Best of Netflix UK – February

Considering the popularity of last months installment, lets give February a little run down. With Oscar season behind us but many films still in the cinemas, Better Call Saul Season 2, The Walking Dead and many other TV shows kicking off again, we probably don’t have much time for the films of Netflix.

Nevertheless, if you find yourself short of what to watch, or just like to keep your watchlist up-to-date, here’s what I thought was worth checking out that was added to Netflix in February.

Love
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Gasper Noé has some incredible films to his name (Irreversible, Enter The Void are personal favourites), but unfortunately for him he has set a standard so impeccably high that it was inevitable this would lead to disappointment. His 3D film “Love” may not meet the credible artistic heights of his previous work, but now available on Netflix for you to enjoy, with the up-close and personal money shots you would expect when the words “3D” and “Sex” are thrown together, his largely unloved “Love” is for those looking for something a little different.

Django Unchaineddjango-unchained-jamie-foxxIf you’ve not been out to see Tarantinos newest feature “The Hateful Eight”, perhaps you can find the time (160+ minutes of it) to catch up one of his previous films, Django Unchained. Set in the Deep South, Jamie Foxx stars as Django – a slave looking to find his wife who was also sold off into slavery. Immensely violent, fantastic cast (Jackson, Di Caprio, Washington, Waltz), with a great script albeit completely over the top and self-indulgent, this is everything you expect from Tarantino.

For The Bible Tells Me Soforthebible7Many documentaries regarding religion can come across as exploitative and one-sided. In the instance of ‘For The Bible Tells Me So’, it is fair, balanced and relatively impartial. While the overall messaging then becomes slightly convoluted due to the many different arguments, you can’t help but appreciate the careful presentation for such a sensitive issue. It won’t shock or change the world, but does provide some context for those who wonder why religion is often used against the gay community.

Departures29departure_600A tale of a man who leaves his dream job in an orchestra and becomes a nōkanshi—a traditional Japanese ritual mortician. The social and emotional effects of this decision and impact on his life are explored in great detail, and at times it can be a little melodramatic. However, this 2009 Academy Award winning Japanese film has an abundance of style, a score to match and a fantastic cast, its difficult not to be captivated by this story. At just over 2 hours long, and the bulk of the film about death, it’s not for those easily trigged by long drawn out upsetting scenes backed by classical music.

Look of Silence1401x788-the-look-of-silenceJoshua Oppenheimer’s Act of Killing showed the mortifying reenactments of the executions of suspected communists that took place in 1960’s Indonesia. The people who carried out these horrific acts are celebrated heroes, feared in their local villages, and it’s within Oppenheimer’s Act of Killing that we meet the people responsible as they carry out the reenactments. In The Look of Silence, an optician who has a direct link to the genocide through a deceased family member, is shown watching the first doc, then interviewing the men himself under the pretense of an eye exam. Probing personal questions add another layer of sheer disbelief to the previous installment, in this simple yet fascinating documentary.

Note: You don’t have to see Act of Killing for this to “make sense”.

Lone Survivor20140109-lonesurvivor-x624-1389293767Lone survivor details the events that took place while 4 navy seals attempted to carry out a counter-insurgency mission to take down one of the key Taliban targets.  Even though the title of the film essentially gives the game away, it does not detract from the sheer intensity of this war film. Set to epic music by Explosions in the Sky, this is a bloody, fast paced and action packed story based on real events. Some may deem it to be extremely dramatic, while others may find the violent obscene, but it is a remarkable tale that gets the heart racing.

Liar LiarEveryone should have seen this movie by now. An absolute classic that deserves to be watched over and over again, and chances are you will have done considering the amount of times it has been on TV. It is nothing groundbreaking, it is just a man who cannot lie for a bit, but it’s Jim Carrey’s completely over-the-top style as seen in the likes of Ace Ventura and Bruce Almighty that make this film the success it is. They don’t make ’em like they used to.

TenuredTENURED_Web_1Gil Zabarksy stars as Ethan, a teacher with the added perk of having “tenure”, which means in his mind he can do pretty much anything and can’t be fired. He swears in class, lets the kids do whatever they want, and generally dosses about achieving nothing. A sudden change in his life, combined with a Principle who hates him, results in him directing the school play – everything comes under threat. It is a formulaic, easy-going, predictable comedy with a bunch of good performances, but the laughs keep on coming, unlike many other indie comedies that try to get sentimental.  Perfect viewing when you don’t want to pay too much attention to anything.

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