Welcome back weirdos, insomniacs, and agoraphobics for this spring edition of the Netflix Film Festival. Spring has sprung, new growth is starting to pop up and birds and bees are doing it like rabbits. You may be tempted to go outside and enjoy this beautiful new world but we both know it’s just a trap. Stay inside, enjoy the wellspring of entertainment known as Netflix with me!
Witching and Bitching (2013)
This Spanish language film from the director of The Last Circus is about a group of bumbling jewelry store thieves who run afoul of a coven of witches that want to sacrifice the lead thief’s son in order to bring about the apocalypse. It’s funny, gross, outrageous, and highly entertaining. Sure it’s nearly 2 hours long but it sure doesn’t feel like it.
The Dark Valley (2014)
This film made my list for the best of the year. This German western set in a valley on top of a high mountain range is a wonderfully violent slow burn that delivers on every level. It’s got a great soundtrack, strong acting, memorable faces, brutal graphic violence, and a high quality gloss to it. I love this film very much. Dark and nasty, it’s a great grandson to Death Wish.
The Suspect (2014)
This Korean film feels a bit a like the Bourne films, but unlike the Bourne films, it’s actually good and worth watching. Every scene in the film sustains the suspense you usually get in the last 10 minutes of a film like this, but it does so throughout it’s run time. The action is fast and brutal, though honestly a bit too shaky cam for my taste, and the plot moves at a brisk pace. South Korea proves again why they are at the top of the action/thriller game right now.
Blood Brother (2014)
This documentary broke my heart, but in the best way. It’s a film about a man trying to find himself in India who stumbles upon an orphanage populated by children infected with AIDS/HIV. He stays for a while and takes care of the kids and decides that this is where he wants to be. This is where he needs to be. The film could have been dishonest in a number of ways but instead paints a very realistic portrait of what his life is like now. Spoiler: it isn’t easy. But it’s rewarding in a way that few of us ever reach. Another film that made my best of the year list, it’s a heart breaker but well worth it.
Stonehearst Asylum (2014)
Directed by Brad Anderson (Session 9, The Machinist, Vanishing on 7th Street), this period film starring Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Kate Beckinsale, David Thewlis, and Brendan Gleeson, is a great twisty ride that I found to be thorough absorbing. Finally a film worthy of Kingsley’s and Thewlis’ talents. The film is about a remote insane asylum that may just be run by the prisoners.