DVD Review

We recently signed up for Netflix again, after canceling for awhile. I’m not sure how long we’ll keep it, because our queue is pretty darned short at this point, but we have watched a few things. Between the DVDs and the OnDemand, we’re not running out of things to watch. Also, we can watch Netflix films using our XBox Live. Crazy, huh? What I want, though, is a perfect world, where I can download ANY movie or show I want, at any time, and not have to wait for it to be available via. OnDemand or XBox. And I don’t want to have to pay extra for it. I basically want the whole Netflix catalog to be available to me at a moment’s notice. I suspect we’ll get to that point, but we’re not there yet by any stretch of the imagination.

LaLuna suggested I might enjoy Lost in Austen, and I really did.  This is a cute story about Amanda, a 21st Century Brit who is transported into the fictional 19th century world of Jane Austen’s famous novel, Pride and Prejudice. Amanda means well, but she inadvertently causes trouble, and things go awry, and oh dear, how is Elizabeth Bennett supposed to fall in love with Mr. Darcy if he’s such a jerk all of the time, and Elizabeth is exploring 21st Century London? It’s rather long at almost 4 hours, as it was made as a mini-series in England. I went in thinking I knew how it was going to turn out, and the fact that I was wrong pleased me quite a bit.

Two Lovers is the story of Leonard, a twenty-something, suicidal New Yorker played by Joaquin Phoenix, who is looking for love after his engagement is broken. He finds himself playing the part of the sad sack to his beautiful and self destructive new neighbor, Michelle, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. At the same time, his parents set him up with Sandra, Vinessa Shaw, who is the daughter of a business associate of Leonard’s father. Sandra is sensible, trusting, trustworthy, and lovely. So of course, Leonard is drawn to the tortured Michelle. The acting was very good in this film, but mostly I wanted Leonard to wake up and see that Sandra was a much better choice, to stop letting Michelle push him around, and for Sandra to know what a jerk he was being.

Mad MenWe started watching Mad Men on the strong recommendation of Tim Goodman, a local TV Reviewer, who suggested that with all of the good shows finished for the year, now was a good time to get caught up on series you might have missed. Mad Men‘s third season starts August 16th, so this is indeed a great time to get caught up. I confess I didn’t think much of watching this series, since my mom was a big fan, and my mom and I often have different taste in TV shows. She loved Firefly, The Big Bang Theory, and Foyles War. I love Buffy, BSG, and Big Love. My bloggy friend CK also loves Mad Men, but still, I hadn’t given it a shot. Finally we caught it via OnDemand, and we were hooked right away. If you haven’t been watching, it’s the story of a group of Madison Avenue advertising men (and women) in the very early 1960s. They’ve captured so much of that time and place, it seems. The smoking. The drinking. The horrible sexism. It’s really well done. And it’s on AMC, which I think used to stand for American Movie Classics, just like TLC used to stand for The Learning Channel. Check it out…there’s still time to get caught up before the new season starts.

Breaking BadWe started watching Breaking Bad for the same reason as Mad Men. It’s another AMC original series, and the premise is that a frustrated 40-something high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, gets the news that he’s dying of cancer. Money is a huge issue for Walter and his family, and he works a second job as a cashier at a car wash. When he receives the news about his cancer, he quits his job at the car wash, and decides that he needs another way to come up with a lot of money, quickly, as he wants to provide for his wife and son as well as he can before his time runs out. His brother-in-law is a DEA agent, and mentions to Walter in passing that there’s a hell of a lot of money in the manufacture and sale of meth-amphetamines. So, of course, Walter starts making meth with a former student. I’m not sure about this show. Kind of like Weeds, it bugs me that the first and only solution to serious money problems for these formerly decent people seems to be the sale of drugs. We’re about 3 episodes in, and the acting and writing is wonderful, and I suspect we’ll stick with it. I’ve heard it just gets better. Mostly, we just want to see what’s next. Warning though, while Mad Men is mostly OK for older kids (Maya watches with us), Breaking Bad is not.

Like I said, I’m not sure how long we’ll keep the Netflix subscription.  I do like that you can start and stop it any time you like.  But for now, we’re enjoying ourselves.  Next week, season 4.5 of Battlestar Galactica comes out on DVD.  Maya may pass out, she’s so excited.  I suspect there will be less viewing of non-BSG related things for a little while, at least.

How about you?  Are you watching anything on TV?  If so, what?

8 thoughts on “DVD Review

  1. John has been wanting to see Two Lovers for awhile…I’ve been putting it off. Your review doesn’t help any. haha I think I would like Lost in Austen…Putting it in my queue now!

  2. Ooooh. I love The Big Bang Theory. I can never seem to catch Mad Men, and I’ve broken up with Netflix for the time being, so I’ll have to take a pass, but I’d watch it just for the clothes. You know what I’d rent? The West Wing, from the very beginning. I really miss that smart, smart show.

  3. Hey even i watch breaking bad, i sympathize with Walter White, what happened to him in the program can happen to any of us, and put our lives in disarray.
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  4. AM, it’s long, and it took me a bit to get into it, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. Two Lovers I could pass on. I mean, it was goodish, but mostly his character bugged me. Like when you know someone in real life who is an idiot, and you want to slap them. That’s how I felt with him.

    Nance, West Wing was one of those shows my mom and I agreed on, and we both really liked it. I think we own season 1, actually. Too bad you don’t have good TV, because I think they run repeats on BRAVO. If you ever make up with Netflix, you should get it. 🙂 I’m thinking of getting Thirtysomething when it comes out this year.

  5. I have a Netflix queue of about 150 films. I’m on the two-at-a-time plan and nearly always watch both over the weekend; no time during the week. My queue is always getting longer, so I went through and weeded out all TV series on principle a while ago, but they’re slowly trickling back onto my list. Mad Men was or is there.

  6. WE had the Amazon rental for a while but always seemed to end up with three dense, subtitled films which we never wanted to watch at the same time. After the same three had gathered dust for three months, we kind of gave up. We don’t get to watch more than an hour a night (when we do watch anything, anyway) so boxsets like BSG have more appeal – we’re just about to start season 3 as we rewatch the whole thing prior to unwrapping the final two seasons. Mind you, we have a DVR which always seems to have 40 or 50 hours on unwatched God-only-knows what…

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