Your affable co-hosts have been discussing a concept for an easy yet valuable contribution to the blog-o-sphere and Joe's idea was simply "how about we just tell them the best stuff on Netflix at any given time".
What a good idea!
Neither one of us is going to scan the entire massive library of content on Netflix's vaults and as you know, Neftlix (rather annoyingly) has different interfaces and different categories that show up depending on what device you are using. So for this list of recommendations, I used my laptop to go directly to the website and scrolled through the narrow scope of categories they chose for me that day. I didn't search for specifics, I only looked at what films it presented to me.
Here are titles I saw that popped out. If you're looking for stuff to watch, this is a good place to start! This is in no particular order.
1. The Verdict - A Sidney Lumet/Paul Newman drama about an alcoholic attorney who has to dust 'em off to prove he's still got it. A terrific work.
2. The Hustler - You haven't seen The Hustler? You should see The Hustler...
3. Paddington - I grew up with this little bear in a raincoat. My father would bring me Paddington swag from his business trips to London. When it came to the screen a few years back I was eager to check it out and I was not disappointed. It's very sweet and has wonderful visual effects.
4. The Shining - You haven't seen The Shining? You should see The Shining...
5. Nightcrawler - A chilling drama/thriller set in the world of on-the-spot crime "journalism" in Los Angeles. Shot almost exclusively at night, it's moody and creepy. Gyllenhal is zeroed in.
6. Boyhood - This took as much bashing for being gimmicky as it took acclaim for being groundbreaking. That this would come out as anything other than a jumbled mess is impressive. It's not a mess at all, it's wonderful. Linklater makes a touching and thoughtful film that works even without the "gimmick". To me, the trick just adds to the uniqueness.
7. Zootopia - The Oscar winner for best Animated Feature at this year's ceremony. It's fun, clever, beautifully animated and socially poignant.
8. Neal Brennan: 3 Mics - Dave Chapelle's former writing partner may soon drop that tag of "former writing partner" if he keeps doing work like this. Admittedly new to stand-up, he divides the stage into three sections and uses 3 different microphones to address the audience in 3 different ways. One-liners, straight stand-up , and personal storytelling. While the set-up is a bit draining at times, the material is undeniably solid from start to finish.
9. 13th - We reviewed this on Episode 40. Joe and I agreed it's one of the best docs we've ever seen. This could go down as a game-changer. Socially significant, artistically sound. This is a masterpiece.
10. This Is Spinal Tap - The ultimate mockumentary. Laughs from start to finish. You've probably seen this, but if you haven't...come on... In fact, I think I'm gonna go watch it right now.
11. Glengarry Glen Ross - David Mamet's harsh look at cold calling and life as a salesman. Alec Baldwin's now famous character (only in one scene) was not in the play but he almost steals the show in the film. The cast is to drool for. Spacey, Lemmon, Harris, Pacino, Arkin...
12. Fawlty Towers - This 1970's British series is one of the funniest of all time. I've seen it a dozen times and will see it a dozen more. Some of these episodes will make you cry from laughing so hard. John Cleese at his absolute best.
13. The Big Short - A scary and sad story that exposes the collapse of our economy in 2008 and shows the sobering reality that we are only cycling back toward something even worse. But it's got Steve Carell so it's not THAT scary...
14. The 60s - A CNN doc series that explores the depths of one of our country's most defining and damming decades. Truly fascinating and an easy binge watch. You could also learn a thing or two. The parallels to our current predicament are not to be overlooked.