Wednesday, January 14, 2015

5 movies to watch (or not) on Netflix

Posted by: Angela Campbell
I'll fess up. I forgot I was supposed to post here today until, like, right this second, and because my brain is the consistency of oatmeal right now thanks to the flu, cold, plague, or whatever the heck I've been battling for a couple of weeks, I'm falling back on my standby — a listicle!

Yes, in addition to being a reader, I watch a lot of movies. Got the FILM NERD t-shirt and everything. Not even kidding. And the only slightly positive thing about being sick is Netflix, because it requires you to move no further than pressing the Netflix button on your remote, and it requires no thinking. None. Okay, well maybe some, but still. Here's a list of five movies I've watched while I've been sick. Disclaimer: Note that I might have been feverish when I watched some of these, so take my choice of movies and my opinion of them with that in mind.

1. "In Your Eyes": I'll admit I perked up for about five seconds like a puppy being offered a treat when I saw this was on Netflix. Written and executive produced by Joss Whedon, it turned out to be a nice little hidden gem amongst Joss Whedon's more well-known works. It's a romance-fantasy film that follows a man and a woman, Dylan and Rebecca, who discover they can see through each other's eyes and can communicate telepathically from across the country, without having ever met. Timid, the affluent Rebecca is unhappily married to a successful doctor while barely-scraping-by Dylan is an ex-convict trying to straighten up his life. It's a very subtle, quiet love story from the man who brought us Buffy and Firefly and The Avengers. If you like fantasy blended with romance, this is a good movie. Unfortunately, it's hard to snark at it while watching it though.

2. "Knights of Badassdom": I sooo wanted this to be good-good, because it had Ryan Kwanten, Summer Glau AND Peter Dinklage in it being LARPers — that's some serious geek cred right there. Unfortunately, it was pretty bad-good, as in your inner monologue will snark throughout the entire thing just to justify the fact you keep watching it and to up the entertainment meter. Netflix says this for the description: "Venturing into the woods to act out a medieval fantasy, three friends face a real-life struggle for survival after inadvertently conjuring a succubus." It's labeled under fantasy comedy and fantasy horror. Granted, it had its moments, and I could stare at Ryan Kwanten for hours, which I did since he's the main guy in this. But overall, it wasn't nearly as funny or even as scary as I had hoped. My verdict: Meh.

3. "Mr. Nobody": Oh, Jared Leto, we need to have a talk. Mainly, I need to talk to you about what the hell this movie was about, because it's as confusing and complicated as statistics are to a journalist. A straight up sci-fi/fantasy, the movie's description is: "The last mortal in a world of immortals, Nemo Nobody begins reviewing his life at the age of 120, trying to determine if he made the right decisions." Basically Nemo, as a 120-year-old in the future, recounts his life to a reporter, but his story changes minute to minute. One second he's married to this woman, but oh wait, no, he says that was a lie and he was really married to this woman. Then his memories begin blending and ... my brain hurts remembering it. So confusing. Still, it's interesting if you're into overly artsy, abstract movies that seem like they have a poignant message, but they're so artsy and abstract, you don't know what the hell it was supposed to be. Plus, Jared Leto!

4. "Roborex": Don't judge. When I saw that this family film had Ben Browder of Farscape fame in it, my brain said, 'well, hello Roborex!' and my finger pressed PLAY before I could stop it. This movie is about a cute-but-nerdy-scientific kid named James whose only friend is his dog, Rex. His widowed dad (Ben Browder!) is a policeman who doesn't know how to deal with James, so he basically lets the kid roam all over the place, which is how James ends up finding a meteor that turns out to be—wait for it—a robot cat! And then later, a robot dog FROM THE FUTURE comes to James to protect him because the robot cat wants the rare crystal on a necklace that belonged to James' mom. I swear, it's not the fever talking, that's the actual plot of the movie. And maybe it was the fever, but I really enjoyed this. Because how can you NOT enjoy a movie that has both a robot cat and robot dog in it?

5. "The Machine": I don't know. I just kind of clicked on this one and thought I'd see what it was about since it had both Toby Stephens and Caity Lotz in it. The description: "During a cold war, Britain's Ministry of Defence steals the first-ever self-aware cyborg and trains it to become a brutal fighting machine." This is your standard dystopian "Wait, is this machine conscious? Holy crap, when will it kill us all?" trope, but it tells that trope with a cool, kickass female cyborg and a hot scientist guy who wants to help her. It's not particularly violent, and some might say it's a little boring at times because it's shot in such a smart, sophisticated way that relies more on characters and story than action, but I liked it.

So, have you watched anything good on Netflix lately?


  1. I haven't seen any of these, although I have been meaning to check out In Your Eyes due to the Joss Whedon factor. I never watch movies, which is just sad because I love them!

    1. You should totally watch "In Your Eyes." It's a good movie!

    2. I haven't seen any of these, either, but +1 on watching In Your Eyes.

  2. We liked Live. Die. Repeat. but we didn't watch it via Netflix.

  3. Added a couple to my never ending Netflix queue. In Your Eyes sounds good and I'm tempted by The Machine. I think I'll leave you to struggle with the meaning of Mr. Nobody alone. (But if I have a few beers and find it playing, I'll be sure to come back and discuss)

    Have you checked out Black Mirror? Six episodes in all and they're all vaguely dystopian. It's like the new Twilight Zone.

    1. I have watched 'Black Mirror', Kelly. I binge watched it one day last weekend. Great show. Really thought-provoking. If you watch 'The Machine,' let me know what you think!

  4. Oooh, I definitely need to look at The Machine. I love Toby Stephens!


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