If you're anything like me, you've got a mental list full of films that you didn't get a chance to see when they were in theaters. Luckily, Videorama and Netflix are cheap. Here are some of the flicks I've rented lately, so I can finally cross 'em off my list—but you should add 'em to yours, if they aren't on there already.
• The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)—Tommy Lee Jones directed and stars in this modern western, which follows a badass rancher who embarks on a quest to bury his faithful (and decaying) friend. Great performances abound, but the best part of Three Burials is Jones' surprisingly confident and moving direction.
• The Venture Bros., Season One (2003)—Those of us without cable have to catch up with Adult Swim's offerings on DVD after the fact—but Venture Bros. is worth the wait. A dead on tribute/spoof of classic boys' fare like The Hardy Boys and Jonny Quest, Venture Bros. successfully and cleverly combines hilarious writing, great voicework, and a gorgeous '60s aesthetic. I mean, c'mon—how can you not like a show where one of the bad guys is a butterfly-themed supervillain named The Monarch?
• Night Watch (2004)—This Russian action-fantasy is fucking weird: Goofy and loud and bewildering, it has something to do with vampires and killer dolls and your standard, age-old conflict between good and evil. Night Watch is fun enough on its own, but be sure to watch the film with the original Russian audio and the English subtitles. Director Timur Bekmambetov's worked the subtitles into the film: When a character screams, the subtitles pop over the screen and shatter; when a vampire speaks underwater, her words are blood-red and dissolve into the blue; in a David Fincher-esque sequence shot with strobes and grime, the subtitles blend into the grit. It sounds gimmicky, I know, but it's actually really cool—and just one of Night Watch's many inventive, likeable quirks.