Category Archives: Netflix Instant Streaming

Pop Bitez Netflix Pics

It’s time once again to offer up our recommendations for the titles that might be flying under your radar on Netflix, all of these films are currently available for instant viewing and we’re suggesting you add them to your queue today!  

 

• Her Master’s Voice

 

Internationally acclaimed ventriloquist Nina Conti, takes the bereaved puppets of her mentor and erstwhile lover Ken Campbell on a pilgrimage to ‘Venthaven‘ the resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists. She gets to know her latex and wooden travelling partners along the way, and with them deconstructs herself and her lost love in this ventriloquial documentary requiem.

 Now, it’s important to note, on our shortlist of “things that creep us the hell out”, there are mimes, clowns, children’s’ programming and, of course, ventriloquists. If ventriloquists aren’t on your list, trust us, after spending an hour with Nina Conti, they will be. Seriously, this is the documentary that keeps on giving and just when you think your jaw can’t drop any further…well, you just have to see this one to fully appreciate what we’re talking about. Trust us when we tell you, it’s not a film you’re likely to forget anytime soon.

• Bernie

In small-town Texas, the local mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when he kills her, he goes to great lengths to create the illusion that she’s alive.

Bernie features some of the best work Jack Black and Shirley McClain have done in a very long time and was recently nominated for several Independent Spirit Awards, there is also a strong probability a few Oscar noms are still to come. Director Richard Linklater is the king of the quirky and offbeat film these days and this is one of his absolute best, part dark comedy, part docu-tragedy, Bernie is one of our favorite flicks of 2012.

 

• Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog

 

An aspiring supervillain must balance his career and his pursuit of a beautiful do-gooder.

Before Joss Whedon broughtThe Avengers” to the big screen have gave us Captain Hammer and Doctor Horrible on the smallest screen in your home. We have to assume most of you are familiar with this web-series but, in the slim off chance any of you have missed it, watch it now! It’s short, it’s sweet and, despite what the nerds say on the message boards, it ends EXACTLY like we think it should have. The tunes are pretty catchy as well, (and a little hard to get out of your head after you’ve heard them a few times!) There is a rumor a sequel will be going in front of the cameras in the Spring of 2013, with a release next summer, we can’t wait!

• Columbus Circle

 

An heiress who’s been shut inside her apartment building for nearly two decades is forced to confront her fears after one of her neighbors is killed and a detective arrives to begin the investigation.

This edgy little indie is definitely worth 90 minutes of your time, we particularly enjoyed the work of Jason Antoon, Kevin Pollock and Amy Smart. We predict this flick will have a long life on cable for years to come, check it out! 

• Circus Rosaire

 

Circus Rosaire is the story of the Rosaire family, a 9th generation family of circus performers known for their unique and respectful manner of performing with animals, as they struggle to maintain their family heritage and adapt to the modern world of entertainment.

We admit we’re a little torn when it comes to animals in show business or zoos but this doc about a family circus struggling to adjust to our modern times is definitely an entertaining and melancholy look at the way we are as well as the way we were. We highly recommend this one for you and your family.

• Abel Raises Cain

Filmmaker Jenny Abel explores the life and career of her father Alan Abel, known to many as “the world’s greatest hoaxer.”

Long before we had a 24 hour news cycle and the “age of information” began on the web, Alan Abel was out there proving to the world something we had long suspected; the major media is full of shit. No, it’s not a revelation but it sure is a blast watching Abel expose the idiocy that is the modern reporter. On a side note, this documentary features a lot of discussion and clips from Abel’s Is There Sex After Death“, a comedic mockumentary he made in the 70s, we will save you some time and tell you no, it is not on Netflix currently, but it is online and it is HILARIOUS and WAY ahead of it’s time, watch it here, but keep in mind it is definitely R rated.

Pop Bitez Netflix Pics

• America in Primetime

America in Primetime is a series that takes a look at the creative forces behind television’s modern golden age as writers, producers and performers discuss key elements of acclaimed TV shows.

Unlike similar programs I’ve seen regarding the history of television this series spends a surprising amount of time discussing the most popular shows from the last decade, which makes this one a must if you’re a regular viewer of shows like Breaking Bad, Dexter, House, etc. America in Primetime is as illuminating as it is entertaining and definitely worth a little of your time.

• Janie Jones

Has-been rock star Ethan Brand is attempting a comeback when a former groupie tells him he has a 13-year-old daughter, Janie, and leaves her in his care. Janie must then convince the hedonistic Ethan to reform and accept his responsibilities.

Janie Jones is a well made indie gem, at turns frustrating, bittersweet and occasionally hopeful. The film features some very solid performances from Alessandro Nivola (Junebug, Jurassic Park IIIAbigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Zombieland) and Elizabeth Shue (Back to the Future, Leaving Las Vegas). The premiss itself is loaded with potential traps for cliche’ and sugary sentiment but director David M. Rosenthal does a nice job of avoiding most of them. 

• Roadie

In this taut drama, middle-aged Jimmy Testagross loses his gig as roadie for a has-been rock band and moves back in with his ailing mother. With no job or skills, Jimmy must find a way to let go of his overextended adolescence and become his own man.

Ron Eldard, (Super 8, Black Hawk Down) delivers one of the best performances of his career as the roadie without a home or band and there are some excellent supporting performances from Jill Hennessy, (Law & Order, Wild Hogs) and  Bobby Cannavale, (The Other Guys, The Station Agent).  

Like the above mentioned Janie Jones this is another excellent flick that didn’t find it’s audience during it’s very limited run in theaters but I suspect will do well on Netflix and cable.

• Buskers

In his directorial debut, Mad Chad Taylor, the renowned Venice Beach chainsaw juggler, has created a one-of-a-kind documentary that goes deep inside the hidden world of street performers.

If you’ve ever found yourself stopped dead in your tracks in the heart of any major city, amazed and confused by a troupe of street performers or a talented juggler who seems like he might have escaped a mental hospital a few hours prior to showtime, this one’s for you! It’s wacky and weird and a whole lot of fun!

• The Yellow Handkerchief

Recently released from jail, convict Brett Hanson (William Hurt) grows close to a young couple, Martine (Kristen Stewart) and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne), while journeying back home to his wife, May (Maria Bello). Set in Louisiana, this romantic road trip drama explores the loneliness everyone carries. Director Udayan Prasad remakes Yôji Yamada’s acclaimed 1977 Japanese film, which was adapted from a column by American novelist Pete Hamill.

This dark and sad tale more than delivers on it’s promise and the conclusion makes the journey well worth the trip. It’s great to see William Hurt in a role worthy of his talents once again and I can honestly say I’m relieved the hideous Twilight series is almost finished as Kristen Stewart has much better things to do with her as of yet under appreciated abilities. I should also mention Eddie Redmayne, the star of last year’s  excellent My Week with Marilyn, is also quite good in this one, can’t wait to see what he does with the role of Marius this Christmas when Les Miserables finally comes to the big screen. 

• Hachi: a Dog’s Tale

When his master dies, a loyal pooch named Hachiko keeps a regular vigil — for more than a decade — at the train station where he once greeted his owner every day in this touching drama based on a true story.

This film features one of  the best performances I’ve seen from Richard Gere in quite awhile and is also a good watch for the whole family. Based on the premiss I know I don’t have to tell you, but I will just in case, have some tissues handy…like an entire box.

Pop Bitez Netflix Pics

Pop Bitez Best of Netflix Instant Streaming

 

It’s time one again to give you our bi-weekly recommendations for the best of what’s currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming, we’re sure you’re going to love ’em, so get ready to “Watch Now”!!

• Warrior

Regular Pop Bitez readers will remember I had this one at #2 on our Best Films of 2011 list. I still for the life of me don’t understand how this flick didn’t become a major hit based on word of mouth alone, I can only guess there just weren’t enough people seeing it initially to be talking about it. If you were one of those people who missed it at the theaters you will want to add this to your instant streaming queue immediately.

Set in the violent world of mixed martial arts combat, this gritty drama follows two brothers at war with each other, who have pursued separate lives. But preparation for a championship bout soon leads the siblings back into each other’s paths.

Now, understand, I have never watched a mixed martial arts contest in my life, I don’t even watch boxing matches all that often, and yet I LOVED this movie! Tom Hardy, currently tearing up Gotham City as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, gives his best performance to date and Joel Edgerton, currently playing daddy to the kid from the garden in The Odd Life of Timothy Green, delivers what I believe is one of the best performances of 2011. It should also be noted, Nick Nolte was nominated for an Academy Award for his heartbreaking work in this flick.

Invite the manliest man you know over to watch this one with you and watch him blubber like a baby when the credits begin to roll. I honestly put this film up there with the first Rocky film, I believe it is that great!

• The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

This documentary has been available for awhile but might be traveling a bit under your radar. I actually saw this flick during it’s original theatrical release in 2003 and fell in love with these birds and their sweet story instantly.

This poignant film chronicles the true story of a modern-day St. Francis of Assisi, a homeless San Francisco street musician by the name of Mark Bittner who adopts a flock of wild parrots as he searches for meaning in his life. With a surprise ending that left festival audiences cheering, director Judy Irving’s film celebrates urban wildness — human and avian — and links parrot antics to human behavior.

• Ladies and Gentleman, Mr.Leonard Cohen

 

Long before Leonard Cohen gained fame as a singer-songwriter, (best known perhaps as the author of the oft covered tune “Hallelujah“), he was a hit poet and novelist in Montreal, as this jazzy 1965 documentary illustrates. The artist is shown at the top of his literary game as he thrills a packed house during a reading. The informal portrait follows Cohen around for a few days, observing him as a poet and burgeoning musician.

This funny and enlightening doc is a great time capsule from the days when everything was hip and groovy and is a definite must see for fans of Cohen’s tunes. I couldn’t get over how much Leonard looked like a young Dustin Hoffman back in the day, there are moments when you’ll believe they must have been twins separated at birth.

• The Hunter

This dark and haunting film is one that really gets under your skin and will stay with you long after you’ve seen it. The Film Critics Circle of Australia chose The Hunter as the Best Picture of 2011.

Willem Dafoe stars as a mercenary sent to Tasmania to track down the last living Tasmanian tiger and obtain its genetic material. Once he reaches the tiger’s wild habitat, the hunter poses as a scientist to begin his search.

• How to Live Forever

 

 

On a mission to live forever, director Mark Wexler explores the boundaries of modern medicine, the wisdom of fitness gurus, a chain-smoking marathoner, an elderly porn star and other extraordinary centenarians. Forever may be sooner than you think.

Trust me, your brain will be swimming after this one! Like the best documentaries this is both funny and thought provoking and is bound to inspire a few conversations you might not have been expecting to have at this point in your life.