Recently I had a surprisingly revelation thrown my way. Microsoft sent me an email detailing stats of how much I had played and what I had been doing on my Xbox. To my surprise I spent more time watching Netflix Instant than I did playing video games. That got me thinking, with so much content on the service it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the masses, and with so many gamers now using their consoles to watch movies and TV shows on Netflix, someone needs to start sorting this all out. Welcome to Netflix Top Picks, where every week I will select two items from the Netflix Instant service you just have to add to your queue. So without further a due, let’s begin.
Synopsis: After breaking up with his girlfriend, aspiring artist Ben Willis (Sean Biggerstaff) develops insomnia and takes a night-shift job at a supermarket to pass the hours. He soon discovers that he can freeze time and begins fantasizing about pretty checkout clerk Sharon (Emilia Fox). When he’s not dreaming of Sharon — who may hold the key to resolving his sleeplessness — Ben roams the aisles disrobing beautiful customers and sketching them.
My Analysis: Despite the last sentence in the synopsis, and the level of female nudity that can honestly be described as gratuitous, this movie is a real charmer. In fact, Cashback is actually worth a watch if for no other reason but to witness how the director manages to have a character mentally disrobing every woman around him, and yet do so with such class it never really comes off as creepy or perverted. In many ways this quirky little comedy celebrates the female form and the effect it has had on art throughout human history; and manages to bring a laugh or two along the way. It is a movie you’ve likely never heard of, and are likely to skip over based on the cover art and description, but trust me, it is a well worth your time. (Just make sure the kids aren’t in the room!)
Synopsis: At age 7, pint-sized sleuths Jason, Duncan and Charlie solved all manner of kiddie mysteries in Oakdale. Now, at 18, the Mystery Team is about to leave their Encyclopedia Brown-style tactics in the dust with their latest case: a real murder. High jinks ensue in this goofy, fast-paced caper comedy written by and starring Donald Glover, D.C. Pierson and Dominic Dierkes. The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
My Analysis: Mystery Team is based off a web show that managed to land Donald Glover are starring role on NBC’s “Community,” but trust me when I say you don’t have to of even seen the web series to enjoy this movie. The comedy is, without a doubt, dumb, but it is also one of the best “dumb comedies” I’ve seen in a really long time. (Think Dumb & Dumber if you are not sure what I mean.) It is far from a perfect movie, but one certainly bound to make you laugh. Keep your eyes open for the surprisingly large amount of small roles that are filled by other actors that appear in NBC’s line-up as well. This is a turn it on and stop using your brain so much kind of comedy that you’ll be sure to enjoy if you can just “roll with it.”
Those of you out there with kids, nieces and nephews, younger cousins, etc., may at times struggle to find stuff you can watch together, so that’s why I present you with the “Kid Pick” a family friendly selection that both you and the kids can enjoy.
Synopsis: Anything goes in the fertile minds of stepbrothers Phineas and Ferb as they turn each day of summer vacation into an adventure, building everything they can dream up and squeezing the most fun possible into every day. Determined to bust the brothers in their daring schemes is their sister Candace, while the guys’ pet platypus, Perry — a secret agent — foils the dastardly deeds of Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
My Analysis: I spent a lot of time with my younger niece and nephews and as a result I’ve been exposed to a lot of what channels like Nick and Disney are putting out these days; and a lot of it sucks. I grew up on shows like Tiny Toons that was hilarious to me as a child and as an adult I can still appreciate for the subtle humor and references clearly aimed for adults. Phineas & Ferb reminds me of such shows; it is in a word, witty. The kids will enjoy the goofy humor, tongue and cheek songs, and the crazy hijacks the kids find themselves in, you’re bound to enjoy all that as well plus the more subtle and witty jokes the show often tosses around that shoots right over the kid’s heads. Of all the shows I’ve been forced to watch over the months, Phineas & Ferb is one of the only ones I would consider watching on my own. It is cute, full of charm, and surprisingly funny.
Due to Netflix constantly updating and changing the content on their service we cannot guarantee that the content listed in this article will be available for any particular length of time, nor can we guarantee it is available in all regions. We do make a genuine effort though to never include any item that Netflix has marked with a limited availability.