Netflix Picks: December 2-December 9

In our first addition of “Netflix Picks“,  we decided to look through some of the thousands of films available on there and give out some recommendations that will make your week more entertaining.

We know many of you have spent hours trying to find the right movie to watch and most of the time, end up binge watching a show instead.

There are actually quite a few good movies on Netflix and here’s some of our favorites playing on there right now.

Mike’s Picks

big-trouble-in-little-china1Big Trouble in Little China

If you love the 80’s, and specifically 80’s action, then Big Trouble in Little China is a must watch. Period. End of story.

Most people know John Carpenter for his horror films, but the man was more than capable of expanding into other genres.

Plus with Carpenter you’re always going to get a fair bit of subversion. In this case it’s the complete disembodiment of the action hero trope.

Our man may seem capable at first, but he’s mostly just lucky.

I could write a full piece just on the diverting expectations Carpenter accomplishes with this film, but as I said above, it’s an essential 80’s film.

So just watch it and you’ll understand my praise after!

The-Wild-Bunch

The Wild Bunch

The term “classic” get’s thrown around a lot in the film world today, but it’s such an apt description of Sam Peckinpah’s western masterpiece, The Wild Bunch, that I felt compelled to use it.

The film is indeed wild, unflinching, and gritty as hell. In fact it ranks amongst my top 5 favorite films in the genre.

From the knockout cast that includes William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan and Warren Oates among others and features a brutal score from Jerry Fielding.

If you love westerns and have somehow passed over The Wild Bunch in the past, you now have no excuse not to at least add it to your queue.

This IS a bonafide classic.

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Man on Wire

Anytime I’ve ever typed up a piece on Netflix recommendations, this is always the first film I add to the list.

It ranks amongst my top 30 films of all time and has been a monster level inspiration for me as a writer.

It’s a documentary that tells the story of madman/genius Philipe Petit, who decided it would be an awesome idea to string a high wire between the World Trade Center buildings and walk across it.

This was of course highly illegal and the film gives a detailed first hand account of the mission through the words of all the people involved, including Petit himself.

It’s a film that I’ve watched about a dozen times and never ceases to inspire and awe. If a man could do something so crazy and dangerous for his art form, then I think my aspirations to become a writer are relatively attainable.

The best part about it though, is how the film basically plays out like a bank heist.

It’s intense and will likely leave you shocked, if not in tears.

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Housebound

Every single year I watch a lot of freshly released horror films. Most of them wind up sucking (Demonic, I’m looking at you!), but once every few months I’ll stumble into something totally unexpected.

Housebound ranked in my top 5 horror films of 2014 which is no easy feat, and was likely the funniest horror film of the year.

The film follows the strange misadventures of a young woman put on house arrest for trying to break into an ATM machine. While on house arrest she starts to experience strange paranormal phenomena that may or may not be real.

I don’t want to spoil too much because this is the sort of movie whose element of surprise is key. It’s one of the best modern horror films currently on Netflix and essentially a guaranteed good time for any genre fan.

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Half Baked

Now if you are looking for something a bit on the lighter side. Something to drink to or watch with some friends while you pass the bong, then Half Baked is one of the easiest recommendations on Netflix.

It’s hard to describe exactly why this movie works the way it does, or has developed such a committed cult following.

It probably has something to do with the sheer likability of it’s bumbling stoner characters.

It’s nothing that you are going to dig into passed it’s surface features, but it’s light and breezy enough to merit a place on the list for those not looking for high art…

 

Garrett’s Pick’s

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The Others

This film is the definition of “slow burn.”

Growing up, horror movies were only “classics”, such as or Frankenstein, Dracula, and Friday the 13th or they were The Scream Franchise. It was the the 2000’s and I didn’t want another blood and guts boring horror movie.

I was 9 during this time by the way.

When The Others was over, this extreme sense of appreciation washed over me.  I had truly seen something that was original, horrifying, and memorable, without the need for gratuitous violence.

Nearly 14 years later, the film still has a place in my heart and each time I watch it, I notice how deep and emotional the film is, underneath it’s cold and foggy exterior.

I know a lot of you probably past this in the horror section on Netflix, but trust me, this film demands your full attention.

 

People Places Things

People, Places, Things

One of the best surprises of the year was a film that could’ve been so bad in the wrong hands.

It’s about a graphic novel writer/teacher who is trying to cope with his long time girlfriend leaving him and trying to be a better parent to their two children.

Sounds a like a Lifetime Movie right?

Luckily, the movie is steered with a clear vision from director James C. Strouse and enhanced by Jermaine Clement in the lead role.

Seriously, Jermaine Clement needs to make more movies.

I could watch him perform Shakespeare for hours and I’d like to see him play Sherlock Holmes one day.

See it if you are in the mood for an entertaining movie about self discovery or just want to see some good one liners.

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Laura

Everyone loves a good mystery.

We like to unravel the clues, try to guess who murdered who, and we love a surprising ending.

Laura isn’t the best mystery out there, but it’s a great mystery filled with atmosphere, great performances, and a fast paced plot.

However, the most surprising thing about it though is Vincent Price, who plays a man who is not creepy for the macabre reasons we all know him from.

He’s basically playing all the people you can’t stand from rich families, who love greed and not much else.

I’m surprised to not see this film mentioned more often because, it seems like a classic right when it begins. Thankfully, the full film was good and not overrated like some classics out there…cough cough Mary Poppins.

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Sunset Boulevard

I. Love. This. Film.

I first saw this when I was in high school and I had never seen anything like it.

The less I say about this movie the better because, once you watch it, you will never be able to forget it.

It’s probably one of the most “horrific” films ever made that doesn’t actually deal with violence or gore.

The film is still influential and one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

I dare you not to be scared of Gloria Swanson’s amazing performance as silent film star Norma Desmond.

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Adventureland

This is a movie that really hit me when it came out.

I was in the midst of leaving my comfortable home life and didn’t really know what awaited me once I left.

Jesse Eisenberg doesn’t get enough credit for his acting and once you see him in here, this might change your mind.

He plays such a relatable character and the fact that he’s at such a dead end job, makes you want him to succeed more.

I love that it’s characters interact in an Amusement park, that even in the 80’s, felt out of time and something that people talked about but never went to.

I felt like this movie captured all the awkwardness, joy, tenderness, and doubt that faces us in our young lives.

It helped me be entertained during my rough times working at a movie theater during the hot summer and it’s also my favorite Kristen Stewart performance.

Watch this movie if you are in the mood for an easy going film that ranks among one of the best coming of age films out there.

 

 

 

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