Netflix Top Picks: Films about Film Edition

With so much content on Netflix Instant it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the shuffle, 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.  This time around I take a look at an interesting type of documentary; films about films.  It isn’t surprising this sub genre exists, films are one of the most popular mediums of the 20th century, and continues to be today.  Often they are moving art that help to define who we as a people really are, so no wonder so many people seem obsessed with the business and “why” of it all.

Title: This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Type: Documentary
Genre: Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Rating: NR
Run Time: 90 Minutes
Released: 2006
Directed By: Kirby Dick
Starring: Darren Aronofsky, Maria Bello, Mary Harron, Matt Stone, Kimberly Peirce, John Waters, Kevin Smith, Atom Egoyan

Synopsis: Kirby Dick’s provocative documentary investigates the secretive and inconsistent process by which the Motion Picture Association of America rates films, revealing the organization’s underhanded efforts to control culture. Dick questions whether certain studios get preferential treatment and exposes the discrepancies in how the MPAA views sex and violence. Interviewees include John Waters, Darren Aronofsky, Maria Bello, Atom Egoyan and more.
My Analysis: Have you ever really thought about who decides what movies get an R and some get a PG-13?  Have you, like millions of Americans wondered why films full of violence get PG-13 ratings but films with a little bit of sex get slapped with an R?  The answer isn’t very straightforward, and may even be a bit on the shady side and Kriby Dick highlights this in an informative and entertaining way in This Film Is Not Yet Rated.  What he finds may certainly surprise you, or at the very least keep you intrigued for 90 minutes.

Title: Nightmares in Red, White and Blue
Type: Documentary
Genre: Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Rating: NR
Run Time: 96 Minutes
Released: 2009
Directed by: Andrew Monument
Starring: Lance Henriksen, John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Roger Corman, George A. Romero
Synopsis: Horror and sci-fi veteran Lance Henriksen (Alien) narrates this fascinating look at the history of the American horror film, examining the earliest monster movies of the silent era up to the scariest modern-day masterpieces. Highlights include interviews with genre masters Roger Corman, John Carpenter and George A. Romero, plus clips from classic films like The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead and Rosemary’s Baby.

My Analysis: While not a perfect film, Nightmares in Red, White and Blue is an entertaining look at the development of the American horror film from its earliest roots to the modern gore fest.  Andrew Monument examines what these movies say bout the American public, their fears and social anxieties of the time and highlights just how much horror films really say about us.  If nothing else it is an interesting look at the horror film and any film lover, or lover of horror films, will likely enjoy their time spent.

So not everything on Netflix Instant is kid friendly, in fact much of it isn’t in the least bit appropriate.  Finding something that is kid friendly is fairly easy, but finding something that both you and the kids in the room can enjoy isn’t always so.  So with Kid Pick, I highlight something there is at least a chance will bridge the generation gap.

Title: Rocko’s Modern Life
Type: TV
Genre: Animated Comedy, Children & Family
Rating: TV-Y7
Run Time: 52 Episodes, roughly 23 minutes each
Released: 1993
Starring: Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny, Charles Adler, Doug Lawrence, Linda Wallem

Synopsis: Dauntless and eccentric, Rocko the wallaby moves from Australia to the surreal climes of America’s O-Town in this comic animated series from the 1990s. The hit kids’ show also features lots of puns and deadpan social satire for its grown-up fans.

My Analysis: Rocko’s Modern Life was one of my favorite shows growing up and part of the spectacular 90’s line-up of animated Nickelodeon shows; and I’m sometimes amazed I was allowed to watch it.  Like many shows of the era, Rocko is full of humor and references that will go completely beyond the heads of the little people in the room, but is still full of enough kid friendly humor that you’ll both be laughing but for completely different reasons.  The animation admittedly hasn’t aged perfectly, but it is still a classic.

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.


About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.