Instant Gratification Quick Takes: August 9, 2011

Highlighting odd and off-beat new releases to watch instantly on Netflix

Time to catch up on some of stuff that I’ve been watching and some of the stuff I intend to watch — aside from the copious amounts of Italian crime movies on which I’ve been binging for the last week and 1/2.


New for August 9, 2011

Uncle Kent (2011), directed by Joe Swanberg, with Kent Osborne, Jennifer Prediger, Kevin Bewersdorf, Josephine Decker and Joe Swanberg – Aging pothead cartoonist meets girl through Chatroulette and invites her to visit and hang out with him for a week. Aging pothead cartoonist clearly has sex on his mind, but Chatroulette girl’s intentions are less clear. Much confusion and awkwardness follows. I’m a big fan of Swanberg, as I’ve stated in the past, and I’m glad that directors like him are around and making the kind of quirky, character-driven indie films that really got me into film as a teenager growing up at the ass end of Generation X. I love the realism that Swanberg brings to his films, thanks to his continual use of non-actors and improvised dialogue. Watching the characters in Uncle Kent, these could easily be people that I know — and maybe that’s something that appeals to my voyeuristic side. I don’t know. A word of warning: Despite the sexiness that the poster attempts to convey, Uncle Kent is not that kind of film. There’s nudity. There’s plenty of sex talk. There’s even a threesome. The later begins sexy, but quickly falls into — pardon the expression — “boner killing territory.” Depending on your date, Uncle Kent could be the perfect date movie or the worst date movie ever. Confused? Good. Uncle Kent isn’t a movie content to settle into any one genre or allow itself to be defined easily — and that’s what I loved about it. (Available until July 27, 2013) [Links: IMDb, Trailer]


Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam (2009), directed by Omar Majeed, with Michael Muhammad Knight, Basim Usmani, Shahjehan Khan and Marwan Kamel – Documentary profiling the Muslim punk rock movement. I can’t think of many religions or cultures less compatible with the punk rock aesthetic — Amish punk rock is the only possibility that comes to mind. Consequently, I’m intrigued and despite having not gotten around to watching this yet, it sits in my queue.  (Available until February 9, 2013) [Links: IMDb, Trailer]


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