Tag Archives: Netflix

The Boomstick Film Club: The Scapegoat

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The trope of the doppelgänger is a perennial favorite in the thriller and horror genres. There’s something fascinating and terrifying about the idea of a total stranger walking around with your face. We think of our bodies as synonymous with our personalities or souls, so the idea of two identical bodies with vastly different souls is fertile ground for horror and suspense. The Scapegoat was adapted by television director Charles Sturridge from a Daphne du Maurier novel that explores the same territory as The Prince and the Pauper: two physically identical men who trade lives and pretend to be each other; only here, the consequences are far more serious.

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The Boomstick Film Club: The Naked Prey

the-naked-prey

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Sitting down to watch The Naked Prey last night, all I knew about it was that it scared the bejesus out of my boyfriend when he saw it as a kid. Coming from him, this is a ringing endorsement. The brief narration at the beginning of the film explains that in the harsh landscape of southern Africa, “man… became like the beasts, and their way of life was his.” I was a bit concerned that we’d just had the moral of the film served to us on a platter before the story could begin. But the film that unfolded was far more complex.

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The Boomstick Film Club: Lucky Them

Lucky Them

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Romantic comedies are not usually my favorite genre. I’ll watch anything, but I have a lower tolerance for the tired tropes that seem to be fixtures of crowd-pleasing rom-coms, so I end up snorting and rolling my eyes at movies my friends love. At first it seemed as if Lucky Them was going to fit neatly into that paint-by-numbers template: music critic Ellie (Toni Collette) is newly single and has just been assigned to write a story on her rock star ex-lover Matthew, who has become something of a legend since his disappearance ten years earlier. Meanwhile she also meets a handsome young street musician named Lucas (Ryan Eggold) who isn’t fazed by her attempts to rebuff him.

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The Boomstick Film Club: Look Who’s Back

Look Who's Back

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If Look Who’s Back had been released in any other year, it would have been a clever, amusing cautionary tale positing an answer to the age-old question: what would happen if Hitler was magically transported, unchanged and unharmed, to modern-day Europe? How would we respond to him now that we know what he’s capable of? And it’s certainly a clever, amusing film. But since it was just released in the US by Netflix in early April, it also reads as an eerily prescient political allegory.

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The Boomstick Film Club: No No: A Dockumentary

No No Dockumentary

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If you’ve been paying attention to baseball scuttlebutt during the off-season, you probably know there’s been some spirited back-and-forth among current and former players about the propriety (or lack thereof) of flamboyant behavior or emotional displays on the field. But this isn’t a new phenomenon. In anticipation of baseball season, I watched No No: A Dockumentary, the story of larger-than-life Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, who, among other antics and anecdotes, famously threw a no-hitter in the summer of 1970 while high on LSD.

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The Boomstick Film Club: Dirty Pretty Things

Dirty Pretty Things

The BoomstickWatch it with us: Netflix

Dirty Pretty Things could hardly be farther from what I expected it to be. The movie poster, featuring Audrey Tautou gazing at the viewer over her own bare shoulder, underscored by the film’s title in cut-out ransom-note letters, looks as though it was made for a snarky, stylized thrill ride full of snappy dialogue and gleeful misbehavior, which the early aughts were chockablock with. Instead, the film is a tense, harrowing look at the lengths people have to go to in order to survive in a new country. Tautou, whose star was on the rise after Amelie, isn’t even the main character. She’s pivotal to the story, but our guide through this world is Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Nigerian immigrant with a dark past who makes a terrifying discovery one day at work.

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