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NYCC's Daredevil sizzle reel offers a brief glimpse of season two


Check out the back of Punisher's head
Oct 16
// Matt Liparota
So the first season of Netflix's Daredevil was pretty great, and Marvel knows how much everyone loved it. It's no surprise, then, that they hyped the show at New York Comic Con last week during their joint panel with Netflix ...
Jessica Jones photo
Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones teases some violence


I don't give a damn
Oct 01
// Matthew Razak
I may actually be getting more excited for Jessica Jones than I was for Daredevil. Netflix has done and awesome job at promoting this show and the new teaser is no different. We still haven't seen Kristen Ritter's face a...
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Second teaser trailer for Jessica Jones crushes it


Short and sweet
Sep 28
// Matthew Razak
We still have no idea what Netflix and Marvel's Jessica Jones is going to be like. The first teaser gave us almost nothing but a hint at the style. This second one actual delivers a bit more info. It looks like they'll b...
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Black Mirror Netflix

Netflix teases its 12 new episodes of Black Mirror for Season Three


Twelve! Twelve episodes! Ah-ah-ah!
Sep 25
// Hubert Vigilla
It's now official: Netflix has ordered 12 new episodes of Black Mirror for Season 3. As we reported last time, Charlie Brooker is currently writing the new series, and the show will be produced in collaboration with House of ...
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Jessica Jones

First images of Netflix's Jessica Jones are not so superhero


No masks. No capes. Just scarves.
Sep 17
// Matthew Razak
It's been pretty clear that Netflix's Jessica Jones, the second of their Marvel shows to land, wasn't going to be quite like the rest of Marvel's line-up. To start the plot is about a superhero who has retired and now she's s...
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Solving super powered mysteries
Netflix has announced, in a oddly trippy teaser for the show that you can see below, that Jessica Jones will be landing at 12:01 a.m. on November 20th. That's only two months away guys! Anyone who dug Daredevil shou...

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Confession: I loved the pig episode
Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror was given new life when Netflix added it to its streaming library in late 2014. Many a thinkpiece ensued, and pretty much everyone you knew probably asked if you'd seen it at some point or ...

The Thirteen Best Korean Films Streaming on Netflix Instant (2015 Edition)

Sep 08 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
The Vengeance Trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance)Director: Park Chan-Wook  When you're trying to get into Korean cinema, The Vengeance Trilogy is both the best and worst place you could possibly start. Best because it's one of the strongest trilogies in cinema history and each film is fascinating in and of itself. Worst because it's one of the strongest trilogies in cinema history, which means that it's pretty much all downhill from there.  I'm frequently asked which film in the trilogy is my favorite, and it's hard to choose. I love them all for different reasons. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is the most visceral, Oldboy is a narrative marvel, and Lady Vengeance (especially the fade-to-black-and-white version, sadly not available on Netflix) is simply gorgeous. Many people would just put Oldboy here and be done with it, possibly relegating the other two to separate entries, but that does a disservice to everyone involved. Absolutely watch Oldboy, but don't watch it in a vacuum. Watch Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance here, Oldboy here, and Lady Vengeance here! The Man From NowhereDirector: Lee Jeong-Beom  I like The Man From Nowhere quite of lot, and many people like it a whole lot more than me. It's definitely one of the more enjoyable Korean action/martial arts films, following a mysterious protagonist as he works his way through a criminal ring that takes children and forces them to drug-related labor. It's an intense film with some truly badass moments (the through-the-window shot is among my favorite in recent memory), and even if it sometimes feels a bit too... American (it often feels like the film pulls punches in a way that something like The Chaser does not), it's well worth a watch. Watch it here! Lee Jeong-Beom's follow, No Tears for the Dead, is also available, and it has some pretty awesome moments as well. There's a whole bunch of crazy shootouts, explosions, and a ridiculous amount of blood. I don't know if it's better than The Man From Nowhere, but it's definitely worth checking out. Watch it here! The HostDirector: Bong Joon-Ho  Snowpiercer (also on Netflix) may have done more to bring Bong Joon-Ho's films to a wider audience, but The Host is definitely the better film. (Memories of Murder, which cemented his status as an essential Korean director, is sadly no longer available for streaming.) I could go on and on about how great The Host is, but I think Scott Tobias said it best on Twitter a little while back: [embed]218531:41946:0[/embed] A monster movie set during the day? Freaking genius. And it works. Oh boy does it work. For people who are a fan of giant monsters wrecking things, this is an easy recommendation. But even people who aren't really into that sort of thing should see it, because it's a spectacular and unique take on a very familiar concept. Watch it here! The Good, the Bad, and the WeirdDirector: Kim Jee-Woon  Kim Jee-Woon is my favorite director. It's not just that The Good, The Bad, and The Weird is an amazing film (although it's certainly that); the way it fits into Kim's filmography is so appropriate and bizarre. Following up A Bittersweet Life (among my favorite gangster films of all time) and A Tale of Two Sisters (a fascinating horror film that goes on and off of Netflix with unfortunate regularity), a straight-up comedy Western seems like a hardcore turn away. But it goes back further, and it's more reminiscent of Kim's second film, The Foul King, which is a comedy about a wanna-be Luchador wrestler. While The Good, The Bad, and The Weird turns things up to 11, it serves as a reminder of just how versatile a director Kim is. Watch it here! I Saw the DevilDirector: Kim Jee-Woon  Remember that time when I said that Kim Jee-Woon is my favorite director? Yeah, this list could have turned into a Kim Jee-Woon-fest if there were any more of his films on Netflix. This is quite probably the most depressing Korean revenge thriller, which you may know is a particularly depressing subgenre. Sometimes it seems like the film is delighting in just how fucked up it is and just how soul-crushing it can be, but that does nothing to diminish the artistry of it all. You need to be in a particular frame of mind to watch I Saw the Devil, but if you go in prepared for serious emotional pain, you'll only have your night ruined and not your entire life. (And it's worth that much.) Watch it here! New WorldDirector: Park Hoon-Jung  When Choi Min-sik told me about New World at the New York Asian Film Festival in 2012 (damn, time flies), he compared it to The Departed. I found that fascinating and just a little bit offensive. Was he implying that, as a white person, I hadn't seen Infernal Affairs and had only seen Scorsese's American-ized version? Problem was: I hadn't seen Infernal Affairs yet. I'd had a copy waiting for me at home for at least a year by that point, but I never got around to seeing it. Now I've seen Infernal Affairs, and it's a great movie that I highly recommend to those of you who have also been putting it off for inexcusable reasons. You know what else is great? New World. Watch it here! A Company ManDirector: Lim Sang-Yoon I've said in the past that A Company Man is the kind of film I joke about when I joke about the ultra-violence of Korean cinema. Here is a film that goes all-freaking-out in service of a message that really doesn't justify the bloodshed. Yes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but even Jack Torrence didn't bring an M-16 to the office. So it's kind of problematic, and its message is hit-you-over-the-head-and-shoot-you-fifty-times blunt... but that didn't stop it from being enjoyable. It's certainly not on the level of Lesson of the Evil, which I still question my response to every so often, although it's also not quite as well-crafted as that film. Still, it's an interesting film and an enjoyable one. As long as you can handle bloodshed, you'll certainly be intrigued and most likely have a good time. Watch it here! PoetryDirector: Lee Chang-Dong  I knew that Poetry was going to be on this list from the moment I decided to write it. That moment was more than a year before I saw the film. For a long time, I simply neglected the works of Lee Chang-Dong. I don't have any good excuse for having done so, but he was the one big name in arthouse Korean cinema that I was aware of but seemed to be avoiding. I'm not avoiding him any longer. If you have neglected his works as well, I suggest fixing that immediately. But, like other films on this list, Poetry hits hard. It hits really, really hard. This is a film that will make you sad, and then it will just keep making you sad until the exceedingly sad ending. There is no catharsis, no hope, no redemption. There is simply life. Perhaps it's poetic, beautiful in some twisted way, but it goes straight for the heart, and once it latches onto you, it doesn't let go.  Watch it here! Hide and SeekDirector: Huh Jung  Hide and Seek is a movie that's terrifying in its plausibility. It's a creepy and tense thriller following a family that is being stalked by a helmeted murderer. They don't know why, and they don't seem to be able to stop it. The ultimate reveal is fascinating and also really freaking scary, and it gets at an interesting societal problem, one that may be Korea-focused but is certainly more broadly applicable. You can't sympathize with the murderer, but even understanding what might drive them to do this puts this a step above most films of its sort. I wish I could say more, but... it's best if you just see it for yourself. Watch it here! BreathlessDirector: Yang Ik-June  Breathless is like nothing else on this list, for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one you notice from the very first frame. Most films on this list are gorgeous. They've got high production value. They look and feel like cinema. Breathless... doesn't. It's ugly. It looks like a movie shot on tape in the late 1990s early 2000s. The audio isn't particularly well-mixed, high quality, or even apparently functional. There are weird bouts of silence throughout that seem like mistakes, though I don't think they were. It's also painfully slow... but none of that matters. This is a bleak and unrelenting look at a part of society that people try to ignore and/or forget, where bad people do bad things to innocents and everyone has to deal with the consequences. It takes a very long time to get into it, but commit and you'll be rewarded with something unique, fascinating, and depressing as hell. Watch it here!
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This would be one hell of a marathon
For the past six or seven years, I've told people that my favorite type of international cinema is Korean. And even though I've been a little less in the loop recently than I was a few years ago, I still have a deep love for ...

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Beasts of No Nation

Trailer for Netflix's Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba and directed by Cary Fukunaga


Beautiful, terrible, and intense
Sep 04
// Hubert Vigilla
Beasts of No Nation premiered this week at the Venice International Film Festival, and the early reviews have been extremely positive, earning high praise for stars Idris Elba and newcomer Abraham Attah as well as director Ca...
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Masaaki Yuasa

PSA: Mind Game and other STUDIO4℃ classics heading to Netflix next week


For the love of god, watch Mind Game
Aug 24
// John-Charles Holmes
The Japanese animation company STUDIO4℃ recently announced that they're going to be bringing an entire slew of animated movies and anime series to Netflix starting next week. The highlight of the update includes directo...
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Luke Cage

Alfre Woodward cast in Netflix's Luke Cage


Evil? Most likely
Aug 21
// Matthew Razak
As we all saw with Daredevil Netflix is not holding back with their Marvel series. They're grabbing great actors to push these properties forward. Next up is Jessica Jones, which will also introduce the character of Luke...

Bojack Horseman is the Spec Ops: The Line of TV Shows

Aug 07 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]219724:42536:0[/embed] Spec Ops: The Line is probably in my top five games ever. It's incredible, and if you haven't played it, you need to do so. If you have played it and don't understand how incredible it is, go play it again. Maybe read Brendan Keogh's Killing Is Harmless while you do. The game is a triumph, and the bravest thing it did is to convince you it was generic before pulling the rug out from under you. (Much like, you guess it, Bojack Horseman.) Spec Ops: The Line was made with the Unreal Engine. It stars a military man voiced by Nolan North. He looks and sounds like every other Unreal Engine-based cover shooter out there. It feels... fine. The gameplay is completely and totally acceptable. Stop and pop. You're fighting generic foreign militants. The other. It's easy to kill them, because that's what you're used to doing. That's the role that these sorts of people play in video games. (And in movies, as brilliantly profiled by GQ a couple weeks ago.) In Bojack Horseman, you follow a generic former-Hollywoo[d] superstar. He's voiced by Will Arnett, and he's a jackass. He lives in an amazing house overlooking the city, but he's pretty much a worthless being. On his couch lives the "comic relief," Todd, voiced by Aaron Paul. He's dumb, but Bojack keeps him around, because... whatever. Bojack wants to relive the Good Old Days. Perhaps it's not quite your typical animated show, but it's not an uncommon comedy. And for a while, the jokes are funny but the underlying narrative feels a little old. But, of course, that's the point. Spec Ops hits you with big moments several times. First, you go from fighting generic "terrorists" to fighting US military. That's, well, unexpected. And then there's the scene where you have to do something horrible to progress that turns out to be something really horrible. It keeps going down (literally), as we follow Captain Walker into the deep recesses of his mind. And it's not a great place to be. Because Captain Walker is not a good person. He believes he is, or at least that he can be, but he isn't. And he leaves nothing but destruction in his wake. Throughout, the game taunts you, and it taunts hyper-violent games in general. (And yes, it is effectively critiquing the genre by "succumbing" to its tropes.) [embed]219724:42537:0[/embed] Bojack doesn't have that moment in quite the same way, at least in its first season. It's a gradual realization that what you're watching isn't quite what you thought it was. You thought you were getting a comedy-of-sorts about a former star who wants to relive his glory days. What you get is something far darker, and far more interesting. Because Bojack Horseman is definitely not a good... horse. (I'm going to call him a person from now on, because referring to him as a "horse" is weird.) He wants to be good, I guess, but behind him lies only chaos. And in the second season especially, he does some very, very bad things. The Verge posted their review of the show's second season a bit prematurely, I thought. Both the headline – "In its second season, Bojack Horseman quits beating a depressed horse" – and subtitle – "More animal puns, less animal pathos" – prove to be, um, false. Because the second season of Bojack Horseman tricks you again. Sure, watching the first few episodes (which are great, by the way), you might think that the show had changed and become perhaps a bit more whimsical. Watching the episode where Todd creates his own, extremely dangerous Disneyland (and wins a lawsuit allowing him to use that name on a technicality) lulls you into a false sense of security. This is a show that has found its groove, or something like it. That groove may not be as interesting as the previous season, but it's something. And the screeners that Netflix sent to critics beforehand would lend credence to that. The first six episodes, especially in comparison, are fun. They're light and silly.  And then there's "Hank After Dark." "Hank After Dark" is an incredible episode of television. And it's incredible not just because of what it but how absolutely bleak its ending is. At this point, everyone knows about the downfall of Bill Cosby. And it all started because of a joke by comedian Hannibal Buress. He made a joke about public information, and suddenly everything came crashing down. The time since has been incredibly disturbing, and each new bit of evidence has only made it worse. But that's not what happens in Bojack Horseman, because Bojack Horseman isn't just replicating the events that led to the downfall of an icon; it's representing a parallel universe where a woman was the one who brought up the horrors of a beloved TV star as an aside. Diane is on a book tour for Bojack, but she can't shut Pandora's Box once she's opened it. Mr. Peanutbutter asks her to hold off, and everyone else tells her she's a horrible person for defaming a good man's name. She keeps fighting, until she's confronted by Hank Hippopopalous himself. And then she gives up. The season doesn't get cheerier after that. Whether it's the intense discussion on live TV between Mr. Peanutbutter and Bojack about the latter's Diane come-on last season or the thing that happens in the penultimate episode, the back half of Bojack Horseman's second season hits and hits hard. To be sure, the show continues to be very funny. There are more than a few good laughs per episode, but aside from a couple bits here and there, those aren't the things I'll be thinking about in a year from now. Good TV makes you think, perhaps even obsess. But with Bojack Horseman, it's not some communal obsession with unraveling mysteries. It's an introspective sort of obsession. Do you see yourself in Bojack? What about Todd or Mr. Peanutbutter or Diane or Princess Carolyn? These characters are all fleshed out this season, and you learn fascinating things about all of them. (Princess Carolyn has a particularly interesting arc, and I cannot tell you how glad I was when they ended the Vincent Adultman subplot early on.) But, of course, the focus is on Bojack, on his inability to change course. His drive to push forward towards certain doom. And that is truly where Bojack and Captain Walker's journeys converge. Both of them set in motions series of events that can only end badly, but the decision to set them in motion was a choice. Maybe at the time it didn't feel like one, but it was. To point to what is perhaps the most obvious example, Bojack did not have to up and leave to see a girl he was sort of in love with decades ago. He didn't have to stay with her family when he found out she had one. He didn't have to... ya know. He could have walked away. And ultimately, that's what Spec Ops: The Line is about. It's about walking away, or at least the need to walk away (in a meta sense). Walker doesn't do that. He never stops to think about what he's doing or what he's done. Unlike Bojack, he thinks he's helping people (at least at first... by the end? who knows). Of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Bojack Horseman matters. It's one of the best shows on television right now. Literally. And that's significant not just because it is in and of itself a significant statement. It's significant because it's a show that, on the face of it, is so easy to dismiss. But once you get past all of that, you're pulled along for a fascinating and often poignant journey through something truly great. It's not the thing you expect, but you eventually realize that it's exactly what you wanted.
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Subversion and sadness
The first season of Bojack Horseman sort of came out of nowhere, at least as far as I was concerned. Back then, I was underemployed and watched pretty much anything that seemed vaguely interesting. I generally trust...

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Is a Great Fans-Only Follow-Up to a Cult Classic

Aug 03 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]219718:42521:0[/embed] The Netflix series takes place in one day at Camp Firewood, the first day (duh) at Camp Firewood, the only day that matters (other than the last day). Teen movie tropes about virginity, pecking orders, and bullying ensue, but it's also clear we're in a different place on the first day of camp than we were by the last day of camp. Coop (Michael Showalter) is timidly dating Donna (Lake Bell) rather than being a timid sadsack, Katie (Marguerite Moreau) is seeing a snooty Camp Tiger Claw guy named Blake (John Charles) rather than cocksure bad boy Andy (Paul Rudd), and, somehow, Ben (Bradley Cooper) and Susie (Amy Poehler) are an item, though a frustratingly sexless item. Also, Christopher Meloni's cook character has hair and isn't batshit crazy. None of the above is inherently funny, but that's what makes it funny. So much of the humor in the Netflix show is contingent on knowing on the first day of camp what happens on the final day of camp. It makes me think that a prequel to Wet Hot American Summer is infinitely funnier than a sequel would have been, at least at a conceptual level. That's the absurd way that movie-time/series-time works--with prequels in particular, real-world chronology matters more than in-story chronology. In prequels, set-up is really punchline. To put it another way, what kind of mook watches the Star Wars prequels before they watch the original Star Wars trilogy? Who pops in Temple of Doom before they watch Raiders of the Lost Ark? I'll tell you who: someone doing everything wrong in life. Since the Wet Hot prequel takes place 15-real-word years after the original film, there are a lot of unspoken gags built around the age of the cast. In Wet Hot, actors in their twenties played teenagers, which is common practice for lots of teen movies and coming-of-age films. In First Day of Camp, the teenage counselors are all roughly 40 years old, give or take, which is uncommon practice anywhere. The cast shows their age--though some have aged better than others (Rudd and Elizabeth Banks must have paintings rotting in rooms somewhere)--and the wigs/hairstyles look even more fake. It all adds to the show's enjoyably off-kilter quality. Showalter looks especially schlubby as Coop. Compare Coop in First Day of Camp to Coop in Wet Hot American Summer and it's a pretty startling before-and-after (or after-and-before). I don't mean that in a mean-spirited way since it's part of the humor and all the performers are in on it. It's actually a smart visual gag that's used effectively as part of the storytelling. Seeing Showalter next to Lake Bell makes the doomed awkwardness of Coop and Donna's relationship more apparent. In those 15 real-world years that separate the First Day of Camp from the last day of camp, some of the Wet Hot American Summer cast have become much more famous. For Banks and Poehler, that means more focus on their characters and what makes them each tick. The backstory they've concocted for Banks' character Lindsay is especially inspired. It's a nod to Just One of the Guys and a wink to Cameron Crowe's real-life adventures as a fake-teen that led to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. With Cooper, by comparison, writers Wain and Showalter have come up with a clever in-story way to accommodate the Academy Award-nominated actor's busy real-world schedule. (Cooper had to shoot all of his scenes in just one day.) The expanded cult following behind Wet Hot American Summer means loads of guest appearances throughout First Day of Camp, including Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Jordan Peele, Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, and H. Jon Benjamin. There's another major cameo I won't ruin, though it seems like this particular actor, like Cooper, probably shot all of his scenes in one day. In addition to guest stars, the growing Wet Hot cult translated into a bigger budget (probably to pay all the guest stars). Wet Hot American Summer was shot for $1.8 million, though Wain told people it was $5 million in the hopes it would help secure a better distribution deal. Judging by this 2013 article from Variety, Netflix probably shelled out $1.8 million per episode for First Day of Camp. The scope of the story is larger, and yet there's still a scruffy, raggedy look to the whole thing that fits with the aesthetic of the film. It's as if Wain and Showalter figured out how to make everything look chintzier even though the world of the film has grown. And that's the thing. First Day of Camp is a cult show for a cult movie, and it stays true to its roots: spoofs, the yes-and of improv, the weirdness of 90s sketch shows, the and-then of a feverishly implausible child's story; and it's all fueled by real-life nostalgia for teenage summers as well as nostalgia for certain bits of Gen-X pop culture. Part of me wonders if there'll be a second day of camp. That same part hopes it happens about a decade from now. It would be funnier that way. The Wet Hot American Summer series seems to get better with age.
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♫ "Taking it higher and higher!" ♫
Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a great follow-up to 2001's cult classic Wet Hot American Summer. Like the original film, First Day of Camp is rife with anarchic absurdity and chock full of movie ...

Netflix Now photo
Netflix Now

Netflix Now: Limonada Edition


Netflix Instant additions for the week!
Jun 11
// Nick Valdez
Earlier this week, as police officers have a harder time in the news, police shut down two little girls' lemonade stand. The two little girls were trying to make some money to go to a water park in Texas, and they were shut d...
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Netflix Now

Netflix Now: #ThanksObama Edition


Netflix Instant additions for the week!
May 21
// Nick Valdez
Well, the POTUS with the MOSTUS has joined Twitter. There's some kind of gag in here somewhere, but this all seems way too surreal to be funny. In the few hours he's been on Twitter, he's already taken a jab at Bill Clinton, ...
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Netflix Now

Netflix Now: The King Has Returned Edition


Netflix Instant additions for 5/15
May 07
// Nick Valdez
Wow, so it's been three months since I last wrote one of these. Big apologies for that since lots of life stuff came up at once. I actually moved cross country (from San Antonio, TX to Astoria, NY) and it has taken me awhile ...
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Ridiculous Six

Native American actors walk off the set of Adam Sandler's latest terrible idea


Apr 24
// Nick Valdez
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, and just when I thought Adam Sandler's films looked a bit interesting, something like this happens. He's insulted people in the past, but it has never been to this degree, an...
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Netflix makes first purchase at SXSW


They love the Duplass Brothers don't they?
Mar 16
// Per Morten Mjolkeraaen
As Netflix has made production/distribution deals with names like Adam Sandler, the Duplass Brothers and, just two weeks ago, Cary Fukunaga, it comes as no surprise to see them toss their wallet around at SXSW. As they've acq...
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Netflix to distribute Beasts of No Nation


Directed by True Detective's Cary Fukunaga
Mar 03
// Per Morten Mjolkeraaen
Netflix's venture into original series production (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black) has been a huge success for the streaming service, and late last year they seemed intent on making a name for themselves with movie p...
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Pee-Wee returns in Pee-Wee's Big Holiday on Netflix


Why Netflix? He's a loner, a rebel...
Feb 24
// John-Charles Holmes
It's been teased for years now, but it's finally official-- comedian Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) is finally making his long awaited cinematic return in a new original movie headed exclusively to Netflix.  The film has ...
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Netflix Now

Netflix Now: Comebacks Edition


Joe, Horns, Chef and more on Netflix Instant
Feb 06
// Nick Valdez
Thanks to a great coincidences, a bunch of musicians have been making a comeback. Paul McCartney has had a hand in Kanye and Rihanna's music, Kelly Clarkson has released a new single after the birth of her child, and Missy El...
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Netflix Now

Netflix Now: Resolution Edition


The Road to El Dorado, Batman & Robin, and The Interview (January 24th!) and more on Netflix Instant
Jan 22
// Nick Valdez
Wow, it's been a while so sorry about that. Anyhoo, since it's a long list I'll get right to it after a few things. I'll try and make this bi-weekly from now on to avoid all of this, and thank you for reading this list time a...
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New Pee-Wee Herman movie coming to Netflix


There's a streaming and pee joke in here somewhere
Dec 23
// Matthew Razak
The Judd Apatow produced, Paul  Reubens written Pee-Wee Herman movie has been kicking around for quite some time, but it ever actually happening seemed a long shot. What studio would release something quite so weird...

The Ten Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition)

Dec 22 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: The Preacher's Wife, Santa Paws, Santa Paws 2, Codename Kids Next Door (S5, E5) - Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y.,  [embed]218693:42057:0[/embed] Planes, Trains, and Automobiles This movie's such a great comedy in its own right, you could watch it outside of the holiday and not feel weird. A film that set the stage for the "Road Trip" comedy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles features a memorable performance from John Candy (which means it's an automatic winner already), and lots of awesome anti-Christmas spirit.  [embed]218693:42070:0[/embed] The Muppet Christmas Carol There are tons of different versions of A Christmas Carol out there, but The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of my favorites. Maybe it's because the Muppets themselves are great, or maybe it's the musical numbers, or maybe it's the fact it's one of the few stories that features a timeline in which Kermit and Miss Piggy actually get married and conceive children. It's just got lots of cute moments that are really hard to pass up. The two Marley ghosts are still my favorite bit.  [embed]218693:42071:0[/embed] Love, Actually I actually have no idea why Love, Actually works as well as it does. What should be shmaltzy holiday fodder clicks due to its well selected cast, hidden darkness (Rick Grimes straight up stalks a girl), and snappy dialogue.  [embed]218693:42072:0[/embed] Bad Santa I don't have fond memories of Bad Santa mostly because I saw the second cut, Badder Santa first. Turns out the slightly cleaner cut was much better. It's not a holiday classic for most, but it should be. If you can get passed all of the jackassery and gross kids, it's got a lot of heart. Takes the poop out of the Christmas myth.  [embed]218693:42073:0[/embed] Scrooged This may be yet another version of A Christmas Carol, but it's far darker than most things on this list. With a skewed vision of pop culture and advertisement of the time (and thus dissecting the commercialism of the holiday season), Scrooged is a mix of cartoonish and bleak. It's like a holiday film your cranky old dad would enjoy. Both of you can watch and go "dern TV today." [embed]218693:42074:0[/embed] The Nightmare Before Christmas What's this? What's this? It's a movie everyone's seen.  [embed]218693:42075:0[/embed] Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas This pick is a little more personal. The first non-Rankin/Bass Christmas film I got was Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas. It's pretty special as it introduced me to stories like Gift of the Magi and Groundhog Day. It's a perfectly harmless, imperfect Disney direct to home video film. You should at least check out the first segment where Huey, Dewey, and Louie wish it were Christmas everyday. It's fun, depressing, and full of laughs.  [embed]218693:42076:0[/embed] The Prince of Egypt The Prince of Egypt might be more of an Easter film, but it's the only pure religious film I'll ever acknowledge. When Dreamworks Animation was focused on challenging Disney, they churned out their best work during a golden era: The Prince of Egypt, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, The Road to El Dorado, and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. It was hit after hit after hit as they put so much money into turning out the best products. The Prince of Egypt is one of the best retellings of Exodus I've ever seen. Concise but full of information, stupendous musical numbers, stellar voice cast, and gorgeous animation. If you're thinking about the "Christ" part of Christmas, check this one out. It's religious without being super in your face about it.  [embed]218693:42077:0[/embed] American Dad S5, E9: Rapture's Delight So this one's a bit of a cheat, but I've made it a tradition to watch every American Dad Christmas special each year. The later ones (featuring Krampus and Damien) aren't that great, but the first four or so are true gems. The highlight of all these for sure is "Rapture's Delight." A Christmas special that suddenly turns into a send up of every great 80s action film with Mad Max-style visuals, Andy Samberg with his most annoyingly great voiceover work, and "Later world, smell my ass!" can't be beat.  [embed]218693:42078:0[/embed] Fireplace for Your Home ...sexy.  What do you think Flixist community? What are your favorite holiday films on Netflix Instant? 
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Merry Flixmas!
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