Netflix Pick: “Submarine” comes of age

I’m one of those people that finds it very difficult to resist the draw of a good coming-of-age story. Something about tales of young people discovering who they are and what it’s like to be a part of the “real world” really gets to me, particularly if they’re presented with style and a unique voice. Therefore, I was very excited when I heard the rumblings of a great one making the rounds at film festivals a year or so ago. That film was “Submarine,” and it’s now available on Netflix Instant Streaming, allowing me to finally check it out for myself. If you’re wondering how much I loved this movie, read all about it after the break!

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Who Ya Gonna Call? Not Bill Murray


For the last few months, Ghostbusters fans have been following the news about the possible release of a third film. Dan Aykroyd has been releasing monthly updates on the progress of the movie, but it’s still at a very early stage.  The script is still being tweaked and modified, production and finances don’t seem to be an issue, but one major road block stands in the way: Bill Murray.

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Netflix Pick: “Mary and Max” Will Break Your Damn Heart

If there’s any place better known for availability of quirky independent films than the eclectic library of titles available on Netflix’s instant streaming service, it’s the Sundance Film Festival. Held annually in Park City, Utah, the festival is the premier location for a wide and varied selection of independent films. In 2009, the festival opened with a strange, Australian stop-motion film called “Mary and Max.” Often, the opening film is not one of the strongest of the festival, but I remembered hearing how surprisingly fantastic this one managed to be. Did this weird little film deserve such praise? Find out after the break! Read more of this post

Netflix Pick: UHF Will Rot Your Brain

This week, I crossed a movie off of my comedy nerd list of shame. I was aware of the cult following of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s absurdist sketch film, “UHF,” and I’d been a fan of his parody songs since I was a kid. For some reason, however, I’d just never gotten around to seeing the movie. Thanks to Netflix, I was recently able to right that wrong.

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Chronicle OR: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Telekinesis

Though the style may be running rampant recently, I must admit that I am a fan of the “found footage” gimmick. Something about the whole let’s-all-pretend-just-for-like-an-hour-and-a-half-that-this-is-actually-happening shtick makes for some creative (if contrived) uses of camera and sound that often have the effect of making the ridiculous seem tangible. With the debatable exception of “Cloverfield,” most found footage films thus far have been of the horror persuasion. “Chronicle,” the latest release to utilize the style, is more of a high-school-set action/dramedy. Is this where found footage films jump the proverbial shark, or does this gimmicky style still have some battery life left in its camera?

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Netflix Pick: Happythankyoumoreplease

If there’s one thing I love about Netflix Instant Watch, it’s the abundance of independent films from promising first time writer/directors. This week’s pick is a notable indie dramedy that fits comfortably in that category, seeing as it is the debut feature from Josh Radnor. If that name sounds familiar, then you may be a fan of the beloved sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” in which Radnor plays serially romantic protagonist, Ted Mosby [if you’re not a fan yet, “HIMYM” is also available on Netflix (hint, hint)]. How does he fare as a writer/director? Find out after the break!

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Netflix Pick: The Perfect Host

This week’s Netflix Pick is a movie I’ve been dancing around checking out for a while now. I remember hearing tell of a strange, twisty thriller starring David Hyde Pierce making the film festival rounds a couple of years ago, which piqued my interest for a variety of reasons. I noticed a few months back that it had been added to the illustrious Netflix instant watch catalog, and was flirting with idea of checking it out, despite the mixed reviews I’d seen. For the purposes of my little weekly feature, I decided to finally take the jump. Is “The Perfect Host” worth your hour and a half? Find out after the break!

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MUST WATCH: Black Dynamite Animated Series Pilot Kicks Some Honkey Ass!

“Black Dynamite” was easily one of the most surprisingly amazing comedies of these last few years. Though it was hardly a commercial success right off the bat, it’s been growing more and more popular as of late just by word of mouth alone. It’s one of those movies that’s so damn hilarious and kicks so much ass, it’s almost crime to not have seen it by now. For those of you that still haven’t, do yourself a favor and go pick it up. You won’t regret it.

But I’m not here to talk about the movie. “Black Dynamite – The Animated Series” is reportedly expected to air early this year. Although the trailer has been floating around the web since last fall, somehow I hadn’t heard about it until now. The full pilot episode has been difficult to find in full, but the it’s currently available on JoBlo.com. We’ve got the details here.

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Netflix Pick: The Vicious Kind

FYI: This is not the poster Netflix uses. It is infinitely better than the image they chose, as are all other posters I found for this film.

Just in case you were worried that I would forget about my promise to keep this up as a weekly feature, I’m here to PROVE YOU WRONG. There’s an absolute wealth of great content available on Netflix instant streaming, a great deal of which most people have probably never heard of. There’s nothing I love doing quite as much as showing people fantastic films they didn’t even know existed, and that goes double for myself. Therefore, this feature will essentially be a chronicling of my journey through the wilds of Netflix’s library, watching a new film every week and letting you know whether or not it’s worth your time. Luckily, “The Vicious Kind” is absolutely worth your time. Find out why after the break!

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Netflix Pick: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Given the rampant availability of devices that are able to stream the vast library of titles offered by Netflix instant streaming,   I thought that providing recommendations of said titles on a somewhat-regular basis might be a useful feature on the site. After all, there are SO many great gems on the service that a lot of people might easily overlook, especially given the relative shittiness of many of the title browsing interfaces on certain platforms (mine being PS3). To get this feature started, I bring to your attention the wonderfully slapstick horror-comedy “Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil.”

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The Adventures of Tintin

I can quite honestly say that I would not be as enthusiastic about the medium of film as I am today without the films of Steven Spielberg. Specifically, that enthusiasm would be nonexistent without the Indiana Jones trilogy (that’s right, TRILOGY). I can remember seeing “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” for the first time as if it was yesterday (yes, I saw them out of order, don’t judge me). Even on a crappy VHS on a small TV, I was swept up in the globe-trotting, treasure-hunting adventures of Dr. Jones and his affable gang of companions. Recently, Spielberg gave us a return to that kind of film with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” but the results were lacking in a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Actually, je sais precisely quoi; it was lacking in heart and character and quality setpieces and any appearance of genuine giving-a-shit. Thankfully, Spielberg has been given a second chance at producing that brand of cinematic adventuring (this time sans the confused mind of a 2012-fearing George Lucas) with the animated motion-capture spectacle “The Adventures of Tintin.” Was Spielberg able to find redemption this time around? The answer is a surprising “Pretty much, yeah.”

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Let’s Talk the Block.

If you liked "Shaun of the Dead", you HAVE to check this out. The only way I can describe it is "The Goonies" meets "Gremlins" meets Ali G.

I consider myself to be pretty gangster. I know a handful of awesomely gangster sayings and hip slang, and even own a t-shirt proclaiming how gangster I indeed am. Close friends of mine would attest to how truly gangster I’m capable of being. That being said, nothing could have prepared me for how gangster a group of inner-city kids from London could be. Not even all the hours of Ali G I’ve watched in my time.

Over the summer, I caught wind that a small studio (which includes a few of the great minds behind “Shaun of the Dead”) was putting out a new action-comedy about an alien invasion called “Attack the Block.” My interest was further piqued by the unusually high ratings I found on Rotten Tomatoes, and before I knew it, I was hunting down showtimes and more information about the movie’s über-limited release (there was only one theater playing the movie in the Bay Area at the time).

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How Sharktopus Stole My Heart (And Ate Others)

Actual dialogue from the movie: “The creature appeared to be some hybrid of shark and octopus... a Sharktopus, if you will.”

Last week I had one of the most incredible (drunk) experiences I’ve ever had with a movie. It was a movie so bad, so horribly bad, but with a premise so awesome that it could only be best enjoyed by a group of  friends as drunk as you are. You’ve been there. The movie is Sharktopus, a film about a genetic-experiment gone rogue, who kills hundreds of innocent victims along the coast of Mexico. One of my friends watching the movie said the best part of the movie was the part she fell asleep during. She couldn’t have been more wrong.

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The Good, The Bad and The Room

The Room Movie Poster

The history of film is littered with bad movies (anyone seen “Gigli”? I didn’t think so). But sometimes, a film is so colossally bad that it becomes a thing of legend. “The Room” is one of those films.

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Paul. Is. Awesome.

"We're just a pair of regular guys walking down the street... with a small cowboy."

I’ve been a fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost since twenty minutes into “Shaun of the Dead” back when I first saw it in theaters in 2004. Their undeniable charm and impeccable writing had me hooked on the dynamic British duo instantly. A few years later, the pair returned with “Hot Fuzz“, again working with Writer/Director Edgar Wright to deliver another incredible film. I was sold: these three guys make great fucking movies. My sheer faith in Wright convinced me to watch “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” knowing almost nothing about the film or graphic novel, and it ended up being one of my favorite movies of all time.

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