Your Netflix Instant Weekend: GRIFF THE INVISIBLE, BRAIN SMASHER… A LOVE STORY, and more
If you're not one of the... every single person in America going to see THE AVENGERS (or even if you are!), there's plenty of new (or re-added) material on the Instant Netflix service to keep you busy this weekend. Let's take a look at a charming Australian normal dude superhero movie and a '90s direct to video action flick by a guy who directed a movie about one of The Avengers.
Its arrival at the tail end of a massive surge of normal-people-turned-superhero films may make GRIFF THE INVISIBLE easy to overlook. Sure, it's not flashy (but it has some standout moments), it's not super funny (though there is some excellent character-based humor) and there's an overwhelming desire to label it as "cute" while watching it. There's something more at work here, though. GRIFF THE INVISIBLE follows many of the standard formulas set forth by other films of its ilk but takes a more direct approach in its internal examination of what is going on in Griff's (True Blood's Ryan Kwanten) brain that makes him do the things he does. This is accomplished via a romance in which a beautiful girl named Melody is more than happy to play into Griff's fantasies with some mixed psychological results. It's not always pretty but it is always engaging. You can't fault GRIFF THE INVISIBLE for the films you saw before it so you may as well sit back and succumb to its many charms. (Available in HD)
BRAIN SMASHER... A LOVE STORY (1993)
Comedic superstar Andrew Dice Clay, expert thespian/bombshell Teri Hatcher and the director of CAPTAIN AMERICA join forces to create an action-packed story of a bouncer protecting a supermodel from monks-not-ninjas. Oh, did I forget to mention that this is from the director of the 1990 version of CAPTAIN AMERICA which features a breath-stealing scene in which Cap takes a job vacuuming floors at Gold's Gym? Yep, this is an Albert Pyun joint. Plot? Hatcher is a model smuggling a package for her sister from Europe to Portland, Oregon who runs afoul of Chinese Shaolin Monks (seriously, they are not ninjas) and enlists bouncer Andrew Dice Clay's help for both fighting and loving. This is straight-up straight-to-video straight-Albert Pyun shit and it's wonderful. Brawls, bad dialogue and Brion James. If you have to ask for anything else you're a selfish jerk.
The Wildcard - BLOOD AND BONE (2009)
I never really took much notice of Michael Jai White until he popped up in the first of Isaac Florentine's UNDISPUTED sequels and then in BLACK DYNAMITE. He now has my attention and I'm hoping this underground fighting movie from 2009 shows off his skills. Blood and bones are both things I like to see in my fighting movies. (Available in HD)
If you're looking for more...
Paddy Considine's directorial debut TYRANNOSAUR left me quite cold at Sundance but maybe that's the point. SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN is a beautiful tale of friendship rooted in ancient connections. The WOMEN IN TROUBLE sequel ELEKTRA LUXX features a lot of beautiful women, some hysterically funny moments, a bit of action and is (mostly) a success. The droll comedy CEMETERY JUNCTION is a more subdued but still charming effort from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan team up for the hilarious road movie THE TRIP. The cheesy Alicia Silverstone vehicle THE BABYSITTER is an enjoyable thriller. Some great fun for the whole family can be found in THE BORROWERS and MOUSE HUNT. Some other excellent movies recently re-added include NETWORK, CRUEL INTENTIONS, NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE and THE ADDAMS FAMILY.
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