This is a short guide to some of the more obscure movies available to stream online.
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The Opposite of Sex (1998)
I assume this is the first time I've seen this movie since discovering the director Hal Hartley.It feels very, very Hartley-like but broader and less deadpan and flatly acted.I like the twisty-turny story.The voice-over is the best feature of the movie and the source of most of the jokes.A very strong movie.The ending is a little weaker than what went before but it's still okay.
9 out of 10
Family Weekend (2013)
Curious little film with a decidedly peculiar story (sixteen year-old competitive speed jump rope skipper kidnaps her own parents to get them to communicate).I expected a mildly quirky indie by numbers movie.Instead of that it felt like a kids movie with silly logic and strange character behaviour.There are references to drugs and a – l sex so it’s certainly not a kids movie, even though it plays out like one.It’s a confusing tone.I can’t tell if it’s a fumbled lack of control over the tone or if it’s exactly what it was meant to be.It just never gels as one thing or the other as it’s not realistic or stylised enough to be a quirky adult film like Wes Anderson’s work.Yet it’s not age appropriate for kids.Maybe it’s a movie for teenagers?I’d would have liked to see some adverts in advance to see how they pitched it tonally (I saw it by picking it off a list on a streaming service after reading a short plot description). The size of the film is quite small (mostly set in one big house and only sixteen credited actors at the end) but it has some bigger moments in it.It doesn’t quite work but it’s painlessly enjoyable to watch, and I think it’s more interesting than it seems on the surface.It’s an odd movie with a strange plot – it’s almost surrealist.You could describe it as a surreal family film.Interesting and of some note as it left a mostly positive impression on me unlike a lot of movies that are instantly forgettable.It’s a solid 6 out of 10 but I feel it’s quite intriguingly unusual so I’m upping it to a generous 7.
7 out of 10