More Movies from the Netflix Grab Bag

A few more odds and ends I’ve watched recently on streaming Netflix.

Films of Fury: The Kung Fu Movie Movie (2011) – Rated R

“An animated but earnest kung fu fan (who knows all his trivia) narrates this documentary tribute to the great martial arts stars and their films. The movie includes scenes from more than 200 movies featuring Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and other stars.”

There is no arguing with the breadth of this movie – it covers over 200 movies – but it could use some more depth. I did not care for the animated backstory used to present the clips but some might find it amusing. The clips themselves are quite well chosen as is much of the narration. Films of Fury is a lot of fun but it could have been better.

Get the Gringo (2012) – Rated R

“Mel Gibson stars as a man who ends up in a notorious Mexican prison after his attempt to get away with a million-dollar stash ends in his arrest. With no friends among his fellow inmates, the American has to rely on help from a young Mexican boy.”

Okay I guess this is Hollywood testing the waters to see if the public is willing to forgive Mel enough to watch him. I don’t know that I would pay money to see this misogynistic racist in the theater but for free on Netflix? Sure I’ll give it a shot (because honestly, while it is a Mel Gibson film, hundreds of other people worked on it).

The verdict: Get the Gringo is actually pretty good. It has an edgy, snarky sense of humor – a little like a cross between Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy though that is perhaps giving it a bit too much credit. The setting of a Mexican prison is novel and well-used. I also liked that pretty much everyone in the film, north or south of the border, was corrupt.

Hugo (2011) – Rated PG

“When his father dies, 12-year-old orphan Hugo takes up residence behind the walls of a Parisian train station. There, he meets Isabelle, the daughter of filmmaker Georges Méliès, who holds the key to Hugo’s destiny.”

I finally got to watch this delightful movie. This confection is so sugary that you won’t believe it was directed by Martin Scorsese. I love Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Lee in anything and they don’t disappoint here. I did not expect much from Sacha Baron Cohen but he was quite wonderful as were Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield. This is a stately, gorgeous ode to film – watch it with some patience and you will be rewarded.