Most of the movies and TV series I watch come from my Netflix Instant Queue. It has been my go to for over five years now. I like to use it to find hidden gems, but not everyone wants to commit two hours of their free time to a decent looking movie poster. I’ve watched a ton of garbage over the years, but have missed even more, so there’s always something I want to watch, whether it’s revisiting an old favorite, or finally catching something I missed over the years. Instant Cinefessions will list some weekly recommendations based on what’s new on the Netflix service. It will also include my “Pull List”, which are films I’m interested in watching in the coming weeks. Look for reviews of the movies in my pull list in future columns. Also featured are brief reviews of films I’ve watched off the Pull List.


Netflix Big

New Films on Netflix 02/18/2015
Akmal: Life of Akmal (2014)
Arj Barker: Joy Harvest (2013)
Avenged (2013)
Bad Turn Worse (2013)
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain (2014)
Carl Barron: A One Ended Stick (2013)
Chandni (1989)
Closure (2013)
Darr (1993)
David Strassman: Careful What You Wish For (2012)
Earth to Echo (2014)
Ek Tha Tiger (2012)
Exile Nation: The Plastic People (2014)
Felony (2013)
The Fluffy Movie (2014)
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)
Honeymoon (2014)
In Secret (2013)
Ladies vs Ricky Bahl (2011)
The Last House on Cemetery Lane (2015)
Locked In (2010)
The Man on Her Mind (2014)
The Overnighters (2014)
Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (2013)
Prince of Broadway (2008)
Saints and Soldiers: The Void (2014)
Save the Date (2012)
Scary Movie 5 (2013)
Stephanie in the Water (2014)
Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story (2014)
Tabloid Truth (2014)
Through a Lens Darkly (2014)
The Two Faces of January (2014)
Virunga: Gorillas in Peril (2015)
Young Ones (2014)

Ashe’s Seal of Approval
These are the films or series that are on Netflix that get my seal of approval. In lieu of something not showing up that I’ve seen with recent additions to Netflix, which is a good problem to have if you’re looking for something new, I’ll recommend something that I’ve seen recently or that I know will be on the service for a while.

Plush (2013, dir. Catherine Hardwicke)
From the director of Lords of DogtownTwilight, and Red Riding Hood, comes Plush, a film about a young singer/songwriter, who despite being married, becomes involved with her new guitarist. She soon discovers he has a dark past and may be a danger to her and those close to her. If you’ve seen a stalking, psychological thriller in the last ten years, you won’t get much of a surprise out of this one. While it can be a bit predictable, the characters and situations are at least interesting, and it has some great shots in it. But, there’s just not enough mystery. They throw a few wrenches in here and there, but they’re not enough to really muddy up what you know is coming. I did enjoy it, I just wish it didn’t fall into territory I’d already seen before. Worth a look if you’re into this type of film, though.
three_stars

Ashe’s Pull List
The Pull List is a list of films I’m interested in but haven’t seen that have been added to Netflix since the beginning of the year. These listed below are the films that have been added to the Pull List since last issue. Look for reviews of some of these in future issues of Instant Cinefessions. Don’t be surprised if I don’t end up clearing out this entire list either.  Even I can be picky sometimes.

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain (2014)
Chandni (1989)
Closure (2013)
Earth to Echo (2014)
Ek Tha Tiger (2012)
Felony (2013)
The Fluffy Movie (2014)
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)
Honeymoon (2014)
In Secret (2013)
Ladies vs Ricky Bahl (2011)
Locked In (2010)
Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (2013)
Tabloid Truth (2014)
The Two Faces of January (2014)
Young Ones (2014)

Ashe’s Pull List Picks of the Week
So what did I watch off my Netflix Pull List this week? I binged quite a bit off my Pull List and a bit of Star Trek plus some old favorites for a podcast. So what made it off the list?  Here we go.

Nymph (2014, dir. Milan Todorović)
Billed as Killer Mermaid on Netflix, just so you really know what you’re getting into. A group of people go on vacation and uncover the watery lair of a killer mermaid under an abandoned military fortress. I really liked the mermaid design, but it requires a lot of CG so you barely get to see them at all. On top of that, this plays out like a slasher film through most of it as a guy is going around and killing people to feed the mermaid. The acting is all right after the opening teaser, but as much as I wanted it to, it wasn’t holding my interest. I was enjoying looking at the ruins they filmed it in more than I was following the film.
one_and_a_half_stars

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014, dir. Tommy Wirkola)
After surviving an encounter with the Nazi zombies in the first film, Martin is forced to deal with a rebellious evil arm and facing off against an undead battalion before it wipes out a town. This film is ridiculous, disgusting, insanely morbid, and quite hysterical. If you like a good horror comedy and wanted more ridiculous gore than you’re going to see in a while, this film is for you. I won’t ruin the end of the film, but I will just say it had me in tears because I was laughing so hard. Some of the stuff they do reminds me of some of the really morbid things that my friends and I would have come up with in 7th grade before one of them ended up in therapy because of it. I found I was a lot more invested in this sequel than the original film, partly because I knew what I’d be getting into. I just had no idea how insane the sequel was going to be.
three_stars

Dark Ride (2006, dir. Craig Singer)
Years after a grisly murder shut down a theme park, a bunch of students decide to make a road trip to visit what they call a Dark Ride. We’d steered clear of this one when it came out on DVD for rental years ago, and I’m glad we did. I don’t really like any of the characters, and while there are some decent set designs, you can’t ever see any of it as they light it so poorly, and when there is light, it’s incessant flashing that would drive most people batty. This is the kind of slasher flick I don’t really like. And even when it finally gets interesting in the last ten minutes or so of the film, I just didn’t care anymore.
one_star

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011, Tomas Alfredson)
A Cold War espionage thriller that follows an English spy returning to MI-6 under the suspicion that he’s become a Soviet operative. This one has a lot of great actors in it and it is very much a slow burn until the pieces really start to fall into place. If you like a slow moving thriller and vintage spy films, you’ll enjoy this one even though it’s a more recent addition to the catalog.
three_stars

Murder By Numbers (2002, Barbet Schroeder)
A homicide detective with a troubled past is breaking in a new partner while they investigate and profile the killer of a local woman. For starters, I have to say I love the cast in this. We get a younger Ryan Gosling whose usual brooding portrayal fits the character he’s playing perfectly. Sandra Bullock, who I love in pretty much everything I’ve seen her in, plays the part of the troubled detective with a dark past perfectly. There’s a bit of CSI to this as they have to call on evidence, but there’s more character work than anything else, and seeing it from both sides throughout the film doesn’t hurt it at all.
three_stars

Lady Ninja Kaede 2 (2009,Takayuki Kagawa)
A female ninja nun who uses erotica and the martial arts as her primary skills is put under a sex curse by the religious cult she’s trying to wipe out. So unlike Lust of the Dead this actually has a plot, and sadly, if it had some better production behind it and some better acting, this soft core skin flick could have actually been decent. I can’t believe I just said that, but, well, there it is.
half_star

Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse (2015, Colin Teague)
When a dragon saves a hopeful knight’s life, the two bond together to defeat an evil sorcerer and protect the next generation of dragon. Has it really been 15 years since the direct to video sequel and 19 years since the original film? Wow. Well this direct to video offering still isn’t up to the quality of the original film, but the characters actually grow and learn and aren’t entirely unlikeable. The effects are pretty decent surrounding the dragon itself, and it brought a smile on my face to hear the Dragonheart theme again. While it’s a decent enough story, it is pretty basic but it at least works. Ben Kingsley as the dragon was a great choice here and even though it feels a little stripped down, I do actually hope we get more of these.
two_and_a_half_stars

Blood and Ties (2013, Dongseok Kuk)
After watching a film based off real events and a child kidnapper/murderer that’s been left unresolved, and with the statute of limitations running out, a young woman begins to suspect that her father is the one responsible for it all. As far as thrillers go, this one does a decent enough job. It’s got a wonderfully messed up situation going on and for the most part they keep you guessing. If you’re looking to try out a Korean thriller this would be the one to start with.
two_and_a_half_stars

Field of Lost Shoes (2014,  Sean McNamara)
In 1864, several hundred cadets from the Virginia Military Institute are thrust into battle to protect the Shenandoah Valley from the Union. I really like the actors. David Arquette is great as the Union commander on the lines and Jason Isaacs adds a real weight to the Confederate commander who’s forced to use the cadets in combat. I recognized one of the cadets from The Vampire Diaries, and Lauren Holly and Keith David are also great. The problem is that there’s not much meat to them. We get the briefest of backgrounds on them and a bit of flavor of what their lives are like before all hell breaks loose. It made it a bit harder to care for the characters who definitely had some distinct feel to them otherwise. A bit more time with them would have been great, but as it stands the film is pretty solid.
two_and_a_half_stars

Bleach: Hell Verse (2010,  Noriyuki Abe)
Ichigo Kurosaki’s school is attacked by strange spirits called Unforgiven (Togabito), revealed to have escaped from Hell, and Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai are sent to investigate. Ichigo’s family is targeted by the Unforgiven, who are led by Shuren, and Ichigo’s younger sister Yuzu Kurosaki is abducted. An Unforgiven named Kokutō saves Karin Kurosaki from being abducted as well, and convinces Ichigo to accompany him and the Soul Reapers to Hell to save her. I’ve only watched two actual episodes of the anime, so I was kind of lost with references to previous events through a lot of this, especially given that it’s the fourth film released while the series was ongoing. There’s enough here I could follow, though. The animation is about on par with the TV show, and maybe a bit better in parts. Hard to recommend if you haven’t seen the show as I had to use a wiki page to really understand all of it.
two_and_a_half_stars

Make sure to check back next week for more reviews and recommendations from the Netflix Instant Queue in Issue 07 of Instant Cinefessions!


Source: Whats on Netflix

Ashe Collins
Film Critic at Cinefessions
Born the same year as Star Wars, it seems Ashe was destined to be into films with big impacts, explosions, and laser swords. With a love for sci-fi and horror, Ashe has a thing for games of both the tabletop and video variety. He is living a charmed, married life of sixteen years, along with several cats, a dog, and a bearded dragon. Ashe currently writes for Diehard Gamefan, covering video and tabletop games since 2008. Starting with Cinefessions just a few years ago, he has decided to tackle one of his original passions: film.