Netflix: Kills Time Dead.

Yeah, I know what you mean about Sherlock! The way I see it—as a lifelong semi-Anglophile, more or less—is that the British are always a little askew of us in terms of what’s “cool”; so the whooshes and zoooms and peeyows of the show are closer to where their mainstream “wow, that’s awesome!” currently lies, while we’re all smoking outside the cafeteria going like, “Ugh, hello, 1998.” Anyhow, we dig it because we like Martin Freeman from The Office and I liked Englebert Cumberballs from that movie where Gary Oldman played Michael Caine. We’re up to the middle of season two, set to watch the Hound of the Baskervilles one, which I’ve heard is good, but not amazing, which is too bad, because that book is the business 4 rlz.

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, there’s the most staggeringly, cripplingly, one-leggedly limpingly topplingly falling-down-bad movie ever made; the movie that knocked Highlander II off its cozy little number one spot and then, just for S and G, draped its C and B across the forehead of the first girl that Highlander II ever loved on its way home: The Man Who Wasn’t There. What? Why, yes—I have written a bit more about it.

But  yeah, Netflix; the “work from home” freelancer’s oasis and nemesis. For comedies, I’ve blown through 30 Rock and The Larry Sanders Show in their entirety more times than I would admit if I were sober. See also: Frasier.* But if you liked Arrested Development (and I wouldn’t be writing this if I had any suspicion that you didn’t), I’d check out Running Wilde, which, as a show, is just okay, but as a dumping ground for all the “dilettante rich asshole” jokes Mitch Hurwitz had lying around after AD got cancelled, it’s just what Dr. Spaceman ordered. It’s also a lot of fun to watch it and see all the AD “parallels” (or, more accurately, lazy but permissible reuses), from the omniscient narrator to Will Arnett and David Cross.

(Speaking of which, if you miss The Increasingly Pointless Meanderings of Todd David Cross, you will be fine. And I say that as a fan of his stuff in general. That series should never have left the Vice mag Williamsburg rooftop barbeque in which it was conceived [if, indeed, conception is possible in the butt]. It doesn’t suck; it’s just kind of aimless and without the kind of twist or shock or cleverness that you’d expect from the guy whose name is on it. See also: Ghost Town. Not sure if that’s on Netflix, though; just reminded me.)

On a more positive note, they’ve also locked down some serious bullshit, like Deathrace 2000, which is Carradine and Stallone driving cars across the America of the future, in a race to kill as many people as possible. It’s like Grand Theft Auto meets 1984 meets a kid with a shoebox full of Matchbox cars and a bunch of torn-out scraps of paper that turn out to be just the tits from every Hustler published in 1978.

Also, just because they made me really angry and discouraged about the future of the race, I want to tell you to avoid Workaholics and The League; they were just so garishly bro-ish I wanted to force everyone involved to watch Animal House and sign a deposition afterward admitting that A) it’s really not that funny after all and B) it doesn’t need a “re-tooling for the new millennium” or whatever magic beans they sold out there to get that shit made.

Topkapi is a movie with Melina Mercouri (I think) based on a book by Eric Ambler that I just re-read for the dozenth time. I haven’t seen the movie, but the book is great.

Now, just because standards are important, I’m going to go back and italicize all the titles mentioned up in this M.F. But you won’t even notice, because it’ll look like they were italicized the whole time.

* Yes: Frasier. Cheers was great for most of its run, but it craps out after the first couple of Kirstie Alley seasons; meanwhile, Frasier was impressively solid from top to bottom. Also: startling mid/late-series Paul F. Tompkins cameo? CHECK MOTHEREFFER CHECK

The Movie Who Wasn’t There (Where “There” Equals “Any Good At All”).

Okay, so in between mundane tasks like dishes and trying to make myself fall asleep at night, I’m watching this movie on Netflix called The Man Who Wasn’t There. It’s astounding. Like, seriously grippingly, perplexingly captivating in its utterly comprehensive top-to-bottom incompetence. It is the most shittiest movie that I can ever imagine anyone having sunk a dime into. Like, honestly, I’m re-thinking the top slot that Highlander II has always held in that regard.

It’s like someone wanted to make a porno movie in the early eighties, but forgot to put in the fucking. Or, wait; like it started out as a porno, but then someone threw enough money into the budget to hire a name star; say, this up-and-coming Guttenberg kid from that Village People movie? He’s got that handsome/goofball thing going. Act? Sure, he can read. Why are we still talking about whatever that was before our drinks came?

Or it’s like a twelve-year-old made a movie after flunking out of film school. Like, I want to put all the boobies in and the butss too (including the boy butts because they are FUNNYS) and then edit it with my elbows like they always told me NOT to but I’LL SHOW THEM!!! Jerkwad professor tell ME a shot has to end when none of the actors have anything left to say.

It seriously takes almost twenty minutes to actually start; by the time you’re thirty-five minutes in, everything that has happened would have taken place as a cold opening on like CSI: Invisible Knucklehead or something, before the opening credits even roll. The script is horrendous, the action makes no sense, the plot points vary between “suspension of disbelief” and “these are not the logic you are looking for.” The performances are a bafflingly impossible combination of stiff and flaccid, and the main character’s lines are literally phoned in; half the time, he’s not even in the shot (because he’s invisible, right? and evidently reading his lines into a different mike—and you can hear the difference in sound, even over shitty Netflix digital internet reproduction).

Oh, and if anyone ever puts “Steve Guttenberg” and “actor” in the same sentence, the rest of it had better consist of “could maybe spell the word” and a question mark. Because any other usage is contrary to both common sense and decency.

So, yeah; I’m not even halfway, but I am riveted and will definitely be seeing this thing through. Did I mention it’s just shy of two hours? Also, it has Jeffery Tambor playing a Russian asshole. Oh, sorry—spoiler alert.


Screen shit 2013-06-30