The Movie Search: Digging Deep-Redbox

Worth Watching

Time to broaden the search and delve beyond Netflix. Let’s dig into Redbox for August 2013.  

For your consideration…

The Sapphires A very unique movie, just in the fact that the subject matter pertains to a girl group composed of aborigines. The male lead, Chris O’Dowd, will endear you forever. Just a smart, fun movie. DVD cover did receive flack and rightfully so. Chris O’Dowd did not star; the girls did. What’s here is not the cover.

Mud Movie Poster

MUD  starring Mathew McConaughy playing along side two very talented, young actors.  Jury’s still out on MC.  He received much applause from critics for this role, however, his speech mannerisms continue…little whistles through his teeth…and a very affected Southern accent. Still- worth watching.

Anti-Viral

Antiviral tries hard to inject some terrifying “what ifs” and the creepy affinity, e.g., obsession some people have with stars.  So much so,  they’ll pay to have themselves shot up with the star’s disease. Unique, but really slow and you’ll keep waiting for something to happen. Look for the “star,” Caleb Landry Jones, to pop up in something else. He showed some acting teeth.

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012) Poster

Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh Even more creepy to the point the writer’s seemed to think, “Let’s just keep trying to make this creepy.”  They achieved the goal but to the point of drudgery for the viewer. Interesting, however, to see so many different statues all in one place. Venessa Redgrave lends her voice, but I never saw her. I did not finish watching the movie.

The Movie Search: Digging Deep, July 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Big Dig

New Netflix Instant: July

‘Benny and Joon’ (1993) — Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn. A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton.

510b8-theboxer1‘The Boxer’ (1997) — Daniel Day-Lewis, Daragh Donnelly, Frank Coughlan. A man imprisoned for his involvement with the IRA in Belfast is released from prison 14 years later and tries to resume life as he once knew it.
‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ (1998) — Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Green, Lauren Ambrose, Ethan Embry. Multi-character teenage comedy about high school graduates with different agendas of life on graduation night.

‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ (2002) — Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney. An adaptation of the cult memoir of game show impresario Chuck Barris, in which he purports to have been a CIA hitman.

‘Cookie’s Fortune’ (1999) — Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, Liv Tyler. Conflict arises in the small town of Holly Springs when an old woman’s death causes a variety of reactions among family and friends.

‘Mary, Queen of Scots’ (1971) — Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson, Patrick McGoohan. In an Oscar-nominated performance, Vanessa Redgrave shines as Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland. Returning from France to assume the throne, Mary finds her ascension challenged by her brother, her husband and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I (Glenda Jackson). Timothy Dalton, Patrick McGoohan and Ian Holm co-star in this lavish production from director Charles Jarrott and producer Hal B. Wallis, creators of Anne of the Thousand Days.

‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ (1998) — Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich. The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

‘Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation’ (2004) — Billy Brown, Richard Burgi, Kelly Carlson. In the sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s loved/reviled sci-fi film, a group of troopers taking refuge in an abandoned outpost after fighting alien bugs, failing to realize that more danger lays in wait.

‘The Truman Show’ (1998) — Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Ed Harris. An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a TV show.

‘Twins’ (1988) — Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Kelly Preston. A physically perfect but innocent man goes in search of his long-lost twin brother, who is a short small-time crook.

‘Tokyo Godfathers’ (2003) — Toru Emori, Aya Okamoto, Yoshiaki Umegaki. On Christmas Eve three homeless people living on the streets on Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find the parents. ‘

Windtalkers’ (2002) — Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare. Two U.S. Marines in WWII are assigned to protect Navajo Marines who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

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The Movie Search: Digging Deep, Amazon Streaming

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Big Dig

Amazon Instant Videos: Prime Eligible

Now, let’s see what Amazon Instant Video offers. They give a 30-day trial and Netflix only offers two weeks. After five days into the trial, how to navigate has become clearer, however, Amazon is not as flexible as Netflix and does not provide as much ease to dig deep.

First, you’ll need to continually click the box to the left that says Prime Eligible Eligible. If you don’t, you’ll view selections that will cost money. This is annoying. Also, while in the big, wide world of Amazon, they’re hoping you’ll purchase other goods. This can be confusing and creates clutter when you just want to see Prime EligibleEligible movie and TV lists. If you’ve bought anything through Amazon, they store your history.  It may help some to delete it.

They do have selections not available on Netflix, such as in the British area arena. For instance:

,Product Details

During the process of signing up for the trial, Amazon prompts you to select another Prime offer. You may inadvertently do this and that will add to your confusion. By doing so, Amazon manipulates you into another trial having to do with Prime shipping. This step muddies the waters because this Prime trial will also show up in your dashboard area. The videos, however, will not all be free instant watch, but will be movies/TV items for sale. Too much mixing of product.

Unlike Netflix, Amazon wants to cast a wider net that goes beyond the sale of movie and TV show streaming, whereas, Netflix only focuses on movies/TV. They’ve worked hard to refine ways for you to discover your favorite kinds of movies and they do a much better job than Amazon.

You, ultimately, will be the judge. At least, sign up for the trial and see what you can dig up.

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The Movie Search: Digging Deep, Netflix Streaming

Friday, June 17, 2013

The Big Dig

Netflix offers thousands of movies to stream. How can you pare down the choices? As a subscriber, you will have tools, however, they’ll only take you so far.

How to dig deep –

With a bit of effort, you can discover gems excluded from your Top Ten movies based on the Netflix “what you watch” system. Additionally, suggested selections often include movies already seen and rated.

  • Use Rotten Tomatoes (RT): RT has a link listing what you can stream on Netflix. Filter movies either by the Tomatometer or by Release Date. Look at the RT reviews and the public reviews. If you find a movie that shows high scores from both, take a chance. Note: You can add a movie to your cue via their website. 
  • Find filters: For instance, use the filters on the left side of the RT page. Note: If you click on a movie to see more information, the back button works poorly on their site causing you to start over each time in order to get through the lengthy list. On Netflix, filter by the 1-star to 4-star ratings. Netflix predetermines the amount of stars they believe you will give a movie and then provides your selections.  Keep digging. The system doesn’t always work.
  • Use the Netflix Watch Instantly tab: Search Foreign films (Australian, British, and New Zealand) if you don’t care for subtitles, however, you may miss some major gems. If you really want to broaden your repertoire, select Watch Instantly, Foreign, Subgenres, then Japanese, etc. Netflix will again provide suggestions, but be sure to also Sort By: highest ratings, year released, etc., for more results.
  • Find more: If you loved a Netflix movie and want to see similar ones, go to one of your favorites and click on the red highlighted words, such as, drama, historical, period pieces, etc. Again, Netflix will not filter out films already seen.
  • Read Netflix reviews: Hover over the movie’s picture on the Netflix Watch Instantly screen and a pointed finger will appear, click the movie title to the right, then scroll to see the reviews.
  • Choose wisely: Many times, Netflix reviews will not match those of Rotten Tomatoes. Who should you trust? Netflix reviewers may have personal reasons for giving bad or good reviews and lack expertise, and Rotten Tomatoe reviews can be baffling. Seeing high reviews on both sites is a pretty good sign that you’ll want to add it to your Watch Instantly cache.
  • Peruse: Hundreds of blogs and movie sites provide monthly lists and news of new Netflix Instant Watch releases. (Search: Netflix Streaming Blogs)

New big dig favorites on Netflix Instant Watch: Undefeated, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, A Royal Affair, The Fall, Vanishing of the Bees, Henning Mankell’s Wallander

Finding gold: October SkyExit HumanityTimecrimesThe ChaserCenturionCalifornia Dreamin’The Sea Inside, and many more found by digging.

Have other digging tips? For me on:

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