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Cheaping out on WiFi and Netflix


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    My neighbor must have put in Wifi recently because all during holiday, I was able to stream Netflix to my HD tv….gorging myself on films I otherwise would not have watched. I just don’t like to pay for internet outside the office, but suddenly I am ADDICTED to the HD fish tank app, the weather channel app, Friendly for iPad app, the Smurfs app, the photo gallery app, the Kindle app… I also found, as one NPR reporter put it “the Intimacy” of my iPad made viewing streaming film in the palm of my hand delicious. Snow falling, movie at hand. Not a bad holiday. Here’s some of what I watched:

    Supersize Me: made me worry about my arteries and desire a Big Mac simultaneously

    The Twilight Samurai: sad, good

    24 City: couldn’t recognize Chengdu as Chengdu, but did recognize the principle

    The Office Season 6(US version): probably the best Christmas viewing ever! So cringeably wonderful. And, what is wrong with Dwight?

    Up: made me cry. wonderful. brilliant. “But it’s a talking dog!!!!” and “It’s funny because a squirrel gets dead”.

    Drunken Master; The young Jackie Chan is a handsome ballerina

    Man, Woman and the Wall: I have no idea, but kinda hot-ish Japanese contemporary

    Angels and Demons: No way I was gonna pay real money to see that thing. They also changed it from the novel: the main character does not use his windbreaker to leap from a helicopter and land in the Tevere unscathed

    Onibaba: almost a really good film. Grain waving in the wind is hypnotically beautiful

    The Third Man: Welles was a genius. And, his take on dialogue: talking OVER other conversations-just amazing-the only one ever to do that!

    Donnie Darko: really wished I hadn’t seen that, depressing, not cool

    Cake Boss wish I had not seen that, either, boring

    Madonna: Sticky and Sweet Tour: I had dance class Christopher Flynn and Madonna was another student in the class back in the day, no lie, so I took a peep. Dude, she is physically fit!!! The Klezmer band and Abu Graib outfits…? Huh?

    Exit Through the Gift Shop: strongly recommended to everyone. Banksy is a genius, and the art world is hilarious. Lots of ideas: art as commodity, authenticity v.s. ersatz art…what is success?

    Mr. Hulot’s Holiday: Jacques Tati is silly, but I like seeing a French beach resort from back in the day…loved the cars, clothes, attitudes…! Soundtrack had alarming effects that, with surroundsound were startling-and not in a good way. Turn off your quality sound system for viewing.



    Nice things you got in your list, Coco, neighbourhood is full of surprises!

    I think I heard something about Up and your comment could make me look into this, though there are many things to watch, yet.

    Onibaba I discovered last month, it was part of a gift I made to myself (for a change) from Eureka’s Masters of Cinema. And I see it as a great film, not only for its awesome susuka grass in the wind, but also for its awesome characters crawling and losing themselves in the susuka grass, and for its awesome metaphors amidst the susuka grass.

    Didn’t watch The Third Man in a long time, and I almost remember more easily the great Anton Karas musics (with his zither) than the other great things but I couldn’t agree more with you on the genius comment.

    I wouldn’t say that Donnie Darko is not an overrated film but, from my memories, it was funny. Don’t you like rabbits?

    For the last (but not least), do you mean by silly that the director Jacques Tati is silly (thus meaning that he failed on this film, except for the adorable old french context) or that the character Mr Hulot is silly (thus meaning that he made his point)?

    Have you ever seen other films from Tati?



    Fabien, see Up. It’s that cheesy, liberal, sentimental but wonderful kinda film…I cried in the first half hour, and guffawed out loud later! Ed Asner does the voice and is wonderful! And I want a talking dog!

    Donnie Darko is about a suicide…whatever trappings there may be…it’s too dark for me.

    And, yes, correction: Mr. Hulot is silly. Not hilarious, but pleasant enough for The reasons described above.

    Finally, I saw the original Willie Wonka and found it slightly sadistic…and here all this time I was thinking that was Johnny Depp’s fault. Sorry Johnny.



    Sounds like you had a great Christmas! I didn’t get the chance to see much, too busy… well, I’m not sure what I was too busy with, but my only viewing was being forced to watch various soap opera Christmas omnibuses. I am not fully up to speed with Coronation Street and Eastenders (I still haven’t a clue what was going on).

    Of those above I’ve seen, I agree pretty much what Coco says. Twilight Samurai is really good, one of the better recent films from Japan I think. I even liked the cute kids in it, which is rare for me. Up is brilliant, but my one ‘issue’ with all Pixar movies is that they always seem to slump a bit in the final act. I don’t know whether it is a bit of creative exhaustion at the end, or whether they feel they can do what they want creatively in the film so long as they give a suitably family friendly, holiday ending, but I think they would reach perfection if they could only give one of their films an ending as good as the first or second acts of Up or Wall-E… or indeed, pretty much anything they’ve made.

    I loved The Third Man when I saw it many years ago. Oddly enough, I was less impressed on my last viewing, last year. I seemed to see its faults more. I’m not altogether sure why that is – among other things, I really disliked Joseph Cottons performance. I wonder if its one of those films where the brilliance of some of the set pieces distracts us from the awkwardness of other elements of the film (I’ve often felt this way about Hitchcock films).

    On the urging of a friend who is a fanatical fan, I watched Donny Darko for the first time about two years ago, and didn’t ‘get’ it at all, I didn’t see what the fuss is all about. I must watch again sometime. Over the summer I watched some Ms. Hulot films for the first time with a friend who usually hates anything ‘different’. She really liked them, I was mildly disappointed. Go figure.

    Oh, I did watch John Hustons The Dead last weekend with a friend. Its almost disappeared into obscurity and wasn’t widely seen at the time, but I still think its a genuine masterpiece, I find it more wonderful every time I watch it. Mind you, its my favourite short story too (from Joyce). For me, its the perfect literary adaption.



    Wow, that’s a nice list of films there, Coco!

    Of the ones I’ve seen:

    Your reaction to Supersize Me is almost exactly what I had, even if I rarely eat fast food. I still remember the craving for a burger I had after watching it!

    I have grown quite tired of the Pixar formula so I didn’t quite find Up as magical as some of their earlier ones. Monsters, Inc. is still my favourite.

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed the silliness of Angels & Demons when I saw it. I actually went to the cinema to see it, but that was solely because of Ewan McGregor (speaking of whom, I Love You Phillip Morris is worth catching).

    Third Man is absolutely brilliant indeed.

    I think I just don’t understand something about something, as the almost universally positive reaction to Exit Through the Gift Shop has left me a little puzzled. To me it felt like a very mediocre documentary about a very interesting subject. Anyway, I do like some of Banksy’s (other) works.

    I quite like Donnie Darko even if it doesn’t necessarily make sense. As a mood piece it is great. Or well, I liked it anyway — both the original and the director’s cut. I have never seen it as a film about suicide though. My main take is that it is a film about saving your loved ones, which if I understand the director’s commentary on the director’s cut DVD is similar to Richard Kelly’s own interpretation of the film, although our views are not exactly one-to-one, his being a little bit more superherocomicbookish. It’s also one of those films that you notice new things about after numerous viewings, which is neat. I’m not a huge fan, but I do like the film. It’s actually one of the few films that I can watch even after having already seen it more than once.

    Like Ugetsu, I’ve been too busy to see much of anything, while not being entirely sure what exactly I have been too busy with. I just got home from a few days of travel though, which is why I haven’t had the time to respond to the No Regrets for Our Youth threads — something I’ll try to do tomorrow, I think.

    Actually, I think that the only films (apart from the Film Club titles) that I have seen lately were René Clair’s Le Million and the much more recent Little Fockers. Both were equally silly and entertaining, and while neither really left a big mark, they were both well worth the effort of keeping my eyes open for the duration. I think that the former is perhaps a little overrated, while the latter is perhaps a litte underrated.



    I made friends of the fuzzy slippers and fleece robe during the holiday. Most of us were snowed in, unable to move, so it was just as well…this gift of WiFi was like a Christmas miracle.

    Loved reading your insights and additional films…

    Watched TIMER last night, and enjoyed the idea of a timer that counts down to zero-and within 24 hours of that you meet your soul mate. Complications ensue. Light, yes, but it was awright.

    In the Mood for Love: Wong Kar Wai’s 2000’s version of a ravishingly visual 1960’s Hong Kong. GREAT clothes, great color combinations…amdist some funk and grit. Neighbors begin to realize that their spouses are having an affair with one another. As they think and discuss-they fall in love with one another, too-but repress their emotions. A kinda Remains of the Day but better looking, and more at stake!

    Gotta go back and see The Dead. Saw it on the big screen, then the little-long ago. Remember it as dark brown sauce with Angelica Huston. If you say so, Ugetsu, I’ll give it a peep.




    dark brown sauce

    Thats as good a description of Dublin in winter that I’ve seen. (incidentally, the house where its set it just one block from where I live – although the film was made on a California sound stage!)

    In the Mood for Love is one of my all time favourite films. Dreamy stuff. I even liked 2046, which most people seem not to like so much. My favourite Won Kar Wai film though is Chungking Express.

    Oh, and you mentioned earlier Onibaba. Amazing film – that and Woman of the Dunes were the two films I watched about three years ago that really turned me onto exploring Japanese cinema.



    Ugestu – I haven’t seen the film The Dead,, but I agree with you about the short story on which it’s based.



    I’ve got three days until my Netflix freeview expires, so last days are filled with:

    Au Revoir les Enfants-I guess I like seeing French kids at a boarding school awright. It was more beautiful than I remembered. Maybe I had it mixed up with the 400 Blows? What I liked was the bit about the night falling, two kids lost in the woods. That felt amazing…forgive me, lord, but is it possible to be jaded with personal reminiscences of the Holocaust such as Schindler’s List and The Garden of the Fitzi-Contini and Life is Beautiful? Am I bad? And, despite lumping them together, (I know they’re so vastly different, with some excellences and beauties amongst them…and, I know that the intent is respectful..I just feel like a creep watching films about this) …tell me, is it allright to be uncomfortable with the genre?

    I wonder if Louis Malle had to make that film to show he was a little stinker in general, not particularly an anti-semite? Anyone else wonder about it as an autobiographical statement?

    I saw Jetee– a strange experiment with only one filmed scene-the rest just stills. Oh wait, Ken Burns. Well, Jetee is before…it’s 1961, black and white, kinda post-apocalyptic grey. Not as scary as The Road. Has a neat ending (as in tidy).

    Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama was a little history/bio leading up to a short interview. I heard the Dalai Lama speak a couple years ago, and I’ve been to Tibet a few times, and I’ve read a lot. So, yes, it was very interesting even if I knew the history…reminded me of moments with monks in Ganden, of the light in Drepung, and I love the Dalai Lama’s voice! Like a gurgling brook with high bubbling notes and deep rumbles.

    Grey Gardens oh my goodness. It is a must-see..very strange and disturbing, and I don’t suppose I’d seen film, woithout this.

    Did I mention The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus? I really love Terry Gilliam. One of my prized memories is loving Baron von Munchausen so much, then having dinner at Charlie’s Crab in Grand Rapids, and across from me is John Neville having dinner with a couple of comely young men. He must have been performing locally in a travelling production of “My Fair Lady” as Professor Higgins. I couldn’t help overhear his dissing the leading lady (looked like a cow and had a horrible voice, according to Sir John) and saying, most memorably, in a tender way, “I suppose I was really singing to you…” to one of the young men.

    Sorry. Back to Parnassus-I loved the visuals, and loved, loved loved Christopher Plummer-he was magnificent and I was glad he was well and alive. Everyone loves him in Sound of Music, right? He’s like how you feel about your own dad. Too stern, too serious, but also lovely, loving. What movies need is more Christopher Plummer. And, the solution-after Heath Ledger’s death-to have three actors fill his role-that was genius. Wonderful! It not only works, it worked better than had Heath survived (though I am awfully sorry he passed. I thought he was lovely in his previous films, but looked quite beaten and physically ill in this…way older than 28…more like 45). What it allows is for the different elements of each actor to play out as different character traits within the character. Wow, I liked that.

    Finally, I watched Gojira and that was a heck of a blast! Takashi Shimura is so awesome, and the film was quite surprising-especially the “oxygen-destroying” secret weapon and the boiling fish in the fish tank. I laughed and loved Shimura bemoaning that all they wanted to do was kill Gojira and not study him. Was the guy in the Gojira suit on downers? He moved soooo slowwwwwly. So great.

    And, the scenes of Tokyo burning were very good. If technology had not advanced past this, I could look at models all day.



    Wow, I’ve spent a half hour trying to remove the back slashes without success. Sorry all.



    Coco: Wow, I’ve spent a half hour trying to remove the back slashes without success. Sorry all.

    It’s not your fault, Coco. Something odd seems to be going on with the server. I’ll see what I can do.

    Edit: Seems to be fixed now. I have manually edited the backslashes out of the affected posts (except for these last two — may their dead bodies be a warning to any backslashes that have any ideas of attacking us in the future!).



    At least, you have not been backlashed, Coco, it could have been worst.

    If you have not already solved the problem, Vili, you should look into server side PHP option magic_quotes_gpc, bad practice and obsolete, but it could have been activated by mistake. It “protects” some special characters like quotes from text entered via forms by adding backslashes before them, and you can check this option with the PHP function get_magic_quotes_gpc(); (returns 0 or 1). It might be changed by your host or in an adequate administration console proposed by your host. (php.ini)

    According to a book I did not read (Conversation avec Louis Malle), Au revoir les enfants is partly based on Mr Malle’s life, essentially a Gestapo raid, and he made this fiction upon it, with Julien behaving “ideally”, like himself wished he had reacted at that time.

    I can’t tell what is or is not right, but I certainly can understand the feelings of uncomfort or contradiction, as long as it is an emotionally very strong part of history and we have yet so much to learn about it.

    In my experience, Louis Malle is a very good cineast, for the film you cited and for others, like The Fire Within, which is probably not his most renown.

    On the same part of history, Night and Fog is still waiting for me to watch it; I appreciate “pure” documentary, too.

    I did not watched Grey Gardens, but I was already more or less heading to it, after watching Salesman, from the same Maysles brothers: incredible and disturbing documentary, intended to follow and show true people in their real life, trying to make them forget the camera, which goal was, I think, a little revolution, then.

    Fell in love with Baron von Munchausen some years ago, also.

    I feared The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus being a commercial feature, though I must say that it was not the case – in my eyes – with his last film, Tideland and I must also say that I like Mr Plummer (last apparition for me in Inside Man, I think).

    Same feeling than you with Gojira, which is one of the films which reinforced my admiration in Takashi Shimura, and I probably went on this one after having watched a few Kurosawa’s films with him.

    (Did I mention that I bought a second version of Kagemusha just to get the scene with Shimura although this film not being in my favorites?)



    Fabien — magic quotes was my first guess as well. They are turned off on the server level, but WordPress turns them back on for the software. The strange thing is that nothing had changed anywhere, either at the server end of things or with my installation.

    What’s even more bizarre is that while I was still thinking what to do (an ugly hack seemed like the best option), it all suddenly started to work again as it should. Again, nothing was changed.

    Maybe it was some sort of a settings caching issue or who knows what. I’m just glad if things work again from here on.

    To get back to the topic, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is one of those films that I had to stop watching after about 20 minutes as it didn’t engage me at all. I tend to have mixed feelings about Gilliam in general. A bit like with Tim Burton, I used to love Gilliam’s films, but at some point I somehow lost the ability to appreciate them. Now they just seem tedious, even if I still love the man and what he stands for.

    I’ll have to check many of the films that Coco has mentioned in this thread. But Gojira is awesome, indeed.

    A couple of days ago I watched Journey Through the Past, which is sort of an experimental music film that Neil Young directed in 1974. I would best describe it as an 80 minute Monty Python episode without the jokes but with a lot of music. Even if it has no obvious jokes, it is a very funny film, but in a very neilyoungish kind of way.

    I’ve actually been on total a Neil Young trip this past month, slowly reading his biography and chronologically progressing through his catalogue. I know all the albums by heart of course, but listening to them (as well as the various live bootlegs that I have hoarded over the years) while living his life through the book is quite an experience. So, next on my viewing list is: Human Highway.



    Glad the slashes are gone, and sorry it caused you to do housework, Vili! I didn’t know what was up.

    Vili, I can understand you not loving …Dr. Parnassus, the same way I can understand people finding Fellini tedious, but more so (more so understandable).

    And, I feel similarly about Tim Burton. I liked him loads more when I thought he grew up in my neighborhood. Solidarity with one’s mates. But probably the one film I wish I had never ever ever seen was Sweeney Todd . That mouldy, rotting, tattered and disheveled aesthetic that both Gilliam and Burton share(d) makes me fall into dreams with Gilliam and gives me the creeps with Burton. Worst scene ever; finding a finger in the muffin. URrrrggggh.

    Fabien, thanks very much for the insight into Malle’s quasi-autobiographical relationship to the lead of Au Revoir…. Maybe this is just ego, but it feels quite nice to guess at something and have it confirmed.

    Vili, I’ve not seen any Neil Young films, but the funniest, most hilarious impression of Neil Young’s vocal stylings was Jimmy Fallon’s: <iframe title=”YouTube video player” class=”youtube-player” type=”text/html” width=”640″ height=”390″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/KpxZwbPcA38&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowFullScreen></iframe>



    Sorry Coco, embedding YouTube videos doesn’t work at the forums here (security reasons). But yes, Jimmy Fallon’s Neil Young impressions have been pretty funny!

    I watched Human Highway. It was very camp, quite bizarre at points, and apparently made without an actual script or plan. Neil is a surprisingly good actor though, or at least he was good at goofing around in character. Next on the viewing list: Neil’s 2004 audio novel / rock opera film Greendale. (But I first need to get through 20 years with the biography.)



    Hmmm. My colleague works at our university radio station on weekends and has a music show…he’s a big fan of Neil Young.

    Me…? …meh.

    Recently watched Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog. Just freaking lovely. Surprisingly fun.



    Seraphine last night.

    Brown sauce and breezy blue weather in succession with a washerwoman-painter and a gallery owner/critic. I am not sure why that film had to be made. Looking at a middle-aged woman gazing rather stupidly at; nature, canvas, panel, people….what am I supposed to get from that?

    I guess this was supposed to be an art film-something that took a non-Holywood-ized character to examine. But, lord, there are so very many, many more interesting stories to tell!


    Oh yeah, she goes nuts in the end.



    Ugetsu: In the Mood for Love is one of my all time favourite films. Dreamy stuff. I even liked 2046, which most people seem not to like so much. My favourite Won Kar Wai film though is Chungking Express.

    Yesterday, I watched 2046. I’m not sure if I’d consider it a good film, but I liked it. Having never seen In the Mood for Love probably put me in a disadvantage. Although my wife had seen it and remembered liking it a lot, and still had a hard time finishing 2046 with me, and didn’t really have much positive to say about it afterwards. But I myself quite liked the narrative complexity.

    Then again, this summer I have mainly been watching Jean-Luc Godard’s early films, so you could say that I have been practising enduring unconventional film techniques!



    Glad you liked 2046 Vili – do catch up on In the Mood for Love, its a much better film.

    I’ve had a lazy weekend catching up on some films. I got around to seeing The Wild Bunch a couple of days ago (directors cut). Its really good, although showing its age a bit. The Seven Samurai influence is very clear right through the film. I’ve already mentioned in another thread 35 Rhum (shots of rum), which is wonderful.

    I’m home now from the cinema, after seeing a Korean film Poetry. It really is outstanding – its hard even to describe the plot – it revolves around an elderly grandmother who is in early stages dementia who is both trying to lean something about poetry while struggling with the knowledge that her teenaged grandson may be a rapist. It has a deeply moving ending, one of the best films of the year for me without a doubt. One review has called it a kind of ‘Ozu plus….’, and I’d be inclined to agree.



    Sounds amazing, Ugestu. I work with two Korean programs, and have a burgeoning interest in visiting (only have been once, briefly). Poetry is on my list.

    Well, I’d been traveling this summer, and on the flight from Istanbul to NYC I watched Country Strong, and though I am “meh” about Gwynneth Paltrow, I thought this was a pretty amazing portrait of someone suffering from a severe depression. The saddest thing was the spontaneous dance with her husband at the children’s hospital and then, it devolving into tears and sadness. If you have ever loved anyone who suffered from depression, seems as if that overwhelmng, monolithic pain was depicted just about right. On the way over to Zurich I watched The Adjustment Bureau, and I was loving me some Matt Damon. Part matrix, part iPad app, I enjoyed almost all of it!

    Night before last finally saw No Country for Old Men on television. My compliments to the chef…some tasty stuff, boys. Anybody whose real name begins with the last letter of the alphabet is a badass, but this one spells it with the “J” so he must be a pussycat, right? His hair…hilarious! LOVE that kind of touch. Javier Bardem should make more films. Now.

    Real life is unseemly, gawky, violent and strange. A film that includes that aesthetic gets my vote.



    I think you are the first person I’ve read, coco, to give a good review – it got just 20% on Rottentomatoes. Although I suspect (I haven’t seen the film), that a lot of people just couldn’t accept having Paltrow play a country singer.

    Coco, I think you’ll really like Poetry – oddly enough, there is another Korean film I haven’t seen called Mother which has a very similar story line and is supposed to be excellent as well, its on my dvd list. I don’t know what it is about Korean film makers, but they seem to have this rare ability to mix and mash genres and tones to brilliant effect.

    I’ve a bit of a dvd glut at the moment. I watched Fistful of Dollars for the first time since I was a teenager and loved it as much as I did then – I’ll post about this later (I watched my new blu-ray Yojimbo last night and its stunning). And I watched Kick-Ass, which is a film I think I’m not supposed to like, but I loved every second of it. The mad thing about it is that so many critics dissed it as just another comic book film, without seeming to realise its the anti-comic book film. It takes Superman, Batman and Spiderman to their logical conclusions, and sees what happens. Its great.

    And coming to the States (I’m not sure about Europe yet), is a hilarious Irish film called The Guard, which to everyones surprise in Ireland has had great reviews in the US (it was received a little sniffily here, but was a huge box office hit). It is a sort of semi-Tarantino style take on the buddy cop movie.



    Ugetsu, Mother is in my Netflix que…speaking of which…Netflix is now splitting it’s biz, losing all Criterion, (they’re going over to HULU) and doing a separate fee for instant streaming v.s. in the mail dvd. I guess I will have to watch what I can before the split goes into effect, and then decide if I still need Netflix at all…oh, and my guilty pleasure…Jackass



    Coco, I’ve just watched Mother (this conversation reminded me I wanted to see it – I never saw it in my great local dvd store, but I asked and the guy immediately produced it from behind the desk – I love that place!). Its fantastic, the quality of Korean film making continues to amaze me. The film manages to be a thriller, occasionally a slapstick comedy, a horror film, and a stunning meditation on the nature of evil (quite like the same directors Memories of Murder). Sometimes it manages that all in the same scene. The cinematography, sound and editing is outstanding.

    Oh, and in terms of catching up with films I keep meaning to see, I watched the Argentinian film Nine Queens last night. Its a very slick and clever film about con artists with a genuinely great twist at the end – not in the same class as Mother, but still a very entertaining film.



    The film manages to be a thriller, occasionally a slapstick comedy, a horror film, and a stunning meditation on the nature of evil…

    Ugetsu, now I am going to really have to see it, sooner rather than later.



    Coco, as I’m a sucker for science fiction films (and usually terribly disappointed by them), I saw The Adjustment Bureau when it came out. It was one of those few science fiction films that I actually wasn’t disappointed by.

    This spring was actually quite good science fiction wise, as Duncan Jones’s Source Code was also pretty good. That’s probably more good scifi released within a month than there was in the previous five years.

    I’m not sure how you guys like Atom Egoyan — he seems to divide opinions — but a few days ago I finally watched Adoration (2008) and really liked it. It wasn’t perfect of course, not like Ararat (2002) which I consider one of my favourite films. But it was really good, and thought-provoking, as almost everything by Egoyan. Next I need to catch up with his latest, the 2009 film Chloe.

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