Netflix, Your Online Comedy Club

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When you work as a tax preparer, I guess you should be prepared to not touch your Netflix blog for a month or two. When you’ve got a busy schedule, sometimes you don’t have the mental energy to watch a movie (well, one that requires you to use your brain). I certainly don’t have the time or energy to binge watch a tv show (we have enough to watch at the moment anyway with broadcast/cable television- Feud, The Americans, American Crime, and TIME: The Kalief Browder Story took up all our time this tax season).

Although Netflix certainly has its flaws, it is a master at doing just enough to keep you subscribed to their streaming service (although I have thought of the idea that someone does- subscribing just long enough to watch the new content they want to see, then cancelling, but that seems like too much work). That’s a good thing, as my Netflix bill went up $2 last month, and they should be able to justify that somehow.

Netflix has recently acquired exclusive comedy specials from big stars. It’s almost as if someone read my tired mind this last few months, and decided they needed to address the needs of the “too tired to think or not willing to commit to an entire TV series” online audience. Although they have all sorts of stand up comedy specials, we’ve had the chance to catch their high profile comedy specials. Humor is certainly a personal thing, so a straight up review of each is kind of pointless. But having enjoyed each of this comedian’s work in the past, I can at least compare it to some of their other work.

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As with Louis, your best bet if you want to see the best Amy Schumer material is her HBO Special Live at the Apollo. Although I found parts of this funny, if you read online reviews, you’ll find this to be very lowly rated by some critics and fans, not just the inevitable men who don’t find her or any female comedians to be funny. Nearly all the jokes have to do with raunch, sex, smelly body parts, etc. Although it’s not breaking new ground for her, she still knows how to sell the material. Her facial expressions often are funnier than the jokes themselves. I’m not sure Schumer is as “edgy” as she thinks she is. For me, it was enjoyable, if not disposable, special. It certainly shouldn’t be the reason for you to sign up for Netflix. Grade: C+

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Perhaps the return of Dave Chappelle would be a reason to get Netflix. A historical event on par with the return of Jesus himself, I’m sure if you’re at all interested in comedy the release of his two Netflix specials, The Age of Spin and Deep in the Heart of Texas, didn’t escape your attention. Also, if you enjoy his comedy, how have you not watched this yet? You must be busier than I am. As it stands, I only managed to watch The Age of Spin, less because of busy-ness or lack of interest, and more of leaving something to look forward to. Spin is well worth your time. Unlike the other comedians I’m reviewing in this post, you can easily see how much thought Chappelle gives to the structure of his act (I’m sure Louis does as well, although it’s less obvious at times). A joke that seems to be just a funny anecdote will come back around later in the act to make a joke about Bill Cosby funnier and more meaningful and insightful. Although his act definitely has a structure, he is obviously having fun with the crowd and interacting with them, so much so that he apparently forgets his last anecdote about the final time he met O.J. (periodically he’ll bring up these meetings throughout the act), having to do an “encore” for the crowd to complete his act. The funniest bits have to do with his retelling of fans who DIDN’T find him funny. Nothing can compare to what he did on his show, and I actually think his best  work recently was his monologue on SNL (and the rest of that show), but you won’t regret watching this special. Grade: A –

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Like Schumer, Louis is a comedian who can just make me laugh with just a facial expression (see above picture with his deer-in-the-headlight look, for instance). Luckily, he also can make me laugh by going to some weird, dark places. And while very much of his act seems off the cuff and ad-libbed, if you’ve watched his show, you know he’s a thinker, and probably carefully plans out everything he does. Perhaps even such a generic title as “2017” has meaning, especially since there seems to be nothing about this special that specifically addresses the issues we’re facing this year. Much of this could’ve been in a special three years ago. Even a bit about Christianity having “won” has nothing to do with the presidential election and the religious right getting their way with the current administration in power. But it’s probably the funniest bit in the show, and is probably Louie’s indirect way of addressing the current political climate – by putting it in perspective, or at least his perspective. Perhaps his bit about feeling a little gay when watching “Magic Mike” addresses the homophobia that much of the country still can’t get over. I’m sure his choice to change his wardrobe- from the ubiquitous jeans and black T-Shirt to a suit- was a conscious decision to distance himself from even the look of the typical, white Male Trump-supporter- the common-looking middle-class schlub that want to make America great again.

Or maybe not. I do know that Louis is obsessed with things that make us uncomfortable, and he loves to dive right into it. That’s why from the very first line of this special he discusses abortion, then follows it up with talking about suicide. Although not his best special, it’s a good one. Grade: B+

What is his best? Oh My God, an HBO special that you can watch for free if you have Amazon Prime. Oh My God Grade: A+

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Black Mirror: Seasons 1 and 2 Review

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Well, it seems I’ve let another month go by without reviewing (or watching) much of anything. I’ve been able to catch a few movies in the theater. ( Skip Silencea real slog of a movie that misses the point of its source material, and somehow transforms a mere 191 page novel into 2 hours and 41 minutes of cinematic dramamine; a mild recommendation for 20th Century Women ). We’ve had a busy life this New Year, so finding time at home for a movie has been a challenge. But with the current dearth of broadcast television shows that we like to watch (most of which are on FX and aren’t currently showing), we’ve found time to finally watch a TV show that I’ve had a lot of interest in for years- Black Mirror.

I know that there’s probably been a lot written about this show, which I have purposefully avoided so I could go into the viewing experience without any preconceptions. About the only preconception I had going in is that this was supposed to some kind of modern The Twilight Zone. Not quite, but it’s unsettling in what it reveals about human nature, much in the same way as that classic series was at its best.

If you feel like you have accomplished something after watching a season of a TV series, then this is the series for you. Season 1 and 2 total only 7 episodes (and with Season 3 thrown in, which I haven’t finished, only 13 episodes). So you can impress all your friends with how you watched the whole series in one weekend. They don’t need to know that it’s only half as much time and pain as watching a full season of What’s Happening Now?

I would seriously consider skipping some episodes, unless you’re a completist like me. Anyways, here’s a quick review of each episode of Season 1 and 2 (links are to Wikipedia, if want to read a synopsis of each episode).

SEASON 1 

EPISODE 1: “The National Anthem

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Absolutely offal. I mean, awful. Yeah, I went there with my choice of the pic for this episode. I usually shy away from spoilers, but this will all be spoilers, so skip this if you don’t want to know about this episode. I seriously consider not watching anymore after this one. One of the worst TV episodes of all time. And it’s not just because the Prime Minister of England is “forced” to fuck a pig live on television so that a member of the royal family is spared by her kidnappers. Yeah, that’s gross, but nothing, NOTHING about what happens in this episode is realistic, or reveals much about our nature as humans to revel in someone else’s humiliation, and our nature to forgive and forget. But that’s exactly what this episode thinks it’s doing. I don’t buy that any P.M. would feel they would have to do this. I also don’t believe that when the finger of the young female royal is delivered to the police to show that the kidnapper is serious about his/her threat to kill the royal, that no one would notice that it looks nothing like a female’s finger. Did she have man hands? How would a middle aged man’s finger pass for a young female’s finger? Fucking stupid. Also, terrorist threat or not, I don’t think a whole nation would stop and watch anyone fuck a pig. I also didn’t understand the reaction of the PM’s wife in the aftermath. Or what the supposed “artist” was trying to say or show anyone with this stunt. In fact, the only behavior that makes sense is the pig’s. GRADE: F- (for F this episode)

EPISODE 2: “Fifteen Million Merits

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A little better, but not by much. The idea is good, and the eventual result of the story is interesting, but it takes way too long to get to its point. There are also some storylines or characters that seemingly have no point. Running at 62 minutes, it could have easily been 45 minutes or less. GRADE: C- (skip it)

EPISODE 3: “The Entire History of You

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If it wasn’t for this episode, I might have given up on this series. While not quite dependent on a twist like The Twilight Zone, this does have somewhat of a twist by showing no matter what technology can do, it can’t overcome basic human nature and our flaws. Unlike the first episode of this series, where no one in it behaves like any human I know, the characters  are completely believable. The stakes seem real, and the story takes no giant leaps in logic to make its point. You should start the series with this episode. GRADE: A+

SEASON 2

EPISODE 1: “Be Right Back

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Pretty good episode. I enjoyed seeing Hailey Atwell and Domnhall Gleeson in this. This is more of a sad episode. I can say that I can totally see someone in Atwell’s position making these choices in her grief. It also introduces a theme that recurs throughout Black Mirror– where is the line between human and artificial intelligence? That is to say, even without a physical body, is any thing that is conscious of its existence in the same way we are any different than us? Do they deserve to be treated equally? Are they equally deserving of our mercy (or punishment)? GRADE: A –

Episode 2: “White Bear

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Another great episode. This episode features a twist that turns the mystery at the center of the story in a scathing criticism of western society’s thirst for Old Testament-style punishment, and the desensitized, yet voyeuristic society that gets some fleeting satisfaction in watching that justice play out on their smart phones.

GRADE: A

EPISODE 3: “The Waldo Moment

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The other episode that blows chunks. If it wasn’t for the parallels between Waldo and Trump, there wouldn’t be much that is interesting or believable in this episode. Like “The National Anthem,” the people in this episode don’t behave like anyone I know. And like that episode, “Waldo” paints the average Englishman as gullible, dumb, and easily amused by annoying cartoon characters. I could say the same thing about Trump voters, but I still think most people were not just voting for him because they were entertained, but because they weren’t informed or voted out of fear, putting their blinders on. The conversation where the CIA operative shows interest in exporting Waldo is eerie in its prescience regarding recent political outcomes. But it’s not enough to make this episode watchable or believable. While the aforementioned CIA conversation is probably meant to explain the ending, the ending still doesn’t quite make sense to me. GRADE: D (for as Dumb as Donald)

2014 Special: “White Christmas

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I’m actually in awe of this episode. Jon Hamm’s great, it works even several themes that are part of previous episodes, and different storylines that build and complement each other. I could tell you more, but if you had to only watch one episode of this series, this is it. GRADE: A++

Season 3 review to come soon.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock….Time Running Out for 24 and other titles leaving Netflix April 1

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It’s a race against the clock. Specifically, it’s a race against the top of the hour, because something dangerous/disastrous/dreadful/important/sinister/cliff-hangerish always happens at the top of the hour when you’re Jack Bauer. Luckily, even though a nuclear bomb blew up half the city, there is no traffic in Los Angeles, ever, so you can quickly get to wherever you need to go, so that that important event can happen right before the clock hits the hour.

You have a lot of questions but not a lot of time. What do you do? Stab the person with information in the knee? Shoot the person with the information in the knee? You don’t have much time! Do you hit them in the head until they are a bloody pulp? Do you take out the pliers? (you know what those are for!) Do you break out the blow torch? (yes, Jack did that!)

No, please don’t hurt me, Jack! I’ll give up the information that 24 is leaving Netflix on April 1, along with a lot of other titles (which will be a separate post coming soon). 24 will be finding a new home on Amazon Prime. Yet another Netflix fail. I understand that they also get new titles, but I would think the idea would be to keep titles you have and add more. But the writing’s on the wall- studios will want more control of their content when it comes to streaming, and/or want to use a service like Amazon where they can get more royalties, and pretty soon Netflix will be mostly original content. But until that time, I was taking for granted that 24 would stay on Netflix. Perhaps there was a mole at CTU, like there is every single season, errr, I mean, day. Jack really needs to figure out who the mole is so he can get back on Netflix. It’s not Chloe, Jack, or the person who seems to be most obvious at the beginning of the 24 hour work day you always seem to have. Just in case you’re wondering.

Here’s how Hitler took the news that Jack is leaving Netflix

I’ll post about the movies leaving Netflix April 1 today or tomorrow. In the meantime check out your queue

 

Arrested Development Season 4: Episodes 8-11

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I would guess that I’ve made the same face that Portia de Rossi makes above while watching these latest episodes. They’ve been all strange, but in a very entertaining way. While not always laugh out loud funny, there are plenty of great jokes, and the overlapping plot lines are beginning to pay off. While I may not have been laughing all the time, I enjoyed the writing that went into developing these episodes, with the humor coming from building the characters and the situations. I don’t have much to say about each episode, but since I’ve started grading the others, I’ll continue:

Episode 8: Red Hairing (Featured Character: Lindsay Bluth)

Solid episode. I enjoyed the Cinco de Cuatro finale, and hope that Lindsay does follow through with becoming a politician. Grade: B+

Episode 9: Smashed (Featured Character: Tobias)

This was one of the oddest episodes so far, where I wasn’t sure what I was watching at times, but it worked. It didn’t exactly feel like an Arrested Development episode. Maria Bamford as Debrie Bardeaux will either annoy you or draw you in. I think the other star’s interactions with her make this the best Tobias episode yet. Still, I would have wanted more Buster and Maybe and George Michael instead. But again, it’s good while being strange. The Fantastic Four: The Musical makes the comic book nerd in me laugh as well.Grade: B+

Episode 10: Queen B (Featured Character: Lucille Bluth)

The only episode to feature Lucille as the main character. The exchange between Lucille and Lucille 2 (Liza Minelli) is great. Some of the puns aren’t bad either. I’ll never get tired of Lucille screaming with delight when Gene Parmesan, the P.I., “surprises” her. Jessica Walter consistently delivered the funniest performances of the first three seasons. No exception here. Grade: A

Episode 11: A New Attitude (Featured Character: Gob)

Well, when you have Tony Wonder (Ben Stiller) and Gob both pretending to be gay with each other, but finding that they are truly “the same,” what else do you need? Perhaps a trip to the Gothic Castle (or would that be Gothic Asshole?) Grade: A-

 

Arrested Development Season 4: Episodes 4-7

More Episodes Reviewed….

Episode 4: The B. Team (Featured character: Michael Bluth)

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So far, Michael’s episodes have been the strongest. I am having an internal debate about that however, because I still question whether I feel that way because the two Michael episodes have felt the most familiar and in-line with the first three seasons. Inserting Ron Howard into the story itself (going beyond narration) again shows that Season 4 takes steps outside of boundaries Season 1-3 set up. With Chachi and the Fonz already I guess it’s not too much of a leap to take. The jokes (some of them inside jokes?) involving Imagine Entertainment and Ron have been some of the best in this new season so far. Isla Fisher plays a new love interest for Michael, and again Michael finds himself misunderstanding who he’s dating. It’s funny, but not an instant classic like Julia-Louis Dreyfus’ and Charlize Theron’s turns as Michael’s love interests. Overall, a solid episode, with some good cameos, both old and new (John Krasinki among them) Grade: B+

Episode 5: “A New Start” (Featured Character: Tobias)

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This episode really builds from Episode 2 of this season, and rewards the viewer patient enough to sit through that episode that lacked a lot of laughs. There are some new classic Tobias moments, although again, they drew attention to a running joke that Tobias previously was oblivious too. It seems they’re intent on making the same transition the Simpsons made, where Homer’s buffoonery went from being accepted by everyone in the Simpson universe, and then having Frank Grimes call out how dumb Homer is. That episode of The Simpsons represented a shift that seemed awkward at first, but that episode is now easily in my top 10 for that show. I’m not sure that all the new-found awareness on the part of the characters in AD will result in the same way, but I can say that I did enjoy going through some of the same events in Episode 2, this time through Tobias’ eyes, a more enjoyable experience. Debris seemed too awkward in Ep. 2, but with this episode you start to get that character a bit more. I always enjoy Tobias’ misuse of words that cause confusion about his sexual identity. There is no shortage of those in this episode. I also always enjoy making fun of “To Catch a Predator”-style shows. Grade: B

Episode 6: “Double Crossers” (Featured Character: George, Sr.)

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Although George Sr. is the featured character, this episode felt more like an ensemble piece. There is a scene (or two) where Michael and Gob meet again for the first time in years, without George Sr. in the mix. Part of the problem I have had with the George Sr. episodes is that they have spent a lot of time explaining the plot of the season. The scheme of building a wall on the border is a bit too complex and takes a bit too much time away from the comedy. The plot shares characteristics of the plot that drove the first three seasons- the Bluths building housing developments in Iraq. Yet it feels like they’re trying to fit in 3 seasons worth of this “plot” into this one season; and even more than that, just George Sr.’s episodes. But there are some funny moments, and the final gag of this episode was brilliantly set up, surprising you in a way that is not unlike many setups from earlier seasons. Also, the Episode 4 introduction of Isla Fisher’s character begged the question as to why Dallas Bryce Howard wasn’t cast in that role. This episode drolly addresses that question. Grade: B-

Episode 7: “Colony Collapse” (Featured Character: Gob)

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“Now, you’ve….got some mice to scoop out of the sea.”- Gob

“And As It Is Such, So Also As Such Is It Unto You”- Religious TV Show Host

And so many other lines. Gob has always been my favorite, and so far his episode is my favorite. From the Entourage parody, to the Wedding Magic Trick, to the show “Pop a ROTC,” this episode didn’t disappoint. A lot of the laughs as always comes from Will Arnett’s delivery. The episode contained another element of self-awareness, but in staying true to Gob’s character, Gob never really gets a clue, or not as much as the other characters have. I would have featured Gob a little earlier in the season, but perhaps it’s better to be left wanting more than to get too much.

Grade: A-

Finally getting to Season 4 of Arrested Development- Review of Episodes 1-3

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One aspect of Netflix that I haven’t really had time to take advantage of is the abundance of television shows they have available. I’ve caught random episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, watched the pilot for the original Star Trek (in which William Shatner was nowhere to be seen), and watched about six or seven episodes of Sons of Anarchy before life got too busy (I do plan to get back to that one later).

I’ve been accused of watching too much television, but thinking of the shows I currently watch, I don’t put too much on my plate. This is partly due to some shows I was following that ran their course (like Lost, Fringe or Breaking Bad, all available on streaming last time I checked), and some others being on HBO, which I decided to cancel because the cost was too much and some of the shows were really starting to disappoint (such as everything but Game of Thrones). I do watch and really enjoy American Horror Story and The Americans. I have watched Mad Men, but that seems to have a new season only every 2 or 3 years. I still am holding on to The Walking Dead for some reason. I am wondering whether the 2 or 3 first rate episodes that they have each season is worth the mediocrity you have to endure for the other episodes.

Speaking of mediocrity, here we have Arrested Development: Season 4. If you ask me what some of my favorite television shows of all time would be, that might be a long list, but ask me about my favorite comedies, and I will immediately say Seinfeld, The Simpsons, and Arrested Development. I’m reviewing Season 4 so late because I decided I wanted to watch Arrested Development (hereafter referred to as AD) from Episode 1. I started this back in the summer a short time after the season 4 episodes premiered on Netflix. Needless to say, it took me awhile, but I enjoyed watching some classic episodes. The series was as solid as I remembered it. So this week I finally got to season 4. I’m going to review each episode separately, and with a letter grade, just to be different from my movie reviews. Besides enjoying reviewing the first 3 seasons, I also don’t feel compelled to avoid spoilers, as these episodes have been online for quite some time now. So if you haven’t watched the episodes, I may or may not give away things.

Episode 1- The Flight of the Phoenix  Grade: B+ (Featured character: Michael)

The first episode thankfully rewarded me for refreshing my memory of the first 3 seasons. There are several jokes and guest appearances that will make fans of the original series laugh. This episode is the best of the first three episodes, but there are still some awkward jokes that fall a little flat. I’m not sure why Michael seems likes he’s gone beyond his naivete about certain things (such as his relationship with his son, George Michael) to outright stupidity at times. His attending the University of Phoenix while rooming with his son at UCI, and hoping that being featured in an inflight magazine will get his career back on track, feel like the old AD (his exchange with the airline staff is great). Michael getting into the shower with his son just felt like too much (unlike the hilariously awkward “Afternoon Delight” duet with his niece in the original episodes). The voting out the roommate scene was also well done, and I enjoyed Romel de Silva as George Michael’s roommate. Also fun to see were the cameos from Kirsten Wiig and Seth Rogen as the young George and Lucille Bluth.

Episode 2: Borderline Personalities   Grade: C  (Featured Character: George Sr.)

This episode didn’t really connect with me. There was a lot of “plot” going on. I’ve heard from previous reviews that the early episodes set up the payoff that comes in the later episodes. I certainly hope so. Other negative reviews complain that the timing seems off, and I would have to say that they would be right when it comes to this episode. The biggest laughs came from Karen Maruyama’s ex-con named China Garden. John Slattery had some good lines as well, but I don’t think Mary Lynn Rajskub’s character really hit the mark the writers were trying to hit. The George W Bush gag was good. But overall it seemed like it was trying to hard and not delivering much in the way of laughs. It remains to be seen if there is a payoff later.

Episode 3: Indian Takers Grade: C+ (Featured Character: Lindsay Bluth)

Again, the timing seemed a little bit off. There was a bit more here than Episode 2 to like. I appreciated that a good deal of the jokes that work come from knowing Lindsay’s character really well. Ed Helms makes an appearance as a real estate agent who makes some hilarious sales pitches to Tobias and Lyndsay in order to get them into a home they can’t afford. Lyndsay actually hooks up with someone else, which kind of ruins a long running joke of Lyndsay misunderstanding men’s advances and not being able to cheat on her husband even though she wants to. Her sleeping with another man does however provide the set up for another joke, but I’m not sure that it was worth it.

Overall, I’m leaning towards not enjoying this as much as my old AD. But I’m still optimistic, and I realize in some ways it has to be a different experience being created for Netflix.

Reviews of the following episodes coming soon.

Old Acquaintances Netflix Forgot- titles gone January 1

So I have roughly 400 titles in my instant queue, and when I look at it in list form, a whopping 13 titles are listed as “until 1/1/2014.” I would suggest getting a computer and logging onto Netflix when you have a chance (if you log onto a Playstation or a cell phone, can you see your queue in a list form?), and seeing what titles you have that are disappearing on January 1. I’ve listed all the ones I know about below. I certainly hope Netflix gets some of these back, or gets something else in its place. I would think the best business model for Netflix would be getting MORE titles for streaming, not less.

Dark Shadows (1966)

Dark Shadows (1966) is probably the departing title that I’m most upset will be leaving, because I know I have no chance of watching 166 episodes between now and New Year’s. I have fond memories of coming home after school and watching reruns of this gothic horror soap opera (not to be confused with the Tim Burton remake) in the 80’s on Channel 56 KDOC here in the Los Angeles area. For its time, it was thoroughly entertaining, but at times cheesy (one character turns into a werewolf by falling down below the camera’s view and throwing up pieces of clothing and fur to “show” the transformation). I don’t think anyone is going to take the time to watch these on DVD (especially by renting them through Netflix), so this is definitely something that NEEDS to be on streaming, because it would be a long term project to watch. I hope it stays or comes back in the near future.

Quadrophenia (1979)

Quadrophenia (1979)

Being a Who fan since around the same time I was watching Dark Shadows on TV, I suppose I should have seen this by now. But I was never a big fan of the album. I always thought one concept album was enough.

Ned Kelly (2003)

Ned Kelly (2003)

This could be the only Heath Ledger movie I haven’t seen (yes, I even saw 10 Things I Hate About You, or whatever it was called). Seems to have a very Australian cast. Probably for a reason. If you have all the time in the world, perhaps you can do a Ned Kelly marathon and watch this along with the Mick Jagger film of the same name.

Serpico (1973)

Serpico (1973)

I’ve seen this one, and if you haven’t, it’s probably your best bet. Al Pacino did great work in the 70s (yes, kids, it’s hard to believe but true). Director Sidney Lumet has done other classics. The story follows a cop who roots out corruption in the NYPD. My IMDB Rating: 9/10, Netflix: 5/5

Dressed to Kill (1980)

Dressed to Kill (1980)

My IMDB rating for this is 7/10, but don’t remember much about this. It’s directed by Brian De Palma, so chances are it has a great opening but a disappointing ending.

Triumph of the Spirit (1989)

Triumph of the Spirit (1989)

The poster for this makes me laugh: “From the Academy Award Winning Producer of ‘Platoon'” As if anyone follows producers like they’re directors.

Carrington (1995)

Carrington (1995)

I’ve always wanted to see this because it was on Siskel and/or Ebert’s Top 10 for that year. More relevant to most viewers would be that it stars Emma Thompson, who did great work in the 90s.

Other titles going away January 1st:

The Kids in the Hall (this has to be on Comedy Central still or some other cable channel, right?)

The Secret of NiMH

The Odd Couple (movie)

Possession (2002), directed by Neil Labute and starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart

The Long Goodbye

The Andromeda Strain (1971)

New Episodes of American Horror Story, Lilyhammer

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I’ve been meaning to share the information that Netflix has “new” episodes of American Horror Story, as well as new episodes of their own TV series Lilyhammer. It’s probably old news by now, but like many people the holiday season has been a busy one and it’s hard to find time to post about things, much less fit in a movie or an episode of your favorite series.

While I have yet to watch Lilyhammer, I do watch episodes of American Horror Story on FX as they premiere. If you’re like me and you are suffering through the holiday hiatus of the current season entitled Coven, you might want to go back on Netflix and re-view the previous seasons. I fell in love with AHS’ first season, but felt the incredibly solid season had a weak finale. The new episodes on Netflix are from the second season entitled Asylum, which was much more of a hit and miss experience. Many storylines ended up going nowhere. I don’t want to give away too much, but I’m thinking of the Evan Peters storyline, Chloe Sevigny’s part, and James Cromwell’s fate seemed anticlimactic. There are some spectacular moments in the second season, and it actually had a strong ending (as best as I can remember! I need to refresh my memory). I enjoyed Sarah Paulson’s performance in particular, and Jessica Lange will always be the star of the show. (Don’t go Jessica!). Of course it being set in an asylum means there are some crazy characters. Check out this link if you’ve already seen the season and want to see Pepper in real life: http://popstyle.ew.com/2012/12/04/american-horror-story-asylum-naomi-grossman/

Hope to have a review here shortly of something Christmas related. If I don’t manage that, then have a great holiday!