Thursday, June 22, 2006

Journey Through the Netflix Queue

When someone is very analytical, movies cease to be bad. Movies provide so much for the senses, that there will always be something to capture your attention. If the acting is bad, you can look at the costume design. If the lighting is bad, you can amuse yourself for hours with entertaining anecdotes about how this film could possibly have been pitched for funding. (Somewhere, there is a group of dentists funding every terrible pitch their collective nephews have ever imagined.)

The downside to being analytical is that movies also cease to be good. That is, unless the movie has some aspect to it that just overwhelms you totally, that bypasses your mental slicer-and-dicer and just makes you feel something raw and real.

The more you watch movies, the rarer these sock-me-in-the-gut experiences are. How do die-hard movie addicts compensate for this increasing numbness to the nectar that fuels them?

Talking about movies.

The movie conversation is one of the lowest common denominators of small talk, and one that provides a nice little Rorschach test for the person you are talking to. The dangerous side of movie talk is, of course, the Movie Talk Shark. People who cannot have a normal conversation about anything besides movies can smell a movie conversation from three rooms away. They will corner you and devour your conversation. And if they think sense movie weakness, they will not stop until you are lifeless.

There are three ways to deal with socially- awkward- movie- snobs- who- have- cornered- you- because- you- are- talking- about- movies- but- who- really- don’t- want- to- talk- to- you- but- instead- bludgeon- you- with- pointless- trivia- to- prove- their- mental- or- movie- watching- dominance:

1) Beat them at their own game.

2) Tell them you are connected to the movie industry somehow.

3) Bore them.

The first way is the hardest, because you will have to be not only more knowledgeable about movies, you will have to be more opinionated about movies. This is not really recommended unless you happen to be one of those personalities who relishes in saying things like, “I poop on the career of Jim Carrey… Except for one promising turn in ‘Once Bitten,’ he has done nothing worth merit!!!” You also need to insist on typing and speaking with as many exclamation points as possible!!!!!!!!

The second way is fun, because all you have to do is mention, “My cousin the D-Girl” and this borderline psychopath will suddenly become the most fawning bootlicker on the face of the planet. The two disadvantages of this are 1) This person will follow you around like a puppy for the rest of your life, and 2) You will be “pitched” movie ideas from this point on. All of these movie pitches will either involve gangsters, dysfunctional families, misunderstood artistic guys who suddenly find gorgeous women that sleep with them on the first date, or dysfunctional gangster families with a misunderstood artistic guy in them and then this guy happens to land a gorgeous woman.

The third way is also fun, because there is nothing a Movie Talk Shark hates more than entertainment that is enjoyable, well-liked, and non-offensive. Start out by mentioning the pure cinematic genius of “Pretty Woman.” Then rhapsodize about “You’ve Got Mail” and then segway into a deep meditation of entire Meg Ryan milieu. Meg Ryan is the movie snob’s kryptonite.

Currently in the Netflix Queue at approximately the 200 to 300 positions:

  • Three Ages
  • The Navigator
  • Go West
  • The Twilight Zone: Vol. 36
  • Battling Butler
  • College
  • Steamboat Bill, Jr.
  • A Funny Thing Happened …
  • Tillie's Punctured Romance
  • Chaplin's Essanay Comedies: Vol. 2
  • Chaplin's Essanay Comedies: Vol. 3
  • Chaplin Mutuals: Vol. 2
  • The Twilight Zone: Vol. 37
  • Chaplin Mutuals: Vol. 3
  • The Twilight Zone: Vol. 38
  • Interiors
  • White Christmas
  • Bye Bye Birdie
  • The Twilight Zone: Vol. 39
  • A Night to Remember
  • A Man for All Seasons
  • Amistad
  • Bell, Book and Candle
  • Treasures of the Twilight Zone
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Godspell
  • Hair
  • How to Succeed in Business Without …
  • Oklahoma!
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • The Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • Tommy
  • The Alamo
  • And God Created Woman
  • Orchestra Rehearsal
  • The Swindle
  • Variety Lights
  • Tokyo Drifter
  • Shivers
  • Great Expectations
  • Laurence Olivier's Hamlet
  • The Mask of Zorro
  • Gray's Anatomy
  • The Long Good Friday
  • Andy Kaufman: The Midnight Special
  • Greeks: Crucible of Civilization
  • Get on the Bus
  • The Tao of Steve
  • Behind the Planet of the Apes
  • The Lost Weekend
  • The Fortune Cookie
  • Elephant Parts
  • Central Station
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • Diner
  • Silverado
  • Something Wild
  • Sling Blade
  • Aria
  • Dressed to Kill
  • Oliver Twist
  • Oliver Twist
  • My Best Girl
  • Tol'able David
  • Around the World with Orson Welles
  • Great Rupert
  • How to Marry a Millionaire
  • Pocketful of Miracles
  • La Notte
  • Jazz Casual: Basie, Gillespie, Coltrane
  • The Jazz Channel Presents B.B. King
  • With a Friend Like Harry
  • An American Werewolf in London
  • Road to Morocco
  • The Shootist
  • The Horse Soldiers
  • There's No Business Like Show Business
  • Brannigan
  • On the Waterfront
  • From Here to Eternity
  • The Euroshock Collection: Psychomania
  • Following
  • Rio Bravo
  • El Dorado
  • Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note
  • Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant Garde
  • Ocean's Eleven
  • High and Low
  • Rashomon
  • All the Vermeers in New York
  • Gandhi
  • John & Faith Hubley: Art and Jazz
  • American History X
  • Chopper
  • The Deep End
  • Local Hero
  • Welcome to the Dollhouse
  • Office Killer
  • Gosford Park
  • Iris
  • In the Bedroom
  • Swan Lake: Tchaikovsky (Natalia Makarova)
  • Happenstance
  • The Shipping News
  • Robin and Marian
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Contempt

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