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 added to Netflix as of 03/18/2015
Bratz: The Video: Starrin’ & Stylin’ (2004)
The Comedians of Comedy: The Movie (2005)
Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Dummy (2002)
Force Majeure (2014)
Full Circle (2013)
Hollidaysburg (2014)
Joe Rogan: Live (2006)
K2: Siren of the Himalayas (2012)
Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story (2014)
Lamhe (1991)
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
Mall (2014)
Marvel & ESPN Films Presents: 1 of 1: Genesis (2014)
May in the Summer (2013)
Miss Granny (2014)
My Favorite Five (2015)
Not Cool (2014)
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2014)
Passover at Bubbe’s (1998)
Pokemon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013)
Resistance (2014)
Saw (2004)
Saw II (2005)
Saw III (2006)
Saw IV (2007)
Standby (2014)
Texas Rangers (2001)
Three Night Stand (2013)
Tricked (2013)
The Way He Looks (2014)
W. (2008)
You’re Not You (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..

Saw (2004, dir. James Wan)
Obsessed with teaching his victims the value of life, a deranged, sadistic serial killer abducts the morally wayward. Once captured, they must face impossible choices in a horrific game of survival. The victims must fight to win their lives back, or die trying. Yes, this could and does qualify as “torture porn”, and it kind of kicked it all off a little over a decade ago. The difference with the first Saw film was that it was a damned smart script that made the most out of having the two main characters basically stuck in one room the whole film. I still love this one and make sure it gets watched regularly.
four_stars

Saw II (2005, dir. Darren Lynn Bousman)
When a new murder victim is discovered with all the signs of Jigsaw’s hand, Detective Eric Matthews begins a full investigation and apprehends Jigsaw with little effort. But for Jigsaw, getting caught is just another part of his plan. Eight more of his victims are already fighting for their lives and now it’s time for Matthews to join the game. The only problem with Saw turning into a franchise, is that the main killer is terminally ill, so they have to get really inventive with the sequels. While this delves more into the genre, it tries to be as smart as the first film and doesn’t quite make it there.
three_stars

Saw III (2006, Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman)
Jigsaw has disappeared. Along with his new apprentice Amanda, the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police has once again eluded capture and vanished. While city detective scramble to locate him, Doctor Lynn Denlon and Jeff Reinhart are unaware that they are about to become the latest pawns on his vicious chessboard. The rails are starting to come loose here. Still mostly solid and some interesting ideas, this was probably where they should have stopped.
three_stars

Saw IV (2007, dir. Darren Lynn Bousman)
Jigsaw and his apprentice Amanda are dead. Now, upon the news of Detective Kerry’s murder, two seasoned FBI profilers, Agent Strahm and Agent Perez, arrive in the terrified community to assist the veteran Detective Hoffman in sifting through Jigsaw’s latest grisly remains and piecing together the puzzle. However, when SWAT Commander Rigg is abducted and thrust into a game, the last officer untouched by Jigsaw has but ninety minutes to overcome a series of demented traps and save an old friend…or face the deadly consequences. This one tries. It really does. There are some interesting bits here and if you enjoy the series it’s worth watching, but from here on out they’re really stretching that whole plausibility thing to the point where you can’t really see it working anymore.
two_and_a_half_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.

The Comedians of Comedy: The Movie (2005)
Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Dummy (2002)
Force Majeure (2014)
Hollidaysburg (2014)
Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story (2014)
Mall (2014)
May in the Summer (2013)
Miss Granny (2014)
Not Cool (2014)
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2014)
Pokemon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013)
Resistance (2013)
Texas Rangers (2001)
W. (2008)
The Way He Looks (2014)
You’re Not You (2014)

Ashe’s Pull List Picks of the Week
So what did I watch off my Netflix Pull List this week? I didn’t watch much off my Pull List as I was prepping for our descent into The Asylum next month, and then binged on the latest season of Archer to hit Netflix on top of that as well as hitting up HBO Go to revisit Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight. So what made it off the list?  Here we go.

Knock ’em Dead (2014, dir. David DeCoteau)
Three rival actresses and the crew of a horror movie reunite for a sequel, but one among them mimics the film’s methods to start a killing spree. This one earns a half star for Rae Dawn Chong, a half star for Christopher Judge, and then a half star for the rest of it. This was kind of awful. Scratch that, it was awful. The shots are terrible, the effects work looks like it was just kind of thrown together last minute and the whole film feels like it was a spur of the minute thing. This is supposed to be a comedy and it’s just not funny, and the horror elements are non-existent. The cast is actually decent, the material is ok and could be funny, but the direction kills any hope of it being salvageable.
one_star

Hansel Vs. Gretel (2015, dir. Ben Demaree)
When his twin sister, Gretel, is seduced by a coven of witches, Hansel and his crew fight to liberate her from their enchanting clutches. This is supposed to be a sequel to the Asylum’s actually decent film version of Hansel and Gretel, only it does everything wrong a sequel can do. Parts are recast, the tone of the first film is completely thrown out for the sake of spectacle and effects that aren’t up to snuff, and it doesn’t even feel like these are taking place in the same universe let alone related to each other. This is one of those sequels that has an interesting idea and somehow they just completely screwed it up.
one_and_a_half_stars

Better Than Chocolate (1999, dir. Anne Wheeler)
Scant hours before her uptight mother and brother move in with her, Maggie meets the woman of her dreams and must hide her sexual orientation. The cast on this is just about perfect. This is funny and bitter when it needs to be and the characters all had some depth to them which just added to the moments when it was going for funny or touching or both. And as far as amazingly intimate love scenes go, the painting sequence was fantastic. My only complaint was that everything kind of felt rushed towards the end of the film, but other than that I loved it.
three_and_a_half_stars

I’m going to be in the Caribbean on a cruise ship next week, so Instant Cinefessions will be taking a brief hiatus and will probably have an abbreviated issue the first week of April with everything that was added while I was away and whatever few films I’ll have watched.

Make sure to check back on April 3rd for more reviews and recommendations from the Netflix Instant Queue in Issue 11 of Instant Cinefessions!


Source: Whats on Netflix and 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.