I thought if other people are streaming we could share cool movies and shows we’d recommend watching. We could do it with other streaming content providers too, but I think it makes sense to break them out by content provider.
For my first recommendation, I’ll share the documentary I watched last night, Sons of Perdition. It follows three teenage boys who have escaped Warren Jeff’s compound The Crick and are now trying to make a life on the outside.
I’ve read Under the Banner of Heaven and a few articles about the FLDS, but I felt like this movie personalized the abuse and isolation - so much story telling in the awkward teen mannerisms; these boys reminded me of my nephews in a lot of ways, and then in other ways they seemed so alone and lost.
This is kind of depressing and disturbing, but if you are in the right mood, I’d recommend it. The movie gives some back story on how the people in FLDS live and are controlled and it shines light on the challenges that face all homeless teens, but especially ones so ill equipped for the modern world.
I’m on Canadian Netflix, so I may not have access to some of the recommendations on here (and there is some content on Canadian Netflix that isn’t on American, I have heard)… But recently I watched Birdmen: The Original Dream Of Flight, a documentary about those crazy ass dudes that wear wingsuits and jump off cliffs. It was fascinating, and really good to watch in HD on the big screen TV.
And earlier this week I watched Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, about Kevin Clash, the monster responsible for giving the world Elmo (I kid, mostly - I have learned to be less annoyed by Elmo since my 2 year old became OBSESSED with him). I found that SUPER interesting, but then I find just about anything Muppet related to be super interesting. It touches briefly on how he wishes he had spent less time with Elmo, and more time with his daughter growing up, but I wish it had gotten a bit more into that theme.
Lately I’ve been plagued with bad choices of documentaries on Netflix: The Lindsey Vonn story (not the title, can’t recall it) was kinda boring for me, but if I had a teenage girl that might be different; Into The Void, which was basically an “Ain’t Skiing with Helicopters Cool?” type of thing–lots of pretty slo-mo skiing and landscapes but not much mental material; and, finally, “The Search for Bin Laden” which was Discovery Channel schlock with the same terrible soundtrack as those police-chase TV shows with the ex-cop host.
So I turn to you, BB. Please help me, you’re my only hope.
I have Amazon Prime, not Netflix, but I expect that The Twilight Zone is included on Netflix as well. Anyhow, that’s my number one recommendation. Each episode is pretty great, and since there are four seasons available on Amazon, each with about 20 episodes, it’ll soak up a lot of time, too.
my problem recommending stuff is that I haven’t had an account in a long time and NF regularly removes content, so be warned that these may no longer be available (but then sometimes they re-instate stuff, too, I’d noticed–frustrating!)
Gilda: a “lost” film noir that was restored fairly recently. If you have even a passing appreciation for noir, this is as good as any film of the genre. Rita Hayworth in a powerhouse performance (and she’s hot as the sun.)
The IT Crowd: I suppose the cat is out of the bag on this one, but I found it in the early days when there wasn’t much content streaming yet. Not much to be said that hasn’t been already, but basically, if you come here to BB, this TV comedy is definitely for you.
Between The Folds: I would never have thought I’d care about a documentary about origami, but this is probably one of the most interesting docs I’ve ever seen. there’s a bunch of science and math as well as art, and the art includes non-representational/modern art, too. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/between-the-folds/
Hanna: A sort of psychological action thriller? A young girl raised in seclusion by her former-secret-agent dad must forge a path through the outside world while being pursued by the baddies. Although there’s plenty of action interspersed throughout, it isn’t presented in the same way as hollywood blockbuster fare.
That Mitchell And Webb Look: another British series I’d have never seen if not for NF. Hilarious sketch comedy. This is as good as any sketch show has ever been–maybe the best? They also did Peep Show, a show with a proper plot and also on NF when I had it, but I prefer the sketches.
maybe these are old news but that’s all I’ve got right now.
Check out Make Believe, which is a doc about a young magician contest, some great work there and a piece that hangs together well.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is excellent and I’m in the middle of That Guy Who Was In That Thing, which you might want to check out. ESPN’s 30 for 30 series are typically worth the time as well.
If you do not find this brilliant there is no help for you.
Doc Martin, which is sort of like Northern Exposure but set in Cornwall.
it’s an interesting subject but the doc didn’t come together as strongly as I’d hoped. a bigger budget would really have helped. the actors they interviewed seemed like they were who could be got by calling in favors, or just who were their buddies. not that this negates the fact that they were the genuine article but some of them were not as ubiquitous as the title would imply. beyond that the film really drags quite a bit. overall, the good of it outweighs the bad I’d say, but not a strong rec IMHO.
those ESPN 30 for 30s are the fucking bomb, though, and I don’t even follow sports at all. My roommate got me watching them, great stuff.
I’ve watched some nice ones lately; most are worth watching but some were better than others:
The Woman Who Wasn’t There - About a woman who claimed to be a 9/11 survivor and got herself elected president of their support group, but actually was pretending. The subject matter itself is pretty straightforward, but the documentary had excellent production - great interviews with compelling subjects, some neat animation interludes that added some lightness into what could have been a bleak feeling movie.
Cash Crop - About marijuana sales in CA; kind of a promo piece for medical/boutique weed. Seems to have been edited by a stoned person (duh!) and very interview heavy, with a lot of interviews shot through big plants. Still there is a sweet back to the land ethic in the film.
Aileen Wournos - This was such powerful footage that I actually can’t bring myself to watch this one again; I rented it on VHS back in the day. Real footage of a serial killer is so disturbing; something dark in that woman that is hard to shake.
The 30 for 30 on Tania Harding - relive the 80s craziness - her childhood best friend gives good interview. She’s still delusional.
Buying Sex - on Canada’s legal fight over changing prostitution laws. Excellent - really changed my mind about some things and some very articulate interviews on all sides. Fascinating to see the effects of recent changes in laws in New Zealand and Sweden. Tastefully filmed.
You have some stuff in there that is on my to watch list but that I keep skipping over, so thanks for recommending these. I will probably watch them now. Maybe. Hopefully. Am I the only one who wonders about the psychology of how I select what to watch?
Dangit - it appears that the ESPN 30 for 30s are not available on Canadian Netflix. Booo.
and @noahdjango Thanks for the recommendation of the IT crowd. My daughter and I finished all the Mediums and needed a new show - this was pretty funny. Very Brit humor in places, but sometimes just damned hilarious.
@wrecksdart - another documentary that I just finished is Man on Wire about Phillipe Petit - this guy is so animated and so very French he could be doing a documentary about walking down the hall and it’d be great, but instead he is talking about this really crazy stunt. Very well produced and some of the scenes of him walking on wires are just lovely. There are lots of shots of the towers, if that bothers you probably not the best choice. It is strange to view it post 911 as the ways they eluded security, which they used for Awesome, also make me think about how easy it would be to do that for Evil, and how these buildings fascinated him in a good way but so many people fixated on them another way.
I believe I caught a touch of that some time ago and found it interesting–I’ll be sure to look it up again.
Also, am I the only one who mainlines fiction for a time and then shifts over to factual/documentary for a time, and then back again? For the last week I’ve re-read Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle”, binged on “Dexter”, and re-watched the “Indiana Jones” quadrilogy (and loved all but the last, latest film in the set), and now I’m poised to consume Fest’s “Hitler”, numerous ESPN 30/30s, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and a stack of surf documentaries.
Hmm…solace is found:
If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last! -Jonathan Swift
Not just you. I did all the Dexters, all the Grey’s Anatomy and Scandals. Now it seems there isn’t anything creative that I can get into and there are all these great documentaries there.
Also, I am a sucker for those wedding dress shows and as soon as one of them pops up with more shows I sit and watch them all night long, hanky in hand. You could make a whole channel of that shit and I’d never leave my seat.
I’ve been procrastinating on writing a post about all the stand-up comedy shows that I’ve enjoyed, but I forgot to mention a couple shows in the last post. Again, I’m not sure about the present availability, but I watched them on NF within the last three years or so.
Louie: the internet loves Louis CK, as it should, but I mention it for completeness sake. I blazed through the first two seasons. truly outstanding television. His older show, Lucky Louie may still be on there. It was not as good, but if you’re a fan, it’s worth a watch. I don’t think it gets enough credit for the fact that the whole mis-en-scene was seemingly purposefully taken from the Barney Miller/All In The Family school of set design, as well as aspects of the script structure. Lucky Louie is super comfy that way.
Fight Quest: OK, the title seems like the answer to a “you might be a redneck…” joke, but for real, this show is actually really informative. It’s sort of like a combination travelogue/reality show–with fighting! but seriously, the concept is: we follow Doug (small, earnest, soulful) and Jimmy (big musclebound meathead with a heart of gold) as they travel to different countries and they are taught the notable martial art of that nation by local experts–Kung Fu in China, Krav Maga in Israel, kickboxing in France, etc.
Upon arrival in a given nation, the two are separated. One goes to a dojo in the city, the other goes to a more traditional dojo in the countryside, allowing the viewer to experience the country in question from both a modern and traditional perspective. We experience how an American reacts to the day-to -day aspects of the new environs, food, etc as they try to integrate. Also, we see them struggle to try to understand the fundamentals of a new fighting form while the dojo tries to kick the shit out of them for two weeks. Then there’s a bout and Doug and Jimmy fight the local practitioners.
There’s so many perspectives that are seamlessly packed into each episode: the nation’s cultural identity and history as represented by their martial art, the drama of our protagonists lives, their actual fights, the local color, the explication of the mechanics of the fighting form itself. I found it engrossing and binge watched the whole series. Doug is super cool, btw.
Absolutely Mitchell and Webb. I think they are definitely up there with Python and Fry & Laurie in the pantheon of British humor. I know their more traditional sit-com “Peep Show” is more popular, but it is so typical of the genre – character X does something stupid and spends the episode trying to prevent character Y from finding out, which basically ran its course back in the days of “I Love Lucy”. But That Mitchell and Webb Look gave them them creative freedom to do whatever they wanted.
a personal favorite:
this and the Holmes one…