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Shelf Life (2005)
Nikki begins work at a branch library, where she clashes with Betty, the fascist head librarian.
Shelf Life seemed like the kind of movie I love to find on Netflix's Instant Watch. Lil' hidden treasures. Well, I suppose I am glad I watched it, but mostly because I enjoyed Betsy Brandt and now have another reason to check out Breaking Bad.
The actor portraying Jared made some really strange choices, and gave off a really "gay" vibe, so much so that when it turned out that he was actually romantically interested in Nikki, my girlfriend and I were in disbelief.
After spending the whole movie outright hating Betty, we never really see her get her what she deserves. She realizes the error of her ways, but in a completely and unconvincing manner. If she really cared for her library, would she really let her dislike for Nikki put her library in danger? Couldn't she see that the electrics were wonky herself? Anyway, this all led to an end that was unexpected, unsatisfying, and not entirely unwelcome.
Anyways, this "dark" comedy is enjoyable at moments, especially those involving the main character, Nikki, who Betsy Brandt portrays charmingly, and fairly convincingly, but there are so many moments, mostly involving the Betty the Librarian, that will cause one to wince and contemplate turning the film off.
Agena-pushing, fascist, documentary for the advancement of censorship.
I just got this at the library and I was dreadfully disappointed with it. From the box, it sounded like it was going to analyze smoking in film, but it merely pushed an anti-smoking, and ultimately, pro-censorship position. This is little more than a piece of the same propaganda one would receive in a high school health class. I was pleasantly surprised that Sean Penn, someone I had assumed would be all for the PC-ification of the film industry, was calling the filmmakers on their real motives. I was even further surprised that the filmmakers, who were so obviously for the censorship of film and free speech, would leave his comments in the film. While this, and a few other people interviewed, were allowed to voice their opinion, the good majority of the film was comprised of (literally) anti-smoking commercials, anti-smoking facts, and people who were peripherally involved in the film industry voicing their anti-smoking opinions. This film had very little to do with cinema at all. In fact, none of the scenes they use to show how un-cool smoking supposedly is weren't from actual films but appeared to be stock footage or from commercials.
I Am a Sex Addict (2005)
Perhaps you have to be a filmmaker to like it, but I really liked this film a lot. The reflexive nature (commenting on the actresses and the "real" versions) is one of the most interesting parts of the film. Other films would just recreate situations and either present them as fiction or non-fiction, but Caveh's hybrid is a very interesting one. The film is as much about Caveh as it is about the film itself.
This film is about sex, yes, but the sex isn't sexy and that's how the filmmaker meant it to be. He struggles with a prostitute fetish, and the viewer is supposed to be repulsed when he picks up hookers, not turned on. If you are either too immature to deal with frank discussion of sex or too immature and become upset that the sex is not sexy, I'm sorry, this film is definitely not for you.
If you like reflexive documentaries with a dash of meta, you will like this film. And if you DID like this film, check out Caveh's other film, In the Bathtub of the World.