Another random Netflix afternoon, starting with Beyond Clueless:
I have to admit I was disappointed to learn the Charlie Lyne responsible for this visual essay – or dissertation, really – exploring the tropes of the high school/teen movie since the mid 1990s is actually male. Blame the gender ambiguity of the name, or the choice of presentation (narration provided by Fairuza Balk), or my own expectation that we were finally getting to hear what a woman has to say about film in a film. I guess that’s still a picture that needs to be made. It doesn’t diminish the work here, however, though it’s better appreciated as a personal reading of the material at hand rather than a prescriptive definition of the genre, if it’s even a genre.
I made it a double bill with the risible Death Wish 3:
Michael Winner’s aspirations to be a Director with a capital D are evident in the odd touch – a weird angle here, an artful framing there – sprinkled throughout this rote, workmanlike vigilante fantasy, one that comes with all the nastiness you might expect. Shame it’s such a slog to get through, though the action certainly picks up in the last 20 minutes, with enough silliness to make one suspect Winner might well be in on the joke.