Friday, November 4, 2011


That Movie You Should Watch on Netflix Instead of That Movie Released in Theaters Today

There are only two movies being released widely today. One is a big budget heist movie with a cast from 1996 by the director of The Family Man and Rush Hour 3. The other is the continuation of a dumb joke that began with the first Harold and Kumar movie. No, you really shouldn’t watch Tower Heist or A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas 3Dthis weekend, but you can always find something similar to watch instantly on Netflix.

Instead of Tower Heist:
For the past few weeks of my daily commute, I’ve been watched. Walking down the subway platform elicits the kind of paranoia typically reserved for the characters in psychological thrillers, but instead of an unstable neighbor or stalker obsessed with my skin, I’m being watched by the head shots of Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. For some reason, the words STILLER and MURPHY are what Universal Pictures has chosen to market Tower Heist with, but the words NINETEEN, NINETY and SIX are all I see when passing by the advertisements. Sorry, but I prefer my Stiller with a gap in his teeth and my Murphy farting at a dinner table. Fifteen years ago, I’d have been all over Tower Heist; in 2011, however, I’m falling on the couch and watching Criminal on Netflix. A remake of the Argentinian film Nine Queens, Criminal is a short, breezy, and overlooked heist movie starring John C. Reilly, Diego Luna, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. In under 90 minutes, Criminal presents us with more involving characters and situations than Brett Ratner has done with 50x the budget. It doesn’t star Gabourey Sidibe, though, so, you know. That sucks.

Instead of A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas 3D:
I wasn’t a fan of the first Harold and Kumar film, and the knowledge of its two sequels’ existence brings me only slightly less discomfort than an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras. It’s a one-joke franchise, and an unfunny one at that, so just watch another “stoner comedy” that’s far more hilarious and doesn’t require 3D glasses. You may be getting older, but all its characters have stayed the same age. I understand that you’re probably watching Dazed and Confused right now anyway, but see that bar at the bottom of your screen? Click the marker and drag it back to the beginning. “Sweet Emotion” is starting all over again and you’re so happy to be watching Dazed in Confused that you forgot Harold and Kumar ever existed.

As Parker Posey said to the “freshman bitches” in my favorite moment of the film, “You love it. Smile. You love us.”

Previously: The Craft! The Craft. The Craft.

Bobby Finger just found out Girl, Interrupted was on Netflix Instant. He hates Girl, Interrupted but is watching it anyway. Bye.

34 Comments / Post A Comment


Man, I thought there would be a jumping off point to talk about how much I loved The Family Man. But I think I have established my unabashed love of nearly every holiday-ish movie.

Also, I have a thing for Tea Leoni. I just really want to be friends with her.


I wasn't planning to see Tower Heist, but I love do heists, John C Reilly, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, so I'll add Criminal to my queue anyway!


@SarahP Likewise. Freakin love heist movies.


@SarahP: I haven't seen Criminal yet, but if you like heist movies you should also check out Nine Queens! It's one of those heist movies that leaves you stunned and kind of dazed at the end. Love it. Unfortunately not available on Instant though.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@xx-xx-xx Come to Canada, we've got Nine Queens but /not/ Criminal. I'd love to show Criminal to my husband (who really loved Nine Queens) and see how long it takes him to figure out it's the same movie...

Jolie Kerr

"You love it. Smile. You love us.” is second only to "SUFFER SISTERS!!" *splurts ketchup everywhere* but nonetheless is one I use ALL THE TIME and just assume no one knows what I'm talking about. Except that of course Bobby Finger knows what I'm talking about. He always does.

bobby finger@twitter

@Jolie Kerr OF COURSE I KNOW. Kick. Turn. Stomp. Chaos. Control.

Valley Girl

@Jolie Kerr I'm partial to "What are you looking at? Wipe that face off your head, bitch.".

Jolie Kerr

@bobby finger@twitter We should really get a room if we're going to keep this up.

bobby finger@twitter

@Jolie Kerr "little PRICK TEASES"


@Valley Girl "Wipe that face off your head, bitch" is one of the finest lines in the entirety of modern cinema.


@Jolie Kerr "Fry like bacon, you little freshman piggies. Fry!"


I hope this is a safe space to confess I have never seen Dazed and Confused.


@melis I hope this is also a safe space to confess that I watched it a while ago with my stepdad purely because I heard Anthony Rapp was in it. As such, I remember nothing except that Anthony Rapp is in it.


@melis I guess you know what you're doing this weekend, then!


@figwiggin Anthony Rapp was in Dazed and Confused? Did he think it was Rent?



Lick me, all of you!

KFC Soundsystem

Having just watched the first Harold and Kumar movie last night, I think you're shortchanging it: it's actually two jokes. 50% of the movie is your basic stoner comedy, as illustrated by the Ryan Reynolds bit in the hospital, the cheetah, etc... but the other 50% is actually a pretty nuanced commentary on second-generation Asian immigrants and the weird space they occupy in society as stereotyped overachievers/losers/infantilized weaklings. Just notice who pronounces the name KOO-mar and who pronounces it ku-MAR.


@KFC Soundsystem I came to the comments to point this out! H&K is brilliant (at least the first one is).


@KFC Soundsystem Yes! I was coming here to ask, am I the only one with a soft spot for Harold & Kumar? I have never been a stoner but I do love the first movie for existing. I mean, how often are two Asian men the protagonists of Western films? Pretty much never unless there are martial arts involved, probably. I appreciate a movie with Asian men depicted as actual, normal dudes. They're not infantilized or sexually perverted losers, meant to be mocked by the audience. That, alone, gives it a pass from me.


@SweetAlissum Also, they're worth watching for Christopher Meloni's willingness to commit absolutely to his role, regardless of how profoundly dark it gets.

Roxy Throatpunch

@melis @SweetAlissum @Lucienne @KFC Soundsystem YAY for H&K love. I am happy to see it.

Also, it brought us the resurgance of NPH, and who can hate that?


@KFC Soundsystem ...your username!!!!!!!!


RK Fire

@KFC Soundsystem: yes yes yes! The guy who wrote the movie was basically a white guy who was like "why do all these movies portray Asian people so differently then the folks I went to school with? screw this, I'm just going to make a movie about my Asian friends" and that's how we ended up with H&K. Also H&K catapulted John Cho and Kalpen Modi into some spotlight for a role that wasn't martial arts/nerd related, and I still love it for that.

And of course.. NPH.

Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook

The only (and best) movie quote that I can ever work into conversation is "it'd be a lot cooler if you did."


@Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook man, I love redheads.


@Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook Watch the leather, man!


I wanna be Gabourey Sidibe's best friend.

I will settle for simply sitting at the same table with her and her actual best friend while they chat.

C'mon, people! Make it happen!


John C. Reilly?! I'm in.

Katie Scarlett

Such a crush I have on that one.


@Katie Scarlett Ugh, me too. *sigh*


and there is smiley face which is a stoner comedy in the same vein as harold and kumar, but female centered, funnier, and with some karl marx

Meghan-Sara Karre@facebook

I literally just finished watching Dazed and Confused! What - how did you know????


On a semi-related (or semi-unrelated?) note, I watched "Lonely Hearts" on Netflix over the weekend. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID. Watch any other movie but that one. I'm warning you because I love you all.

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