This one is described as "The promise of a good-paying job lures a young Chinese woman into a horrifying predicament in this drama. College student Bai Xuemei (Lu Huang) awakens in a remote village to find she's been sold into a marriage that is slavery in disguise. Her resistance to the repulsive "husband" and his family only results in beatings and rape. With hope running out and allies few, Bai undertakes one final dramatic stand against her oppressors." Li obviously trades in depression!
6. Night Shift- Ron Howard is very hit and miss with me. I really love some things (The Missing", "Parenthood", "Gung Ho" and "The Paper") and then a total "meh" shades so much of his other work ("Frost/Nixon", "A Beautiful Mind", "Ed TV"), but this is early 80's Howard with Michael Keaton. As a kid, I think I watched "Night Shift" on late night TV, but does that really count if it doesn't stick with you?
7. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse- Second Fritz Lang film.
8. Wrong Is Right- This is one of those films you find when searching through an actor's name on Netflix. This one stars Sean Connery and it's described as the following: "Sean Connery (burlesquing his own super-cool image) is a globetrotting television correspondent who uncovers a terrorist plot to sell a nuclear bomb to a Middle Eastern country. The plan has a ripple effect all the way up to the U.S. president, his prime political opponent and a swaggering general who's too cocky for his -- and his country's -- own good. Directed by Richard Brooks, the movie co-stars Rosalind Cash and Robert Conrad."
9. Spies- Third Fritz lang film from late 20's about a banker trying to overthrow the government and the couple trying to stop him.
10. Four Flies on Gray Velvet- Recently released Dario Argento film. I'll watch anything he does.