Some Movies from the Netflix Grab Bag

Here are a bunch of non-horror movies I’ve watched recently. Yes I do watch something besides horror from time to time.

The Queen of Versailles (2012) – Rated PG

“Meet the Siegels, glitterati who made a fortune in the time-share business only to see it crumble in the 2008 financial collapse. The site of their rise and almost-fall is their home (America’s largest), a gaudy replica of the Palace of Versailles.”

This is an absolutely fascinating documentary. Some people will enjoy the schadenfreude of seeing an egregiously rich family hit money problems. I personally found their tortured justifications riveting. The adults are absolutely appalling – especially the head of the clan. It made me sick to watch them classify people who sell timeshares in the same class as firemen and emergency aid workers as people who save lives, rather than the truth that many of these people took horrific advantage of people who couldn’t afford it. I would not be surprised to find this on the Oscar ballot.

Post Impact (2004) – Rated R

“After a meteor hits Earth and leaves much of the planet a frigid, desolate wasteland, Capt. Tom Parker and his motley band of scientists and soldiers are given the dangerous mission of saving the few remaining survivors.”

For me, the difference between a one star and a two star movie is whether or not I got through the whole movie. I got through Post Impact even though it wasn’t very good. The acting was affable, the special effects laughable, and the plot inscrutable. Dean Cain continues his downward DTV spiral.

Sleepwalk with Me (2012) – Rated PG-13

“In this autobiographical tale based on director Mike Birbiglia’s successful one-man show, an up-and-coming stand-up comedian deals with career and relationship issues while trying to ignore his outrageous sleepwalking habit.”

Though the lead character is somewhat reprehensible, I rather enjoyed this tale of a stand-ups rise. It is especially charming as Mike Birbiglia starts as a terrible comedian before learning what humor is. I especially enjoyed the ending though my wife did not.

Assassin’s Bullet (2012) – Rated R

“When an unknown vigilante begins killing high-priority terrorists from America’s Most Wanted list in Europe, a former FBI field agent (Christian Slater) is brought in by the US ambassador (Donald Sutherland) to discover the identity of the assassin.”

Much as I like Christian Slater (which is somewhat), when you see his name these days, it is a good bet that the film is not very good. This film is no exception. The story is utterly generic and the ending is terrible. While Christian Slater is the nominal star here, it is clear that this movie was meant to launch a career for Elika Portnoy, even though she isn’t very good.