Monday, 28 April 2014

New to Netflix UK - 28/04/14

It's been a couple of weeks since the last content update and yet digging through the Netflix catalogue there doesn't seem to be any worthwhile new movies.

Person of Interest (TV) - An ex-CIA operative and a reclusive analyst help prevent murders before they occur with the help of a government-controlled super computer that monitors everyone. Season 2 of this exceptionally good spy-thriller is now available, which sees the series steering more into sci-fi territory but not at the expense of its already highly-relevant political overtones.

Snitch - A father strikes a deal with the government to infiltrate a notorious drug ring in order to get his son's prison sentence reduced. Despite a good performance by Johnson, the movie fails to elevate past mediocre, but satisfactory, action-drama.

The Dictator - An oppressive dictator heads to America to give a speech at the UN only to find himself kidnapped and replaced by a look-a-like who has other plans for his country. Providing you like this humour, you will laugh at this movie and probably hate yourself for doing so.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

New to Netflix UK - 14/04/14

Apparently Netflix have other things on their minds as there has been no new noteworthy content added for this week.

Monday, 7 April 2014

New to Netflix UK - 07/04/14

It's been a while since we had such a huge addition to the catalogue, and luckily there are a lot of decent movies in here too.

Suits (TV) - A man with a photographic memory finds himself the associate of one of New York's greatest lawyers, despite never having graduated in Law. Oozing with style and wit and amazing performances from the entire cast, this is arguably one of the better shows on TV right now.

Continuum (TV) - In an attempt to prevent the rise of a police state Canada, a group of terrorists travel back in time to the modern day to change the future, only they end up bringing a determined law officer with them. Blending hardcore sci-fi elements and socio-political morals, Continuum is a remarkably well put together show that should appease fans of the genre as well as anyone into standard police procedural shows.

Trailer Park Boys (TV) - Mockumentary following a group of small-time criminals who operate our of their rundown trailer park. It's not for everyone but the characters are surprisingly well rounded and the humour somehow manages to be both dumb and smart at the same time.

Reaper (TV) - After his parents sell his soul to the devil a teen is forced into becoming a Reaper, a bounty-hunter for the escaped souls from hell. It works as a dumbed down version of Buffy that's played for laughs but this is not necessarily a bad thing thanks to some great writing and a fantastic turn by Ray Wise as the devil.

Stripes - After realising his life is going nowhere a man convinces his best friend they should join the army, only to use the opportunity to pick up girls and slack off. Essentially the military version of 'Police Academy', Stripes works mostly due to Murray's excellent comedic timing as well as a great supporting cast that ensure things never get dull on screen.

The Royal Tenenbaums - When his money begins to run out the patriarchal figure of a family of geniuses tries to earn the forgiveness of his ex-wife and children, despite having been disowned by them a long time ago. The film that made Wes Anderson a household name among the indie circuit, the film is a masterpiece on many levels as it carefully interweaves the intersecting lives of a dysfunctional family with Anderson's trademark film-making style.

Stand by Me - Four friends embark on an adventure to find the body of a kid who was supposedly hit by a train, contemplating the meaning of childhood and friendship along the way. One of the greatest examples of the 'coming-of-age' movie this film is a triumph in the way it portrays the relationship between each of the characters, taking us on an emotional journey into a past that nearly every person would have had.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil - After witnessing a murder two friends, one blind and one deaf, find themselves framed for it. Daft but amusing comedy that's made watchable thanks to the excellent on-screen chemistry between Pryor and Wilder.

Titan AE - Set in the far future, a young man discovers he holds the key to humanity's survival against a powerful alien race when strange marking appear on his body. Though it was a critical and commercial success, the film has achieved a low-key cult status thanks to it's implementation of CGI and hand-drawn animation as well as it's ambitious story and morally ambiguous characters.

Wall Street - A young stockbroker is taken under the wings of a Wall Street mogul but soon becomes caught up in the illicit activities that plague the sector. A great example of the nature of the world of finance, Wall Street holds back no punches as it leads its main character through a nightmarish world where people put monetary worth over life.

White Men Can't Jump - Two basketball hustlers, who team up to increase their odds of scoring big, find themselves in the sights of some dangerous men that one of them owes money to. A forgotten relic from the early 90's, it's a fun movie that works largely due to the charismatic performances from Harrelson and Snipes.

The Edge - A plane crash leaves a photographer and a businessman stranded in the Alaskan wilderness, forcing them to survive both the nature around them and their own human desires. A well acted and intense thriller that does a good job at exploring human nature in life-or-death situations without feeling like a social commentary.

The Thin Red Line - Soldiers attempt to hold off the Japanese at the infamous Battle of Guadalcanal but as the horrors of war set in, they become more focused on their own survival than on the reason they chose to fight. A contender for the greatest war film ever made, the film focuses less on the action and more on the existential feelings of the soldiers that, coupled with the beautiful yet contrasting cinematography, results in a film that is truly unique in style and execution.

Broken Arrow - After a rogue pilot steals some nuclear weapons, it's up to his best friend and a park ranger to get them back and survive the game of cat-and-mouse that ensues. Whether this film is any good is a debate that still rages on today, however if you can stand the OTT performances of Travolta and Slater, and you enjoy the mayhem of master-actioner John Woo, then this is the film for you.

Down Periscope - A US Naval Commander whose military record, while impressive, is filled with allegations of misconducts, is given a final chance to prove himself when he is put in charge of a rag-tag crew of inexperienced sailors and an ageing rust-bucket of a submarine. As guilty a pleasure if their ever was one, the humour is childish at best but it doesn't stop the film from being any less enjoyable.

Patton - Biopic of the exceptionally able yet controversial American General, following his career from the initial Africa campaign to the fall of Nazi Germany. It's a great movie all by itself but in the end it's Scott's exceptional performance as the emotionally unstable leader that turns this otherwise exceptional war movie into a masterpiece.

Raising Arizona - A couple unable to conceive decide to steal a baby from a rich couple, they become the target of the law, two dumb escaped convicts and a mysterious bounty hunter. Enjoyable farce from the Coen brothers, who manage to make Nicholas Cage one of the more down-to-earth characters in the movie.

Rising Sun - A detective and an expert of Japanese customs team up to investigate the death of a woman, whose murder seems to be one event in a grander scheme of things. Decent crime drama that suffers from an uneven plot but is redeemed from it's grey attitude to foreign affairs and a stellar cast.

The Fisher King - An ex-radio personality, who retreated from fame after accidentally inciting a murder spree in a bar, finds himself on the path to redeem himself when he discovers a mentally disillusioned homeless man whose wife was killed in the bar. An excellent modern fairy-tale about a man trying to make amends, boosted by great performances from Bridges,Williams and the Oscar winning Mercedes Ruehl and a seemingly straight-forward effort from Mr Gilliam.

Boy's Don't Cry - A girl who hides behind a male identity manages to achieve a high social status in her new town, until her secret is revealed and her whole world crashes down around her. That the film is actually based on true events makes the movie all the more shocking and tragic and Swank delivers a brutally honest performance as the transgender lead.

Silverado - A group of friends band together to take down the corrupt officials of the town of Silverado. Surprisingly decent westerner that evokes the classic feel of John Ford mixed with the updated politics of Leone,.

Hoffa - The life of the notorious mobster informant, from his rising in the ranks to his unexplained disappearance. The acting is top notch and the production design is spot-on though the film itself never really amounts to much else other than a cold reminder of the violent brutality of organised crime America.

Rabbit-Proof Fence - After being abducted from their village and forced to work as trained servants, three Aborigine girls escape and embark on a perilous journey back home. A shocking reminder at the inhumanity that plagued modern Australia, the movie packs an emotional punch as we follow these three girls who want nothing more than to live their own lives.

Go - A series of intertwined stories following three friends who spend Christmas eve as they spend the night living life on the edge, dealing drugs and winning big. Frenetic and well shot, Liman's dark comedy does a good job at evoking the mentality of the Californian youth who only see life as one big party.

Anonymous - A 'what if' scenario following the revelation that Shakespeare's plays were actually written by the Earl of Oxford. The success of the movie is based more on how you accept the theory that Shakespeare didn't write his plays than the actual quality of the movie, because once you get past that obstacle what's left is a completely absurd, yet oddly enjoyable, romp through Elizabethan England set against the backdrop of the Essex rebellion.

Life is Beautiful - After they are sent to a concentration camp, a Jewish father tries to mask the horrors of the Nazi agenda from his young son by pretending it is all a game. In what could have been one of the most insulting films ever, Benigni instead crafts an emotional tale of the lengths a father will go to protect his child even when the odds are stacked up high against him.

The Newton Boys - Biopic of the infamous Newton brothers, who's criminal exploits were well known due to their kind-hearted attitude towards the robberies they committed. A light-hearted attempt from Linklater who fails to offer any real significant depth to the story but ensures we are kept entertained by the personality of the main characters.

Hamlet (2000) - Modern interpretation of the bard's famous play. It works surprisingly well given it's modern context, and the acting is decent enough, but it still feels completely unnecessary.