Wednesday, August 09, 2006


In what is surely a death knell for one of the stars of internet commerce and one of the paradigmatic exemplars of "the long tail," I finally signed up for Netflix.

Oh, look, Mr. Death is reaping on the horizon now.

Well, regardless it did seem like a good time to join the rest of the human race and leave Blockbuster behind -- not that I've gone there more than a couple of times in the past year.

Recently received, watched, and returned my first two movies: "You Can Count On Me," and "Bottle Rocket."

The verdicts?

YCCOM is a showcase for Mark Ruffalo, but even more so for the great Laura Linney. Given a great script to work with, she delivers a typically nuanced performance as a single-mom whose carefully constructed life starts to come apart a little bit at the seams when her no-goodnik brother shows up to sponge some cash and ends up staying for a few weeks. Highly recommended.

Bottle Rocket is equally a showcase for Owen Wilson, with typically more uneven results. Wes Anderson's first feature, it bears traces of the respective shticks of both -- Wilson's rigidly contained bubbling mayhem and Anderson's visual quirks and infused soundtrack -- but without being fully formed just yet. Not bad, but not great.


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