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Crap to Watch on Netflix | Seven Deadly Sins Edition
Aloha everyone! Welcome to the much anticipated second edition (or the sub par sequel) of crap for you to watch Netflix. This is where I attempt to make your life easier by narrowing down Netflix's multitude of choices to only a handful of top-notch pieces of cinema that you may not already know about, but you're sure to love. Why would I perform such an altruistic feat, you ask? Because I care. That's why.
Today we're going to gimmick things up a little here by adding a theme to the list. This is in part because I thought it would be fun, but mostly because I suck at narrowing down my own favorites and needed a way to cut them down to only 7 movies (I'm a lazy twat, I know). So, being the atheistic heathen I am, I've decided make our theme about one of my favorite pastimes -- sinning! (yay!) Meaning what we're going to focus on is seven movies (that's one movie for each day of the week, as luck would have it) that each represent one of your favorite seven deadly sins. Now I'm sure you all have seen the Brad Pitt movie already, but on the off chance some of you haven't, the sins in question are as follows:
- Lust - The sexy side of damnation.
- Gluttony - For those overindulgers who never think enough is enough.
- Greed - The republican curse.
- Sloth - The liberal ideology.
- Wrath - For those with anger management issues.
- Envy - Not sure who this is for, but I want it.
- Pride - For those so vain that you probably think this list is about you.
Oh! After reading, be sure to leave your comments and your own Netflix recommendations in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Who knows, maybe your picks will make it to the next list.
Illiterate? Fear not! This list is also in video form! How the hell are you reading this, by the way?
LUST | The Graduate (1967)
Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) just graduated college and has now come back to his families well-to-do, suburban home to contemplate what to do next with his life. That's what he's supposed to be doing, at least. In reality, this clean cut, naïve college grad spends most of his days lost in a daze without any aim whatsoever for his future. That is, until one day when Ben gives his parents friend Mrs. Robinson (a sultry cougar played by Anne Bancroft) a ride home from a party. Seemingly innocent enough, until Ben gets to her pad only to find that the kind of ride Mrs. Robinson's looking for is that of a different sort (ooh la la).
After initially rejecting her advances, it's not long before Ben inevitably succumbs to the older, married woman's seductions and the two begin an ongoing, purely sexual secret relationship. Which all goes fine enough, until Mrs. Robinson's daughter comes home. When Ben finds himself starting to fall for her, that's when things get complicated.
I'm sure most of the older readers have already seen this seminal coming of age classic, but for those who haven't, The Graduate is really something special. Aside from its bombass Simon and Garfunkel riddled soundtrack and it's abundance of iconic scenes and lines (even if you haven't seen the movie, you've seen its parodies), the movie itself is a very cool and funny picture of that age-old, unfaltering need for young people to rebel from what's expected of them and 'find' themselves. It's a pretty hippy notion, granted; but this is a pretty hippy movie.
GLUTTONY | Ravenous (1999)
Ravenous is a kooky kinda horror movie. It's not quirky like Dawn of the Dead or darkly comedic like Shaun of the Dead and it doesn't have any deadites like Evil Dead. But there is definitely a oddness here that's hard to place. For starters, it's a film about cannibals that's played out more like a bizarre vampire movie where instead of blood, the vamps have a crackhead-like craving for human flesh and bone. Suffice it to say, this is certainly unique.
Taking place in the 1840s during the Mexican-American war (although not really having much at all to do with either the war or the time period) the story revolves around a group of soldiers stationed in an isolated area who come in contact with a mysterious man who staggers into their area. Ostensibly dying of hunger and exhaustion, after they nurse and clean him up a little the man recounts to them a story about how he and the party he'd been traveling with had become snowbound without food and thus eventually began eating each other to survive. After hearing the disturbing tale, the soldiers decide it'll be a good idea to set out with the man to investigate the cannibalistic scene. It's when they get there, that all hell starts breaking loose and the crux of the story begins.
As usual, I don't want to give away too much. But I can confidently tell you to toss out any expectations you may have about the film. I guarantee that whatever you're expecting is not what you're going to get. And while it's certainly not destined to go down as a classic, and it probably won't scare you or make you laugh as much as other films on Netflix may, as far as a good, original and imaginative little stories go, Ravenous is definitely worth the watch.
GREED | Fargo (1996)
Hopefully you've already seen this one, but on the off chance you reside under a boulder, this is one of the few movies that, regardless of who you are or what your viewing preferences may be, you need to watch. Not in the way you need to watch Schindlers List (because it's 'important' or whatever), but just because Fargo is so friggin' good in so many ways, that to miss out on it you'd be robbing yourself of a piece of entertainment that you're almost guaranteed to fall in love with. And who should ever resist falling in love? Eh?
Directed by the Cohen brothers, this is a film about a small, wholesome town in Minnesota where a whole lot of bad stuff starts to go down. It's all starts when a simple, likable resident of the area (William H. Macy) comes up with a not-so-nice plan of hiring two men to kidnap his wife so that he can get his rich father-in-law to pay the million dollar ransom (which he'll then split with his hired thugs). That's the plan, but what happens is something totally different. Blood is shed, innocent people are killed, and this small, innocent town soon becomes not quite so wholesome anymore.
This is the plot of the film but to understand its brilliance and its charm you really have to see it. Hilariously funny, brutally serious, often poetic, and overflowing with interesting and multi-dimensional characters played by great actors (including Steve Buscemi in what many, including myself, believe was his finest role), Fargo is not only a great film, but one of the greatest films you'll ever see.
SLOTH | Slacker (1991)
Unlike most directors, Richard Linklater never seems to make two movies alike. They're not only different from each other, but usually different from anything you've ever seen before. With a filmography that includes such unique pictures as an animated movie that explores philosophy and existentialism (Waking Life), a trilogy of movies that each follow one day in the life of one couple (Before Sunrise and its sequels), and the new film Boyhood which took 11 years to shoot, it should come as no surprise that his first flick was a little on the strange side. But in a good way.
Slacker is that flick. It follows a day in the life of several odd, pretentious, and usually out of work people in Austin, Texas. The camera roams from place to place, providing us with a brief look at their different conversations before moving onto someone else. Sound like there's no plot? Well you're right. There isn't one. But while this does sound dull (and probably will be dull to most) for many of us it's an interesting sociological exploration of a particular segment of society and we're oh so familiar with. A segment that we now call hipsters, that we used to call beatniks and hippies, but what in the 1990s we all knew as slackers.
WRATH | Oldboy (2003)
For those of you not typically into foreign movies but in love with smart and stylistic action-packed movies like those made by Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, 2003's Oldboy may be the perfect starting point for seeing how good films in a language other than your own can be. I know it's one of the ones I typically like to refer my 'less-worldly' movie friends to.
2003's Oldboy is a very special movie that's as simultaneously stylistic, clever, funny, touching, and disturbing as you'll ever find. Its protagonist is an overweight, alcoholic and unlikable man named Oh Dae-su who is mysteriously kidnapped at the beginning of the film and then locked up alone in a windowless hotel room, without explanation, for the next 15 years of his life. With nothing but his mind and a small TV to keep him company (it's through the TV that he learns that he's also been framed for the murder of his wife) he spends the majority of his time getting in shape, trying to escape, and preparing for his revenge on whoever has done this to him.
When he finally does make it out of the room, the story begins to unfold as Dae-su strives to get an explanation of his imprisonment and starts to hunt down who's responsible (kicking a ton of ass on the way). Don't be fooled, though, this isn't a guy-kicks-a-lot-of-ass action movie. As much violence and as many disturbing scenes as the film shows us, none is exploitative. It's the intriguing (and ultimately shocking) story that makes this film into the modern classic it's become.
Oh! And try not to watch Spike Lee's awful 2013 remake by mistake. It's on Netflix too, so just be careful where you're clicking.
ENVY | The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a twisty-turny type of thriller that boils down to one guy who tells a lie. Then has to cover that lie with another lie. Then cover that lie with another lie. Then cover that lie with.... Well, you get the point. It all creates a snowball effect that inevitably turns his entire existence into a charade that he's forced into keeping up during his every waking hour.
As Thomas Ripley falls further and further down his rabbit hole of deceit, constantly aware that he could be found out at any moment, we go right along with him for the intense ride, and we feel the fear and paranoia just as much as he does. There's no question that when he lies, steals, and kills in order to save himself and hold onto his ruse, he's doing very evil things. But the beauty of the film is that as bad as he is, we still don't want him to get caught.
Along with Good Will Hunting, The Talented Mr. Ripley is probably my favorite movie starring Matt Damon. And as far as edge-of-your-seat intensity goes, this is top-notch stuff, folks.
PRIDE | American Psycho (2000)
Patrick Bateman isn't the most likable guy in the world. Not only is he arrogant, pretentious, self-centered, and completely indifferent toward the feelings of others (and feelings in general for that matter), but he's also a serial killer who savagely (and regularly) murders hookers, hobos, co-workers, and pretty much anyone else under the sun who annoys or frustrates him even in the slightest. Strangely enough, though, this isn't a slasher movie.
Based on the novel of the same name by Brett Easton Ellis, American Psycho, is a smart, interesting, and darkly comical movie that has a lot more to it than just what meets the eye. We find that in the world it creates, Bateman isn't the only American psycho. He may be the only one who goes around chainsawing people and popping them in the head with nail guns, sure, but as far as everything else about his egocentricity goes, its prevalent in almost every character in the movie. Most are so blinded by their own vanity, in fact, that they can't even remember each others faces or names. Which is probably what makes it so easy to get away with killing everyone and having no one notice.
Anyway, I don't know what I'm trying to say here. The movie's just good, alright. That's the point I'm getting to. And, say: Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?