Netflix. It's on the 360, it's on PS3, it's on the Wii, it's $8 a month, it doesn't require a disc, and it's now even in Canada (with a severely reduced selection). So. Unless you're really poor, a picky Canadian, a hater of the 7th art, or European, there's no excuse for not having it!
What movies has the streaming service allowed you to discover?
Because of the limited selection here in Canada, which denies us access to some of the more recent and popular movies on the service, I've been using Netflix to watch 2 different kinds of movies: terrible crap that I'd never make any effort or pay anything to see (The Happening, Teen Wolf Too), and highly respected and acclaimed foreign movies that for some reason I always put back on the shelf without renting when I'm at the video store.
So here's a recommendation for you:
Amores Perros - This movie received much acclaim, won many prizes, and I'm probably one of the last chumps to see it. But hey, maybe you haven't seen it either, so at least I'm better than you. From looking at the title, you may recognize the word "amores" (love) and get totally the wrong idea about the movie. You may also recognize "perros" (dog) and be completely befuddled. Basically, the movie contains three vignettes in which cruelty and, yes, love, are central themes.
For one third of the movie, you follow the story of a kid using his dog to participate in dog fights and win money so he can elope with his brother's wife. For the second part, you follow a couple's crumbling relationship and oh god you're getting totally the wrong idea again. Don't worry, it's totally interesting and plays out a bit like a thriller. Actually, watching it I felt like I was reading an Edgar Allan Poe short story, but maybe it's just because it features... sounds... coming out of the floorboard. The third story is about this vagrant who abandoned his family to become a guerillero, went to prison, and now takes on hitman jobs from the corrupt cop who arrested him.
The characters cross each others' paths a couple of time, so you could say it's a bit like Pulp Fiction in that way, except I found the stories and characters in this film infinitely more interesting. Heh.
I don't know what your experience with foreign movies is or what you think of them, all I can say is that this movie is absolutely not boring. From the first scene to the last, I was hooked.
I've watched 5 or so episodes of Gotham and it isn't really a Batman show. Sure it leads into Bruce Wayne becoming Batman but it is really more of a Jim Gordan show. Kind of showing the slow burn that is leading up to why Gotham needs someone like Batman but from Gordan's ground level perspective.
@TriforceBun Yeah so finished the second season... definitely gets even better. I really feel like, despite being one of these sort of, for lack of a better way to describe it, "chaotic comedies", it manages to find some real grounding when it gets into certain topics like adult relationships and such as well. Some really powerful moments. Was not expecting that based on early first season stuff.
Anybody been watching Aziz Ansari's Master of None? It's a fairly "smart" comedy that tackles a lot of big issues in some pretty progressive ways. It's not perfect (for instance, some of the acting seems very stilted at times, especially his TV parents who are played by his actual, non-actor parents) but we're enjoying it.
I'm just copying this from a Facebook post I made...
So we watched a few episodes of Fuller House and... meh. I can't say I was the biggest fan of the original show but I did watch it and enjoy it sometimes (and I MAY have had a bit of a crush on Aunt Becky) but this new one... I'm not sure what it is going for? WAY too many references to the original show (nostalgia is fine but we don't need everyone saying their catch phrases multiple times per episode and yes, they ALREADY broke out Jesse and the Rippers playing "Forever") but honestly its biggest crime is probably just how bland and unoriginal it felt. It tries to be "edgier" than the original show (revealing clothes, more sex talk, etc.) but also family friendly and well... that's pretty much every generic family sitcom nowadays? I don't mind edgy when it has a message but it felt like it had nothing to say. AH WELL. (On the plus side Aunt Becky still has it.)
Oh and there was a lot of breaking the 4th wall which isn't necessarily bad but at one point it was done to parody its own sincerity and like come on... either be sincere or don't!
Oh yeah, Lori Loughlin! Always nice to see her. She's in her 50s now...but honestly? I wouldn't know it by looking at her. She...she still looks good. Seeing her in the 2008 "reboot" of '90210' was a surprise treat when I sat down and watched that with my wife.
As for the show, a buddy of mine was telling me about how they broke the fourth wall a lot. Especially during one such time, which was a reference to the Olsen twins and why their old character wasn't on the show. I haven't seen 'Fuller House' and I can't count myself as one that was a fan of the original, but hearing about that specific joke actually kind of made me want to see it.
Smart girl. She's a keeper. Well, not for starting without you, but for not waiting to dive in.
What makes it so great? The question is, what doesn't?
The acting is nearly spot on (Winona Ryder and David Harbour are fantastic), the music is amazing (like, totally), the directing and camera work are well done, the 80s vibe is super rad, the story is interesting and feels fresh, and, I mean, even the design of the series name is awesome!
The series creates a sense of tension from the start, and keeps one intrigued through a compelling desire for resolution. It has heart, and it seems to beat for all involved. There are a few cringe worthy moments, but just look past them, and let the experience envelope you. It's a glorious one.
A series like this doesn't come along often. One that has so many genres mixed into one. Very few, as well, feature both kids and adults in a seriously compelling way. The kids are fantastic, seriously fantastic. Sure, the roles are generically typical, but it works. It's as if you're watching three versions of the story at once. The adults, the kids, and teenagers. Brilliant stuff.
Super 8 came to my mind when watching it. As did E.T., so I can get the Spielberg vibe you mention. However, Stranger Things is truly its own, and stands firmly as such. It is very rare for me to rewatch something, especially so soon after watching it. But, I want to. I watched it on the smaller TV in my bedroom, but I want to watch it again on the bigger screen with the sound system cranked up. This show is cinematic in every way. It's a marvelous gem through and through.
@DrFinkelstein@Koovaps@NoName My cousin, Shirley and I started it last night and binged watched 4 episodes in a row (they're nearly an hour long each) until we had to stop because it was 3 in the morning and we had to wake up early the next day. (Actually Shirley went to bed halfway through the last episode.)
It's really good. It does remind me of Super 8 in the sense that it'd almost be a kid-friendly show if not for all of the messed up stuff happening and very adult violence (it also has some adult sexual elements, which Super 8 didn't really have.) But it's basically this weird drama sort of centered around kids (though it jumps between who it is centering on a lot with a pretty large cast... kids, adults, teens, reminds me of Twin Peaks in the sense that it has so many different people it jumps between centering on) which involves some weird creepy stuff going on and missing children and yada yada.
My only real complaint is it seems to be showing a lot of its cards early on. As opposed to Twin Peaks where 90% of the time you're like WTF IS GOING ON?! here it's like we kind of already know the main players and this and that 4 episodes in, it introduces a lot of BIZARRE stuff but then you get some kind of half explanation soon after for most of it, so it's just a matter of getting to the root of it. Unless they start throwing even more twists into it, which they probably will.
I'm jealous! You get to experience this for the first time. I wish I could scrub my brain clean of it and watch it again. Enjoy... as if you'll have a choice. Just be sure to pump up the volume for the full shebang.
I wasn't honestly expecting to yet, but I managed to watch the first 3 episodes of Stranger Things. Gotta say, it is pretty darn good! I may not quite like it as much as you yet, @NoName, but there is plenty to enjoy. A few thoughts. -The kids are all great, though I question a few of the reactions here and there. -Teenage girls are stupid, even the smart ones. (I have a teenage girl. Pray for me.) -Hints of E.T., Poltergeist, and a few other 80s staples. Felt more homage than theft, which is a good thing. -Why did they kill Benny? I liked him a bunch.
Only 5 episodes to go. Shouldn't take terribly long to finish. Great recommendation!