Netflix Top Picks: Stupid Comedies Edition

With so much content on Netflix Instant, it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the shuffle. 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 select two items from the Netflix Instant service that you just have to add to your queue.  This time I take a look at the often under appreciated “stupid” comedy.  Sometimes a movie can be funny and cerebral at the same time, really make you think and laugh; these aren’t those types of movies.  These are more of a, turn off on the TV and turn off the brain type and you just can’t help but love them for it.

Title: Almost Heroes
Type: Movie
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedies, Adventures, Satires
Rating: PG-13
Run Time:
90 Minutes
Released: 1998
Directed By: Christopher Guest
Starring:Chris Farley, Matthew Perry, Bokeem Woodbine, Barry Del Sherman, Robert Tittor, Franklin Cover, David Packer, Eugene Levy

Synopsis: Cult director Christopher Guest steers another comedy toward hilarious territory with this takeoff on the buddy movie, starring Matthew Perry as Leslie, a pioneer who’s ready to stake a claim out West. Of course, he needs a guide to get him there … but his choice (Chris Farley) is saddled with eccentricities, including a penchant for moonshine. Will Leslie ever reach his destination, or will the journey itself be his just reward?.
My Analysis: Almost Heroes is one of those movies that manages to miss a lot of people’s radar simply because it was the last film in Chris Farley’s career that was tragically cut short when he died from a drug overdose before the film released.  Additionally, the film didn’t co-star David Spade or any of Farley’s other SNL alumni like most of his previous films had, rather opting to work with the then very popular Mathew Perry.  The film is by no means brilliant, but there are some real laugh out loud moments thanks largely to Chris Farley’s performance.  Hell, even Perry manages to not be horrible.  This may not be Chris Farley’s most well known film, or even his best, but if you have yet to check it out it is well past time.  If you have seen it before, than it is time to revisit.

Title: Undercover Brother
Type: Movie
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedies, Action Comedies, African-American Comedies, Satires
Rating: PG-13
Run Time:
86 Minutes
Released: 2002
Directed By:
Malcolm D. Lee
Starring: Eddie Griffin, Chris Kattan, Denise Richards, Dave Chappelle, Aunjanue Ellis, Neil Patrick Harris, Chi McBride, Billy Dee Williams, Gary Anthony Williams, Robert Trumbull, James Brown

Synopsis: Undercover Brother (Eddie Griffin), a low-rent private eye with a ’70s sense of style, trades in his Afro, shades and platforms for khakis, horn-rims and penny loafers to go undercover at a multinational conglomerate as preppy nerd Anton Jackson. But before long, the conspiracy leader’s ruthless right arm (Chris Kattan) discovers the deception and dispatches his sexy secret weapon (Denise Richards) to eliminate the intruder.

My Analysis: I originally had this film pointed out to me by my high school pscyh teacher, and I have to say, Undercover brother is interesting.  It does try to have a bit of a point to it, unlike Almost Heroes, but really it just becomes a satire of the blaxploitation films of the 70’s. That said, despite hordes of bad acting and ridiculous premises, Undercover Brother manages to actually be pretty funny at times and the ensemble cast is just over the top enough to make it work.  It probably won’t become your favorite comedy, but it is certainly worth a watch.

Okay, some films are just plain stupid.  Not “so stupid it’s funny” kind of stupid either, just plain bad.  With thousands of films and TV shows on the service you’re bound to come across some of these and in this part of the segment I do my best to help you avoid these films.  This, is what not to watch.

Title: The Wayward Cloud
Type: Movie
Genre: Dramas, Foreign Movies, Foreign Dramas, Chinese Movies
Rating: NR (would be R)
Run Time: 109 Minutes
Released: 2005
Directed By: Ming-liang Tsai
Starring: Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Lu Yi-Ching, Yang Kuei-Mei

Synopsis: In drought-stricken Taiwan, Hsiao-Kang (Kang-sheng Lee) tries to hide his identity as a porn star while pursuing quiet girl Shiang-chyi (Shiang-chyi Chen). Featuring shocking musical numbers and explicit sex scenes, this surreal film follows the pair’s adventures in love and lust. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ming-liang Tsai, the film is startling for both its relentless nudity and its almost complete absence of dialogue.
My Analysis: I believe someone suggested The Wayward Cloud to me as a “very odd” movie that I should check out.  Now, I can get into the whole cinephile weird artsy film that is crazy for the sake of being crazy. I can respect films with long slow sequences and very elaborate symbolism.  I don’t even mind when these films are from foreign directors; but The Wayward Cloud is just plain odd.  The film literally begins with sex acts being performed on a watermelon, and simply gets more odd after that.  Also, at times it is a very cheesy musical.  I mean really, The Wayward Cloud is simply trying too hard.  I have to admit, I wasn’t able to finish this one and it is possible that the ending made it worthwhile, but I just didn’t have it in me.

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.