Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Netflix Burn Book: 50 Fabulous Films In 25 Genres, Part 1...

Oh boy. Netflix. The only monthly utility I enjoy paying. It's like food, water and (emotional) shelter. All that this Professional Netflix Binger needs. Has Reed Hastings made the Time 100 yet? I think this compilation post is my new favorite, bumping the infomercial gems entry to second place. Because I had buckets of fun scrolling through my 500+ ratings and 50,000-page viewing history, just doing the scholarly research needed for this ground-breaking op-ed, maybe worthy of an award from some teenage creative writing summer camp. And upon seeing my Netflix Burn Book length you probably did the Poehler below: 


But I could talk movies, especially documentaries, all day long, so this is only part one. Surprise! And you guys know I live to make lists like this. I also wouldn't think twice in swimming the Atlantic for Netflix's latest job opening as a real-life binger, unfortunately based in the UK. I mean c'mon, everyone knows the serious English are proper and normal with 9-to-5 skills, lacking the whimsical imagination that comes with the laziness of a couch-rotting, opinionated, American millennial. Like me. Way more appropriate, right? 

I'm also aware that a billion "Top 10 Netflix This or That" things exist but whatever. The wise, Netflixing, single, dog moms (also weirdly like me) will relate and appreciate! *In Antoine Dodson sass voice* So unleash your inner-Ebert, er, Roeper, (too soon, I know. #RIP) and treat yo self to the flicks currently streaming below:     

1. THELMA AND LOUISE: The "I love and/or miss my BFF" or "Oh my God let's have a wine and movie night!" go-to film. I mean, it's just the best. Also a good pick if you want to experience a roadtrip but don't have the classic car and/or gas money to do so. 

2. CLUELESS and UPTOWN GIRLS: Classic chick flicks. Nothing mind-blowing but the former a fashion influencer and 90s slang gold mine, with so many iconic quotes it ain't even funny; the second turning Dakota Fanning into a national 8-year-old treasure: both also starring our late sister, Brittany Murphy, of which also in both she was oddly the underdog. #RIP

3. CAPOTE: Bennet Miller's '05 biopic with a well-earned 7.4 IDMB rating, and also starring one of the best damn actors of all time, unfortunately taken way too soon, Philip Seymour Hoffman. #RIP For the last time. Not trying to write an 'in memoriam' column here. 

4. MEAN GIRLS: This classic will forever be in its own category. A true gem in so many ways. Four for you, Glen Coco, if you also still quote this life-changing piece of cinema daily. To my real-life Ebert and Roepers out there, don't roll your eyes at this one. 

5. ALBERT KNOBBS and A KING'S SPEECH: If you prefer to cry over Oscar-winning performances so disgustingly good and potentially "based on a true story," or if you're feeling British, historical, intellectual, and/or just sad, go for one of these. 

6. WHAT MAISIE KNEW: The only movie with an unknown child in 90% of the super-emotional scenes possessing the acting chops of a Yale MFA-er. She's a Dakota Fanning in-the-making, and the sobering story of how messy divorces can turn kids into confused, therapy-thirsty balls of sadness will keep ya streamin' this random indie. 

7. 28 Days: A 90's dramedy that doesn't require emotional/mental focus but has a few laughs, so it could be viewed hungover, (saying this ironically, just watch the film) or sick, etc., and it also stars my Hollywood homegirl, Sandy Bullock. Woop woop! 

8. BASIC INSTINCT: The "I'd never publicly admit to loving this movie for fear of being called a freak because of the raunchy sex scenes which are actually the best part!" movie. Because let's be honest, watching Michael Douglas is something we all enjoy, despite that one scene making you feel like a teenage boy watching porn and knowing it's wrong. Also, Sharon Stone is basically my #WCW (psycho edition) for eternity thanks to this jewel. 

9. TINY FURNITURE: Watch this to feel the feelings of any 20-something millennial female, oozing with white girl problems in this depressing, job-less economy; ironically it's starring Lena Dunham, who I personally love to the moon and back, so don't hate, appreciate! (Probably half of you rolled your eyes after reading 'white girl problems,' 'Lena Dunham,' and my awful 'don't hate, appreciate!' mantra. That's fair.)  

10. MOMMIE DEAREST and MY AMITYVILLE HORROR: Essentially both horror flicks, the former making your twisted childhood seem less twisted, and the latter a documentary that'll have you questioning every door creak you hear for the following week, while also making your childhood seem less twisted, maybe. 

11. THE PRICE OF GOLD and THE SUMMIT: Five-star documentaries to watch if you wanna feel athletic or like a gymnast or climb Mt. Everest, but physically never leave your bed. Or if you want to feel some empathy or sympathy or whichever one it is when you see crappy things happen to good people and you're like, "Ohmylanta, what's going to happen next?!" 

12. SUPERSTAR and UNHUNG HERO: Both tackle self-confidence issues in a funny manner, really; the first a comedy classic with Lorne Michaels's promising name on it, and giving us the beautiful, "Are you aware that I'm rubber and you're glue, and whatever you say to me bounces off me and sticks to you?" line. The second a must-see doc made by and starring the humbled guy that's all internet-famous because he was denied by his Regina George girlfriend after a mortifying proposal on national television, thanks to his evidently small package downstairs. It's like an inspirational, girl power flick, but for men, who are less endowed, basically.    

13. RESTREPO and TALHOTBLOND: BOTH OF THESE JAW-DROPPING DOCUMENTARIES WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, BLOW YOUR MIND, AND ARE MUST-SEES! SERIOUSLY. CAPS ARE USED FOR A REASON HERE, FOLKS. 

14. TOMMY BOY, FARGO, and FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF: Comedy classics to re-watch (surely you've all seen these funnies before) when you need to learn a mid-western accent, drool over a young Matthew Broderick, or ya know, just laugh. Especially after streaming the #13 docs that provide no laughter whatsoever.

15. THE PLAYER and HOT COFFEE: Random but fascinating documentaries also not requiring much focus; the former about a Vegas hot-shot gambler millionaire who's basically a Harvard stats prof, and that also reminded me of my awful poker skills; the second on the psycho behind the ridiculous "Caution. Coffee is Hot." labels on cups of obviously hot coffee; AKA the lady who sued Ronald McDonald's funland over hot coffee that her dumbass spilled on herself years ago.

16. QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, 16 ACRES, and THE ONE PERCENT: All extremely entertaining documentaries involving insanely outrageous Americans with more money than God, and every one has a different perspective, but from someone affected by the Forbes 250-esque affluence/American capitalism machines at hand. Definitely watch 'em. If you can only stomach one, though, pick 16 Acres. 

17. 9/11 IN PLANE SITE, HATING BREITBART, and LOOSE CHANGE 9/11: Conspiracy theory docs guaranteed to intrigue you but not necessarily convince you, especially if you're a political nerd/global terrorism researcher like me. The first and third ones will definitely blow your mind at times, and have you Googling and YouTube-ing September 11th stuff for the rest of the night.

19. HANK: FIVE YEARS FROM THE BRINK: If you're in the "I want to watch a good documentary about an inspiring human that's achieved more in one year than I will my whole life!" mood, click on this Hank Paulson bio-documentary, even if you're not too thrilled with the guy who formerly managed this nation's ca$h money.  

20. THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE and THE ADDAMS FAMILY: Polar opposites on the emotional spectrum, come to realize it. But two of my childhood faves and feel-good classic comedies of quirk that will also make your own family seem less twisted. Morticia and Carol for the win, y'all. 

21. ENRON, CLIENT 9, and THE WOMAN WHO WASN'T THERE: Three documentaries ultimately about horrible people and the unbelievable things they did either resulting in tragedy, causing a tragedy, or because of a tragedy. Weird how that's the prevalent theme making this trifecta. And trust me when I say that you NEED to watch the last one, won't mention spoilers, but your mind will be BLOWN at the end. The other two are just about moronic government men destroying lives, but will fulfill any political buff's love and behind-the-scenes curiosity re: corrupt world leaders/affairs.

22. BACKDRAFT and BURN: The first firehouse flick being one of my all-time favorites that I've loved since childhood, mainly because it stars a lesser Baldwin Brother AND dreamy pre-old age Kurt Russell; the second a documentary also in a firehouse allowing a glimpse into the awe-inspiring lives of modern Detroit firefighters, and the sickening lack of support our useless government provides them. It will spark some thinking, nevertheless. (Did ya see that pun there?)

23. DEAR ZACHARY and INTO THE ABYSS: Two documentaries theme-heavy of death and innocent victims of murder, but from opposite POVs of affected family members. They'll have you choking back tears of sadness, anger, happiness, shock, you-name-it, but are unbelievably good, I promise. Especially if you're into the crime/death-row stuff in a not-morbid way.  

24. MADELINE, HARRIET THE SPY, and THE PARENT TRAP: Obviously glorious childhood flicks that will never get old, but you may or may not admit to regularly watching. I mean, the latter two just make ya want a nanny, but I certainly wouldn't want just anyone borrowing my Netflix to see that first Disney gem about a nun and 8-year-old orphan lacking French accents but living in France in my 'Recently Watched' history. (Seriously, it's set in France so it's cultural, okay? I'm justifying because I'm embarrassed to keep it on here.)  

25. TITANIC: I'm sorry, but this both deserves its own category, while also not ever needing a category. Ever. No further caption needed.


You've earned a live Celine Dion performance if you made it this far.
**Amy courtesy of Giphy.com and Celine courtesy of YouTube.com