What to watch

Ever have trouble deciding what to watch? I definitely struggle with that all the time. If i can’t find something that sounds good, I usually just end up watching reruns of The Office on Netflix, but sometimes I just really want to watch a movie. Never fear! I’ve scoured the internet to bring you a few lists of movies that are streaming on Netflix, and worth watching for various reasons.

Here are several links for general “must watch” lists. If you don’t have any particular genre in mind, and just want something new to watch, check some of these out! There are a lot of really great movies to be seen in each of these lists.

http://likes.com/media/amazing-netflix-movies-youve-never-seen

http://thechive.com/2013/11/21/20-great-films-you-can-watch-on-netflix-right-now-20-photos/

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2013/03/the-100-best-movies-on-netflix-instant.html

http://www.vulture.com/2013/11/whats-new-on-netflix-streaming-november-2013.html

http://www.neontommy.com/news/2013/08/top-ten-movies-netflix-worth-watching

http://jonknudtson.blogspot.com/2013/03/movies-best-movies-streaming-on-netflix.html

If you’re looking for something a little more specific, here are a few more lists that are broken down by genre, including one of my favorites, “awesomely bad” movies.

http://screencrush.com/netflix-instant-horror-movies/

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2012/11/the-20-best-comedy-movies-on-netflix-instant.html

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2012/10/the-25-most-awesomely-bad-movies-on-netflix-instant.html

And finally, just for fun, here’s a list of movies on Netflix that you should avoid, according to The Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/10451736/Netflix-10-films-to-avoid.html?frame=2735589

I’m always looking for If you’ve seen any of the movies in the lists above, feel free to comment and tell us what you thought!

180° South

This pick is a slight break from what we’ve typically been posting on this blog, being that it’s a documentary, but I’ve watched this movie about 15 times since it came out three years ago, and it gives me goosebumps every time.

180° South is a story about a guy named Jeff Johnson. Jeff’s a pretty average guy, with a pretty average job, who loves rock climbing and surfing. However, when Jeff finds old footage of Doug Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard (the founders of The North Face and Patagonia clothing companies) on a road trip to Chile, he decides to find a way to recreate the trip that both men claim played a significant role in the inspiration for their life’s work.

Jeff hires on as a deck hand on a boat bound for Patagonia, Chile and leaves his job, home, and way of life behind to embark on a journey that will change the way he looks at the world. He not only takes the trip of a lifetime, but he gets to meet his heroes.  Jeff  talks to Tompkins and Chouinard about how they have both dedicated their lives to protecting nature in whatever ways they can, and this documentary gives the viewer a peek into exactly what it is that these two are doing to give back using what they have made with their successful companies.

Whether you love spending time in the outdoors, or simply suffer from a bit of wanderlust, you’ll thoroughly enjoy 180° South. From shipwrecks, to mountain climbing, Jeff’s expedition south of the equator has just about everything a good adventure needs, and it’ll leave you wanting to hit the road yourself.

Mud

Mud is about two young boys living somewhere in Arkansas, who stumble upon a mysterious man named Mud, living in a boat suspended in the treetops of a small island in the middle of the Mississippi River. The boys, Ellis and Neckbone, are both curious about who Mud is, and what he’s doing living by himself on that island. The boys are soon drawn into a story of Mud’s undying love for a girl he calls Juniper, and the lengths he is willing to go in order to protect her.

I loved this movie. While the character’s names seemed a little bit silly in the beginning (Mud, Neckbone, ect.), the story is very well written, and McConaughey plays a great supporting role to Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland, who played Ellis and Neckbone, respectively. These two young actors both did a wonderful job portraying two boys who have grown up on the river and living off the land.

Mud is ultimately a coming of age story about Ellis, whose parents are getting divorced, and he is left in the middle to decide how to react. When he meets Mud, he is swept away by Mud’s love for Juniper, and is willing to do just about anything to help him reunite with her.

I highly recommend this one. The story moves along well throughout, the characters are believable, and the end will leave you feeling satisfied.

Netflix Review: Philip Seymour Hoffman transforms into “Capote”

There are great performances and there are performances where an actor completely becomes their character. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of Truman Capote was exactly that. Capote can be so easily caricatured and difficult to seriously imitate convincingly. Hoffman’s portrayal of Capote was not over the top, and more importantly, human. However, he wasn’t the only one to do this in “Capote.”

There’s this one guy that you may have seen in past movies, enjoyed his role but then forgot about him once the movie was over. His name is Clifton Collins Jr. He disappears into his roles consistently and he hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention as he deserves. In “Capote”, he plays Perry Smith who felt so unstable and unpredictable that I found myself feeling both sympathy for him and fear for Capote’s safety. That sounds simple, but seriously, it’s hard to emanate two conflicting natures in a character with few words.

I was especially interested in Nelle Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Harper Lee and Capote were childhood friends, so I was curious to see how their characters got along together in “Capote.” Catherine Keener played Lee and it was exactly how I imagined it. Keener wasn’t over-dramatic and her chemistry with Hoffman fed the childhood friends vibe.

One last thing I liked was the movie’s focus. Often, stories either put the focus in the right place or just completely lack one. “Capote” had a target and kept to it. Truman Capote sums it up saying “It’s the hardest when someone has a notion about you and it’s impossible to convince them otherwise.” This was true even for Capote with his own notions about Perry Smith. It was a well done film about judgement, sympathy, reflection, and guilt.

Best Movies On Netflix Lists

I, for one, understand that just one source of guidance through the minefield of disappointing Netflix movies isn’t enough. So I’ve assembled a few links to other people’s lists of great movies to watch instantly on Netflix.

http://www.imdb.com/list/aU7Q-mZ0euo/

Of course, I’m starting with the list on IMDB. They are one of the most credible sites for movie information. Just a heads up, though, this list is slightly outdated, so some of the movies are no longer on Netflix Instant, but I would still recommend watching them when you next get the chance.

http://mooseradio.com/best-horror-movies-to-watch-instantly-on-netflix-trailers/

Also, unsurprisingly, I am providing you a list of must-watch horror movies on Netflix. While I wouldn’t necessarily categorize “Let the Right One In” as horror, I do recommend that you give it a chance. Overall, this is a strong list for those of you needing your horror fix instantly satiated.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2012/05/the-50-best-movies-on-netflix-instant.html

This list completely nails it. I’ve seen most of these movies myself and can vouch for them. The films I haven’t seen I’ve either heard good things about, or are a complete mystery to me. Either way, I’m using this list for my benefit as well. You’ll find this list comparable to IMDB’s list on credibility.

http://thecorp.org/blog/2013/11/must-watch-netflix-movies/

This one is a little different than the others. It’s a mini-Academy Awards for Netflix in my perspective. The list is the writer’s favorite movies from the listed categories like Best Documentary or, my favorite, “Best Completely-Random-But-Now-My-New-Favorite Move.” It’s worth a look.

http://www.pajiba.com/guides/the-10-best-recent-releases-on-netflix-watch-instantly-2013.php

It’s one of the most useful lists here. Maybe you didn’t want to spend money to go see a specific move and were waiting for it to show up on Netflix Instant to finally watch it at home with no extra effort made. These lists keep you updated. I will also be benefitting from this list for the very reasons I’ve just mention.

If the above mentioned links weren’t helpful enough for you, hopefully the rest of the links below can provide you with more information.

http://madisonmovie.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/instant-gratification-skyfall-and-four-other-good-movies-to-watch-on-netflix-instant/

http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/07/best-movies-netflix-streaming-right-now/

http://fansided.com/2013/11/28/thanksgiving-2013-best-movies-watch-netflix-instant/

http://www.vulture.com/2013/11/best-of-netflix-streaming-hulu-movie-dystopias.html

http://www.neontommy.com/news/2013/08/top-ten-movies-netflix-worth-watching

“Sleeping With The Enemy” Has You Looking Over Your Shoulder

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I started this movie with low expectations even though Julia Roberts was the star of the film. It didn’t take me long to realize how much of a fool I really was. Very little needed to happen to make me paranoid as the story progressed.

Julia Roberts plays Laura Burney who’s husband, Martin Burney played by Patrick Bergin, is possessive and abusive. To make things worse, he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder giving his temper more of a hair trigger than the average angry Joe. Laura goes through with an elaborate plan to disappear from Martin and start fresh far away from him. However, we can all predict that the story does not end with her running away.

Julia Roberts, as usual, plays her part very convincingly and you won’t be able to help but feel paranoid for her. Surprisingly, the little known actor, Patrick Bergin steals the show in this movie. You’ll find yourself both absolutely hating this guy and completely terrified of him. My favorite type of creepy is calm and quiet while still intimidating. In this aspect, Bergin definitely knows what he’s doing. Along with this, the fact that few would be familiar with him makes his role much easier to believe.

If you’re bored and looking for a movie to pass the time, I would recommend watching this movie. It’s just plain and simple fun.

A Reviewer Makes a Movie

I know we are advertised as reviewers, but I felt the urge to share with you my latest creation. I am a slightly paranoid fellow and once my dad left his keys in the unlocked front door for me to find at 3 in the morning a few years ago, I’m never sure about the door being locked. I figure that if my dad is that forgetful, I’ve got a good chance that my ADHD mind will be just as forgetful.

As my past posts may have suggested, I am in love with the horror genre. So it is no surprise that my short film will lean toward that type of mood. I am most certainly still a novice when it comes to making a seamless and compelling piece of cinematic fiction, but I like to think that practice makes perfect.

To be honest, I’m just always excited to show off my progress in my favorite activity which I hope to one day have a career in. I am, of course, eager to share it with readers here on WordPress because I have been greeted with a constructive and warm audience. I would love to hear what you guys have to say about this. I am always open for advice.

Moneyball

ImageBased on the true story of Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane trying to create a World Series capable team out of the lowest budget in all of Major League Baseball, Moneyball is one of the few great classic sports movies around.

Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, is in a tough spot.  He tries to compete with all Major League Baseball for the World Series title but does not have a budget comparable to any of the big name teams.  Everything seems to just continue on like baseball always has, if you don’t have enough of a budget, you cannot get good players.  Until Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, comes along.  Brand teams up with Beane to create a recruiting tool based on a computer-generated analysis system.  They faced opposition from almost everyone when trying to build this team using a system that broke the normal for baseball recruiting, but it worked for them.

Moneyball was a movie that I enjoyed watching.  The acting was great, and I even enjoyed Jonah Hill stepping away from his usual comedian role and taking a more series character.  It captivated my attention from the start and kept it throughout.  It was not a typical “sports action” movie.  This movie focused primarily on the storyline and behind the scenes action of managing the Oakland A’s, but the plot and storyline held me through the entire movie.  It was definitely a 9 out of 10, check this one out next time you are looking for a movie to watch!

Sequels Sometimes A Bad Thing

I wanted to vent about the problem with sequels. We get excited when we find out an awesome movie’s story is going to be continued in a sequel, but, more often than not, we leave the theater feeling disappointed. If the sequel is not disappointing, it may spawn a franchise which just starts to get more annoying as it grows bigger and bigger.

After posting my review of Scream, I watched the next two movies in the series and only found myself wanting to watch the first one again. Watching the Scream 3 especially made me miss the characters from the original. Yes, Scream 2 and Scream 3  add interesting storylines to the series, especially the third one, but I can’t help but think the original would have been just fine as a standalone film. Some things don’t need to be answered and just left up for discussion amongst the audience.

The Saw franchise is a perfect example of this. As the director, James Wan, points out, there was minimal gore in the first one with a focus on the plot and the way it was presented to create the high tension a viewer feels when first watching the movie. It was original and thought provoking. The sequels only seemed to try and repeat what the first had done and that’s an impossible feat for any sequel. Like Scream, it was a refreshing, new, instant classic that was fine as a standalone film.

While there are some sequels that became rare exceptions, most filmmakers should consider taking the short story approach to their movies: leave some questions unanswered. Some questions in the original go unanswered because only the most talented writers can answer those questions well. Even so, a movie is much more interesting with questions left to be answered by the viewer.

Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus Has Fallen was a pretty good movie that I enjoyed watching.  It had a few downfalls, but overall a great plot that kept me attentive and entertained.

The plot was centered around a former Secret Service Agent who found himself trapped inside the White House during a hostage attack on the President of the United States.  Played by Gerard Butler, Mike Banning becomes the only hope the President has of getting out of the White House alive.

I won’t spoil too much of this movie for you, but one of the major downfalls I saw in it was the fact that it had way too much of the classic, down to the wire, predictable action.  Yes, I know that this was supposed to be a suspenseful action movie, but when it becomes too predictable I start to lose interest.  I knew almost everything that was going to happen and it was a typical action packed movie that everything came down to the final 3 seconds and then the hero saves the day.  I am all for a good action movie, but the directors needed to cut down on the predictable-ness of this one.

With that being said, Olympus Has Fallen was still a great movie that is definitely worth your time to watch.  It was action packed and had a great plot that kept me interested.  Just be ready to predict everything that is going to happen because it follows suit in all the other action movies you have already seen.