Netflix Instant Play Movie Recommendations!

J’aime beaucoup les filmes!

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It’s winter break for a lot of people and that usually means time to sleep in till 2 pm, veg, read books, eat pie, watch movies…  And the big question always is, “anything good on netflix”?  Personally, I love netflix, but I feel as far as instant play goes, you kind of have to know what you are looking for… some movies are obvious because they are on the main menu and they do try to find movies similar to ones you have watched… but a lot of people share their account, and computers can be wrong… Really searching, I have found some hidden gems (& some classics of course). Not all of these are “hidden” and some are classics that I own and have been watching for a long time.

1) An Affair to Remember, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr

It breaks my heart that some people have not seen this classic… it’s marvelous and wonderful and romantic and soooo good.  A sucker for Cary Grant, this movie ruined me for all men. EVERYONE should see this movie – add some culture into your “current” lives.

An Affair to Remember

2) Return to Me starring David Duchovony and Minnie Driver

A definite classic in my family, this is such a sweet romantic film that deals with loss and new love.  It’s charming, witty, and very much aware of the vulnerability in new relationships (with more delicate circumstances than usual).

Return to Me

3) Heathers starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater

This is a. dark. comedy.  The screenplay is pretty wicked, (if you are a fan of Diablo Cody, I think you may like this one)… It’s all about High School revenge… the uprising of the underdog.  Pretty weird and offbeat, if that is your thing? You’ll like this one.

Heathers

4) Year of the Dog

This is a very quirky kind of… dark comedy as well? that deals with a woman who loses her dog – her best friend… I found it endearing and sad, with a good turn around of emotion. I love Molly Shannon in this, she is subtle yet passionate… I think it is a better display of her acting abilities.

Year of the Dog

5) 2 Days in Paris starring Julie Deply and Adam Goldberg

This movie is about a relationship between a Parisian photographer and her obsessive compulsive-ish American boyfriend.  They go to Paris  and learn that they didn’t really know each other. This movie is SO FREAKING FUNNY..  if you have been to Paris or have taken French you may appreciate it even more… but I think its a crowd pleaser.  It deals with culture shock, paranoia, art, so much goodness in this film, I love it.

2 Days in Paris

6) Winter’s Bone

A sundance and academy award pick, this movie is quite dark and really very visceral.  It’s set in the Ozarks in a town destroyed by a reliance on Meth…  The movie follows Ree, a young woman with so much grit and tenacity, she makes it her journey to save her family and to find her druggie Dad, who jeopardizes their safety. Bad summary, but the trailer is excellent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O8F8JtSVmI

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7) The Graduate starring Dustin Hoffman

I hope people have seen this because it’s wonderful… College grad gets seduced by a cougar and runs into some problems… there’s depression, laughs, 60s cocktails parties, cool pool scenes, Mr. Feeney, beatniks, etc… please if you haven’t seen it, watch it… discussions on the film can also be a good conversation starter at Holiday parties and birthdays.

The Graduate

 

NOTE:  More good movies, less summary and scholarly side notes…

 

8 ) The Baxter starring Michael Showalter and Michelle Williams

A broken up wedding, new cute girl who reads the dictionary… love time.

The Baxter

9) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet

Crazy lovers and some psychology.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

10) Virgin Suicides starring Kirsten Dunst

5 beautiful blond sisters kill themselves.

The Virgin Suicides

11) Wristcutters: A Love Story

Set in Limbo, lovers meet.

Wristcutters: A Love Story

12) I Capture the Castle

2 sisters fight for the same lovers.

I Capture the Castle

13) Punch Drunk Love

A sad man who makes sex phone calls just to have a conversation with someone.

Punch-Drunk Love

14) Night of the Living Dead

Zombies, change cinema, 1960s, gross, blood, dead people.

Night of the Living Dead

15) Exit Through the Gift Shop a film by Banksy

Banksy did it.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

16) Girl, Interrupted starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie

Crazy girls at a mental hospital, set in the 60s.

Girl, Interrupted

17) The Snake Pit starring Olivia de Havilland

Crazy girls in a mental hospital during the 1940s.

The Snake Pit

(i got tired half way through… so i got blunt).

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TV: What I am watching now!

Image Detail  T.V.TIME!

I love T.V.  As an honors student with a lot of arduous academic endeavors in my life, all of the time, T.V. serves as a wonderful escape.  Unlike Youtube, which can suck hours out of my life and entertain me tolerably well , T.V. is more meaty, it’s like a real relationship…Youtube is a fling.  If it’s good T.V., I invest myself in it, I care about the lives, stories, etc.

Enough with the un-particulars and my elementary philosophy on television… blah blah blah… the real meat – What I am watching… Right. Now:

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American Horror Story, on FX: Oh my lovely bones, I am in lust with this carnal display of horror brought once again to suburbia. This show holds nothing back – it’s raw, sexy, intellectual, noiry, visceral, over-the-top, dark, current… etc.  The constant flux the plot provides with new, “old” stories/murders that happened in the house keep me watching.  If you are not familiar with the show, the story takes place at an old “haunted house” in L.A.  The house is typical for a horror house, there’s lots of wood, antiques, nooks, crannies, basements, creepy bath tubs, dead people… etc.  Most everyone who has lived in the house has been murdered there, and have never been able to leave. Really raunchy deaths too, burning, dissection, shovel head smashing, drowning, sodomy with an iron poker… etc.  When the characters die in the house, they can’t seem leave or pass to the next realm. The new and current family that is brought in consists of a husband, who is a house practicing psychiatrist, his wife, and teenage daughter.  Almost every episode exposes another pre-cursing murder that happened in the house.  I love the play with time, some of the murders date back to the 1920s.  With this wide range of decades present in the plot, there is so much room for the show to play with, and the ability to present an element of novelty.  The show kind of reminds me of a combination of Beetlejuice, Lost, Night of the Living Dead, and Hollywood Noir.  The second episode even used the score from Hitchcock’s film Vertigo, a personal favorite.  Not a show for the faint of heart, or sensitive, but such a thrill – I am interested to see where it goes and how long they can keep up the horror.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  I know it’s passé, but I am obsessed.  I used to think Veronica Mars was my favorite “bad ass chick saves her town” show, but Veronica has nothing on Buffy.  A little campy, and cliche, but it somehow works in this very dimensional teen-girl-power show.  I appreciate the juxtaposition between the two elements of life in the show.  There is Sunnydale, the typical L.A. white bread town, with blonde cheerleaders and tan polo players, but then there is this literal underbelly of Hell – as Sunnydale is located directly above a Hell mouth.  The mix of sunshine and noir is so brilliantly poetic, I pee.  I also like that there is a constant threat to the town, there will never be a time of stasis, there will always be a demon, vampire lord, or praying mantis teacher to threaten the peace in Sunnydale.  As I have yet to finish the series, and I know it runs for over 7 seasons, I can see why there is so much lasting power.  There is so much relationship building at work, so much investment in character development, that I can see so much room for metamorphosis, as every show takes on a new tone and color the previous episode was lacking.  One of my favorite parts of the show is how there is always tension within relationships, there are always secrets, obstacles, paranormal reasons why people in the show cannot live in harmony.  The friendships, loyalty, and devotion, are values in the show that provide a moral and a reason to keep watching Buffffffaaaayyyyy.

The Wonder Years:  A show I watched syndicated on Nickelodeon as a kid, Netflix has been so gracious as to provide it on instant play!  Re-watching The Wonders Years as an adult with a new set of perspectives, I now realize how much love went into the show, how much unrefined human experience.  The struggle of every American kid – growing up, fitting into school and society, understanding parents, is so thoughtfully presented through the lives of Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper.  The presentation of young love in the show is so sweet and honest, yet so awkward and unprepared, I die.  With a good balance of political and social issues from the 60s woven in with the superfluous struggles with adolescent emotion, The Wonder Years is a show for everyone and I am so happy to have rediscovered it.

Trends and Pieces I have Been Enjoying: 2011

1) Wool Eternity Scarves: I love how easy these are to throw on, and yet they look really styled.  (I have a cranberry/wine colored one from H & M… and a thinner blue and white striped one from American Eagle, thanks to Colleen-bear).

2) Long Cotton Skirts: I love how flowy these skirts are.  They can also transition from summer to fall/winter quite easily with a bit of layering.  (I like wearing them with thick socks and combat boots and letting them show by tying the bottom of the skirt into a knot).

3) Vintage Satchels (Dooney and Bourke all weather): I love, love, love these bags.  I am so happy that the huge boho bags are out.  Smaller bags help over-purse-packers immensely because it makes us minimalists… you don’t need to carry your life in your purse. I am also so so happy because my grandmother found her Dooney and Bourke satchel in her closet two years ago and gave it to me, so it’s free and 80’s vintage! Bitchinnnnnn.

4) Intense Winged eyeliner: Okay, I am not going to lie, I have been wearing liquid eyeliner since I was 12… because I have been obsessed with 40s movies since infancy.  I have really been getting into the more intense 60s wing lately though, (made popular by Mad Men, Adele, etc.).  It’s just a super glamourous look that requires some artistic inclination and a steady hand, and it’s FUN!

5) Top Knot: My favorite hairdo lately… It’s so easy, and while wearing pearled studs it looks really elegant and classy!

top knot

6) Last, but NOT least, COMBAT BOOTS (or prairie style/military style boots). I think I got my first pair of actual combat boots when I was 6 0r 7 for Christmas because I wanted to be just like my older cousin, Ashley, who was OBSESSED with Dr Martens… I got my newest pair two years ago for my birthday AND I HAVE WORN THEM TO DEATH.. hopefully Santa will get me another pair this year!  They are just super fun and badass and I love pairing them with more girly and romantic things to keep life interesting… I also like that you can wear them in the summer with dresses and skirts, in the winter with tights or leggings, or skinny jeans… they are just wonderful! Docs are also wonderful. I like the cherry red because you can wear them with ANYTHING.  If you want more grunge and edge, go with the docs, but if you prefer more steam punk/victorian/prairie style, the steve madden styles (left) may please you more.