Stream Them If You’ve Got Them: Your Guide To Netflix And Streaming, Mar 6, 2014

Top Netflix Streamer of the Week
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Here’s a film that’s excellent with a beret, while sipping coffee, or even for getting blazed in your winnie. Especially now! For a couple decades there the Cold War was pretty passé but now things are getting full of frisk again, so it’s probably time to ponder the ol’ threat o’ nuclear annihilation. Even if that makes you scoff (you scoffer!) then at least you’ll enjoy the idea of a slightly more subtle live-action Team America: World Police. The story here was that director Stanley Kubrick had everyone do a zany over-the-top take before the “real” acting commenced … and then he used that version instead, infuriating the actors who didn’t know what he was going for. This is one of the more subversive (and damning) pieces of commercially viable art ever made, there’s a reason it’s one of the 11 films from pre-1970s era in the IMDB top 50. Even the kids like it! Anyway, maybe have a party and stream it all over again, like it was the first time.

Streamability: Absotively.

Old but New to Streaming Netflix Movies for the Recently Born
Silence of the Lambs

I sort of feel like Silence of the Lambs started the epoch of movies that we’re still in. I mean, we were cheering for the serial killer to help solve the serial killer mystery! And then he got a sequel, and a show, and bunch of lunch box crossover marketing dollars. See what I’m saying here? Plus, not for nothing, but the below “Buffalo Bill” scene is a fine example of a moment that’s deeply creepy and yet potentially hilarious. RESPECT.

Streamability: Yeah, sure, of course, why not?

Physically New Media for Netflix, Streaming Elsewhere
About Time

I loved this one, almost as much as Love, Actually (same writer/director), but I’d estimate only around four people saw it. And why is that? It’s got Margot Robbie, whom you may have memorized from Wolf of Wall Street. It’s a sci-fi rom-com. That’s a lot of hyphens, but this film more than justifies them. Perhaps About Time is a little melancholy, but I still think it’s date night material. Then again, I never go on dates. But still.

Streamability: If I’m you, I’m watching it.

Physically New Media for Netflix
Dallas Buyers Club

Were you aware this made $31 million in theaters? Which means, at about $8 bucks a seat, that’s less than four million folks, out of seven billion, who managed to see the film. And yet, double Academy Awards in the acting categories! So that means the stampede toward viewing must start, yes? Why, it’s almost as if The Academy Awards are now in the business of making sure you watch things on home video, and not in the business of promoting things you’ve already heard of. I know, I know, perhaps I’m the crazy guy rambling at the bus stop, but don’t let that get in the way of Dallas Buyers Club, a pretty solid film even apart from the politics of The Academy.

Streamability: You’ve got to find out why Matt McConaughey is his own hero. Do it!

Netflix Streaming Title Only I Like
Vanilla Sky

Whenever a filmmaker has cool little music video vignettes it goes a long way toward me liking the film. I don’t mean like the dopey Zack Snyder nonsense, I mean legitimately well thought out music meets mood moments. Vanilla Sky (a remake of the equally good Abre Las Ojos) also shows what happens when you drive a crazy woman, well, even more crazy.

Streamability: Maybe just for me? But do NOT watch it with a person you’re only sort of dating. That will go horribly wrong.

The Bad, The Bad, and the Ugly New to Netflix


Every once in awhile someone gets an idea so bad that you almost have to whistle in appreciation at the stupidity of it all. Oldboy, a classically brutal Korean film, made wonderful contextual sense in a 2003, in a culture without ready access to guns (or at least one that seemed plausibly so). Then fast-forward to 2013, insert Josh Brolin, and have him doing a bunch of ninja moves in the American inner-city while everyone in the audience (who hasn’t seen the original) thinks, “Well, wait, why are none of these gangsters armed?” For fans of the original, this is a pale comparison, and for people who haven’t seen the original it won’t make any sense. Perfect.

Streamability: If you want to come to the startling conclusion that Spike Lee might be done as a viable filmmaker, then yes.

And Finally …

The Station Agent

Esquire did this whole article on Peter Dinklage, who sort of “made it” based on the The Station Agent. Without this movie we wouldn’t have Tyrion Lannister! So pay your debts already, this is an entirely cool film that you should stream immediately if you’re not doing anything else important. And I mean important. Playing the fool doesn’t count.

Streamability: Oh yeah.