I was sick this week and, luckily, was out of commission for only a day. I try to watch movies I've either missed or don't demand too much of me whenever I'm stuck at home. Here are a few I caught while I had the flu:
Idiocracy was surprisingly good, if not dark. I'm pleased that I won't be around in 2505 AD. It ends up a story more about our near future than the distant future. Corporatism has taken over and people believe both what is advertised to them and in the status of celebrity at the peril of all else. Some might consider Mike Judge's (King of the Hill, Office Space) estimation of Humanity's course unfair, but I'd argue that without pointing out our worse vices we would never change. Idiocracy serves as both great comedy and biting social commentary.
I remember seeing Little Buddha on the shelf at Blockbuster video (many a year ago) and was intrigued, but never watched it. The image of it stuck with me (through multiple distribution formats) and I was glad to see it available to stream on Showtime. It was a great film about people and the time we share together - the essence of what is meaningful between us. It also says a lot about Bertolucci's view of actors because I felt he could see in Chris Isaak the attributes that were akin to the boy who portrays his son. Isaak is far from a great actor, yet Bertolucci seems to have allowed him to inhabit the role, which makes him completely believable as a father who distrusts faith, but recognizes something that is good for his son in Buddhism. I did not for a second find Keanu Reeves unbelievable as Siddhartha. His skin color made no difference in portraying him. Vittorio Storaro's cinematography is as lush and emotive as ever. I'd love to see this film get a better transfer at some point because it has incredibly blown out whites that I doubt Storaro intended.
It helped that I was getting tired by this point. It made this movie much more enjoyable than it is. I felt that directing was not outside Stephen King's wheelhouse, but that he took on too much for a first film. His ego got the worst of him and it resulted in a boring movie with lackluster plot and characterization. The hilarious marketing trailer King made for it is still the best thing about this movie: