Netflix. With millions of customers here in the United States, there’s a ton of choices for cinephile and common film fan as well. Here at FilmSnobReviews I and my entire crew from here in the good ole U.S of A have decided to pick one film per week from the streaming giant. No television shows will be selected. Without further ado here’s our Netflix Pix for the week of August 10th.
Directed By: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett
Runtime: 1h 30min
The entirety of this 90s cult classic was filmed within one set piece, but it doesn’t show. The production design, as small as the budget is, is absolutely fantastic and atmospheric. The concept itself is alluring: a handful of strangers caught in a mysterious and seemingly unpredictable rat maze taken on a whole other level. Within every other room is a horrible death waiting to happen. The Cube as a whole is a trap with incomprehensible depth and dimension, and while much of the film’s writing and performances tend to be melodramatic and cheesy, I admit that it’s really grown on me. They aren’t bad to the point of being bad, but rather, to the point of being charming and even entertaining, ultimately becoming very involved. This is one of my favorite sci-fi thrillers—it’s ambiguous, its fun (more so than films inspired by this one, such as Saw), and you can tell that the Cube itself was designed by smart people, literally created and designed by an actual mathematician. It’s a great ride and an obscure standout.
Title: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Directed By: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Grace Van Patten
Runtime: 112 min
This just makes you want to call your dad. Noah Baumbach has long been one of the directors I deeply admire, even when I don’t particularly like the material he churns out every now and then. Here, he delivers the same sweetness and sentimentality that made Frances Ha such an adorable hit, this time placing special care and attention to the intricacies of familial relationships. Given that the title evokes a varied body of work, the film is also structured like one. The plot doesn’t really matter here; this is a pseudo-case study of a dysfunctional family dynamic. And because of this central concept, it also feels like a slight departure from the rest of Baumbach’s filmography. You don’t necessarily learn a lot from watching this film. The characters often feel unlikable and aloof. There are no real stakes at play. And yet, there is a resonance that sticks with you long after it ends.
(Yes, this is technically an Adam Sandler movie; it’s his best performance since Punch Drunk Love.)
Directed By: Sam Esmail
Starring: Justin Long, Emmy Rossum, Kayla Servi
Runtime: 1 hr 31 min
“I feel like I’m in the wrong world. Cause I don’t belong in a world where we don’t end up together. I don’t. There are parallel universes out there where this didn’t happen. Where I was with you, and you were with me. And whatever universe that is that’s the one where my heart lives in.”
My all-time favorite movie on Netflix! Comet is about a six-year relationship between a straight couple set in a parallel universe. I fell in love with the way the story was told and the atmosphere of the film immediately. It constantly switches back and forth from the present to the past, so the film leaves a lot of work for the audience to put the timeline together for themselves. Because of this, it’s so much fun to figure out when certain scenes happened within that timeline. Having a movie out of order like this leaves the plot and the ending open to interpretation and keeps me shocked. Not only was it masterfully put together, but the way Comet was shot and edited produced a hazy, daydream-like vibe. There were so many stylistic choices that were absolutely BRILLIANT, whether it be the way the sky looks in the parallel universe or how much the characters actually changed within the six-year period. Justin Long gave a gut-wrenching performance throughout the entire film– to this day, I can still hear his character shouting out “You really hurt me” to his girlfriend (Emmy Rossum). The raw emotion from him made the happy moments even more enjoyable and the sad moments even more tragic.
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Seohyun An
Runtime: 2 hours
Considered a strong contender for the 2017 Oscar race, Okja, the Netflix original film about a genetically modified super pig, lives up to the hype. Simplification of the narrative does no justice to the intricate look the film takes into the human condition of species destruction, including our own. Layers of thought are as abundant as the characters, all fighting for their own self-interest as one little girl tries to overcome all human greed to save her pet.
Director: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams
Runtime: 1 hr 59 mins
“Sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I’m not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt.”
Spike Jonze’s masterpiece centers on a lonely divorced man who somehow inexplicably falls in love with an operating system. Winner of the Best Original Screenplay award and a worthy Best Picture candidate this film will give you all the feels. Whether it’s Theodore contemplations on life, Samantha’s hilarious musings or the Oscar-nominated duet between then there’s a real sense that the film wants you to get into its mindset and it does an amazing job of doing exactly that. With its sadboy mentality and a narrative that is both wonderfully written and delicately filmed, this is one to definitely check out. Speaking of the filming this is peak Hoyte Van Hoytema and he has this film looking absolutely beautiful. Check this one out!
Those are our picks for this week? What do you all think? What are some films on Netflix you all like? Use the comment section below or reach out to us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @FilmSnobReviews we’d love to hear from you!