Brandon Boyer

18 Replies

For this week’s Weekend Watching, I wanna know: what the hell are all of you people watching all the time on Netflix? Semi-related to the post below, though privacy issues stymie, I’d be thrilled if the Xbox 360’s NXE dashboard gave me at least a bit of a hint as to what lies beneath those alluringly sealed-off red boxes on my friends list, or even a data feed that gave me recommendations based on my friends’ preferences.

It was the NXE itself that sold me on finally subscribing to the service (more honestly, in tricking me into never canceling my trial account), but since then I’ve been at a constant loss to find anything truly amazing that I hadn’t already seen, and have instead relented to picking through every b-list movie I’d been meaning to watch for ages, and finally getting through that “Thirty-Rocks” show I keep hearing so much about.

So, in the spirit of CrownDozen’s recent blog post digging up some of Netflix’s hidden gems, Microsoft’s announcement that there’s now over a million of you on the service, and the launch of the brilliant new instantwatcher.com service that’s about a quadrillion times easier to browse than Netflix’s own site, I put it to all of you to find us all something good to watch on our Xbox 360 this weekend.

My quickie recommendation list looks a lot like CrownDozen’s (and probably the playlist of any given film-school geek): anything by David Lynch or the Coen Bros, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Persepolis, typography porn docu Helvetica, comic/outsider art nerd docus Crumb and In the Realms of the Unreal (don’t miss the latter!), effortlessly charming spelling bee doc Spellbound, the unanimously loved Man on Wire, and Errol Morris’s oddball Fast Cheap & Out of Control.

What else are we missing?

Netflix + XboxLive [CrownDozen, InstantWatcher]

Weekend watching: Look Around You makes its U.S. debut – Offworld
Weekend watching: Rex Crowle's Grip Wrench – Offworld


  1. Everyone needs to go and see Fido. Post-Apocalyptic Leave-it-to-Beaver crossed with Lassie except Lassie is not a dog but a Zombie named Fido.
    Also Mom is Carrie-Anne Moss.
    How this movie made it to DVD without me seeing it still shocks me.

  2. BonkoTheTalkingMime

    Netflix instant viewing is pretty good for crappy horror movies (and some decent ones), but it’s also really good for foreign flicks and animated movies. I think my favorite discovery so far has been Renaissance. It’s this strange blend of CG and black-and-white film noir. Definitely worth checking out. Daniel Craig also voices the main character.


    Hopefully it’s still available for instant viewing.

  3. Since I *just* got my box back from the 360 doctors, I have the following that I’ve been waiting to watch: Eraserhead (I know, it’s a crime I haven’t seen this yet), Cannibal! The Musical (Trey Parker’s first feature-length film), and My Kid Could Paint That.

  4. Netflix is great for gems, but there’s also some really fabulous trash there too — like Sergio Corbucci’s Navajo Joe starring Burt Reynolds with an uncredited soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. If you’re OCD about movies it may drive you crazy that the flick isn’t even letterboxed. By best serious recommendation goes to the documentary Feast of Death: James Elroy — fantastic look at the author, but also potential revelations about the Black Dalia murder.

  5. I, like you, haven’t actually watched much on my Instant Queue, but here are some recommendatons:

    Primer – Aweomse indie movie about time travel

    Videodrome – Crazy Cronenburg movie from the 80s

    Falling Down – For those that “just can’t take it anymore!”

    Dexter – Awesome serial killer show.

    Also, I’m loving the blog, keep up the great work.

  6. Man on Wire
    30 Rock
    Who Are the DeBolts?
    Strip Tease: World’s Famous Strip Artists
    Steve Byrne: Happy Hour
    The King of Kong
    Ken Burns’ America: The Shakers
    Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession

    …and, um, other movies I can’t remember right now.

  7. If you like Documentaries, Animation or weird/unusual characters and haven’t seen Monster Road yet – you’re in for a treat.


  8. Wow, there are so many great things on Netflix Instant View if you’re not stuck on mega-budget Hollywood new releases (though there’s a few of those, too).

    Obviously the docs shine: “Surfwise”, “No End in Sight”, “Manda Bala”, and “Lake of Fire” are just some of the truly great choices. The last one is an epic about abortion, of all things, that while I can’t say I enjoyed, I can say that it was one of the most profound viewing experiences I’ve ever had.

    There’s a handful of great Kubrick movies like “2001”, “Barry Lyndon”, “Paths of Glory” and “Full Metal Jacket”.

    Foreign selection is also pretty good, like the fantastic Korean monster movie/family melodrama mashup “The Host”, the intense Romanian drama “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days”, the British skinhead flick “This Is England”.

    And, fuck it, “Breaking Away”, “Streets of Fire” and “Heavy Metal”.

    Have a fun weekend.

  9. there are so many greats here.
    you can go back with 2001 a space odyssey, blade runner,a clockwork orange, empire of the sun, scarface,thx1138, the world according to garp, cool hand luke,

    the list is too large for one blog to hold
    boondock saints if you haven’t seen it
    broken flowers, the host, the last boyscout(amazing), ninja scroll, no country for old men, ong bak, pan’s labyrinth, the professional, reign over me, spun,breathless, dark days, day watch
    i’ll stop before someone gets bored or angry with the rambling list but there should be something for everyone mixed into there somewhere.

  10. @OGVOR: They pulled Dexter from instant view. No idea why. I was half way through the first season. Now I’m still half way through the first season… and pissed off. Be aware that they “expire” all kinds of stuff:


    Why? I have no idea. Server issues? Licensing? Meh.

    The entire 5 seasons of Voltron is going down well with my 9 year old.

  11. Does the ‘friends’ function not work on the website if you use the 360? Can you check them on the website? I could see what my friends were watching when I used a PC for online viewing, but I don’t know a thing about the 360 interface.

  12. @11 You don’t have to miss any of it.

    I am from Denmark and I can’t wait for talk like a pirate day.

  13. WeightedCompanionCube

    Forever Knight is good, if you like schlocky vampire cop-dramas (hey, someone does, they thought Moonlight would fly!)

  14. Lotion For Pistol

    I took a careful look at the choices. Now the weekend is over long over. At this point I’m not really helping. Yeeesh.

    *** Documentary ***

    A Certain Kind of Death – “gives us a patient, detail-rich look into what the authorities do with you when you die alone and unclaimed.” Caring, fearless, heartbreaking. A+

    How to Draw a Bunny – Curious story about a curious Artist. Written descriptions of this lack. A+

    My Best Fiend – Quite a few Herzog films on there, most are great, but this is a good place to start. I <3 Klaus. A+
    The Atomic Cafe - Eternally grim subject matter set to 50's tunes makes Cold War Culture hilarious! A
    Bus 174 - "...is the story of the cycle of violence between the state and the poor in any Third World city." A hostage situation dissected, into the past. A
    Hell House - Odd Christian folk use scare theater to spook sinners... As in victims of date rape? Grim, backwards, fun. A-
    Protagonist - Detailed interviews with four seemingly unrelated men. An enjoyable "wtf?!". Has puppets. A- (By Jessica Yu, who made In the Realms of the Unreal)
    Taxi to the Dark Side - An innocent man tortured to death by the US of A. Heckuva Job! A-
    Touch the Sound - A quaint, meditative piece about Evelyn Glennie, a drummer who essentially uses touch to hear music. Her outlook and character is wonderful. B
    Cocaine Cowboys - Joe-Six-Pack drug traffickers recalling their salad days of dropping white all over Miami. Kinda fluff, kinda interesting. B-
    *** Drama or Crime Drama ***
    The Driver - Slick, tight, often anomalous crime flick by Walter Hill. A+
    After Life - Upon death you must make a film of what your individual eternity will be. A movie about that. A
    Klute - Subtle, bleak, hushed. I love the look of it, the score as well. A
    Memories of Murder - A prequel to The Host? No, not really. Emotive and many textured. A
    Point Blank (1967) - See Lee Marvin taking lead, walking loudly, demanding money.
    The Eiger Sanction - Clint Eastwood + George Kennedy = Awesome! B+
    L.I.E. - I thought I wouldn't like it, yet, I did. Complex Brian Cox(the best Hannibal Lecter) makes this disconcerting film. B+
    Millennium Mambo - Cleverly arranged fragments of memory give this Hsiao-Hsien film an interesting feel. B
    The Mechanic - Adroit Bronson as a cheerless assassin who reluctantly takes on a pupil. B-
    *** Animations ***
    Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro - A classic romp by Miyazaki. A+
    Paprika - Finally, a Satoshi Kon film I can totally get behind. A-
    Dead Leaves - Violent, pell-mell, neon, then swiftly over. B
    *** Highly Subjective Horror Category ***
    Phantasm - It is excellent. A+
    Street Trash - People melt into a rainbow pile after drinking expired liquor. This is a good. A
    Body Melt - While it's no Picnic at Hanging Rock... Australian Body Horror + Black Comedy Gore = Jets of air comically whooshing out of a bursted womb. Yep. A-
    Lifeforce - Slow British Drama + Nude Space Vampires + Steve Railsback = Well, you decide... B+
    Popcorn - Average horror about some teens getting killed somewhere for some reason. Occasionally over the top and imaginative. B-
    *** Other ***
    The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai - A Japanese pinku about a psychic prostitute who is stalked by the wiggly finger of George W. Bush. Quite out. B
    Mannequin - Cheese about a cute Mannequin come to life. I liked it as a kid so it must still be good, right? B+? C-? F+?
    Phantom of the Paradise - Bizarre take on Phantom of the Opera by De Palma. With synths and Beef and Paul Williams. B
    Sorry for the length and the letter grades. I think I can stop looking these up now.
    Oh! Wolf (with a bloated/ridiculous Nicholson) and Hard Times is expiring March 1st. (as well as 2 of the 5 films with Warren Oates)
    Thanks for being great!

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