I have hardly any time for Netflix anymore. It sucks. Over the past week the girls watched lots and lots Avatar: The Last Airbender, Joey finished season one of Workaholics, and I decided to reminisce with Adrian Monk during a bout with insomnia. Other than that:
War of The Arrows - I keep telling you guys how great Korean films are…I wonder if you’re listening? This one is a period piece and it’s pretty damn good. The characters are actually developed; the action sequences are not over the top, but impressive nonetheless; and the story is solid. [5/5]
Teen Wolf - I decided to start watching this because of Tumblr. I’ve seen so many gifs and macros on my dash, from people that I believe have pretty solid taste, that I gave it a shot. Then I realized that I watched the first two episodes when they first aired but completely forgot them because they made no impression on me either way. On rewatch, they still haven’t, but I’ve started episode three now so we’ll see how it goes. So far I give it a [3/5].
I’ve been watching nothing but Sons of Anarchy for the past week or so (except for King of The Hill reruns, because it’s my favorite and I like to go to sleep to Hank Hill’s soothing, Texas drawl).
It took me until episode seven of season one for me to get really into it, but when I did, I was gone. Such a fantastic show. Such great characters! The women especially! Gemma Teller is perfection, Katey Sagal so perfectly cast. Sometimes, though, when I really sit down and think about it, I find myself a bit worried at the fact that I can root so hard for such terrible, terrible people. I guess it’s because they are so complex that you realize that they’re not really terrible people - they’re just…kinda terrible…
Only the first two seasons are on Netflix, so when I was barreling through the last half of the second, I was downloading the third, and I just finished up the last of that a few minutes ago. Perfect timing, because season four premieres tonight at 10pm on FX.
I’m so excited to see where SAMCRO goes next. FREE OTTO!!
This week, with the release of A Dance With Dragons and summer session coming to a close on top of all my usual stuff, I didn’t have time to watch anything (except The Man From Nowhere, which I watched again when Joey was here over the weekend). So, have a gander at what the girls watch when they have free reign over my Netflix account. Note that The IT Crowd and Doctor Who was repeated many, many times over.
This week on Netflix Instant Watch (I only rate and review things I haven’t seen before):
- Following Sean - I watched the original documentary short for a sociology class years ago and really liked it. Sean was adorable; his life was so interesting. This full length follow up seemed to me to be more about the filmmaker than Sean, and I appreciated the juxtaposition of it, but I found myself worn out with that side of it, and just wanting to catch up with Sean. It did offer a lot of insight into the 60s and San Francisco - two things I like learning about, but it wasn’t enough to really make this work for me. [2/5]
- Let Me In - I loved the original. There was such a softness to it, if that makes any sense, and I felt like the child actors were great in their roles. Of course I was against a remake (I always am at first because I’m of the opinion that sometimes you should just leave well enough alone), but was happy to give this a chance. It’s pretty much a scene for scene remake, but the cinematography was noticeably different in some parts - which was both good and bad. I did find some of the violent scenes campy, rather than scary, but other than that I thought it fairly well done. It just didn’t connect with me the way that the original film did. Also I need to pick up the book. [3/5]
- Mary and Max - Charming, quirky, funny, and touching. I absolutely loved it - the claymation, the characters, the story - I thought everything was perfect. But! It is incredibly depressing the entire way through. I mean Jesus Christ, I felt like someone had run over my dog. Consider that a warning, in case you decide to watch it, and I do recommend that you watch it. It’s a fantastic film. [5/5]
- Antibodies - A German film. A slight rip-off of Silence of The Lambs, which they totally acknowledge, but no where as intriguing. And the cop’s whole catholic guilt thing was overplayed and annoying. In one scene, he’s in a hotel room and stumbles upon porn, then forces himself to turn and ends up on a bishop praying, and then doesn’t want to see that either so turns back to the porn but can’t watch that so back to the bishop but no! and so on and so forth. Like…there are only two channels? TURN TO SOMETHING ELSE DAMN! When I was grabbing the Netflix link to put here I saw all the 5 and 4 star reviews and was like ‘what am I missing?!’ Then I saw this one, and it sums up what I thought about the movie pretty well. [1/5]
- Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father - Evidently I was in the mood to have my heart ripped out this week. The Netflix description says this film is poignant - definite understatement. The connection between the film maker and the subjects made all the difference in the world, I believe. Get the tissues ready, and take off any eye makeup you might be wearing. [5/5]
- Mother - I originally decided to watch this because it was listed as “scary”, and I was all ‘ooooo korean horror!’ I found this not at all scary, but I’m still glad I watched it. It was suspenseful (except for a few draggy parts) and darkly funny. Fantastic acting from Kim Hye-Ja, who plays the titular character, and an interesting story. [3/5]
- The Man From Nowhere - SO GOOD. So I’ve mentioned multiple times now I think how much I love Korean horror and thriller films, but I should include action films too - so good. (Just, basically all Korean cinema really. I spend a lot of time looking for things to watch on Korean Movie Database, and I have such a long list of what I want to see.) Anyway, this film was pretty great. Similar in plot to other child kidnapping films you’ve seen like Man on Fire or Taken, but kicked up a few notches (and much better than those examples.) Not to mention, Won Bin is super hot. He’s also in Mother, mentioned above. [5/5]
- Suspect Zero - Save yourself the trouble and rewatch 7even or a bit of Dexter. If you’re set on Netflix Instant Watch and you’re in the mood for Carrie Ann Moss, Memento just made its debut. Ben Kingsley? Shutter Island. Aaron Eckhart? Conversations With Other Women. [2/5]
- The Good, The Bad, The Weird
- A Tale of Two Sisters
The Bella watched Where The Red Fern Grows (she told me she didn’t like it because it made her sad) and together we watched Time Bandits (Bella fell asleep; Goobie laughed her ass off the entire time).
Baby's Day Out
This is the ONLY John Hughes film available to watch instantly on Netflix. I felt that this travesty of a situation was worth a complaint post. I mean seriously. I’m pretty sure he wrote or directed at least two dozen films and the only one up is the absolute worst.
This week on Netflix Instant (I only rate and review things I haven’t seen before):
- Killers - Netflix says I made it 32 minutes into this film. Jesus Christ, terrible. I think I turned it on in an attempt to commit suicide or something. While I was watching it, everytime Bella came in the room she yelled out “KELSO!” and pointed at Ashton Kutcher, which was loads more entertaining than this film. And ugh, Katherine Heigl is just fucking unbearable. UNBEARABLE. [1/5]
- Knockaround Guys - What a fantastic cast, and what a disappointing film. The script was crap; the acting really good. The plot was basic and predictable. I’ll watch almost anything mob/mafia related, so I was entertained, but I don’t think I’d recommend it to anyone unless they, like me, have an incredible crush on Barry Pepper. [2/5]
- Capturing The Friedmans - Fantastically made documentary, one of the best I’ve ever seen (and one I’ve been wanting to for a while, so thank you Netflix recommendations!) thanks to the inclusion of home movies and audio tapes from The Friedmans themselves. Infuriatingly ambiguous, which was probably the only way for this film to be made, but I still left with the inclination that Jesse was very possibly innocent of the charges. [4/5]
- I Saw The Devil - Love, love, love, lovedddddd this film from Kim Ji-woon, an absolute master at getting your heart racing. I believe that the best thiller and horror films are Asian - especially Korean. This is a violent, gory film; I cringed quite a bit. It is also a heartbreaking, beautiful film. The final scene crushed me. Two of my favorite Korean actors - Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun - star, and are brilliant, as per usual, in their respective roles. This is one of those movies that is art as well as entertainment, and if you can handle some bloody torture, I think you should see it. [5/5]
- Howl - I enjoy Allen Ginsberg’s work, and this film was directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, both of whom also directed one of my favorite documentaries, Paragraph 175, so I was looking forward to seeing this when I first heard about it, but I never got around to it. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. I’ve only ever once been engrossed in James Franco’s acting, and that was in 127 Hours. Watching him portray Ginsberg was like watching him pretend to be Ginsberg. I merit acting based on whether I believe it or not. I didn’t believe it, although he did do a good job. I also didn’t care for the animated sequences that were meant to bring to life the poetry. I liked the indecency trial scenes most, and found the film to be beautifully shot - especially the black and white memory sequences. Those seemed to capture the beat generation really well (not that I would know, being an 80s baby). All in all, I liked pieces and disliked pieces, and I wouldn’t watch it again. [2/5]
- World’s Greatest Dad - I enjoy dark comedies, and this film started off promising. I laughed quite a bit. I love Robin Williams, and Daryl Sabara was great in his role as Kyle, the disgusting, savagely mean and self centered son whose death triggers the main story. Actually, I felt like the film was better before Kyle’s death. Everything that came after seemed overblown and unrealistic. I still enjoyed it, especially for the message underneath the satire and the humor. Also, one of my favorite musicians makes a cameo, and Henry Simmons is yummy, so there’s that. [3/5]
- Following - I’m of the opinion that Christopher Nolan has never made a bad film. Everything he touches is gold; he is a genius, etc. etc., all the clichés. Now that I’ve seen this - his first film and the only one I hadn’t seen so far - I can be sure that when I say it, I’m right. It has everything I’ve come to expect in Nolan’s films, and more. I enjoyed the noir-y feel to it, the cast, and especially the plot and non-linear storyline. It kept me guessing - a Nolan specialty. [4/5]
I’m still watching Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and have moved on to season two. I love the theme song so much, by the way. I almost always enjoy anime theme music. The girls watched The Little Princess and Iron Man 2, and together we all watched The Lost Boys: Special Edition and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Instantwatcher, from the folks at Instantwatcher.com is one of my favorite apps, offering a lot of help when it comes to navigating Netflix’s instant streaming titles. It has features that the Netflix website and Wii interface (where I use Netflix most) don’t have (or are hard to use) but desperately need. It’s helped me find movies I probably wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, and offers the liabilities to manage your Netflix Instant Queue from inside the app.
- Greatest feature is definitely search. It allows search by actor, director, genre, and more. It could definitely be better, especially if they enabled fuzzy-string-searching, but it’s still better than what Netflix offers on its own. Sometimes you just don’t know how to spell what you’re looking for!
- I like using bookmarking for keeping track of things that I want to check out but don’t want to put in my queue.
- It’s currently impossible to edit your account information. Big P.I.T.A.
- The lists are useful - especially the “expiring soon” one. It kicks my ass into gear if I’ve been putting something off, letting me know something won’t be around much longer.
It hasn’t been updated since 2010, which is ridiculous (especially since it costs $1.99) and as I mentioned above, there are some definite improvements to be made, but it’s pretty indispensable to me and I’ve seen nothing that can compare.