Stream Police: My Cup Runneth Dry
Unfortunately dear readers, I've started getting a little short on things on Netflix that I know I enjoy. So short in fact that I couldn't think of an interesting theme for this edition of Stream Police. Now that I'm done with my move to a new residence and extremely condensed summer courses are almost over, I'll have to take some of my precious free time and binge watch some stuff that looks interesting in order to rebuild my list of Netflix's buried treasures. For the time being however, here's an illogical assortment of suggestions with no basis on a cohesive, cementing theme.
The show itself has been suggested before on the Stream Police, but with the recent release of it's second season, Bojack Horseman continues to be a humorous yet still chilling look into the troubled life of a depressed, narcissistic television star. In this season, Bojack starts out feeling good about himself, but the crushing weight of his own inability to connect with other people on any tangible level sends him right back in to the crazy hijinks that ensued in the initial run of the show. One episode has Bojack on a game show competing against Daniel Radcliffe. This episode arguably has the most laugh out loud hilarious jokes of the season. Another episode features a feed chicken farm that supplies fried chicken restaurants, which is owned and operated by another group of chickens, and the series pulls no punches while dealing with the absurdity of the premise. As always the music of the show is catchy, enticing, and often melancholic in its commentary.
Bojack Horseman is the most deeply existential and thoughtful show currently airing on any form of media, and it's ability to tell a gut wrenchingly depressing story while maintaining a frequent rate of fire of legitimately funny jokes creates an emotional roller coaster. It's primary character is deplorable and yet completely relatable and sympathetic, and it's secondary characters are held under a less intense microscope and yet still flawed.
If you haven't watched any Bojack Horseman yet, please do so. It's an original concept that at least deserves your consideration, if not your love.
13 Sins is an independent film that was released to little fanfare in 2014. It's a remake of a Dimension Extreme film that I've never seen. Unfortunately for the original, 13 Sins is available on Netflix, so that's the one I've seen. It also helps the Ron Perlman throws his weight behind the film as the detective following a strange series of events.
The film follows Mark Webber, best known for his role as the lead singer of the band in Scott Pilgrim vs the World, as he plays Elliot Brindle, a down on his luck salesman who is contacted via telephone with a series of instructions, the end game of which will win him a vast sum of money. His first task is to kill a fly, which he does. His second task is to eat the fly, which he does. His next eleven assignments get exceedingly more insane, not only in their difficulty, but in their moral ambiguity. The film also has an intense twist as Elliot discovers he isn't the only contestant, and that there's no way to quit the game.
13 Sins is a thriller made on a shoe string budget that still manages to be a heart pounding ride.
If you know anything about Sean Bean, you know that there are very few parts he plays that don't end in often gruesome deaths. Black Death is a film that doesn't disappoint. It features Bean as a witch hunter during the first outbreak of the Bubonic Plague. He and his men are saddled with Eddie Redmayne, four years before his Oscar-winning performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Redmayne's character is that of a naive monk, consumed with the thought of his lost love, and tasked with ensuring that the overzealous witch hunters don't act without evidence. It's an interesting period piece, with even more interesting characters, and a compelling story arch. The movie is also helped by Bean's always amazing performance and his amazingly gory yet bad-ass death.
My next suggestion is a military mystery thriller from way back in 2003. With a cast including John Travolta, Connie Nielsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Giovanni Ribisi, Taye Diggs, and Dash Mihok, Basic is a stunning feature film that does a decent job of providing an interesting, surprising, and engaging mystery thriller while also portraying a decent look at what military culture is like. I'm not saying that everyone in the army is a drug-dealing asshole that likes to risk the lives of others, but the general gung-ho, suck it up and keep trucking mentality of the characters involved is pretty spot on with how Basic Training feels.
John Travolta and Connie Nielsen investigate the death of a large group of special forces trainees under the command of Samuel L. Jackson's hard ass instructor during an unexpected hurricane. At the start of the film, many characters are dead, and are only seen in the re-enactments of the stories given to the investigators via the survivors, but the drama and violence of the film is not hindered in anyway by a cast of mostly dead characters. I can't go in to too much detail considering the nature of the film, but if you like mysteries, thrillers, and suspense, look no further than Basic.
I am incredibly excited to finally see the results of the Kickstarter for the animated film based off the Goon comics. However, this is a film that is entirely unrelated. Goon follows Sean William Scott as Doug Glatt, a bouncer turned hockey all star that specializes in beating the ever loving crap out of the best players on the opposing teams. The character can barely skate, but when the gloves come off there's only one man that can touch him, and that's Liev Schreiber's Ross Rhea.
I often find that Sean William Scott takes parts in relatively stupid and crass comedy films, and while those have their place in cinema, Goon manages to elevate itself above that with a relatable main character. He's got dreams, he's got ambition, he's got a family he needs to impress, a woman he wants to be with, teammates that dislike him, and a childhood hero that hates his guts. His character is more complex then your average sports comedy, and that, aligned with the entertaining visuals during fight scenes and Jay Baruchel's foul mouthed best friend character come together to create a legitimately entertaining film that is loosely based off of a true story about the enforcer era of hockey.