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 should probably actually post a recommendation for once.
Power Rangers: Time Force is really good. They hired things like competent writers and actual actors for once, the action sequences are really impressive, (They feel like a step up from the other Power Rangers seasons I've seen, especially the US shot stuff. Considering this is power Rangers we're talking about that's saying something, and the soundtrack for that show is amazing and sadly never got a release.
My only nitpick is the individual zords for the main team have absolutely no personality or charm whatsoever and only exist so they can make the megazord, but the Quantum Ranger's Q-rex zord more than makes up for it.
Anyone been watching Mindhunter on Netflix? It's a David Fincher show (so it's got that gritty look) about the early days of profiling serial killers.
It opens on a pretty gruesome note (you SEE someone shooting himself in the head with a shotgun), but that's pretty much the only touch of gratuitous shock value in the show: most of the "action" is FBI guys interviewing serial killers.
The cast is just great. The main guy Ford does this sideways glance that kills me every time. Serial killer Ed Kemper is amazing as this smart and likeable-enough-to-make-you-forget-he's-a-monster killer, and seeing Anna Torv in this show really makes me miss Fringe.
The female characters are more fleshed out than usual for the genre, perhaps because, while most of the episodes are directed by Fincher and other dudes, a lot of the episodes have female writers.
I'm pretty peeved about the way the season ends, however, or perhaps I should say that it "stops". I like my TV show seasons to have a full story arc and provide SOME closure. Otherwise, feels like half a season. I'm not talking about a cliffhanger, here. There's just no resolution to any plot thread at all. And season 2 is a ways away.