Top Lists – What's On Netflix? http://whatsonnetflix.com Netflix News & New Releases Thu, 25 May 2017 23:14:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Best Movies On Netflix – Official 2016 Guide http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/best-movies-on-netflix-2016/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/best-movies-on-netflix-2016/#comments Sun, 15 May 2016 02:33:30 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=897   Welcome to the 2016 official guide to the Best Movies On Netflix presented by Whats On Netflix.   In the next 50 pages we will cover all the top movies available for your streaming pleasure. Make sure you keep this page bookmarked as Netflix updates its streaming library monthly some movies might not be available. If you […]

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Best Movies On Netflix 2016

  Welcome to the 2016 official guide to the Best Movies On Netflix presented by Whats On Netflix.   In the next 50 pages we will cover all the top movies available for your streaming pleasure. Make sure you keep this page bookmarked as Netflix updates its streaming library monthly some movies might not be available. If you come across a movie that's unavailable please be sure to reach out to us on social media so we can update the list. We will do our best to keep it updated but after all we are only human. Now without further ado here our Official 2016 Guide To The Best Movies On Netflix. If you feel we left a movie off the list feel free to let us know down in the comments!  

DON'T MISS: The Best Documentaries on Netflix - 2016 Guide

  Best Movies On Netflix #50

 The Discoverers

Release Year: 2012

Director: Justin Schwarz

"Simple, dialogue driven, performance driven stories about quirky families who end up in a kind of crazy crisis,  they all re-connect while trying to deal with the situation they're in. Been done a hundred times before, right? A few of these movies actually succeed in telling this kind of story though, and are fairly good. Little Miss Sunshine comes to mind. This film isn't as good as that one, but nevertheless it's still a good offering within that kind of genre."

 

Best Movies On Netflix - 2016

Rosewater

Release Year: 2014

Written by Jon Stewart (Based on the book They Came For Me by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Malloy)

Directed by Jon Stewart

Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Kim Bodnia

"Brilliant! A great show of force by the Jon Stewart in his 1st direction of a major motion picture! The actors were wonderful and the plot and script was complex and a story that needs to be told that the Iranian/Persian people are fighting back within the country against the government. Mr. Bahari's story was one of many & I am thoroughly happy & impressed the Jon Stewart decided to bring attention the Persian peoples fight for democracy in his first film! Highly recommend especially for the uneducated because the mainstream media surely won't expose you to stories such as this in the country Iran."

 

GAC_Chinatown-590x900

Chinatown 

Release Year: 1974

Directed by Roman Polanski

Starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston 

With a suspicious femme fatale bankrolling his snooping, private eye J.J. Gittes uncovers intricate dirty dealings in the Los Angeles waterworks and gets his nose slashed for his trouble in director Roman Polanski's complex neonoir classic.

Nicholson saunters though a 1930’s LA with confidence, until he pulls the wrong thread and find himself in the middle of a messy unraveling. Although just as entwined, Dunaway proceeds with caution and finds herself torn between the lies and the truths surrounding her life. Together, the pair light up the screen with coy smiles and excellent senses of style, timing, and tone. The story was basic but kept my attention, much like HBO’s “True Detective”- you witness the lengths a snoop will go to solve a case while taking in glances at his own personality. This film is smart, slick, and suspenseful. Highly recommended.

 

good-will-huntin-590x900

 Good Will Hunting

Release Year: 1997

Directed by Gus Van Sant

Starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard, Minnie Driver

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Horror Films To Watch On Netflix – Part Two http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/horror-films-watch-netflix-part-two/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/horror-films-watch-netflix-part-two/#respond Sun, 01 May 2016 01:37:59 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=2156   By Don Gillette Whew… Good thing I didn’t try to review “Chick Flicks” or I never would have finished this little epistle. There are a million of those on Netflix, but still only 42 horror movies. My last column ran through the first 21 and here are the remaining 21 horror films streaming on […]

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HorrorFilms2

By Don Gillette

Whew... Good thing I didn't try to review "Chick Flicks" or I never would have finished this little epistle. There are a million of those on Netflix, but still only 42 horror movies. My last column ran through the first 21 and here are the remaining 21 horror films streaming on Netflix:

A Haunted House 2:

haunted2

Not really a horror film, but it shows up when you look for "Horror" on Netflix. I'm a stickler for accuracy, so I have to include it. Having said that, though, it really is frightening, scary, and creepy that this film ever got made because it's the stupidest waste of celluloid I've ever had to sit through. I can't give you a plot synopsis because there is no plot. Depending on your sense of humor, you'll either love this or hate it. If your sense of humor stopped developing when you were 7, it's your cup of tea. Yes, I know I'm not rating Oscar winners or documentaries about the Holocaust--but this thing was neither scary nor funny. It was just bad.

The Damned:

damned

A family traveling in Colombia gets in a traffic accident and they hole up for the night in an inn. When they hear activity in the basement, they go down there and free a girl who was trapped inside. Surprise--the girl is an evil spirit. The Damned, also known as Gallows Hill is a pretty good horror movie; it's formulaic, there are some good scares, the acting is decent, and it's plenty creepy. Usually I avoid movies that were "also known as" because normally this means, "this was a shitty movie so we changed the title hoping you wouldn't notice," but on a dark and stormy night, you might enjoy this one.

Mercy:

mercy_2014_movie-1920x1080

If you're reading this particular column, you're probably a Stephen King fan. If you're a Stephen King fan, you might remember his short story "Gramma." This film is based on that story and it's an okay bit of horror. The premise is easy enough: a single mother and her two sons help take care of their grandmother who just happens to have mystical powers. This one's not going to make anybody's "Top 10" list, but the acting is solid (and there are some great actors in the ensemble) and it's good enough for a watch. (By the way, there's a Twilight Zone episode called "Gramma" that does the same story in 45 minutes and it's better).

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers:

halloween-curse

The first Halloween team, Debra Hill and John Carpenter, also wrote this one, so you can put any memories of Halloween XXVII, etc., out of your mind. It's old home day in Haddonfield, Illinois: Donald Pleasance's Dr. Loomis, the psychiatrist who wants Michael Myers dead; Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode (well, actually her daughter), and even little Tommy Doyle, the kid Laurie was babysitting in the original, are back. Six years after Michael Myers' last outing, he comes back to Haddonfield looking for his niece (that'd be Laurie's daughter) who escaped from him (after she gave birth to his kid). So not only is Michael still a homicidal maniac, he's into incest. If you're a fan of the Halloween series, you'll enjoy this. They should have stopped after this one.

A Haunting At Silver Falls:

a-haunting-at-silver-falls01

A few years ago, a guy was wrongfully convicted of murdering his two daughters. The daughters haunt the town where the crime took place. Sounds very simplistic, but it makes for a good ghost story and they're hard to come by. A good, rock-bottom, ghost story is actually a rare thing. No devils, no hell hounds, no Ouija boards... just a couple of murdered girls who won't lay down until justice is served. Give this one a try; you won't be disappointed.

At The Devil's Door:

at the devil

Okay, I'll make it quick. A real estate agent meets a crazy girl whom she thinks is the runaway daughter of a couple whose house she's selling. The movie is 10 or 12 little stories that don't quite synch up. Your best bet is to move rather rapidly along. I watched this for you--life is hard.

Exeter:

exeter-2

The funny thing about Exeter is that it announces it’s “…from the director of Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre…” but the truth is it’s from the director of the remakes of Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—the two worst remakes in the history of horror films. A group of teenagers, throwing a drug party in an abandoned insane asylum (always a good idea), decide they’ll fool around with the occult. When they’re possessed by evil spirits, they’re only slightly more amusing than they were when they were just drug-addled teenagers throwing a party in an abandoned insane asylum. This movie isn’t scary, but it’s gory. If that’s your thing, you might want to give it a shot. Could it have been better? Well, yeah--but Ben Affleck is Batman. Hollywood’s lost its mind. Next up--Jesse Eisenberg as Muhammad Ali.

The Houses October Built:

the-houses-october-build-horror-movie-news-2

Pretty cool. Tired of all the semi-haunted houses that crop up around Halloween, five friends take off in an RV in search of the real thing. Just when they’re about to give up, things start happening and they figure out the haunt has come to them. It’s a “found footage” type of film and I think we’re all getting a little tired of them, but overall, this is a good ride. The acting is better than you’d expect for a “B” movie, the plot line is more original than most, and the scenes in all the haunted houses are a lot of fun.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil:

weddings

A masterpiece. This movie was out for 5 years before I watched it because I thought it would be stupid. It was brilliant. Tucker and Dale are just a couple of lovable West Virginia “good ole boys” who head out to their dilapidated vacation cabin to drink beer and go fishing. A group of hipster college kids run into them and just assume that Tucker and Dale are in-bred, murdering psychopaths. It’s a horror film/comedy/cult classic that should be required viewing for anybody who’s ever watched The Evil Dead or Deliverance or Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland or Tremors or any of a hundred others. My idea of a good weekend would be to hang out with Tucker and Dale.

Haunter:

haunter

Hmmm. I just watched it (for this column) and it was most cool. When she hits 16, Lisa finds out she’s stuck in time living the same day over and over again a’ la’ Groundhog Day. Pretty soon, she figures out that she, her parents, and her little brother are all dead and trapped in the day they were murdered. Lisa discovers that she can contact people—people who are also victims of the killer in the past and the future. She learns the killer’s name (Oscar--go figure) and sets out to find a way to stop him. Is it really a horror movie? No… it’s more of a thriller where most of the characters are dead people; a ghost story with bizarre turns and twists. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.

V/H/S:

VHS-Movie-Torrent

Another “found footage” movie that tosses too many slices of horror movies at you to come together in a package. Somebody hired a group of morons to burglarize a deserted house in the country to find a rare VHS tape. What they find are a bunch of old television sets, a dead body, and some film clips that show gory and ghastly imagery. This film tries to be an anthology tied around a central story, but it doesn’t quite make it. It’s definitely worth a look, but it’s no Frankenstein.

The Den:

the den

Interesting, but a little claustrophobic. A girl studying the habits of webcam chat site users watches a horrific murder one night during her research. When she, her family, and her friends, are targeted by the murderer, she gets more involved in the webcam chat scene. Most of this film takes place on computer monitors, cameras, and cellphones and although that’s annoying, it adds to the suspense. Well worth a watch, The Den is another “found footage” film, but not as bad as most.

The Seasoning House:

seasoning

A deeply disturbing horror and revenge film—and highly recommended. In the Balkans in 1996, the population of a small town is slaughtered by the militia. A young girl, Angel, escapes death, but is taken by the commander and put to work caring for the girls of The Seasoning House, a brothel of drugged and kidnapped young girls who are prostituted to the military. Angel isn't quite pretty enough to work as a whore, so she finds ways to move between the walls and crawlspaces in the house to help the other girls--and in so doing, she sees more than she’s intended to see. When the men who murdered her family show up, her revenge begins. Doesn’t sound like a horror movie, does it? Give it 15 minutes and get back to me on that.

Killer Mermaid:

Killer-Mermaid-Title-Screen-740x493

Two American girls go on vacation in the Mediterranean and discover the hideout of a killer mermaid. I’m sorry… I really am… I tried to watch it. Got 30 minutes into it and my neck got sore from shaking my head. I was afraid if I screamed at the TV one more time, my wife would call "the people" and have me taken away.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare:

WES-CRAVENS-NEW-NIGHTMARE_1024

I don’t like these films that try and blend the movie with reality. And I don’t like it when a cult figure like Wes Craven has to have his name stuck in front of the film’s title to get somebody to watch it. But… On the 10th anniversary of A Nightmare On Elm Street, Heather Langenkamp (who played Nancy Thompson in the original and is now playing herself in this one) starts getting phone calls from Freddy Krueger. When her husband (yes—her real husband) is killed in a car accident and is found with slash marks on his face, Heather begins to suspect something. (Really?) She discovers that Wes Craven is writing another “Nightmare” movie and somehow they figure that Heather has to play Nancy one more time in order to defeat Freddy. If this makes you want to grab your head and yell “Son of a bitch!” as loud as you can, I understand, but surprisingly enough, this is a good horror film. If you enjoyed A Nightmare On Elm Street, you’ve got to see this.

The Pact:

the-pact-uk-poster

I’m not going to lie to you—I watched this film about 2 years ago, I liked it, and I’ll be damned if I remember why. It’s the story of a woman who comes home, with her daughter for the funeral of her mother, moves into her mother’s house, and discovers that her mother’s ghost is still hanging around. The mother wasn’t what you’d call a nice person, either. As the story progresses, the woman and her daughter vanish and it’s left up to her sister to discover the dark secrets in the family’s past. I know it sounds hokey, but it was terrifying. It starts slowly—regular haunted house movie—but it turns into a really great, low-budget excursion.

The Human Centipede 3:

The-Human-Centipede-31-e1430275873871

If you read the previous column which feathered The Human Centipede 1, then you know it wasn’t the greatest of movies. Imagine what they’ve done to it with two sequels. And this one’s got poor Eric Roberts in it, too. I like that guy—Julia Roberts’ brother--he's a good actor. I don’t know why he picks such idiotic parts in such idiotic movies. In this steaming pile, Eric Roberts plays the Governor of Someplace. A prison warden is trying to gain the governor's approval by coming up with the best punishment in the universe for prisoners. The best he can come up with is sewing inmates together ass-to-mouth. I didn’t want to watch it, but I did—mostly on fast forward. Trust me--you won’t want to watch it, either.

Contracted:

Contracted-movie-poster

A girl contracts a sexually-transmitted disease… or that’s what she thinks she’s got. It ends up being something a lot worse, but whatever it is, it couldn’t be as bad as this truly, truly horrible movie. The first clue that a movie’s going to be bad is if the Director and the Writer are the same person. I’ve figured this out over many years of reviewing movies. If Eric England is the director and Eric England is the writer, you’re in for something stupid. If Eric England or his wife or his kid is also in the movie, you’re in for something infinitely more stupid. I think Eric England's entire family must have been in this one. Just walk away.

Creep:

creep

A cameraman answers a Craigslist advertisement for a one-day job in an isolated mountain village and when he arrives, he discovers his boss is a little bit on the strange side. This is another “found footage” film and as soon as that stops, I’ll be a lot happier with the horror genre, but this one is actually good. It’s full of tension, very well-paced, and sort of takes the whole “stalker” thing to another level. I predict this will become a cult classic in a few years—watch it now so you can nod your head knowingly at parties and say, “I saw it years ago.”

The Rite:

The_Rite_Movie_freecomputerdesktopwallpaper_1600

Always nice to end on a high note and they don’t get much higher than Anthony Hopkins. Father Lucas (Hopkins) is an eminent Jesuit priest who has performed several exorcisms in the past. His newest student, Father Michael, has come to him in the hopes that the older, experienced priest can help him strengthen his faith. Father Lucas is a bit of an oddball, but when his exorcism of a 16 year old girl fails and the demon that was inside the girl finds another host, it’s up to Father Michael to fight and destroy the evil. Sure, it’s hackneyed, but it's not "just another exorcism movie." It's a good one.

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So there you have it – all 42 horror films streaming on Netflix in two concise, little bundles.

And here we are in spring with summer looming ahead; hours and hours of sunshine each day, hot weather, and Halloween is months away… But if you happen to awaken in the dead of night, no birds singing, no kids outside playing, thunderstorm crashing and banging outside, and you’re feeling the need for a little scare, dive right in. The water’s frigid, the lightning is flashing shadows against the mirror, and you might have forgotten to double-check the front door before you went to bed. What to do, what to do... Don Gillette writes thrillers, horror, and dark literature. He is the author of three novels, a dozen volumes of poetry, and hundreds of short stories and newspaper articles. His latest book, Old Leather, is a collection of short fiction available world-wide at booksellers and on-line retailers.

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The Best TV Shows On Netflix – 2016 Guide http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/best-tv-shows-netflix-2016/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/best-tv-shows-netflix-2016/#respond Sat, 30 Apr 2016 09:13:38 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=2144 Top 50 TV Series Streaming on Netflix     Greetings Netflix fans and new subscribers! Below is our complete list of the Top 50 Series currently streaming on Netflix. Be sure to give us a heads up down in the comments section if you’ve spotted any shows you think should be on the list or if […]

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The Best Tv Shows On Netflix

The Best Tv Shows On Netflix

Top 50 TV Series Streaming on Netflix

    Greetings Netflix fans and new subscribers! Below is our complete list of the Top 50 Series currently streaming on Netflix. Be sure to give us a heads up down in the comments section if you've spotted any shows you think should be on the list or if there are any broken links. Happy Streaming!   RELATED: Best Movies on Netflix Right Now Netflix New Releases: March 2016 - April 2016 - May 2016 Leaving Netflix: March 2016 - April 2016 - May 2016 Disagree with the list? Let us know  your top 50 favorite shows on Netflix down in the comments.    

 50. Hemlock Grove

hemlock grove [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlZUsPcChgI[/embedyt] [imdb id="tt2309295"]    

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Horror Films To Watch On Netflix – Part One http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/horror-films-watch-netflix-part-one/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/horror-films-watch-netflix-part-one/#respond Sun, 17 Apr 2016 16:48:32 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=2090 By Don Gillette There are 42 horror movies streaming on Netflix at this writing. That’s not what you’d call overwhelming–unless you intend to write a review of each one of them which is exactly what I intend to do, starting with the first 21. I know–it’s a lot of movies–but I don’t intend to keep you here […]

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Horror1a

By Don Gillette

There are 42 horror movies streaming on Netflix at this writing. That's not what you'd call overwhelming--unless you intend to write a review of each one of them which is exactly what I intend to do, starting with the first 21. I know--it's a lot of movies--but I don't intend to keep you here all day. Just a line or two to let you know what to expect and whether to give the film a try...

Oculus:

oculus

Pretty good and pretty creepy. Kaylie Russell is convinced that her brother, who was convicted of murder, was driven to the crime by a supernatural entity inside an antique mirror in their old house. When her brother is released from a mental institution, they return to the house (bad idea) to get to the truth. Lot of flashbacks, some great suspense, and some nice scares.

Dream House:

dreamhouse

Good acting saves this one. James Bond and Rachel Weisz move their family into a house where the former owner murdered his wife and daughter. Then they find themselves being stalked by a "mystery" visitor who might or might not be the former owner. The suspense is great, the story line is plausible, and Daniel Craig is solid.

Would You Rather?

wouldyourather

I would rather not. In this one, a rich dude gathers a group of strangers together and pits them against one another in sadistic games. It's formulaic, poorly acted, and a waste of time.

Dark Skies:

darkskies

Couple of good scares in this combination horror/sci-fi flick. Starts slowly with a family experiencing some strange events at home and builds to a pretty good pace when they realize extra-terrestrials are after them.

The Babadook:

The Babadook

I didn't like it; some people raved about it. A young widow's son is afraid of a monster he claims hangs around their house. More psychological yawn than horror, but as I said some people loved it. When a movie is named for the monster in it, I want to see the monster. The Babadook never shows up.

Dead Silence:

dead silence This was actually pretty good. In the 1940's, a ventriloquist was accused of kidnapping a young boy. As punishment, the townspeople cut out her tongue and buried her with her dummies. Cut to the present and the guy who played Jason Stackhouse in True Blood shows up. He receives a puppet in the mail, his wife is murdered, and he sets out to solve the mystery. Very atmospheric, the 1940's backstory was cool, and the acting was good.

The Lazarus Effect:

lazarus

You'd really like this to be good... but it's not. A group of researchers learn how to bring back the dead but when they do, the dead aren't who they were. It's Flatliners, Pet Semetary, and a few dozen others rolled into one. Such a shame because the cast is first-rate.

The Taking Of Deborah Logan:

deborahlogan

Dynamite acting from Jill Larson and Anne Ramsay make this a keeper. Deborah Logan has Alzheimer's and she's also the subject of a documentary. During filming, it becomes obvious that something besides the disease is going on inside of her. Excellent scares, some jump-out-of-your seat moments, and well worth a look.

The Awakening:

awakening

Another keeper--a classic ghost story that takes place in an English boarding school shortly after World War 1. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart is called in to dispel the rumors of a ghost and she meets more than she bargained for. The suspense builds very slowly, but not so slowly that it doesn't hold your attention--and the ending is terrific.

Housebound:

housebound

Yeah, it has some scares and suspense, but it's a comedy. Kylie Bucknell is sent to live with her crazy mother after a run-in with the juvenile court. Her mother's convinced the house is haunted and Kylie's having a hard time deciding if her mother is right or if the old lady is making her crazy enough to believe it. A few laughs, a few scares. Overall, a waste of time.

Devil:

Devil-Movie-21

This really sounds like a stupid movie, but it was completely engrossing. Five strangers trapped in an elevator--and one of them is the devil. Kind of claustrophobic even with the brief "away" scenes of the police trying to determine who's who in the elevator. Solid acting and a good plotline will keep you guessing.

The Woman In Black 2:

womaninblk

A group of film makers, seeing that they made some easy cash on a movie called The Woman In Black, decide to see how many viewers they can sucker in to watch the same movie again with different actors.

Curse Of Chucky:

chucky

A group of film makers, seeing that they made some easy cash on SIX movies about a red-headed doll, decide to see how many viewers they can sucker in to watch one more. No--actually, if you like Chucky, you'll enjoy this sequel. I hate Chucky.

Truth Or Die:

truthordie

A bunch of kids go to a remote cabin in the woods to play Truth Or Dare at the invitation of a kid they humiliated playing the game a few years earlier. What could go wrong? It's not bad, but it's not The Exorcist. It tries a little too hard to be scary and is a bit over-the-top for my taste, but give it 15 minutes--you'll know by then whether you're going to like it or not.

The Ouija Experiment:

ouija

The most amazing thing about this film is that there's actually a The Ouija Experiment 2 that's even dumber than the original. In this one, kids playing with a Ouija board open up a portal to the spirit world (surprise, surprise) and have contact with a little girl who drowned years before. Just walk away.

Children Of The Corn:

childrencorn

This also became known as Stephen King's Children Of The Corn when it was decided the movie was so bad the only way to get anybody into the theaters was to invoke the name of The Godfather Of Horror. I'm betting he wishes he had this little experiment to do over again. Seriously, it's just ridiculous.

Last Shift:

lastshift

This is a pretty decent horror/ghost film. Officer Jessica Loren is waiting alone for a Hazardous Material team to pick up some bio-waste in the last hours before a police station closes its doors for good and moves into a new location. Rumors are the station is haunted by a cult leader who committed suicide there with two of his followers exactly one year ago and Jessica finds out the rumors are true. Good action and some serious scares.

The Chosen:

thechosen

I could walk out the front door of the house and within 15 minutes I'd have 10 people who could act better than the best actor in this piece of junk. It was so bad it made my eyes bleed. The worst "horror" movie in the past 10 years. It's about a demon who steals children, but all you really need to know is that it's just terrible.

Stonehearst Asylum:

stonehearst_asylum_movie-2560x1440

First-rate, old-style horror flick that takes place in an insane asylum. Newly graduated from Oxford, Dr. Edward Newgate arrives in Stonehearst and sees some "revolutionary" treatments he considers inhumane. Meanwhile, he falls for a patient (who wouldn't? It's Kate Beckinsale) and also begins learning the secrets of the institution. Can't give away the rest, but this one is excellent.

The Others:

the-others

Another first-rate, old-style horror flick with a great surprise ending. Nicole Kidman lives in a dark, old house with her two kids (both of whom are photosensitive) and she gradually becomes convinced the house is haunted. A really well-made film not to be missed. Nicole Kidman has always been a powerhouse actress and she doesn't disappoint here--plus I'm hoping she and Keith will offer to buy our lunch next time we run into them at the Copper Kettle.

The Human Centipede:

human_centipede

Disturbing, disgusting, and like a train wreck--hard to look away. This is about a mad scientist who kidnaps three unsuspecting victims and reassembles them into one creature by sewing their mouths to the other ones' anus. I re-wrote that sentence six times, but there's no other way to say it. Good movie? No. Bad movie? No. Unusual movie? Bingo.
That wasn't too long, was it? And more than half of these films are well worth your time if you're a fan of the genre. If you're a huge fan, you might like them all (except The Chosen--only a lunatic would enjoy that one.) Part Two will be online next Sunday. Meanwhile... kick back, crack a beer or open a bottle of wine, turn the lights off, and settle in for a few good scares.

Don Gillette is a novelist from Nashville, Tennessee. His latest book, Old Leather, is a collection of short fiction and is available world-wide at booksellers and on-line retailers.

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Best Cult Films On Netflix http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/best-cult-films-on-netflix/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/best-cult-films-on-netflix/#respond Tue, 22 Mar 2016 01:16:28 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=2048 By Don Gillette When it comes to cult films, don’t depend on Wikpedia. “A cult film is a film that has acquired a cult following.” This is what I hate about the internet. A cult film is really about the committed and rebellious appreciation a somewhat limited audience has for it. The topics are usually, […]

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CULT

By Don Gillette

When it comes to cult films, don’t depend on Wikpedia. “A cult film is a film that has acquired a cult following.” This is what I hate about the internet. A cult film is really about the committed and rebellious appreciation a somewhat limited audience has for it. The topics are usually, but not always, strange; they usually have a ton of “back stories” about how they were made or the flaws of the director or stars; and they normally have a little nostalgia going for them. Nothing is “an instant cult hit,” especially a movie that has “instant cult hit” on its advertisements. Sometimes a cult film becomes a cult film just because it didn’t enjoy tremendous box office success right out of the chute—it needed a few years to be appreciated. Netflix is loaded with cult films and some of the best cult classics are streaming now...

The Prophecy

PROPH

Christopher Walken is one weird dude. There are even some people out there who claim he doesn’t act—he just plays himself, but these people obviously never saw his Oscar-winning performance in The Deer Hunter. Oh, he can act alright. And in The Prophecy, he’ll scare you half to death playing the Archangel Gabriel. Gabriel, it seems, is furious because God has allowed humans (“talking monkeys”) into heaven, so he comes to earth in order to steal the most evil human soul that ever existed. If you like this one, The Prophecy 2 and The Prophecy 3 are also streaming on Netflix, so you can fill up a Walken Weekend.

From Dusk Till Dawn

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Director Robert Rodriguez sends two criminals (George Clooney and Quentin Tarentino) and their hostages (Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, and Ernest Liu) into a night club that turns out to be populated by vampires. This movie is bloody, shocking, violent, disgusting, and great fun—sort of a hybrid of horror, bloodbath, and comedy. Tarentino wrote the screenplay, Salma Hayek plays a stripper who does a dance with a yellow boa constrictor around her neck, and Cheech Marin plays three different characters. That’s cult-film paradisio.

The Crow

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Dark and spooky, this action drama is about guitarist Eric Draven who’s resurrected by a crow a year after he and his girlfriend are murdered. The crow leads Draven (who’s dead—remember) through the land of the living and guides him to the killers where he takes them out one-by-one. It’s a subtle horror/love/revenge movie and it’s a Gothic masterpiece. The thing everybody knows about The Crow, even people who haven’t seen it, is that Brandon Lee died while filming it and it was finished with a stand-in and some CGI. A real tragedy of errors—the sequence of events is hair-raisingly bizarre and the odds of it happening are about the same as being struck by lightning and winning the Irish Sweepstakes on the same day. You can’t help but think of this as you’re watching and sadly, it makes the movie even more haunting.

Up In Smoke

UPIONSMOKE

If you know Cheech and Chong, you’ll remember this one—it was their first; if you’ve never watched one of their movies, this is the best. The plot is ridiculous: Pedro and Man unwittingly drive a van made entirely of marijuana from Mexico to Los Angeles while the LAPD try to catch them. That’s it. The characters and the short side-stories are what makes this baby a cult classic and one of the funniest films to come out of the 1970’s. Stacy Keach’s hilarious “Sergeant Stedenko,” and Tom Skerritt’s short appearance as “Strawberry” (the only time you’ll see PTSD in a comedy) are highlights, but the whole thing is really one solid comedy sketch after another.

Kingpin

KINGPIN

By far, the stupidest movie plot ever imagined by anyone and also one of the funniest. Woody Harrelson plays Roy Munson, world’s greatest bowler, who goes up against Ernie McCracken (Bill Murray), world’s second greatest bowler. McCracken causes Roy to lose his bowling hand. His dreams are crushed, he gets a prosthetic hand, and becomes a traveling salesman. That’s where he meets Ishmael Boorg (Randy Quaid) an Amish guy who has all the talent to be the best bowler in the world. Roy, Ishmael, and McCracken square off at the World Bowling Championship. Have you heard anything more ridiculous in your life? Be forewarned, if you’re looking for highbrow comedy or intellectual comedy or Woody Allen comedy, you’re in the wrong place—but if you’re looking for lowbrow laugh after laugh, give this a try. Oh, and Bill Murray ad-libs most of his lines making this mandatory watching for any Bill Murray fan.

The Warriors

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Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so honest because I’d love to leave The Warriors off this list. Not because it’s bad—I’ve seen it a dozen times; but because it’s on everybody’s “cult” list. Walter Hill directed this street-gang classic which features 21 different gangs hunting down the Warriors for a crime they didn’t commit. All the Warriors want to do is get back to their home turf, but first they’ve got to cross the Bronx and Manhattan—no small task. You’ve got amazing fight sequences, adrenaline pumping music, dialog full of memorable one-liners, and some stand-out performances from some newcomers (look for James Remar—serial murderer Dexter’s father—as “Ajax). If you haven’t seen, you have to see it.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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This is the only movie Matthew Broderick’s ever been in that I can stand to watch, but I can watch this any time. In fact, he should have retired after he made this one because there’s no way he could ever have hoped to top it. It’s a formulaic high-school comedy with Ferris Bueller (classic wise-ass), his anal-retentive, constantly nervous friend Cameron (Alan Ruck), and Ferris’ girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) skipping school for the day. It’s all about not taking life too seriously and Ferris has that down pat, but it’s also full of situational humor, the typical moron high school principal, and some of the best hyperbolic high school dialog ever (When the teacher calls Ferris’ name at roll, Simone raises her hand: “Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.”) You should see this movie just so you’ll know Matthew Broderick’s career had a high point. By the way, do you think Matthew Broderick comes home some nights when his wife is sad and says, “Hey, Sarah Jessica, why the long face?”

Léon: The Professional

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True story: I rented this when it was released and I watched it six times over one weekend. I had never heard of Jean Reno or Natalie Portman, and almost nobody else had, either. The storyline is fairly simple: Mathilda (Portman) is a 12-year old girl whose family was killed by her father’s drug kingpin bosses—she’s not home when the murders take place, but the killers know she’s out there somewhere. She takes refuge upstairs, in the apartment of a professional hitman with a heart. He can’t put her out on the street because she’d be killed and when she asks him to teach her to be an assassin, he very reluctantly agrees. Her motive is to take revenge on the corrupt DEA agent who murdered her family. The DEA agent is played to psychotic perfection by Gary Oldman. (Tip: if you Google “Films of Gary Oldman,” never leave out the “r” in his first name.) The relationship between Léon and Mathilda will draw you in and the great acting will keep you in. This one is not to be missed.

Don Gillette is a novelist from Nashville, Tennessee. His latest book, Old Leather, is a collection of short fiction and is available world-wide at booksellers and on-line retailers.

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What To Binge-Watch On Netflix http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/what-to-binge-watch-on-netflix/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/what-to-binge-watch-on-netflix/#respond Tue, 15 Mar 2016 16:43:40 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=2036 By Don Gillette Should you really be binge-watching TV shows or series on Netflix? Absolutely—it’s the only way to fly. Don’t you have anything better to do with your life right now? Nope—house is clean, bars are closed. How are your eyes? Fine—and there are some drops in the medicine cabinet. You’re good to go; you […]

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By Don Gillette

Should you really be binge-watching TV shows or series on Netflix? Absolutely—it’s the only way to fly. Don’t you have anything better to do with your life right now? Nope—house is clean, bars are closed. How are your eyes? Fine—and there are some drops in the medicine cabinet. You're good to go; you pass the test. Now, if you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Nurse Jackie, or Orange Is The New Black, I’m afraid I can’t help you. But if you’re looking to settle back and discover some new shows you might have missed or visit some long forgotten, old friends, please read on...  

The Twilight Zone

tz The original, the masterpiece. First four seasons. The show won an Emmy for Best Writing, it featured some of the biggest stars of the day along with some not-so-big newcomers at the time (Robert Redford, George Takei, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, and Burt Reynolds to name just a few), and its creator, head writer, and narrator, Rod Serling, was about the coolest, spookiest dude to ever grace early television. If you’ve never watched this series because you thought it might be old-school or irrelevant, you’re in for a real surprise. From Where Is Everybody? to Walking Distance to The Lonely, this is quality television all the way.

Better Call Saul

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I know you’ve watched some or all of Breaking Bad. I know you have--everybody has. And I know you love Saul Goodman, ace attorney for chemist-turned-meth dealer Walter White. Well, Better Call Saul is the history of how attorney Jimmy McGill became Saul Goodman and it’s what you’d expect, but a lot funnier. Comedian Bob Odenkirk reprises his role for this series (Season One is on Netflix) as well as a few other characters from Breaking Bad (specifically ultra-bad Mike Ehmentraut). If you couldn’t get enough of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is your ticket back into the game.

Longmire

Longmire Season 2

If you’re a fan of best-selling author Craig Johnson, this series will be right up your alley. It’s based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels and stars Robert Taylor as the wise-cracking sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. He’s had a rough time of it lately, but he pulls himself together and with the help of his friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), the crime-fighting and mystery-solving business is in full swing. This modern day western is full of fast action, dry humor, and interesting story lines. It’s lean, it’s mean, it’s not too far between, and the scenery is spectacular. This is a show that’ll make you believe there’s better stuff coming out of television than there is coming out of the big studio productions.

Crossing Lines

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Three seasons of Crossing Lines are available for binge-watching and we’re talking a big name, high energy thriller here. Donald Sutherland, William Fichtner, Gabriella Pession, and Tom Wlaschiha work for a special law enforcement unit that investigates serial crimes that cross European borders. Think Criminal Minds in Europe with better scripts written for grown-ups.

Cooked

cooked

This 4-show series is based on the latest book by Michael Pollan (who also stars in the show). He walks viewers through the 4 main “ingredients” necessary for cooking: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. He also jumps right in and learns to cook with various ingredients and with a variety of instructors. This isn’t a cooking show; it’s more of a nature special that just happens to focus on things we eat. In short, it’s educational but interesting—two things that don’t often fit together as well as they should. If you're interested in what you stuff into your mouth, you'll like this one.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker

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About 40 years ago, ABC put out a couple of “made for TV’ movies about Karl Kolchak, a reporter for the Independent News Service in Chicago. Kolchak had a real nose for news, but his news stories were of the vampire, werewolf, zombie, and ghost type. Nobody believed him, his editor thought he was insane, and yet the spooks just kept coming. Realizing they had a hit on their hands, the network gave Kolchak a weekly series that took him from Jack the Ripper through Aztec human sacrifices and everything in between. Darren McGavin was great as Karl Kolchak—funny, persuasive, and every bit as scared of his stories’ subjects as the victims. Okay, it's a little dated, but still great fun in a campy sort of way.

Hacking The System

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This show should be required watching for people like me who obsess about bad air travel, crappy hotels, getting ripped off when I buy a mattress, and how to watch Netflix without paying Comcast $200 a month. The host, Brian Brushwood, is pretty funny--and some of his tips are actually quite helpful. Some of them are ridiculous, too, but even the ridiculous ones are amusing. I don’t, for example, ever expect to need to escape from the trunk of a moving car… but I did enjoy learning about the techniques criminals use to steal a car and how to make my car less of a target. As if anybody would want it.

The Killing

the-killing-season-2-amc__140424174451 If there’s one thing American television does well, it’s rip-off European television ideas and keep them around for much longer. This show is based on a Danish TV series, Forbrydelsen (not a clue how you’d pronounce that without hurting yourself) so if subtitles aren’t your thing I’d recommend you stick with the US version. It takes place in Seattle (which is damn near as depressing as Denmark) and you should be prepared for the fact that it’s slow. I mean sloooooow. What that does is make it realistic as hell—real cops have few “Eureka!” moments where everything falls together and the criminal confesses on a whim. The entire first season focuses on a single murder case, the main players are “real people” in that we get to know them, warts and all, and within two episodes you’ll either care enough about what’s going on to be hooked or you’ll walk. Either way, it’s well worth your time. Don Gillette is a novelist from Nashville, Tennessee. His latest book, Old Leather, is a collection of short fiction and is available world-wide at booksellers and on-line retailers.

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Best Movies You Might Have Missed On Netflix http://whatsonnetflix.com/top-lists/best-movies-might-missed-netflix/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/top-lists/best-movies-might-missed-netflix/#respond Sun, 06 Mar 2016 22:48:35 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=2011       The Hunt. Denmark’s official submission to the Foreign Language Film category of the 2014 Academy Awards, this film features Mads Mikkelsen as a teacher falsely accused of child sexual abuse in his small Danish town. Following this character through the torture he endures from those who turn their backs on him and […]

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  WO1N    

The Hunt.

Denmark’s official submission to the Foreign Language Film category of the 2014 Academy Awards, this film features Mads Mikkelsen as a teacher falsely accused of child sexual abuse in his small Danish town. Following this character through the torture he endures from those who turn their backs on him and from those who come to despise him for something he didn’t do is gut-wrenching. The ending is something you have to watch--seriously. Don't miss this one. thehunt
   

Snowpiercer.

On the surface, this sounds like the stupidest idea for a film ever: a climate change experiment freezes the world and every living thing in it except for the passengers on this huge train, The Snowpiercer. The passengers circle the globe and within the train, they’ve created their own social, economic, and class system. So what happens when the 1% have it all and the 99% are pushed to the back of the train? Revolution. On a train. In the cold.MV5BMTQ3NzA1MTY3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzE2Mzg5MTE@._V1__SX1857_SY859_
   

Dead Man.

Director Jim Jarmusch takes on the Old West as only he could. In this film, timid accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) takes a job in Machine Town where, on his first night, he’s shot, wounded, and put on the run. He meets a Native American named Nobody who mistakes him for the English poet William Blake. Their journey through the metaphysical levels of Dante’s Divine Comedy set in the west is sometimes comical, sometimes frightful, and always haunting.deadman
   

City of God.

The City of God is a slum in Rio de Janeiro where two boys take entirely different paths through life. One becomes a drug kingpin; the other, a photographer. The story is told “Pulp Fiction” style through the narration of the photographer as he documents growing up in the City of God where he and his compadres begin their “careers” as pre-teen killers, progressing through the ranks of drug dealers to positions at the top of the food chain. An unbelievable look into a lifestyle most of us refuse to acknowledge even exists.ciotyofgod
   

CBGB.

The late Alan Rickman plays Hilly Kristal—the guy responsible for the punk rock scene in New York City that launched the careers of stars such as Blondie, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, The Talking Heads, and The Police. CBGB was “Country, Bluegrass, and Blues” but when Kristal found he was unable to book enough acts to keep the club going, he opened the doors to any band that wanted to play with only one rule: all music had to be original. No top-40 covers, no re-makes. A fascinating biography about the godfather of punk.cbgb
   

The Iceman.

The true story of Richard Kuklinski, devoted family man and contract killer, played to perfection by Michael Shannon. While working as a porno film lab technician, Kuklinski comes to the attention of the organized crime bosses behind the operation. It seems he has something they think would be beneficial to them—or, rather, he doesn’t have something. A conscience. And as it turns out, that’s the one trait that makes for an excellent hitman. The movie emphasizes Kuklinski’s attempts to keep his family life and his “job” separate but what it really does well is give a peek into the mind of a sociopath.iceman
   

Nightcrawler.

A truly gruesome look at what happens when journalists blur the line between documenter and participant. Jake Gyllenhaal is Louis Bloom, a loose cannon with a camera who finds work selling film of car crashes, murder scenes, fires, suicides, etc. to local news channels. One slow news day, Bloom decides to give the news a little “assistance” and a lunatic is born. This is almost a horror film, but it’s too believable.nighcrawler
   

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover.

This film was released in 1989 and for years, it was impossible to get a copy of it anywhere. No VHS, no DVD, no streaming, no WebRIPs—nothing. If you wanted to see it you had to go to an "art house" and hang with the dweebs for a few hours listening to them discuss Fassbinder films and the impact of sauerbraten on Marlene Dietrich. Thankfully, there's Netflix now. In this film, the wife of an organized crime boss carries on an affair with a bookseller between meals at a restaurant owned by her husband. Doesn’t sound like much, but when you watch it and you realize small things (such as the color of everyone’s clothes changes as they go from room to room) are happening all the time that contribute to the story, you’ll be hooked. Yes, there are some “gross-out” scenes and no, it’s not for everybody but you should at least give it a try. If it hasn’t got you in the first 15 minutes, move on, but you'll be missing a young Helen Mirren in a black-lace bustier and fishnet stockings. Just so you know...cookthief
   

The Awakening.

Scary stuff. It’s 1921, England is just getting over the horrors of World War I, and Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), an exposer of hoaxes, seers, and spiritualists, is summoned to a boarding school to get to the bottom of sightings of a child ghost. Been done to death? Not like this, it hasn’t. The way the film makers hide facts all the way through the film to keep you from figuring out what’s going on makes this old-fashioned ghost story one not to be missed. If you liked The Others or The Orphanage, you’re going to love this one. awakening

Don Gillette is a novelist from Nashville, Tennessee. His latest book, Old Leather, a collection of short fiction, is now available at booksellers and on-line retailers.

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Best Documentaries On Netflix – March 2016 http://whatsonnetflix.com/top-lists/best-documentaries-netflix-2016/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/top-lists/best-documentaries-netflix-2016/#respond Tue, 01 Mar 2016 08:19:16 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=1815 Are you looking for a superb documentary to watch? Well you’re in luck – we have done all the heavy lifting for you and compiled a massive list of the best documentaries on Netflix.  We understand everyone has different taste especially when it comes to what typed of documentaries they like to watch, so we made a good […]

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The Best Documentaries On Netflix 2016 Guide

The Best Documentaries On Netflix 2016 Guide Are you looking for a superb documentary to watch? Well you're in luck - we have done all the heavy lifting for you and compiled a massive list of the best documentaries on Netflix.  We understand everyone has different taste especially when it comes to what typed of documentaries they like to watch, so we made a good effort to include documentaries from all genres. Keep this page bookmarked as Netflix adds new content monthly - this guide will be updated accordingly :) If you feel we left one off the list that you think should be included, please leave a comment down below and one of our editors will add it to our readers choice section of the guide. Now with out further ado here is your 2016 guide to the best documentaries on Netflix.  

Virunga (2014)

 Virunga

In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth and home to the planet’s last remaining mountain gorillas. In this wild, but enchanted environment, a small and embattled team of park rangers - including an ex-child soldier turned ranger, a caretaker of orphan gorillas and a dedicated conservationist - protect this UNESCO world heritage site from armed militia, poachers and the dark forces struggling to control Congo's rich natural resources. When the newly formed M23 rebel group declares war, a new conflict threatens the lives and stability of everyone and everything they've worked so hard to protect, with the filmmakers and the film’s participants caught in the crossfire.
A powerful combination of investigative journalism and nature documentary, VIRUNGA is the incredible true story of a group of courageous people risking their lives to build a better future in a part of Africa the world’s forgotten, and a gripping exposé of the realities of life in the Congo. From director Orlando von Einsiedel and executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio. - virungamovie.com  
"Urgent investigative report and unforgettable drama, "Virunga" is a work of heart-wrenching tenderness and heart-stopping suspense."

LA TIMES

"Showcasing the best and the worst in human nature, von Einsiedel’s “Virunga” wrenches a startlingly lucid narrative from a sickening web of bribery, corruption and violence."

NEW YORK TIMES, CRITIC'S PICK

“Extraordinary” "...enough action, pathos, suspense, venal villains, stalwart heroes and endangered gorillas for a dozen fiction films”

VARIETY

    Virunga - Official Trailer 2014 from Grain Media on Vimeo.      

Food, Inc.

Release Year: 2008 Directed by Robert Kenner Awards: 2010 Academy Award® (Best Documentary Feature nominee)   food-inc-590x900  

The Square

Release Year: 2013 Directed by Jehane Noujaim   the-square-590x900  

Making a Murderer

Release Year: 2015  Format: Documentary Series  Directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos      netflix-making-a-murderer-1-590x900  

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What’s Cooking On Netflix | Top Cooking Shows On Netflix http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/whats-cooking-netflix/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/whats-cooking-netflix/#respond Mon, 29 Feb 2016 22:50:58 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=1968   Until I was 17, I thought the words “cooking” and “defrosting” were interchangeable. We ate “TV dinners” so much that we each actually had one of these things that looked like a tiny ironing board you unfolded and put in front of the couch at dinner time. They were made to hold a TV […]

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Chefs-Table   Until I was 17, I thought the words “cooking” and “defrosting” were interchangeable. We ate “TV dinners” so much that we each actually had one of these things that looked like a tiny ironing board you unfolded and put in front of the couch at dinner time. They were made to hold a TV dinner, silverware, and a glass of milk. Or in Mom and Dad’s case, a Manhattan. When I entered the Army at 18, everyone in basic training had to pull a day of what they called “K.P.” It stood for “Kitchen Police” even though we were neither cooks nor law enforcement officers. What we did was the grunt work in the mess hall; washing dishes, mopping floors, and peeling potatoes. It was there I discovered, to my amazement, that mashed potatoes could be made from actual, real potatoes instead of adding water to flakes from a box. In years past, kids learned to cook at their mother’s knee… depending on how tall she was. But starting with my generation, both parents usually had jobs. When they got home, they wanted the kids fed, but weren’t especially keen on teaching them how to whip up a Crème Brûlée. So, like a lot of my generation, I learned to cook watching television. Mainly, PBS. I had the legendary Julia Child, the entertaining Jeff Smith (the Frugal Gourmet), the hilarious Cajun Justin Wilson, Chef Paul Prudhomme, the Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr, and Chef René (the Black Hat Chef) who was easily the meanest, most ill-tempered prick ever to host a TV show. Type “Cooking” in the Netflix search bar and you’re going to see screen after screen of shows that have something to do with cooking. Marginally. But only five of them will actually teach you anything about doing it yourself.  
  1. Good Eats Collection. Alton Brown, the host/creator of Good Eats, is actually a chef—he graduated from the New England Culinary Institute. Good Eats is a combination of old-fashioned “This is how to cook this” TV with a primer on kitchen equipment and an educational treatise on the underlying processes of cooking. It’s also pretty funny and Brown is an amusing guy. Ever since the Food Network stopped airing cooking shows and went into the “Game Shows for Gluttons” business, Netflix and Youtube are about your only sources for an education in the kitchen. Good Eats is the best of the lot.
  2. The Mind of a Chef. This Emmy- and James Beard Award-winning series isn’t all cooking, but hardly any series is anymore. What the producers of this PBS show do is combine travel, history, humor, and cooking by following one chef per season. With titles like “Pig,” “Noodle,” and “Rotten,” how could you not learn something from watching this show? It’s narrated by Anthony Bourdain, everyone’s favorite smart-ass, and is entirely enjoyable even if you never try to cook anything you see.
  3. America’s Test Kitchen. As basic as a cooking show is going to get. The host, Cook’s Illustrated editor-in-chief Christopher Kimball, features three or four actual recipes centered around a central idea; comfort foods, pasta, Asian cuisine, etc. Where Good Eats take the science of cooking and turns it into great slapstick, America’s Test Kitchen actually has a “Science Desk” segment to dissect what’s going on behind the scenes. The show also features an equipment review where they introduce kitchen gadgets and give you a run-down on whether or not the thing is useful. This is a more high-brow approach to cooking than most of the shows you’ll find, but not so much that it detracts from the entertainment value. Try it—who knows?
  4. Throwdown! With Bobby Flay. I hated Bobby Flay for a long time. Something about that wise-ass smirk on his face and the fact that he reminds me of a leprechaun kept me away from any of his shows. Finally, I gave in and tried Throwdown! Well… he is a wise-ass, but not in a mean-spirited way—and he’s also a good cook. This show sounds like it would be a game show, but it’s actually a very good cooking lesson. What they do is challenge Flay to compete against another chef who specializes in one cuisine or specialty. The guest chefs aren’t told ahead of time that Flay will be showing up to challenge them, so when he does show up, the contest begins. Now, Flay is the first to admit that he’s more at home with Tex-Mex than he is baking cupcakes, but the guy is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, so it’s not like he’s never flambéed a tart. Still, watching he and his two sous-chefs attempt to “beat” the weekly guest chef they’re going up against is a real education in cooking. His record is 32 wins, 1 tie, and 68 losses. I still think he looks like a leprechaun, but now I like him.
  5. Back to Basics. Ina Garten, host of Back to Basics, does the best “how to cook” cooking show left on television. No “look at me,” no “I’m a celebrity,” and no Gordon Ramsay hissy fits. Just plain, everyday, good, simple cooking. What she does very well is make the ordinary extraordinary with just a few, very small and uncomplicated tips and techniques. If you’re having a friend or two drop by for lunch, you want to cook like Ina Garten tells you to cook. Ever had a roasted pear with bleu cheese? Me, neither—but when Ina showed me how easy it was and how delicious it looked, pears and bleu cheese went on the grocery list. This is the kind of cooking show I like.
Honorable mentions: These aren't really cooking shows as in "How To Cook," but they're worth a watch. 1. Chef’s Table is a Netflix-produced series that picks a famous chef and follows them both in their life and in their restaurant. It’s actually not as much a “cooking instruction” series as it is a “look at this” type series. Yes, you can learn a lot about cooking watching this show, but none of these chefs are going to look at the camera and say, “One cup of flour, a tablespoon of salt, and a pinch of yeast…” They don’t want to teach you, they want you to be in awe. 2. The Great British Baking Show. A game show with contestants, but one of the very few game shows that will actually teach you something. You won’t get any recipes—but really, who needs them when you’ve got the internet. I like to bake, so I like this show. I don’t like to fish, so I don’t like fishing shows. If you don’t like to bake, you won’t like this show. I think that’s called circular logic or something. Probably not. I suppose it’s too much to hope for, but I wish Netflix would find some of the really old cooking shows and add them to their mix. I miss watching The Frugal Gourmet set off the fire alarm in the studio and I miss watching Julia Child body-slam a whole chicken onto a cutting board. But in the meantime, you can still find plenty of material to get you into the kitchen.

 Don Gillette is a horror/thriller novelist who can also knock out a Boeuf Bourguignon. His latest book, Old Leather, a collection of short fiction, is available at booksellers and on-line retailers world-wide.

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The Best Nicolas Cage Movies Netflix http://whatsonnetflix.com/top-lists/best-nicolas-cage-movies-on-netflix/ http://whatsonnetflix.com/top-lists/best-nicolas-cage-movies-on-netflix/#respond Fri, 26 Feb 2016 23:49:19 +0000 http://whatsonnetflix.com/?p=1978 Let’s talk cult actors and Nicolas Cage. Now wait… before you curse me and sling your iPad or Kindle Fire or XDNA Aurum 24K Gaming PC across the room, remember—this guy has been nominated for Academy Awards twice and he actually won the Best Actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas. He should have won another for […]

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nicolascage

Let’s talk cult actors and Nicolas Cage. Now wait… before you curse me and sling your iPad or Kindle Fire or XDNA Aurum 24K Gaming PC across the room, remember—this guy has been nominated for Academy Awards twice and he actually won the Best Actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas. He should have won another for Best Supporting Actor in Moonstruck, but the nominees that year were Sean Connery, Albert Brooks, Morgan Freeman, Vincent Gardenia, and Denzel Washington. Tough competition. Personally, I’ll watch a new Nic Cage movie just to see what he’s done to his hair since the last Nic Cage movie, but whether you like him or not, you should admit that the guy can act. His problem is that he needs to work too much. If you’ve got the money and you want Nicolas Cage in your movie, just say the word and he’s there. Scripts evidently mean nothing to him—he just needs to work. I like what Ethan Hawke said about him: “…he’s put a little too much water in his beer… but if I could erase his bottom half bad movies and only keep his top half, he would blow everyone else out of the water.” So let’s see what Netflix has to offer for a Nic Cage binge weekend.

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Trespass (2011). This is a good one, no kidding. And the other Nic is in it, too—Nicole Kidman--infinitely easier on the eyes than Nic Cage. The two Nics are living the high life (he’s a diamond broker, she's just eye candy) when four guys crash their party, home-invasion-style. The crooks want cash and diamonds; what they get is trouble. The storyline is all over the place, but it’s an exciting piece of escapism with a lot of back plot. Easily worth 90 minutes.

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Lord of War (2005). Nic is an arms dealer in this thriller and it’s a pretty good film. His character, Yuri Orlov, started small, selling guns to hit men and thugs in his local neighborhood and became a shooting star in the business. When he partners up with an African warlord and the warlord’s lunatic son, he’s at the top of his game, but his conscience starts tugging at him—along with an FBI agent played by Ethan Hawke. This one will surprise you. It’s a pleasant reminder that old Nic really can act when he wants to.

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Left Behind (2014). This movie got a bad rap because of the biblical tale it’s based on. Apparently, there are adults living among us who believe that at some point, they’re going to be instantly zapped up to heaven leaving the rest of us here. That suits me just fine because I like it here. Now, if you can suspend disbelief for The Omen or The Exorcist, I supposed you could suspend it for Left Behind, but you’d be wasting a lot of effort when you could just sit back and laugh yourself sick at the cheesy special effects, the idiotic characters, the cliché dialog, and Nicolas Cage’s performance. He plays an airline pilot. And where is he when “The Rapture” takes place? You guessed it—45,000 feet and climbing. Don’t be mistaken—this film’s producers are trying to convert you. That goofy little shit Kirk Cameron couldn’t do it in the 2000 version of Left Behind, so they decided to give Nic Cage a shot.

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The Runner (2015). A good, solid character piece. No explosions or gunfights, just an interesting movie. Nic plays a Louisiana politician who gets caught up in scandal after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Hardly anyone gave this picture a chance—they just figured “Oh, another Nic Cage action flick…” but you can really sink your teeth into this one and you get great performances all around, not just from Nic, but from Peter Fonda, Sarah Paulson, and Connie Nielsen.
Stolen-Wallpaper Stolen (2012). One of my favorite Nic Cage “B” movie action films. Nic plays a thief who steals $10M with three other guys. As they’re making their getaway, Nic gets left behind with the money. As the cops close in, he burns the money to get rid of the evidence—didn’t do him any good and he still serves eight years in prison. Once he gets out, he goes to see his daughter and when she leaves to get them some ice cream or something, she’s kidnapped by one of the original crooks who got away. This guy thinks Nic still has the $10M and if he doesn’t come up with it in 12 hours, his daughter bites the big one. Sure, it’s been done before; sure, it’s predictable. But it’s fun.

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Gone in 60 Seconds (2000). Our main man is a retired master car thief named Memphis Raines (that's the name I give the barista at Starbucks) and he and his old gang have to steal 50 cars in one night or the bad guys will kill his brother. This is supposedly the “movie that ended Nicolas Cage’s career,” but that was 16 years ago and he’s still going strong. If you like cars, you’ll like this film. If you like cars and Nic Cage, you’re in for a treat. He steals Ferraris, BMW’s, and a freaking 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang. Whew.

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Next (2007). This has got one of the most original plotlines ever in a Nicolas Cage movie. Nic plays Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas magician who can see a few minutes into the future. Not days, weeks, or years—just a few minutes. And a few minutes is really all you need to do very well at the gambling tables. The thing is, when a terrorist group threatens to detonate a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles and an FBI agent (Julianne Moore) knows you can see a few minutes into the future… well… it’s good.

 Outcast

Outcast (2014). This is the only film in this article I had to watch to write it because it’s the only one I hadn’t seen already. And Nic’s not even the star. He’s third banana to Hayden Christensen and some guy I’ve never heard of. Twenty minutes in, I knew I should have left it off the list. Pass it by. Don’t even wave.

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The Weather Man (2005). Another character piece but this one is actually a dark, dark comedy. Nic plays a local weatherman in Chicago and his job rakes in quite a bit of cash, but as you can imagine, being a weatherman is like being the guy who drives the Zamboni around the rink after the hockey game is over. To top it off, his ex-wife hates him, his kids treat him like he’s the mailman, and his father (a Pulitzer Prize winning author) thinks he’s a failure. You’ve got to see what Nic does with this character. It’s priceless.

 Rage

Rage (2014). Nic Cage is especially good in these revenge roles. In this one, he plays Paul Maguire, a small-time crook who has gone straight, opened a construction business, and has a wonderful family life. (Gone straight—in the construction business?) One evening while he and his wife are out to dinner, kidnappers break into his home and kidnap his daughter. She’s found dead in a storm drain and Nic goes berserk. He rounds up his old gang and they go off to get revenge against an old enemy—the mob boss he stole from years ago. So it’s not The Godfather, Part II but it beats that Liam Neesen piece of shit, Taken 3, any day of the week.

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Snake Eyes (1998). Four names: Nic Cage, Brian DePalma, Gary Sinese, and John Heard. How can you go wrong with this? Now if I were to give you a complete plot synopsis, we’d be here all day. Or at least I would--you could just skip over it. So I’ll make this quick: Nic is a crooked police detective and while he’s at a boxing match in an Atlantic City casino, he accidentally discovers a conspiracy to kill the Secretary of Defense. Trust me—I know it sounds stupid—just put your faith in those four names and you won’t be disappointed.

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Pay the Ghost (2015). Guess what? Another one of Nic Cage’s screen kids has been kidnapped! But this time, instead of a thriller, shoot ‘em up, revenge sort of film, it’s a horror movie. And it’s got everything you’d want, too. Witches, a monster, ghosts, demonic possession, psychics… and Halloween!! Don’t over-think it, just watch it.

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Kiss of Death (1995). This is another one where Nic’s not center stage, but manages to prove he’s a pretty good supporting actor. Carrot Top David Caruso takes top billing here and Samuel L. Jackson’s underneath him. Nic plays the bad guy in this thriller and he plays it completely over-the-top which is pretty much what you have to do if you’re playing opposite Bozo’s David Caruso’s usual New York Irishman wannabe tough guy. It’s a good movie. Give it a try.

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Seeking Justice (2011). Nic is a high school English teacher in New Orleans which has got to be tough since they don’t speak English in New Orleans. They try, but it’s never sounded like English to me. One night, his wife is brutally assaulted and while he’s tending to her in the hospital, a stranger shows up and tells him that his “organization” can get justice for the assault. All they want in return is a favor sometime in the future. Nic agrees and his wife’s assailant is toast. In six months, the stranger returns to collect his favor—Nic has to kill a pedophile… who turns out to be a journalist investigating the vigilante organization. This is a combination of Clint Eastwood’s Magnum Force and Charles Bronson’s Death Wish—and it’s very well done.
Keep in mind that this isn’t even close to being a full list of Nicolas Cage’s movies, but these are all streaming now on Netflix. I have to give credit where credit is due—they’ve got a very good sampling here. In fact, if it rains this weekend and my wife stays upstairs watching Downton Abbey, I might stay in the office and indulge in a Nic Cage binge watch myself. I might do it even if it doesn’t rain. Going out in public doesn’t always bode well for me, but Nicolas Cage never disappoints.

Don Gillette is a novelist from Nashville, Tennessee whose wife hates Nicolas Cage. His latest book, Old Leather, is a collection of short fiction and is available world-wide at booksellers and on-line retailers along with his other novels, journals, and anthologies.

   

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