As the weather gets colder and the rain begins to come down a bit more often it’s a good time of year to be inside watching movies. And just as we start to think about putting some funds aside for the holidays and whatnot the idea of shelling out twelve bucks to go to the theater or download something from the iTunes store gets less and less appealing.
So naturally it’s the perfect time for our monthly look-in at Netflix to determine what’s can’t miss and what’s simply can’t watch. Without further ado here’s a quick glance at what we’ve been watching on Netflix lately.
We can remember the A-Team being a big hit as a kid, but we never did have much interest in action/adventure shoot em up type stuff so in the 80’s we stuck more to stuff like Cheers and Taxi. As an adult though we’re loving the A-Team. The series has aged well. Which is to say it’s aged very badly. Which is to say that it was probably more over-the top-ridiculous than anything else in the 80’s, when almost everything was ridiculous. It’s got a lot of the same comic sensibilities as MASH, but with plenty of gunfights, car chases, helicopter chases, and helicopter-chasing-car-and-shooting-guns chases thrown in. We pity the fool who doesn’t add it to their queue. ★ ★ ★ ★
Speaking of dudes who come back from Vietnam and form elite clubs with guns, we’re also making our way though Sons of Anarchy. If you’re like us and find yourself in the position of being all caught up on Breaking Bad and the Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black, this is definitely the show for you. Granted, it’s not top-tier stuff like BB, the Wire or the Sopranos, but it goes a long way toward filling the void if you like crime dramas. After finishing season 1 our impressions are as follows: Sexy doctors don’t fuck outlaw biker gun runners. That’s not the way the world works. The whole idea of a character like Tara is just absurd. On the other hand Katey Sagal is in this show, and she’s so ridiculously good she deserves some kind of lifetime achievement Emmy. Plus in season 2 Henry Rollins plays a crazy white supremacist. ★ ★ ★ ★
And crazy white supremacists segues nicely into our next title, This is England. The story of a 12 year old British kid who’s just lost his father and kicks about aimlessly in a dull, Thatcher-era Northern town. This is England was the first movie we ever streamed on Netflix, and it’s easily one of the most re-watchable titles the service offers. It’s a fictional film that tells the story of skinhead culture better than any documentary ever could. We’d liken it to an English version of American History X, but it’s even better than that. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
While Skinhead culture was on the rise in England, Punk culture was lurking just below the surface somewhere in Detroit. A Band Called Death is a new addition to Netflix and very much worth a look. For more info, check this preview we wrote of its screening at the Charles Theater on September 19. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
While Death’s David Hackney turned down a recording contract and spent the rest of his life broke, garage band members aren’t the only ones facing a paucity of funds. It can happen to pro athletes too, especially NFL has-beens. Broke follows the stories of Andre Rison and others who bought fur coats and made it rain and pissed away multi million dollar fortunes.
Incidentally, if you search Netflix for ’30 for 30,’ you’ll find forty of the films in that series, including Without Bias and Barry Levinson’s The Band the Wouldn’t Die, both of which are amazing and should be mandatory viewing for all Marylanders. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Another movie that can be kind of hard to find is Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. We found it buried way, way down in the Halloween Favorites section along with a lot of horror stuff we have little interest in. Unfortunately we didn’t find it until the day after Halloween but no matter- it’s suitable for viewing all the way through Christmas. This movie is going to #1 in our queue, because somehow we’ve managed to make it this far in life and only see small parts of it. Rare that Netflix puts up a great movie we haven’t already seen at least once, so now that it has we’re going to enjoy it. [No star rating.]