Alright, exactly one more week until the Oscars. I know no one really cares, but like I said after the Super Bowl, sometimes you have to manufacture enthusiasm in order to waylay post-whatever depression. That’s one of my little secrets to happiness. So, you’re welcome!
Let’s cross the half-way point with this year’s TEN best picture nominees. We’ve seen Up, Up in the Air, Avatar and The Hurt Locker. Let’s watch two more that are no longer in theaters. First, though, do you have a Roku?
(And, no I’m not getting paid or compensated for product endorsements, but it would be awesome if I was!) I love this thing. It’s a little device that connects to your TV and to the internets and enables you to stream movies. I was initially concerned that the quality would be poor, all choppy and disjointed as many internet videos are. Like this SNL bit from last night spoke to. (Pardon the brief commercial at the beginning). But, the quality is actually really good. So, the Roku, which costs about $100, enables you to watch all of Netflix’ “watch instantly” offerings at no extra charge, and you can order (buy or rent) movies from Amazon On Demand. My only caveat: I have now become so accustomed to instant gratification that my Netflix sit and collect dust for months, and there are MANY $3.99 charges from Amazon on my bank statement.
That said! Both A Serious Man and Inglourious Basterds are there on Amazon on Demand for your instant gratification. I recommend A Serious Man first. I find that all things that I end up thinking are truly great are a bit perplexing to me at first–like I need to recalibrate my way of seeing things in order to understand said great thing. This was the case with A Serious Man, the Cohen brothers tale of Job set in a suburban, midwestern, Jewish home in the 1960s. It is as dark and funny as any other Cohen brothers film, but it has a subtler touch, and grapples with existential concerns thoughtfully. It can be hard to watch the series of indignities visited upon the main character, if you lose sight of how subtly hilarious the movie is.
So after you watch a Jewish character get pummeled for a couple of hours, it will be even more cathartic to watch Quentin Tarantino’s Spaghetti Western-inspired, revenge fantasy, re-imagining of the end World War II. I still have mixed feelings about this movie. My first thoughts were actually quite cynical–like maybe somebody was kissing up to a largely Jewish academy? But also, with the state of education in this country as poor as it is, it might be irresponsible to make revisionist history like this–like there might be kids out there who actually think the Bear Jew was real. But, all that aside, the movie is really fun to watch.