Netflix Instant Picks for January, 2013

I watch a lot of Netflix Instant movies. Or maybe I should say that I watch a little of a lot of Netflix Instant movies. As I have mentioned before, the only ones you hear about here are those that pass the five minute rule. If it doesn’t catch my interest within that time I start looking for another.  The picks I offer this month all passed the five minute test. They also all scored a 4/5 or 5/5 on my current excellence scale.  Let’s look at the suggestions:



Bean: The Movie, 1997, 1 hr and 13 min.; Comedy; Rating: 4/5

Mr. Bean is mistakenly taken for an art expert (he’s really a museum guard and a poor one at that).  He is assigned the task of accompanying Whistler’s Mother to the US. Does everything go wrong? Yes. Is it a fun movie? Yes. Watch it purely for the laughs, a special kind of laughs that Atkinson is the master of.

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Peter Macnico, John Mills


Overnight, 2012, 84 min; Romantic Comedy; Rating: 4/5

Two neurotic strangers, man and woman, are forced to share adjacent seats on a long plane ride. Everything looks bad for any possible chance of romance and then it finally takes off. Other simultaneous storylines follow two men who fit everyone’s terrorist profile, an obnoxious celebrity, and a pilot/copilot team who are a truly poor match. This film has equal doses of fun and warmth.

Starring: Rachel Blanchard, James D’Arcy, Anthony LaPaglia


The Jack Benny Show, 4 episodes, 1950; TV comedy; Rating: 5/5

I remember this show from when I was a kid (back in medieval times). I expected to find that the show was badly dated and unfunny. I thankfully discovered that I was way off the mark. I loved each of the episodes. This is truly funny stuff presented by a professional. Just as a final side note, I once met Jack Benny. He impressed me as one of the nicest persons I ever met. Ask me about him sometime.

Starring: Don Wilson, Eddie ‘Rochester’Anderson, Dennis Day


The Artist, 2011, 1 hr and 40 min.; retro drama/romance; Rating: 5/5

I avoided this one for some time. Why? Filmed in black and white, no sound, French – there are three quick reasons for you. It won five Oscars so I had to at least give it a chance, though.

What a great decision. This was a fabulous film! The director accomplished ten times more with ten times less. He put to shame the current vogue of depending on guns, sex, and animation to create a movie. Watch it. This will make for a rewarding evening.

Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bernice Bejo, John Goodman.  Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Stake Land, 2010, 1 hr and 38 min.; horror/zombie; Rating 4/5

Oh no, another zombie movie! Don’t you just love it when Hollywood appears to be completely bereft of creativity and imagination? But then this one was a bit better than the usual ‘rampage of the undead’ gore fest. It’s more like a cross between Karate Kid and Waterworld. Do not watch it if gore and violence offend you.

Starring: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Michael Cerveris.

That’s it for now. Two fives and three fours. I have plenty more where these came from and most of them are in the five category. Give me a little feedback on the above picks and I will be encouraged to get the next list out sooner. I’m sure you don’t want to spend too much time testing the five minute rule.


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