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A not-as-brief-as-I’d-like rundown of my Netflix streaming. Note: Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime almost merit their own summaries.

  • Deep Impact: This has not made much of an impact. I’ve been on this one for two weeks and still have almost an hour to go. I just don’t care about anyone in the movie and the apocalypse preparations are more tiresome than timely.
  • Theremin: Holy fuck this documentary was a surprise. I had no idea how the theremin originated, nor what kind of fantastical life its creator led. There is a Cold War/Soviet Union twist to this story that baffles the mind. Plus, Theremin himself maintains his enigmatic self straight through to the end.
  • The Walking Dead: I am closing in on the halfway mark of the second season. I have to be in the  mood for dread, which is really all I get from the series, so I haven’t plowed through it like I have with other cable shows that I’m a late arrival to. This is a good thing.
  • The Sarah Silverman Program: I’m still in s1. I’ve watched scattered episodes before, so some are being re-experienced, though I don’t think viewing them in the context of the whole series makes any difference. It’s funny but a little too mean for me. I appreciate the songs.
  • Louie: I enjoy it, but not nearly as much as I’m supposed to. Louie feels a little too mean as well, though his meanness sometimes gets directed toward a showcase of Louis C.K.’s own self-assessed patheticness.
  • Wilfred: What’s with all the mean-spirited comedies that I’m watching one after the other? This one is probably on the chopping block. I tire quickly of mean best friends and people who put up with them, even if the best friend is an Australian comedian in a dog outfit.
  • The Brother from Another Planet: This one I’m enjoying far more than I did The Man Who Fell to Earth (slog!), though I have to watch both slow-moving films in installments. I’m about midway through this John Sayles film.
  • Black Widow: I saw this in the eighties and didn’t remember much. Why?!? It’s really a terrific film about female drive, envy, friendship, and multi-layered betrayal. Theresa Russell never really impressed me, but I like her here a lot, sort of a mash-up of Kathleen Turner with a shade of Shirley MacLaine. She jumps from sophisticated socialite to Southern new money to Malibu Barbie™ with each new conquest/prey, with an undercurrent of single-minded ambition. How can ruthlessness and regret stand so closely? And Debra Winger – this is one of her best roles. The character and the actress are perfect complements to the Black Widow, Theresa Russell. Bob Rafelson managed to make a fantastic film noir in the middle of the eighties! This isn’t as good as his Body Heat from 1981, but what is? This came as a rare pleasant surprise in my revisiting old movies. I would absolutely put the scene of Theresa Russell swimming nude in a pool and extending her hand out like the poisonous reach of a jellyfish into my top ten femme fatale moments. And I have a lot of femme fatale moments!
  • The End: Burt Reynolds stars and directs. I also saw this one decades ago, though maybe not in its entirety. A few things stood out in my adult viewing. One, Burt Reynolds really is a good comic actor, and he really knows how to share with other actors on the screen. Two, the pacing is way off, with some comedic scenes stretching twice as long as they should. Three, some of the unfunny segments are also shockingly racist, particularly one with a Mexican “beaner.” While not wincing, I did enjoy all the co-stars. I am making a mental note of discussing this further.
  • Moog: This doc on the Moog synthesizer is boring the fucking daylights out of me, and I’m not even to the thirty-minute mark, meaning that this is in contention for a spot on Raúl Cries Uncle, as in I may not force myself to finish it. The clever, winking opening credits gave me such hope for a contemporary look at a beloved artifact, but Robert Moog himself cannot hold the screen for more than ten seconds before he turns into one of the more unpleasant drones that his creation has the capability of making . He’s like my industrial ed teacher whose lack of presentation actually gave birth to a lack of interest in how things work. Moog and my industrial ed teacher were good at making things, but not inspiring the casual listener. Note: Moog is actually more engaging discussing Theremin!
  • Reel Injun: I am about a third into this documentary about representation of American Indians in American cinema, and am becoming more engrossed as I go. I can’t tell if this is arranged chronologically or by theme. I’m hoping for TV to get some time alongside films.
  • Equilibrium: I stopped after about three minutes with a brainless shoot-em-up opening that made me think I’d fallen upon a lost eighties action movie, not the smarter sci-fi Michael Fassbender film that I’d banked on. It’s in the endangered pile.
  • Nikita: I’m halfway through a rocky s2, but the midpoint seems to have picked up by changing the game and introducing some new though predictable alliances. Eps 12 and 13 have nearly made up for the bad season (shoot-em-up scenes ad nauseam that may have cut short my patience for Equilibrium) thus far, though I’m still pining for last season. I have hope. Mr. Lousy, you should give this one a go once you’ve run your course with Alias.
  • Archer: Now this is a spy show that knows what it’s doing! Thank you again, Mr. Lousy, for steering me here!