Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Netflix for the Recovering Knee Surgery Patient

I saw on Facebook today that a friend is due for some knee surgery, and is looking for movie rental suggestions while she recovers. So I took the opportunity to scan our Netflix account from the past eighteen months or so, and to pull out a list of movies that Monique and I particularly enjoyed for one reason or another:

Documentaries - Something for the obsessive, no matter what the obsession.
Helvetica - Pretty lightweight flick about obsession with the "Helvetica" typeface. Particularly interesting if you're at all involved in publishing or graphic design.
The King of Kong - Great flick about obsession with Donkey Kong.
Wordplay - Great flick about obsession with crossword puzzles.
Spellbound - Great flick about obsession with spelling bees.
Trekkies - Great flick about obsession with Star Trek.

Romantic Comedies and Dramas - in order of increasing heaviness
Enchanted - Lightweight and fun.
Julie & Julia - This movie will make you eat.
Once - A really nice musical slice of life in Dublin.
Vitus - Starts slowly, but grows on you.
The Visitor - Another film that starts slowly, but grows on you. Great acting.
In Bruges - Oddly entertaining and funny, despite the violence. Or maybe because of it. I'm not sure.
Milk - Some great acting turns in this one. Especially interesting if you've ever lived in San Francisco or been involved in politics.
Gran Torino - Clint Eastwood is the toughest retiree in Detroit. You do not want to mess up his lawn.
Frozen River - Mesmerizing and tense.
The Hurt Locker - Tense.
Sin Nombre - Pretty tough flick about gang violence and emigration in Mexico.

Animated - Two great recent animated flicks

Short Flicks - Really, any of these short collections are well worth the time. Short film collections might be doubly welcome to somebody who has a short attention span because she's on painkillers.
Paris, Je T'aime - Sixteen short flicks set in Paris.
2007 Academy Award Nominated Short Films
2006 Academy Award Short Films Collection
2005 Academy Award Short Films Collection

Sci-Fi and Action
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog - A supervillain musical comedy starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion? Genius!
District 9 - Weird, but fun.
Let the Right One In - The greatest teenage Scandinavian vampire flick of all time!

Holiday - Clark Gable and Katherine Hepburn, directed by George Cukor. Need I say more?
Forrest Gump - If you've never seen it, well worth the time.
The Third Man - Great Orson Welles film noir starring Joseph Cotten.


  1. Nice movie line-up here, John. Of course I can't resist commenting on movies. If your friend is like me and appreciates a hyper-girlie movie about British royalty with one romance with a hunky guy and lots and lots of dresses, then she would like The Young Victoria, recently out on DVD. There's no mystery about how this one ends but it's fun and satisfying.

    - Sue K.

    P.S. In answer to your earlier question: like the blog, keep the poetry coming. Keep the access for us folks who are not on Twitter or Facebook.

  2. What a funny list of movies!
    Is this really what we've seen over the last year? Funny list.

  3. It doesn't include the TV series, or a few that we deemed to be clunkers. For example, I couldn't honestly recommend "2012," though I suppose it might be considerably enhanced if you're on serious painkillers!

  4. We just watched Wall-E Saturday night for the first time, and really enjoyed it. Gran Torino too.

    Gretchen reported that 2012 sucked. She never felt like she knew any of the characters and therefore didn't care if they died or not. So, even though I'm on pain killers, I think I'll skip it.

    And I would add No Impact Man to the list under Documentaries.

  5. The first 2/3rd of "2012" was pretty fun, especially with the subwoofer turned up high to enhance the rumble of the world imploding. But it got kinda silly after that.

    I felt I knew the characters. After all, I'd seen them in every other disaster movie ever: devoted Dad who lost his way; his ex-wife who moved on, but still loves him; two plucky siblings; nice-guy boyfriend of the protagonist's ex-wife (in the 1940s he would've been played by Ralph Bellamy); brave scientist; noble President; greedy rich guy; eye-candy girlfriend of rich guy ... well, the list goes on and on and on.

    Heck, I expected Gene Hackman to show up as the fighting priest with a heart and George Kennedy as the engineer who's trying to prevent disaster.

    Oh yes, we knew these characters.

  6. That's some list. Dan and I actually have a few of these on our Netflix list too. Julie & Julia is up next (thanks to Monique's recommendation!). Saw Holiday years ago as part of my obsession with seeing all of Cary Grant's films. Don't remember Clark Gable being in it. If you liked Holiday, I'd recommend The Philadelphia Story. It Happned One Night is a good one too. Clark Gable is in that.