Monday, 17 February 2014

New to Netflix UK - 16/02/14

A much more bountiful selection this week...

House of Cards (TV) - A congressman continues long and arduous scheme to bring his party down from the inside after being refused a position in the White House. The critically acclaimed political thriller continues down many dark and dangerous roads as Frank's mission to become president finds new grounds.

Arn: The Knight Templar - A Swedish knight finds himself caught up in the Holy War where he is tasked with protecting Jerusalem from Saladin's advancing army. A decent action/drama that, despite it's lower production values, manages to put a lot of the Hollywood interpretations to shame thanks to the focus on the characters.
NOTE: This is the edited version that combines the two original movies into one. It's still decent but a lot of the back-story and character development is lost.

Dark Skies - A couple find that their idyllic life is under threat after a mysterious presence begins to haunt their child. It's goofy and doesn't bring anything special to the horror genre but it still has a creepy atmosphere that manages to let of a few good jump scares.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back - The foul-mouthed/silent slacker duo trek to Hollywood to put an end to a movie based around their superhero alter-ego's. If you like Kevin Smith then this film has everything you could ever want from a movie; for everyone else, you probably might wonder why the film even exists.

Serenity - A ragtag crew of outlaws find themselves the target of a dangerous government agent out to capture the mysterious girl they are harbouring. The film is highly regarded as one of the finest sci-fi films of recent years, mainly because it revived on of the most beloved TV shows of all time (Firefly is also available to watch), but also because it manages to deliver an action-packed experience without compromising the characters or story.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan - A Mossad agent flees to America to live out his dream of being a hairdresser. It's Adam Sandler at his most Adam-Sandlerest; expect nothing else.

Cars - A young-hotshot racer on track to win the pretentious Piston Cup finds a new meaning to life after he forced to rebuild the town he accidentally wrecks. It feels different from what is normally expected from Pixar, which might account to the moderate response the film received, but it still excels in its visual prowess and, even if the characters aren't as relatable, it still carries the Pixar standards for storytelling.

The Black Cauldron - A boy and his friends embark on a quest to find the mythical Black Cauldron before an evil tyrant can get his hands on it. The film is famous for scaring a lot of children when it first came out, opting over traditional fantasy elements rather than the normal whimsical utopia Disney normally promotes, and though it may not do justice to the original source material it still holds up as one of the better movies that Disney took a risk in making.

Monty Python's Meaning of Life - A compilation of sketches contemplating life's most difficult question. It lacks the bizarre goofery of Holy Grail or the classic humour of Brian but the Python's final big-screen outing doesn't fail in delivering laughs and shocks.

Angela's Ashes - A young boy and his family try to endure the hardship of poverty in pre-war Ireland. Strong and compelling, the film does its best in capturing the prose from the original novel, but it's greatest strength is also it's biggest downside in that the gloominess haunts you for a long time afterwards.

Fletch - A investigative journalist, with a penchant for disguises, finds himself caught up in an elaborate criminal scheme involving a prominent businessman. One of Chase's greatest accomplishments, Fletch remains one of the most loved comedies from the 80's thanks to a healthy dose of humour and mystery.

The Jerk - A man with limited mental abilities goes off in search of his own life after he finds out he was adopted. How much you enjoy the movie depends on how much you can stand Steve Martin however he manages to successfully pull off the one-man-show with enough heart to ensure the film remains one of his better efforts.

Arthur and the Invisibles - In an attempt to save his grandfathers house from being demolished, a young boy turns to a race of small fairy-like creatures who live at the bottom of the garden for help. Besson's foray into animated movies is a decent attempt but it lacks any real depth and does little to appeal to anyone over the age of 10.

American Graffiti - The day before they all leave for college, a group of friends spend their final night on the town together as they contemplate the decisions they are making in life. Considered by many to be among the greatest depictions of youth in the 60's, Lucas manages to weave a tale that is both bitter-sweet and fun and serves as an ode to a bygone era who's themes of growing up are still applicable even today.

Black Christmas (1974) - A group of sorority girls are plagued by mysterious phone calls during the Christmas holiday that soon escalates into murder. Cult horror classic from Canada and widely believed to be the first slasher movie.

Gambit (1966) - A thief and a dancer team up to pull off an elaborate heist but things don't go exactly to plan. Sharp, funny and well acted, the movie is a prime example of a movie you can just sit down and watch and be entertained for your troubles.

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