Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Movie Madness

Now that we live in the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area one would think that we would be out and enjoying all that our beautiful city has to offer. Not so much. In the evening we pretty much do just what we did in low-key Victoria. We lounge on the couch and watch movies. Aha! But now that we are in the US we have access to a service that I could only dream about while in the great white north- Netflix. Thousands of titles at our finger tips (through streaming video) and the Blu-Rays of our choice sent directly to our mailbox. The best part is that this is costing us less than $10 a month. I know that I sound like a paid advertisement for their company but I swear I would have entertained the thought of moving back to the US primarily so that I could have access to Netflix (no offense family). I am in cinema heaven. Lately we have been heavily into indie flicks, so if you have never heard of the titles I review  it's OK, I hadn't heard of them either until recently.

I was in the mood for romantic comedy (does not happen very often, so I went with it) and the movie poster for Outsourced called out to me. Good move. Outsourced is one of the most entertaining, endearing films that I have seen in a long time. The film takes place in India where the main character Todd, played by virtual unknown Josh Hamilton, must bring his American company's new call-center up to snuff by western standards. The film delves into the serious subject matter of mega-corporations moving American jobs across seas to ensure a higher profit margin for investors. Yet, Outsourced manages to maintain a light feel and enchants the viewer with a romantic plot line, splashes of vivid color and a genuine take on Indian culture. You know how some movies leave you feeling warm and content? This is one of them. Plus it might just make you want to put 'Visit India' somewhere on your bucket list.
Grade: A

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
Are you scratching your head over this one? Thought you might be. I am a reasonably conservative person but I am also open-minded to hearing the arguments over different sides of a debate. The Union is a  well-made documentary that attempts to tell the history of marijuana in the 20th century, all the while debunking common arguments used against the pot industry. The documentary was written and hosted by Adam Scorgie, a native British Columbian. Scorgie weaves into his thoughtful piece interviews with various dignitaries, celebrities and academics. He has a comedic touch without coming across as the typical 'pot-head' one would expect to find in this type of film. I have a tendency to become passionate about a topic when I am first exposed to something that gains my interest- if you ever want an earful just ask me my opinion of the marijuana industry. Better yet, check out The Union and maybe we will both have something to talk passionately about.
Grade: B+

Enough with all of these indie flicks! I figure that I should also throw  an old-fashioned blockbuster into the mix. Yes, Avatar  recently passed the $1 billion dollar mark worldwide- but this is for good reason. Avatar encapsulates the evolution of cinema in this century- guaranteed this movie will continue to be copied in years to come. Sort of like the way that Matrix inspired every other action movie to incorporate some kind of suspended air fight sequence. For the few of you who have not yet seen Avatar, the film takes place in the future on the planet of Pandora. In the movie, humans have devised a sophisticated technology that allows a human's spirit to dwell within the body of a lab-grown alien body. When you actually view the film, Avatar's story-line may come across a bit generic- but you really don't notice because the movie is so visually arresting. Director James Cameron, of Titanic fame,has been busy scheming up this masterpiece for the last 15 years. Even if you are not into typical 'sci-fi' movies, Avatar is worth viewing solely just to feel a part of  Cameron's surrealistically beautiful alien world.
Grade: A


Kirsten B. said...

Oooo, Outsourced looks like a great choice, I'll have to find it up here and I totally agree with you on Avatar!

tiffany clark said...

o good, i was actually thinking about watching "The Union"

The G Fam said...

Kirsten- Outsourced has won tons of independent film awards- even from the Vancouver and Toronto film festivals. You should be able to find it at a larger rental place.

Robert- Do you guys have Netflix too? It was just on the streaming option. Maybe even instant play to your computer.

SaraSmith said...

You should check out youtube for a short on how they made Avatar, fascinating. They did it all in a warehouse, lots of credit must be given to the actors, functioning with all that equipment.