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 Releases on Netflix (January 30 – February 5, 2015)
Aftermath (2012)
Along Came Polly (2004)
An American Haunting (2006)
And the Oscar Goes to. . . (2014)
August Eighth (2012)
Bleach the Movie: Hell Verse (2010)
Borderland (2007)
Breaking at the Edge (2013)
The Brothers Bloom (2008)
Bulletproof (1996)
Cam Girl (2014)
Cecil B. Demented (2000)
Coach Carter (2005)
Crazy Eights (2006)
Danny Deckchair (2003)
Dark Ride (2006)
Dark Valley (2014)
The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007)
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)
Enquiring Minds (2014)
Expelled (2014)
Field of Lost Shoes (2014)
Fools Rush In (1997)
The Forgotten Kingdom (2013)
Four Seasons (2014)
Frida (2002)
Generation Iron (2013)
Ghost Graduation (2012)
Ghost in the Shell Arise – Border 1: Ghost Pain (2013)
Ghost in the Shell Arise – Border 2: Ghost Whispers (2013)
Ghost in the Shell Arise – Border 3: Ghost Tears (2014)
The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013)
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009)
Gimme Shelter (2014)
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
Gucci: The Director (2013)
Hitch (2005)
Home (2013)
Horns (2013)
Hot Pursuit (1987)
Houseboat (1958)
Into the Blue 2: The Reef (2009)
Isolated (2013)
Joe (2013)
Killer Mermaid (2014)
King Arthur (2004)
Lake Dead (2007)
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
The Little Rascals Save the Day (2014)
Monster High: Freaky Fusion (2014)
Mulberry Street (2006)
My First Mister (2001)
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
Naruto Shippuden: The Movie (2007)
The New Public (2012)
Next Stop Wonderland (1998)
Nightmare Man (2006)
Nights with Theodore (2012)
Not Another Happy Ending (2013)
Now: In the Wings on a World Stage (2014)
The Object of Beauty (1991)
The Other End of the Line (2008)
Paul Williams: Still Alive (2011)
Proof (2005)
Quest for Fire (1981)
Re-Animator (1985)
Relationship Status: It’s Complicated (2014)
Salvo (2013)
The Search for Michael Rockefeller (2011)
Showgirls (1995)
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Stray Dogs (2013)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
This May Be the Last Time (2014)
To Be or Not to Be (1983)
Ulee’s Gold (1997)
Unearthed (2007)
The Verdict (1982)
We Could Be King (2014)
We’re No Angels (1989)
Wicked Little Things (2006)
You Laugh But It’s True (2011)
Zapped (2014)

Ashe’s Seal of Approval
These are the latest films or series that hit Netflix in the last week that get my seal of approval. In lieu of something not showing up that I’ve seen, 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.

Spartacus (2010-2013)
Made in response to the success of 300, or at least aping the visual style, this series is a fantastic blend of violence and sex, based loosely off the history of the slave revolts surrounding the title character.

M*A*S*H (Seasons 1-5, 1972-1976)
The series that ran longer than the war it’s based off of, M*A*S*H is an amazing dramedy series, and while this isn’t the whole show, the first five seasons are a nice start.

King Arthur (2004)
If you ignore what they attempt to do with the King Arthur legend, and just focus on some of the action pieces, and the great cinematography, this can be a fun, period-ish film.

Unearthed (2007)
One of the films released as part of the “8 Films to Die For” series, this is a fun but campy monster flick. Don’t go in expecting Alien, and don’t really expect it to make sense either, but it does deliver a decent body count.

Crazy Eights (2006)
Another of the “8 Films to Die For” series, this is a bit supernatural, surrounding a mystery at an orphanage. Crazy Eights has a decent cast and some great cinematography, and I remember liking it quite a bit when it first hit DVD.

Wicked Little Things (2006)
I’m sensing a theme, as this is also a part of the “8 Films to Die For” series. Move out to the country, buy a house to get away from your problems, and try to get your family back on its feet. Then find out you’ve just bought a house near a collapsed mine with a bunch of evil ghosts out for blood, and, well, that’s the gist of this one.

The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007)
This is the last of my “8 Films to Die For” recommendations, I promise. Ian Stone gets killed again and again, but still manages to get back up. Murder, mayhem, and dark evil creatures, this one is confusing and fun. Note that all of the “8 Films to Die For” series will only be streaming until March 1 of this year.

An American Haunting (2006)
Donald Sutherland and Sissy Spacek lead this one, which takes place primarily in Tennessee in the 1800s where a family is haunted, and it all has something to do with their daughter.

Showgirls (1995)
Don’t expect much from this, but I remember it being fun to mock while watching it.

Re-Animator (1985)
Based off a story by H.P. Lovecraft, Jeffrey Combs stars in this modern take on the tale. A medical student has figured out how to bring back the dead, with some rather gruesome results.

Along Came Polly (2004)
Ben Stiller stars in this film about a guy who plays it safe. His wife cheats on him while they’re on their honeymoon, but back home in New York City, his best friend, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, urges him to attend a party. There, he meets an ex-classmate, played by Jennifer Aniston, whose spirited ways spark his adoration, but confound his neuroses. I really do love this one.

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
This sequel is not nearly as good as the first one, but this is still pretty hilarious if you appreciate films like Airplane! that lampoon pop culture with some ridiculous comedy elements.

Steel Magnolias (1989)
Focused on a group of women living in Louisiana, this has an all-star cast that finds all the comedic elements in what is otherwise a drama. Bring a box of tissues if you do watch this one, though. It’s great, but it hurts.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
Nowhere near as good as the first film, but it continues the original, live-action run of the Turtles franchise.

Bulletproof (1996)
An Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans led comedy film.  I haven’t seen it since I was 19, so take this recommendation with a grain of salt.

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 Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014), Stephen King’s A Good Marriage (2014), App (2013), Frida (2002), Horns (2013), Cam Girl (2014), Dark Valley (2014), Not Another Happy Ending (2013), And the Oscar Goes to. . . (2014), Expelled (2014), Joe (2013), The Brothers Bloom (2008), Houseboat (1958), Proof (2005), Gimme Shelter (2014), Bleach the Movie: Hell Verse (2010), Naruto Shippuden: The Movie (2007), Dark Ride (2006), Field of Lost Shoes (2014), Ghost Graduation (2012), My First Mister (2001), Killer Mermaid (2014), Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Coach Carter (2005), The Verdict (1982), Nightmare Man (2006), Mulberry Street (2006), To Be or Not to Be (1983), Lars and the Real Girl (2007), Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985), Hitch (2005), Quest for Fire (1981), Ghost in the Shell Arise – Border 1: Ghost Pain (2013), Ghost in the Shell Arise – Border 2: Ghost Whispers (2013), Ghost in the Shell Arise – Border 3: Ghost Tears (2014), Breaking at the Edge (2013), You Laugh But It’s True (2011)

Ashe’s Picks of the Week
So what did I watch off Netflix this week? Between watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Marvel Cinematic Universe films in the order they happened last year, I did manage to squeeze in a few films off the list that got added this week and last month. So what made it off the list?  Here we go.

Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot (2015)
Iliza Shlesinger’s most recent stand-up special debuted on Netflix within the last week or so. While her jokes may not resonate with everyone, my wife and I love her stuff, and this special was as funny, if not funnier, than her previous one. While definitely not kid-friendly, if you like some frank stand-up about life and relationships, here you go.

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (2014, dir. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon)
65 years after the original killer stalked Texarkana, he’s returned, and the survivor of the first new attack is left trying to figure out who the killer is. While not wildly inventive with the genre, they do a few interesting things, and there are some great shots that really add to the atmosphere of the film. The pacing is good and they picked some decent enough actors. The bigger name actors don’t have a large part to play, but it was nice seeing a few familiar faces. If you’re looking for a decent slasher this should definitely be on your list, just don’t expect anything new out of it.

Horns (2013, dir. Alexandre Aja)
Take a bit of The Crow, add in a healthy splash of the weird and morbid from Odd Thomas and you have Horns. It’s a tale about a boyfriend being blamed for his girlfriend’s murder, and he wants answers on who really did it so much that he grows horns that give him the ability to sap the truth out of people just by talking to them. There was a great charm to this, and then some really well set-up sequences that play off his abilities. I really liked Daniel Radcliffe, and the rest of the cast did a great job as well. Some great cinematography paired up with a great choice of song selections added to the depth.

Enough (2002, dir. Michael Apted)
A woman ends up in an abusive marriage and makes a run for it with her kid while the husband tries to track her down. I was actually hoping for something a bit more substantial with this one, actually delving into it a bit more. They move the plot along really fast, and I do like the cast, but this feels way too Hollywood in the way things play, out as opposed to what might actually happen in real life. More time with a bit of a slower pace to establish things with a more realistic ending would have been nice, but it was, at least, satisfying.

Make sure to check back next week for more reviews and recommendations from the Netflix Instant Queue in Issue 05 of Instant Cinefessions!

Source: Whats on Netflix