It’s been a few months since we last gave each other recommendations for Netflix on 360 weekend watching, and with things popping up and down on the service weekly, I think it’s high time for an update, particularly for this extended three-day blowout.
Here’s my quick rundown of the top things that shouldn’t be missed:
Let the Right One In: Tomas Alfredson’s take on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel of the (basically) same name skyrocketed itself to one of my top movies of 2008 (landing it square next to Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York) for making a vampire horror movie that isn’t a vampire horror movie (despite what its stateside trailer may tell you), one that I watched four times in the first two months after its release.
It’s a coming of age story, it’s a story of isolation (on everyone’s part) and of broken, dependent relationships, that ends on a note of indistinguishably mixed hope and resolute sadness when you carry the story forward in your mind. It’s also gawpingly gorgeous, and everyone’s got good hair and wicked style. Do not miss this.
Party Down: With the first season coming to a close Friday night, you now have no excuse to not sit down and watch what I’m going to call right now as the first, best new American comedy series since.. maybe Curb Your Enthusiasm? It’s not just the cast, though that helps, a lineup which includes former State member Ken Marino, Adam Scott (who you remember as the guy who saved it with his solo in the best part of Step Brothers), Freaks and Geeks/Adventureland’s Martin Starr, and Lizzy Caplan (aka My Hollywood Girlfriend; you know her from Cloverfield and as The Only Real Reason To Watch True Blood).
The premise: each episode is a separate LA occasion worked by the titular catering service Party Down, staffed by former/fallen/would-be actors, which sounds like a perfect setup for easy hijinks, and often is, but is always very smartly tempered with an undercurrent of life-reflection — taking the easy, low road after being knocked down. Actual pathos, the kind that the American Office has been managing to scrape together each week since that brutally, Who’s-Afraid-Of-Virgina-Woolf-ishly dark Dinner Party episode. But, also, it’s very, very funny.
Those are my two top, but there’s also, of course, the first season of Graham Linehan’s IT Crowd (which I have intended to talk more about on Offworld for months, let’s do that soon), Søren Larsen’s documentary Lynch, which won’t sell you on David Lynch if you’re already a skeptic, but is an essential peek behind the transcendental curtain if you’re a fanatic, and the Short Films from his box set also recently reared their head on the service, too.
Also from around the network, BBG’s Joel has recommended this documentary on unsung music producer legend Tom Dowd and guest blogger Tiff Chow has had nothing but good things to say about CJ7, the Chinese ‘E.T.’ reimagining from Shaolin Soccer/Kung Fu Hustle director Stephen Chow.
Anyone else dug up any diamonds or have anything to recommend? Let us all know via the comments!