Archives For netflix

February has started off pretty slow in the movie watching department. After a fairly ambitious 7 visits to the cinema in January (four new titles and three classics), and despite the list of watch-worthy releases steadily growing, the last couple of weeks has left me in something of a winter hibernation mode where movies are concerned. Well, to be honest, my priorities have had to be elsewhere. An interesting Netflix stunt, therapy sessions and this totally insane whim that had me signing myself up for a French exam (apparently, therapy is only so effective), has held most of my attention lately.

House of Cards

What I have gotten around to watching this month, has been about as varied as it gets. As I mentioned, Netflix pulled an interesting stunt at the start of the month, by releasing the entire season of a new VoD-exclusive series, ‘House of Cards’. I can happily confirm it really is worth watching, and as such quite the marketing stunt for Netflix. A sassy political drama series with a great script and engaing character development, this is the best show to have been released for quite some time. Of course you’d expect a certain level of quality when the cast list is composed of the brilliant Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Spacey plays a bitter, calculating and clever politician with a plan (a role we already know he’s nailing); Wright plays his equally calculating and cool-headed wife. Kate Mara is the up-and-coming journalist who pushes the boundaries of morality in her pursuit of recognition.

As for movies, I’ve only watched two this month. The first is last year’s remake of ‘Dredd’, which despite limited expectations and all reason, I was actually a little disappointed by, as I had let myself be convinced that it at least possessed a certain amount of self-irony, which in the end I felt it lacked. Still, as Saturday past-midnight entertainment it served its purpose more or less satisfactorily, not least because of the endless [sleep-deprived and wine-induced] fascination of a very diffferent-looking Lena Headey (Cercei in ‘Game of Thrones’).

Meanwhile, several movies have snuck their way into Norwegian cinemas, and the second movie, and this month’s first cinema visit, is one I have been feeling extremely ambivialent about for a long time, due to my 16 years worth of memories and associations tied to the source material: namely the screen adaptation of ‘Les Misérables’, in musical format for the first time. Expect a full, rambling report on this in a separate post. For now I will say that it didn’t have quite the emotional impact on me that I’d hoped, but there were some award-worthy (and indeed nominated) performances in there that completely blew me away.

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables

As for the other February releases I’m anxious to see, I will put them up in a separate post tomorrow.

Netflix was finally launched in Norway today. As far as I’m aware, this is the first provider on the market offering a service with a monthly subscription on films and series – and in fact the only serious provider of series at all -, as opposed to a pay-per-view system, and the price is sympathetic at 79 NOK/month.

First of all, I have to say my vain streak is not overly impressed by the look of the site, but it’s a very user-friendly system that is easy to navigate through. There’s a personal recommendation system, based on expressed genre preferences and ratings, but how accurate it is I can’t say yet.

I know many people appreciate Netflix for their selection of TV series, which I believe is quite impressive (though I’ve heard a few comments about the newest seasons lacking), and I’ve already confirmed that the remaining three seasons I have yet to see of ‘The Tudors’ are still there. Personally though, I have been more eager to see what I can in their film selection. I brought out my (rather extensive) watchlist and did a random search of about 12 of the more well-known titles, and confess myself rather disappointed at the result.

Of the 12 or so titles I looked up, these were not available:

  • ‘Adaptation’
  • ‘Top Gun’
  • ‘The Color of Money’
  • ‘The Birds’
  • ‘The Outsiders’
  • ‘Born on the Fourth of July’
  • ‘Seven Samurai’
  • ‘Iron Man 2’
  • ‘Archipelago’ (less known, granted)

I have seen some good titles there too though, and there are documentaries available there as well, so I won’t dismiss the site as useless just yet. I’m eager to dive deeper into it and see what I treasures can be found, and whether or not the selection will be expanded at a decent rate in the months to come.