Batman Concludes with The Dark Knight Rises

Seven years ago, there was a spike in the pop-cultural “cool” factor of enjoying the Batman. With the release of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, those put off by the silliness and absurdity often associated with comic-book narratives were enraptured by the film’s far more grounded take on the Caped Crusader. When the much anticipated follow-up, The Dark Knight, was released in 2008, that “cool” factor increased tenfold, as did the amount of Joker cosplayers. Four years and far too many “Why so serious”es later, has Nolan delivered a fitting conclusion to his beloved series, or does the trilogy crash and burn in the home stretch?

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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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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

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: 13 Assassins

I’m about to admit something that may lose me a few points of modern film geek cred… I have never seen a film by Takashi Miike. Everything I’ve heard about “Audition” and “Ichi the Killer” has caused me a bit of hesitation on account of the modicum of squeamishness that still sits within my hardened, grown-up sensibilities. The descriptions of Miike’s “13 Assassins” seemed free of such warnings for the weak of stomach, so I figured that its addition to the Netflix catalog was the perfect opportunity to right that wrong. Read more of this post

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 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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