We all know it takes at least 2 days of searching through Netflix and Amazon before you can finally settle on something to watch, so I wanted to throw out some suggestions to put on your watchlist for this upcoming weekend. As always, remember to check out The Dirty Kind on Amazon because whenever I make a movie, it’s a love letter to all the movies I’ve seen like the ones included below.
A Bullet for the General (Amazon Prime)
Starring one of my favorite actors, Gian Maria Volone, A Bullet for the General is not your typical Spaghetti Western. It’s a Zapata Western that deals with the political struggles in Mexico and is a complex journey that leaves you unsure of what’s a hero and a villain. In my opinion, it’s the most human western to come out from Europe during that period (1960s-70s) and reminds us that being a POS and having a heart of gold are not mutually exclusive. You’ll recognize Volone for his time across Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef, but believe me, this is him at his peak.
Across the Universe (Netflix)
I don’t like musicals and am very open about not liking musicals. The problem I find is that they stretch a great half hour story over two hours with song and dance. Across the Universe has a two-hour story and characters that remind us of ourselves and the things we desire and get and lose or never find in the first place. Across the Universe goes on my short list of musicals I’d recommend, and it’s a list that includes Milos Forman’s Hair and not much else.
Street Law (Amazon Prime)
A great Franco Nero movie with few laughs and enough slow-motion bullet riddled bodies to make Sam Peckinpah go full Steve Urkel: “did I do that?” Street Law is a movie about a man pushed over the edge and when he dusts himself off, he realizes he’s in Vigilante Land in a movie that makes Death Wish look like Mary Poppins. It’s a fun time so watch it with some popcorn.
Blue Valentine (Netflix)
Anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship, like marriage long-term, knows that love is just another word for “forced relationship.” We have relationships with many different people; at our local grocery, co-workers, etc. There’s only one relationship that serves as an experiment, a choice to stress test to the limits of human emotions. Blue Valentine captures the humanity of love and is one of the realest movies you will ever see. Because of our own experiences, we know that when the movie ends, is when the story continues and can go in countless different directions, but all of them feasible because that’s life.
Heathers (Amazon Prime)
Teen angst is a genre unto itself and Heathers stands out as a unique example in a sea of “she’ll never notice me” and “I hate homecoming!” The script was originally written for, and ultimately declined by Stanley Kubrick and the result is a movie, much like Kubrick’s body of work, takes a unique and almost surreal look into reality that helps us better understand reality. Winona Ryder and Christian Slater play high school lovers who act out on their darkest, homicidal fantasies and bring their classmates down a peg. In the post-Columbine age, it’s almost blasphemy to recommend a movie like this, but it’s movies like this that help us understand our own frustrations and emotional growing pains. What Lindsay Anderson started with If…. Heathers takes and perfects.