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 BigNew Films on Netflix 02/25/2015
1,000 Times Good Night (2013)
A Summer’s Tale (1996)
Aim High in Creation (2013)
Alpha and Omega (2010)
Barbecue (2014)
The Heart Machine (2014)
Housebound (2014)
In Bloom (2013)
Jimeon: Something… Smells Funny (2012)
Life’s a Breeze (2013)
Problem Child: Leslie Jones (2009)
RoboCop (2014)
The Scribbler (2014)
Septimo (2014)
Traffickers (2012)
The Umbilical Brothers: The Rehearsal (2014)
Vessel (2014)
White Bird in a Blizzard (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. This week we’ve got two new additions that I really did like.

RoboCop (2014, dir. José Padilha)
The year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years, but have been forbidden for law enforcement in America. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it by using a fallen police officer and outfitting him with cybernetics. I really liked this new version for very different reasons than I like the original. I think they’re both pretty good films but other than the basic idea of an evil corporation turning a downed officer into a cyborg, they both handle the material extremely differently and that’s fine with me. They delve a lot more into the human melding with machine much more in this, and while the original had a huge heaping dose of social satire in it, this one opts for more subtle commentary while taking it a bit more seriously.
three_stars

Powerpuff Girls (1998-’04)
Sugar! Spice! Everything Nice! And that mystery element! Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup have dedicated their lives to saving the world from crime and fighting the forces of evil. I loved this show when it was initially airing on Cartoon Network and I guarantee you I will be re-watching this show over the next year or so.

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.

1,000 Times Good Night (2013)
Hello Kitty Flanagan (2014)
Housebound (2014)
In Bloom (2013)
Jimeon: Something… Smells Funny (2012)
Life’s a Breeze (2013)
Problem Child: Leslie Jones (2009)
The Scribbler (2014)
Traffickers (2012)
Vessel (2014)
White Bird in a Blizzard (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 we’d done a podcast on. So what made it off the list?  Here we go.

Honeymoon (2014, dir. Leigh Janiak)
Young newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) travel to a remote lake country for their honeymoon, where the promise of private romance awaits them. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods. This didn’t go in the direction I was expecting at all. I have to say Rose’s performance in this blew me away. She does an amazing job selling what’s going on here, and the relationship at the beginning of the film feels completely believable.
three_stars

Chinatown (1974, dir. Roman Polanski)
With a suspicious femme fatale bankrolling his snooping, private eye J.J. Gittes uncovers an intricate plot involving murder and the Los Angeles waterworks. Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson offer up some detective noir gold with this, except for the narrator that isn’t needed. The audience discovers the clues as Gittes does and the film is that much better for it. Beautifully shot and rocking the 1937 feel, this doesn’t feel like a film made in the early ’70s. The sound is fantastic and the film quality is superb. It’s got a fantastic script that really plays out masterfully and was worth every minute of the 2 hour plus runtime.
four_stars

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl (2011, dir. Maneesh Sharma)
An overambitious con artist and ladies man meets his match when 3 women he’s conned in the past plot to pull a con on the conman. This one is pretty good. Even though I really didn’t think the overall ending was all that realistic, it’s a fun film. The music is fun, the cast is great, and both the leads are really freaking cute. I think the only thing that I both hated and loved was the fact that one of the bits of music in the film is a blatant re-tread of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Santa Esmerelda, most recently used in Kill Bill Vol. 1. Other than that it sated my love for Hindi films for a short time.
three_stars

Housebound (2014, dir. Gerard Johnstone)
A young woman is convicted and placed on house arrest in the home of her strange family and what they believe to be a bunch of evil spirits. I went in blind to this one, with no idea what it was about, or that it was a horror comedy, only that it was a 2014 horror release. This is one of those perfect blends of both horror and comedy where everything just clicks together and works, and the whole over the top nature works so well with the many twists and turns the underlying mystery of the film takes.
three_stars

App (2013, dir. Bobby Boermans)
When a new app downloads itself onto a woman’s phone and begins taking control of her life, going after her friends and family, she goes to extremes to try to get rid of it. I was a little disappointed with App. I really like the lead, Hanna Hoekstra. She carries the film well, and she’s really expressive and is believable when she goes into kick ass mode. The idea of an app that gains sentience and begins going after the people it’s trying to help is just a modified one, and I probably would have liked this a bit more if not for the last ten minutes or so. I like the rest of the film leading up to it though, but it could have used a little more run time to give us a bit more of a proper ending. There is a second screen feature with this that I didn’t try at all, but I’m thinking I might give this another run with the app.
two_and_a_half_stars

Guardian (2014, dir. Helfi C.H. Kardit)
Since her husband’s murder, martial artist Sarah has fiercely protected and trained her daughter. Will her efforts pay off when the killers return? This reminded me a lot of the direct to video martial arts action flicks I used to rent back in the late ’80s that were so-so, but had some fun fight scenes in them. This would qualify. The plot made little to no sense, the action scenes were fast and frenetic, but they also relied on some really cheap looking cg imagery. Half the film looks professionally shot, but they cut to scenes that look like they were taken on a cell phone, and it’s very jarring.
one_and_a_half_stars

Daawat-e-Ishq (2014, dir. Habib Faisal)
After one too many heartbreaks, shop girl Gulrez has no hope of finding a husband, until she meets a spicy chef who might just be to her taste. The only problem is she’s trying to con him and his family using the 498a dowry law of India so she can get to America. This is less a romance than I expected, and less a comedy. It’s not nearly as charming as I’d have hoped. The initial description bills it more as a romcom, and there’s a bit more to it, but it’s far more convoluted than I expected. That’s not to say it’s bad, far from it, just not nearly what I was expecting from the film. The leads are fun and it’s got the whole opposites attract thing going for 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 08 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.