New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 2/25/2014

Quite a lot of good documentaries this week and the final episodes of Breaking Bad

Comedy: The Four-Faced Liar, Nick Thune: Folk Hero, Random Acts of Violence, Violet & Daisy, Bad Milo!, Christmas Bounty

Casino Jack

Documentary: The City Dark, Bigger Stronger Faster, Casino Jack and the United States of Money, Crazy Love, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Jesus Camp, A League of Ordinary Gentlemen, Mr. Untouchable, Surfwise, The Last White Knight

Drama: Best Man Down, Tyler Perry’s Temptation, The Gymnast, Petunia, The Wait

Family: Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Attila

Paris Countdown

Foreign: Paris Countdown, An Afghan Love Story, Blue is the Warmest Color, The Fish Child, Sword of the Assassin

Wishmaster

Horror: Wishmaster, Wishmaster 2, Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell, Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled, Dead Before Dawn

Television: Crossing Lines, Cult, Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas, A Young Doctor’s Notebook, The Returned, The Guild, and new seasons of Medium, Dance Academy, Breaking Bad, Kickin’ It, and Twilight Zone

Spoilers – Entertainment Weekly and Kevin Smith

“A bad day at the movies is still better than a good day exercising.”

I normally never post spoilers. I am basically the anti-Entertainment Weekly. For those who don’t know, EW regularly spoils shows and movies just after they’ve aired. Recently they spoiled a major plot point from the third season of American Horror Story on the cover of their magazine BEFORE the episode even aired.

I have learned to skim or avoid any article about things I like. That said, a spoiler I do like is Kevin Smith’s movie series, Spoilers.

Spoilers

 

Spoilers with Kevin Smith (2014) Рnot rated but foul language is used.

Watch “Spoilers”, Kevin Smith’s movie “revue.” Spoilers is a multi-act film extravaganza mixing lively group chats, interviews with movie and pop¬†culture icons, animated shorts and cinematic reenactments. Each week, Kevin, a special guest and movie lovers passionately sound off on the year’s most anticipated summer blockbusters, breaking down their favorite scenes and what should have been left on the cutting room floor.

After a year and a half hiatus, Kevin Smith’s Spoilers has returned. The first seven episodes of the second season are now available on Hulu. I enjoyed the first season more but the second season is still worth watching.

As the title implies/states, the movies covered are often spoiled so viewer beware.

Breaking Bad

 

* I finally got to finish watching Breaking Bad with only one character arc having been spoiled for me (by Entertainment Weekly naturally). Of course I won’t spoil anything for you but I will say that the ending was leagues more satisfying than the rather poor wrap-up to Dexter.

EW Top Ten TV Shows

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly is their end of year Top 10 issue. Of course the Top 10 Movies are not available on instant Netflix, some haven’t even hit the theater. Between the two critics, the top films were 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Before Midnight, Fruitvale Station, Gravity, Blue Jasmine, The Past, World War Z, Prisoners, Inside Llewyn Davis, Captain Phillips, Enough Said, All is Lost, Out of the Furnace, The Conjuring, and Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.

Orange is the New Black

On the other hand, their year’s best TV shows (again between two critics) include American Horror Story (2 seasons on Netflix), Parks and Recreation (5 seasons available), Breaking Bad (all but the final episodes available), Orange is the New Black (Netflix exclusive), Mad Men (5 seasons available), House of Cards (Netflix exclusive), The Fall (first series available), Arrested Development (4 seasons – the 4th is Netflix exclusive). With results like that I’d argue that Netflix has changed the face of television. They are even bringing back the cancelled police drama The Killing.

Game of Thrones

TV shows not available on Netflix from the best of list: Time of Death, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, Enlightened, Please Like Me, The Good Wife, and The Returned show Netflix’ weaknesses: Lack of premium channel content (HBO, Showtime) and CBS shows. Of course these aren’t just Netflix weaknesses as these aren’t available on Amazon Prime or Hulu either.

I have yet to watch Parks and Recreation and The Fall is still sitting in my queue (I tend to put off watching shows involving rape as I’m looking to be entertained more than enlightened). The other Netflix shows though are amazing and I concur that they are the best series on TV. I’m hoping that they’ll put the final episodes of Breaking Bad on before someone spoils them for me.

Good Television – Breaking Bad and Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake is currently available on instant Netflix.

Top of the LakeTop of the Lake (2013) – Rated TV-MA

When pregnant, 12-year-old Tui tries to kill herself in a freezing New Zealand lake, Detective Robin Griffin has plenty of questions for the girl. But when Tui suddenly disappears, Griffin finds herself knee-deep in small-town secrets.”

Normally I vette the shows I put on for my wife. We loved Helen Mirren’s Prime Suspect and enjoyed Mireille Enos in The Killing. Seeing Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss headline a mystery set in scenic New Zealand seemed a no-brainer.

Top of the Lake is quite good as is Elisabeth Moss. Holly Hunter steals the show as a guru of sorts. The scenery and cinematography are wonderful.

I do have to warn you though that we were surprised as the story deals frequently with rape, incest, child abuse, sexual identity, and sexual abuse. In other words be prepared for a lot of adult content, very little of it of a happy nature.

Breaking BadBreaking Bad (2008-12) – Rated TV-MA

Emmy winner Bryan Cranston stars as Walter White, a high school science teacher who learns that he has terminal lung cancer and teams with a former student to manufacture and sell high-quality crystal meth to secure his family’s future.

Netflix just released the first half (eight episodes) of the last season of Breaking Bad (just in time to catch up for the final eight episodes). I have to say that I loved these eight episodes. Each season of the show has gotten better and better and I’m really glad that it looks like they’re going to go out while they are at the top of their game.

I’m not sure how it will all end but they tease us in the first few minutes with where they are headed.

Mid-Month Update – Excellent Television

The second season of Downton Abbey is finally available. Unfortunately it is not on Netflix or Amazon (unless you want to pay by the episode) but Hulu Plus has all of the second season episodes. I can’t wait to watch this with my wife. If you haven’t seen it yet, catch the first season on instant Netflix.

Titanic (2012)

“Follows the lives of the ship’s passengers, from all walks of life, as they travel on the maiden voyage of the ill-fated Titanic. From the wealthy family of the Earl of Manton, the designers of the ship, to the stokers in the engine room – who will make it onto the lifeboats? “

This is NOT the James Cameron blockbuster but rather a British miniseries. Each of the first three episodes begin before Titanic launches and tells the story of different characters. The fourth episode deals with the sinking of the Titanic and presumably the fates of the characters from the first three episodes. I’m looking forward to this mainly because it is from Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey). Available on instant Netflix.

After watching this, do not even consider viewing Titanic II. Titanic II is NOT a sequel but the usual Asylum ripoff.

Breaking Bad Season 4 (2008-2011)

“Emmy winner Bryan Cranston stars as Walter White, a high school science teacher who learns that he has terminal lung cancer and teams with a former student to manufacture and sell high-quality crystal meth to secure his family’s future.”

I’ve recommended this series before but now we get the fourth season. This is another one I’m looking forward to watching with my wife. Too many shows, too little FREE time. I also think that it’s a mistake to premiere the fourth season on instant Netflix on the same day the fifth season premieres on AMC. This doesn’t give viewers enough time to catch up.