Netflix Instant Picks for February, 2014: 18 Current Reviews!

 

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A scene from History of Future Folk. This film is a winner, as are all the ones reviewed here. I don’t waste time with the Turkeys.

It’s been tough finding good movies on Netflix of late. Generally we find that only one out of ten meets our minimum requirements to be worth watching. Still, they are there.

This week was especially  bad. One movie started off with unspeakable perversions that I will not describe here. We lasted about 4 minutes on that one. Others were so dull that we lasted a little longer since we could not turn them off while sleeping. Then there was the one with paper airplanes and spaceships moving across the painted city skyline. As the new texting generation would say, OMG!

We did find some good ones though. The following films / shows and the other 82 reviewed here so far will give you many hours of viewing enjoyment without making you sick or putting you to sleep. Just remember to click on the ‘Netflix Instant’ category in the right margin to see previous reviews. Also note that not every item will still be available on Netflix since they are offered and withdrawn with regularity.

My Best Enemy, 2011, 1hr 45m, Drama, Foreign
The film starts at the beginning of WWII. It is set in Austria and Hitler’s minions are about to conscript Austrian citizens (not the Jews) into their army. Two friends, one a Jew and one a gentile come to a parting of ways when the latter enlists in the SS and subsequently betrays his Jewish friend and his entire family, all over a valuable drawing. Things get interesting when the two, one a prisoner of the other, are involved in a plane crash.

This film has English subtitles that are done well and do not distract.
Starring: Moritz BleibtreuGeorg Friedrich

Lost and Found in Armenia, 2012, 1hr 40m, Romantic Comedy, foreign
This film is in Armenian and English since the star is an American tourist who finds himself stranded in Armenia. He doesn’t get there by any ordinary means. He takes a vacation in Turkey with friends and is roped into trying out hang sailing. It does not go too well when his tether breaks and he ends up flying into Armenian airspace. This is a funny one that was well done. It is worth your time.
Starring: Jamie KennedyAngela Sarafyan

The History of Future Folk, 2012, 1hr 25m, Comedy
If you just watch a trailer you may come to the opinion that this movie is just plain stupid. I found it to be just plain hilarious fun! An alien lands on the planet with the intention of setting off a bomb that will kill everyone here so his doomed planet can colonize Earth. Something changes his mind and he fails to act. Then a second alien is sent out after the first. The story is strange. The laughs are constant. It’s the Blue Brothers and Men In Black melded. Click on the title above for the trailer. You’ll love it.
Starring: Nils d’AulaireJay Klaitz

The River Why, 2010, 1hr 44m, Romance
This was a delightful and fanciful film. Sit back and relax. Don’t expect any explosions or gunfight. Have a drink and enjoy.
Starring: Zach GilfordAmber Heard

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Arthur Newman, 2012, 1hr 33m, drama and comedy
Quirky is the first word that comes to mind. This one was done with imagination. It’s a great story that is just good old fun. It seems our star is having a pretty rotten time of it and he decides to just walk out on his present life. Nobody cares anyway, so off he goes with a new identity. The fun that ensues will keep your interest. Sit back for an enjoyable ride.
Starring: Emily BluntColin Firth

The Belle of Amherst, 1976, 1hr 28m
I suspect that most people will not like this one. I loved it. I am a big fan of the poet Emily Dickinson. This is an old film made from an onstage performance by Julie Harris. She is the only person in the film. She takes on the role of Emily Dickinson and just about every word she speaks is something that Dickinson wrote. The dialogue comes from her poems and her letters and they are seamlessly knitted to create a fascinating personal history. If you always wanted to meet Emily Dickinson, this is your chance. Please note that the link above is to the actual movie on You Tube. You don’t even have to have Netflix to watch it.
Starring: Julie Harris

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Grabbers, 2012, 1hr 34m, Comedy / Horror
Alien monsters invade a small waterfront village in Ireland. Fortunately for the residents the monsters are very susceptible to alcohol which is a poison for them. Even more fortunate the residents of this town (most of them) enjoy a wee bit of bitters in the tavern. Hilarious!
Starring: Richard CoyleRuth Bradley

Into The White, 2012, 1hr 44m, Drama
It is World War II and two airplanes, one German and one British, are shot down over Norway. The survivors of each plane trudge through the mountain terrain and eventually find the same hunters’ cabin to take refuge in. Hostile at first, they eventually realize that their only chance for survival is to work together. This film was based on a true incident. It is very well done and one of the best movies I have seen recently. Watch it while Netflix still has it available!
Starring: Florian LukasDavid Kross

The Red Machine, 2009, 1hr 24m
This is an espionage story that takes place in the late 1930’s. A thief is pulled from jail to help a strange naval officer retrieve a code machine from the Japanese. This was interesting and well acted. Watch it for the tension. Try to figure out what past events turned this officer into such an enigma. Worth the time.
Starring: Lee PerkinsDonal Thoms-Cappello

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Endeavour, 2012, 1hr 38m, British Mystery
Maybe you have watched the old Inspector Morse series that is available on Netflix? I have watched several of the shows and do indeed like them. Unfortunately, the cinematography is a  bit dated and thus I sometimes may lose interest or become a bit confused. Inspector Morse’s first name was Endeavour. This new series is about the young Inspector Endeavour Morse, a young detective who (at least in the first episode) does not drink and does not have a reputation as a crack gumshoe. He does have an unexplained past as an Oxford man who chose to become a policeman rather than pursue a career that better fit his position in society. In one word, this new series is Great! It far outshines the original series. Although it is set in the 1950’s the expert filming is right up to date. I and the 97,282 people who have submitted reviews on Netflix can’t wait until the series is continued with more episodes. This is a winner!
Starring: Shaun EvansRoger Allam

Jack Reacher, 2012, 2hr 10m
Tom Cruise is excellent in this murder investigation flick. It is full of suspense, gunfights, chases, and … you get the picture. It never stops for a second. Have some fun and sit down for a performance!
Starring: Tom CruiseRosamund Pike

 A Lonely Place to Die, 2011, 1hr 39 m, Horror
A group of young mountain climbers come across a little girl locked up somewhere in the woods. They attempt to save the girl and get her back to safety. The suspense then begins and does not end until the story is over. This is not for the faint of heart. It was well done. It will not be for everyone.
Starring:  Melissa GeorgeKarel Roden

Guilt Trip, 2012, 1hr 35m, Comedy
Andy, a chemist, has a new product to promote. He goes on a cross-country road trip to show his wonder cleaner off to the likes of Wal-Mart and Home Shopping Network. Oh, his mother, played by Barbara Streisand, comes along with him. If that is not strange enough it seems Andy has an ulterior motive. He is trying to help his mom look up a former boyfriend (lover) from way back. Believable? No. Funny? Yes.
Starring: Barbra StreisandSeth Rogen

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The Last Stand, 2013, 1hr 47m, Action
First I must admit that I absolutely love anything done by Arnold Schwarzenegger. That means I may be a bit over enthusiastic about this flick. It was definitely one of his best! What’s it about? It seems that a real bad guy (as in he will kill you just for fun) has escaped police custody. In the process he and his  cohorts have taken out slews (that’s quite a few) of police officers who have tried to capture him. Then he makes his mistake. He makes his exit right through a little backwater town where guess who is the sheriff?..That’s right, Arnold. This was so good!
Starring: Arnold SchwarzeneggerJohnny Knoxville

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, 2013, 1hr 27m, Fantasy / Action
This is the prequel to Ghosthunters. It seems that after Hansel and Gretel tossed the old witch into the oven they developed a bit of a reputation. They turned into itinerant witch hunters for hire. They go from town to town offering their services. No witch can hide from them! Do they meet their match in this fantasy / action /horror flick? You will have to watch it. This was a fun one. Don’t try to take it too seriously, just have a good time. Hansel & Gretel did.
Starring: Jeremy RennerGemma Arterton

Hellboy, 2004, 2hr 12m, Fantasy/Horror/Action
The Nazis of WWII invoke a being from another world to enter ours and perform dastardly deeds. Fortunately the being is found by the triumphant American troops who bring him back home where he becomes a comic book superhero. You got all that? Don’t try to figure it out, just watch the movie for some fun.
Starring: Ron PerlmanJohn Hurt

The Host, 2013, 2hr 5m, Science Fiction
How many movies are based upon aliens invading Earth and inhabiting our bodies? Even one of the other reviews in this set has a similar premise. So, what is different about this one? It seems that sometimes an alien and its human host can agree to coperate with one another. That might lead to some good things, or things might get even worse. Science fiction with a heart . I think you will like it.
Starring: Saoirse RonanJake Abel

Heat of the Sun, 1999, 5 episodes
I really liked this one! Unfortunately they only made 5 episodes back in 1999 and the chance for any more has passed. The setting is colonial Nairobi. An ex-Scotland Yard detective is sent to be a policeman in Nairobi. It’s not a reward for doing well, just the opposite. Fortunately for us he does very well as a first-rate detective who cares for all of his citizens, not just the white ones. This is another quality product of the UK. Note: the link is to a PBS publicity page.
Starring: Trevor EveFreddie Annobil-Dodoo

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