It’s time for the monthly review of the Haggis’ netflix queue. Friends, if you like a good show and don’t mind some serious smut, Californication is for you. The show stars David Duchovny (in a very un-Fox Mulder role) as a successful/one hit wonder author whose personal and professional worlds in LA are crumbling. (His hit book God Hates Us All was turned into a movie called Crazy Little Thing Called Love, marking the beginning of his downfall. Or is it really his redemption?). It’s well-written, well-acted and dirty as all get out. For real. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. There are some scenes in this show that, boy howdy, are a dirtybird's dream come true. But the show is so good that I’ve gotten over my shock and horror at the smuttiness factor. If you rent this, I wish you godspeed. That’s all I’m sayin’.
Next up, The State Within. A British drama set in the US, with that lovely British Jewish studmuffin Jason Isaacs in the role of the British Ambassador to the US. It also stars Sharon Gless as the US SecDef, in a gig that the BBDD summarized as, “Who they called when they knew Glenn Close wouldn’t touch this role.” It follows the clues of a terrorist airliner explosion down the rabbit warren into both US and UK governments, soldiers for hire, death row, and various other nefarious locations. And, as with all British shows, they don’t care who they kill off, so don’t be thinking Jack Bauer will be coming back every episode no matter what. People die in British shows, which is what makes them so good. You just never know who’s going to get it in the end. Only 6 episodes, but all of them good.
Next up, There Will Be Blood. More like There Will Be Boredom. Dear God, this we had to stop about 3/4 of the way through so painfully dull it was. To me, this movie illustrates the definition of “excruciating.” I just kept waiting for something to happen. Spoiler Alert: Nothing happened. I wish you godspeed on this movie too, by which I mean that it's the only speed you'll be getting while this drivel is unreeling.
Finally, another Will Ferrell joint called Semi-Pro. Peter Travers in Rolling Stone said it best: It's semi-funny. I happen to love Will Ferrell movies. Something about his doughy body and willingness to 100% commit to the stupid makes me laugh out loud while simultaneously offering total respeck to his comedic genius. That said, Ferrell has fallen into the M. Night Shyamalan curse: when your first movies are flat-out awesome, anything else you make that's just really good is seen as mediocre. He stars as a one hit wonder in the 1970's who uses his money from the song "Love Me Sexy" (which is hilarious to listen to, btw) to buy the Flint Michigan Tropics ABA basketball team. The movie traces the team through the implosion of the ABA in the mid-70's. The supporting cast shines in this film. Woody Harrelson, who I generally can't stand, is great. As is Andre "Andre 3000" Benjamin as "Coffee Black." The only lame part is Maura Tierney (she of ER fame) as the love interest. She's boring in everything she does, and Semi-Pro is no exception. So if you want a semi-decently funny time--but not a gut-bustingly funny one--Semi-Pro is your movie.
And the balcony is closed...