Movie Reviews: Office Space, Wordplay, This Boy's Life, and More

I never watch TV, but sometimes DVDs from Netflix. Here are six movies I’ve seen recently.

1. Office Space — If you work in a cubicle at work you must watch this movie. I don’t, and still found it pretty funny. It doesn’t reach the heights of Old School or Wedding Crashers, but still a funny look at the wonderful world of office humor and boring-corporation life.

2. Wordplay — I actually saw this in a theater with my Mom. It’s about crossword puzzles. Ben, the one time you choose to go to a theater you watch a documentary about crossword puzzles? Yes. I never denied that I was a geek. It’s a good, uplifting flick about people obsessed with crosswords and prominently features the NYT crosswords editor. At the Opera Plaza theater in San Francisco.

3. This Boy’s Life — The novel by Tobias Wolff is an excellent coming of age story. The movie plays up different parts, but is a great film, especially for any guys who had a rough upbringing.

4. San Francisco — This was one of the most successful pictures of the 1930s. In short: if you call yourself a San Franciscan, you’ve gotta see this film. I love the beginning — a drunken fool is being escorted out of a party and somebody asks him, “Where you from buster?” and he responds, “Los Angeles.” “That’s what I thought.” Ha – the rivalry that doesn’t exist outside of Giants-Dodgers finds its roots in old films.

5. 24 Hours on Craigslist — This was way raunchier than I thought it was going to be! It’s a fascinating cross section of Craigslist users during a 24 hour period. It’s set in San Francisco, and it just so happens every other person is a) gay, b) transsexual, or c) a practitioner of BDSM. Perhaps the most memorable scene is an immigrant from China, a teenager, who’s found Craigslist a great way to sell her erotic paintings. For example, she pained a Sistine Chapel replica added in an extra character who’s licking a penis. Hmm….Another must-see for Bay Area folk, and any fan of Craigslist.

6. Empire of the Sun — This Steven Spielberg directed film is about the Japanese invasion of Shanghai in WWII (the same time they bombed Pearl Harbor). It’s a compelling story, well acted, and taught me a lot about Japan/China during that period of time.

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