Unbroken (2014)

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Unbroken is the movie I was most looking forward to seeing this month. At a glance, it has loads of potential. It has an incredible story to follow, the Coen brothers credited on the screenplay, a lot of remarkable talent, especially Jack O’Connell in the lead role, and although I’m not familiar with Angelina Jolie as a director, I had faith that the woman knew what she was doing and could pull off something worthwhile. So I hate to say that this movie started out strong, only to weaken with brutal repetitiveness in the end. I haven’t read Laura Hillenbrand’s book about the story of Louis Zamperini, but I couldn’t help but think that this movie was probably lacking a lot of crucial pieces from it that could’ve made me feel like I knew Zamperini a bit more, and should’ve strung together the endless, seemingly random moments of abuse and suffering that the audience is repeatedly smacked in the face with in the last half.

Unbroken tells the story of Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), an Olympic track runner who had a reputation as a troublemaker when he was young, and turned it around with the help of his brother Pete (Alex Russell). His success as an Olympian is cut short when World War II begins, and Louis becomes a bombardier in the Air Force. While sent on a rescue mission, his plane crashes and the only three to survive are Louis, Phil (Domhnall Gleeson), and Mac (Finn Wittrock). They spend 47 awful days floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean, until they are caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

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It’s kind of strange that this movie makes for a better stranded at sea survival story than a war drama. I felt more for Louis then than I did after he was captured. It feels like the actual story just dropped off. It turned into a sequence of events with no emotional connection. Actually, I found the entire first half of the movie to be quite compelling. It starts out with Louis in the middle of the war, and we see flashbacks to when he was a young kid getting in trouble and eventually beginning training as a track runner in order to turn his life around. Once he gets captured, those flashbacks are over. There was hardly even enough of them to truly show what shaped Louis into the person he’s become. By the end, I felt like I hardly knew him at all.

This is no fault of Jack O’Connell, who I was aware had some serious acting chops when I saw him in a British prison drama released earlier this year called Starred Up. He’s really fantastic in Unbroken, and any emotion I did feel wasn’t because of the story itself, but because his tortured performance drew it out of me. The same can be said for Domhnall Gleeson, who I’ve only seen in slightly awkward, comedic roles like those of which he had in Frank and About Time, but he really showed his versatility here as a serious actor. The performances were my favorite thing about this movie, and saved some scenes that could’ve otherwise been horrible.

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Like I said, the last half was my least favorite part of the movie. Once Louis reaches the first of two POW camps he’ll have to survive, we are introduced to a long sequence of events in which he will be tortured and beaten nearly to death by the same Japanese officer over and over again. Mutsuhiro “The Bird” Watanabe (Takamasa Ishihara) seems hell-bent on singling Louis out from the start. Why? I don’t know. I guess he was just a bastard. I read that he actually got sexual thrill from beating up prisoners, but I couldn’t know that from watching this movie. Because I didn’t know much about this story beforehand, I was actually wondering if maybe this Japanese officer was also an Olympian that Louis had exchanged glances with earlier in the movie, but I quickly threw that theory out. I was desperately trying to make some connection as to why he was so obsessed with Louis and no one else. He had apparently done horrible things to many prisoners he came into contact with, but the movie only showed him abusing Zamperini. I guess people don’t always need a logical reason to be cruel, and the Japanese and Americans were enemies, after all, but it still felt like there was something missing here.

There also wasn’t much connecting Louis with the rest of the prisoners. Fitzgerald (Garrett Hedlund) seems to be some kind of leader there, or maybe I only think that because he’s the only other person in the camp with a prominent role. You’re never told much about him, though, so he ends up just being another character who’s there to take up a little screen time in between Louis’ frequent beatings.

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Sure, there’s a lot to admire here as well. The movie captured Louis Zamperini as a man who can overcome anything. He lives up to a very fitting motto he learns early on in the movie, “If I can take it, I can make it.” He takes it, all right. Breaking the record for the most days survived stranded out at sea, making it through not just one, but two POW camps in which he’s singled out and brutally beaten, and then he makes it home only to struggle with a serious post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism, while eventually finding God and overcoming it. He also returned to Japan at age 80 and ran the Olympic Torch relay. He was an incredible human being, indeed. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t cover the aftermath of the war or his PTSD, which probably could’ve done his character a lot of justice, but I guess that just wasn’t the chosen focus.

Unbroken had the potential to be a great movie, but it fell short with the script. I’d like to think that Louis Zamperini’s life was much more than just a series of ruthless beatings. Although there were some parts that I found truly interesting, and times when the persistence of the main character amazed me, I feel like the movie overall could’ve been much more emotional and inspiring than it was. Jack O’Connell does an amazing job here, and I wonder what he could’ve done if the script had fleshed the character out just a little bit more. It’s a movie I don’t regret seeing, even if just for the actors alone, but it didn’t live up to all the hype in the end.

3/5

Top 10 Favorite Christmas Movies

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Ah, the holidays. You either love them or hate them, probably a little bit of both. Maybe it’s the time for joy and excitement for gift giving and opening presents, a sweet reunion with the family you’ve missed all year, a time to enjoy a good meal and delicious desserts. Or, maybe it’s the time you dread having to spend a whole day with your insufferable in-laws, the season when you have to drain your bank account for people who don’t deserve more than a pile of poop in a brown bag, the time when you have to slave away in front of a hot stove for hours, wrap gifts after last minute shopping, and wake up in the middle of the night to play Santa.

Either way, it’s the season that comes every year, and the good thing about it is that you have a reason to enjoy some of the most awesome movies that make you feel good about life. I love Christmas movies and there are ones that I enjoy watching that I think hold up for many years. So I’m sharing with you my ten favorite Christmas movies of all time. Feel free to share some of yours in the comments!

 

10. Gremlins (1984)gizmo
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Chris Columbus
Cast: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Corey Feldman

There are three rules to caring for a Mogwai: keep him out of bright light, don’t ever get water on him, and never feed him after midnight. Billy (Zach Galligan), after receiving the adorable “Gizmo” from his father as a Christmas gift, breaks all the rules, resulting in his town being overrun by mischievous gremlins who like to get drunk, smoke cigarettes, play poker, wreak havoc on old ladies, and watch Snow White at the theater. This movie is so ridiculous I can’t help but love it. It’s a lot of hilarious fun for Christmas time and I’ve always wanted a Gizmo for my own, he’s so unbelievably cute.

9. Jingle All the Way (1996) jinglealltheway
Director: Brain Levant
Writer: Randy Kornfield
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Rita Wilson, Phil Hartman

Howard’s (Arnold Schwarzenegger) main last minute goal for Christmas time is to get his son (Jake Lloyd) the unobtainable Turbo Man action figure and has to fight off other determined fathers like Myron (Sinbad) in the process. This movie is so dumb, but I love it. It’s like a funny way of showing what the holidays have become, and how crazy people are when it comes to getting gifts, especially at the last minute. Let’s be honest, the holiday season is really boring unless you add on the extra drama involved with last minute gift shopping! Arnold is awesome and anything having to do with him brawling with other shoppers over a ridiculous toy is totally worth watching every year.

christmasvacation8. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Writer: John Hughes
Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki

The Griswold’s plan a big family Christmas at their house only to have it ruined by a series of unfortunate events. This movie is a must-see for Christmas time. Everyone knows the struggles that come with family holiday get togethers, and this movie exaggerates and satirizes that. Chevy Chase is his usual arrogant and goofy self, determined to cover his entire house in Christmas lights and try to recapture the spirit of Christmas from his childhood. You’ve also got the stereotypical awful relatives, the moody kids, and annoying neighbors. Mix that in with ruined dinners, ugly trees, and pesky animals and you have a great film to get you in the holiday spirit.

7. Love Actually (2003)loveactually
Director: Richard Curtis
Writer: Richard Curtis
Cast: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Kiera Knightley, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman

It’s a sweet intertwining of multiple stories centered around love at Christmas time. Other than being one of the best examples of a large ensemble movie done right, Love Actually is just one of those movies that really gives you the good feels when you watch it. It features some of the best actors from the UK, it had sad moments, happy moments, humor, and it’s just an all around cute movie that I love watching any time of the year.

thenightmarebeforexmas6. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Director: Henry Selick
Writers: Tim Burton, Michael McDowell, Caroline Thompson
Cast: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey

Tim Burton’s classic animated tale of Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king, as he discovers Christmas Town one day, and tries to get the residents of Halloween Town to help recreate Christmas with their own scary twist. This one is tricky. Is it a Halloween movie? Is it a Christmas movie? I like to think of it as both. If a movie has anything even slightly Christmas-y in it, it’s a Christmas movie! That’s my rule. If there was ever a movie that so accurately portrays the weirdly unique style of Tim Burton, it’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. There’s a reason why so many people are drawn to it, it’s different, it’s skillfully done stop-motion animation with a main character who is nothing short of iconic in the animation world, it features some really catchy songs, and it’s a lot of stylish, entertaining fun, and perfect for the holiday despite its Halloween themes.

homealone5. Home Alone (1990)
Director: Chris Columbus
Writer: John Hughes
Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy

The story of Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), a boy who must defend his home from burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) after he was accidentally left behind by his family who flew to France for Christmas. To me, Home Alone is classic holiday movie that never gets old. I grew up watching it at least a few times every year. I always wished that I could be as fearless and clever as Kevin if I ever had to face the same situation, of course, it would never happen like that. But at least I learned how to blow torch someone’s head if they ever walked into my front door uninvited, or how to ice my steps so they might never make it to the door in the first place. There’s a lot here for a kid to love. I’m 25 now, but I could still watch endless reruns of this movie any time of year.

34thstreet4. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Director: George Seaton
Writers: George Seaton, Valentine Davies
Cast: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood, John Payne

Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) and her daughter Susan (Natalie Wood), meet a nice old man (Edmund Gwenn) who works as Santa Claus in Macy’s and who claims to be the real deal. When he is institutionalized for these claims, Fred Gailey (John Payne), a lawyer and the Walkers’ neighbor, has to defend him by proving that he really is Santa Claus. Its a cute story that involves a no nonsense mother and daughter who are made to believe in the extraordinary and the illogical. It’s a movie that captures the spirit of Christmas in all the right ways. You have a nice old man who changes people’s lives and who even turns presidents of department stores into helpful, giving men. Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his role as Kris Kringle and it was well deserved. Natalie Wood was also an impressive talent as a sharp-tongued and clever young girl. Miracle on 34th Street is a great Christmas movie for the whole family.

3. Die Hard (1988)diehard1
Directors: John McTiernan
Writers: Steven de Souza, Jeb Stuart
Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

John McClane (Bruce Willis) has to save his estranged wife and her co-workers when they are taken hostage by a German terrorist named Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). I recently wrote a guest review for this movie for Movierob’s blog, so I’ll spare everyone the repetitiveness about just how awesome I think this movie is. The best part about it is that I could include it in both a favorite action movies list as well as a favorite Christmas movies list (yes, it’s a Christmas movie!) The fact that it’s number 3 also says that if someone ever asks me what Christmas movie I feel like watching, if none of the 2 options below are available, Die Hard is my most obvious choice, despite any kind of weird judgement I might receive for it.”What? No Christmas Vacation? Elf? BAD SANTA?!” No, Die Hard. NOW!

achristmasstory2. A Christmas Story (1983)
Director: Bob Clark
Writers: Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, Bob Clark
Cast: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin

Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) is obsessed with the idea of getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, despite his parents, teacher, and the fake Santa at the department store insisting that he’ll shoot his eye out with it. I don’t know about anyone outside the US, but here there’s a TV station that plays 24 hours of A Christmas Story starting on Christmas Eve. For those whole 24 hours, I don’t watch anything except this movie. Yeah, every single year. I love it. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without it, honestly. It’s entertaining and hilarious, the narration is great and I love the depiction of Christmas time in the 1940s. Growing up watching this over and over again every year, it’s become a piece of my childhood and a big part of my holiday probably for years to come. Come tonight, I’m going to marathoning the hell out of this movie!

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)its-a-wonderful-life
Director: Frank Capra
Writers: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra
Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Thomas Mitchell, Lionel Barrymore

George Bailey (James Stewart) often misses his opportunities to live out his life dreams of traveling in order to fulfill his responsibilities to his town and his family. When his uncle misplaces an $8,000 loan on Christmas Eve, he feels overwhelmed and suicidal until his guardian angel comes along and shows him how worse off everyone would be if he never existed. It’s a Wonderful Life is the ultimate Christmas classic. Even in some other Christmas movies, you’ll see the characters watching this. Not only is it a great movie for the holiday, but it’s one of the greatest movies ever made. The story is so relatable, how many people out there have had to sacrifice big dreams for the good of the people around them? I’m sure plenty have, and plenty still do. It’s sad, and it makes me cry like a baby, but the message is so great. This is a truly beautiful movie that everyone should watch regardless of whether or not you celebrate Christmas.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Elf (2003) – not a bad movie at all about a regular sized man raised as an elf at the North Pole. I’m usually not a big fan of Will Ferrell, but he’s kind of awesome in this.
Bad Santa (2003) – Billy Bob Thornton is perfect for the role as the rude and miserable man who poses as Santa in order to rob department stores. Not exactly a kid friendly movie, but it’s a good time.
The Family Stone (2005) – I wasn’t a huge fan of this movie until my mom’s love for it forced me to watch it a bunch of times and it grew on me, now I think it’s slightly underrated.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) – One of the best old stop-motion animated Christmas specials I used to look forward to seeing every year on TV.
Scrooged (1988) – a modern twist on the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge with Bill Murray as a selfish TV executive who is haunted by three spirits at Christmas. Who doesn’t love Bill Murray?

Well, there it is, folks! I hope everyone has a happy holiday, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever else. ‘Tis the season to enjoy some time off work or school (assuming you’re lucky enough to have that), to spend time with family and relax. May you have the patience, tolerance and self-restraint needed to get through the not always pleasant family gatherings, and if all else fails, ignore them and go watch a movie with a glass of wine and some homemade cookies!

007 December – GoldenEye (1995) – Justine’s Movie Blog

My second James Bond review for Movierob’s 007 December blogathon is none other than GoldenEye, the defining Bond movie of my own childhood. It’s the best Pierce Brosnan Bond movie, and it spawned one of my most favorite N64 video games.

Go check out the rest of the many awesome Bond reviews from this month!

Thanks again, Rob!

007-December Blogathon

Up next for today’s Bond movie, GoldenEye (1995), here’s Justine of Justine’s Movie Blog with her thoughts on it.

Thanks again Justine!

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Having grown up in the ’90s, Pierce Brosnan was the very first Bond I’ve ever seen. To me, he simply is James Bond, and although I’ve come to love other Bonds even more, he’ll always be the first for me. Incidentally, my first encounter with GoldenEye was as a Nintendo 64 video game that was really popular back then. It was a first-person shooter and I was really good at it. If you played multiplayer with me and the golden gun, I assure you, you’d lose. I hadn’t seen the movie until many years later, but when I did, it was a sweet nostalgia. That’s what it’ll always be for me–a reminder of when I was an 8-year-old girl killing everyone in a James Bond video game. Sweet…

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

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It’s fair to say that The Hobbit story should have never been stretched so thin across three long films. While The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was a slightly better than an average movie and a welcome return of some great characters from The Lord of the Rings franchise, The Desolation of Smaug was a long, babbling mess and a slow build up to absolutely no conclusion whatsoever. The final installment, The Battle of the Five Armies, ended the franchise on an acceptable note, although I think the trilogy as a whole hardly shines in comparison to The Lord of the Rings. Instead, it suffers from the same mediocre prequel syndrome so many other franchises have endured before it.

The beginning of The Battle of the Five Armies seems very misplaced. It starts out jumping right into the action at Laketown with Smaug flying overhead, people are panicking and scattering to save themselves before their homes are burned to the ground. Bard (Luke Evans) eventually kills him with the black arrow, but not before the whole town is destroyed. The thing that bothers me the most about this beginning is that this event was built up to over a period of 161 minutes in The Desolation of Smaug, and yet it never happened. Not only was it a rather long journey for Bilbo and company to actually get to the Lonely Mountain, but when they do get there, it takes even longer to get inside, and when they get inside, we finally see the titular dragon. Then what happens when we see him? NOTHING. He talks a lot. He talks, and talks, and talks some more. Not that I don’t enjoy Benedict Cumberbatch’s sinister dragon voice, but after waiting so long for some kind of pay off, he just flies off into the distance and the movie ends. The entire first 20 or so minutes of The Battle of the Five Armies should have been the end 20 minutes of The Desolation of Smaug. What could’ve been an epic death of the dragon, who was much more important in the last film, was forsaken by putting it in the beginning of this movie, making it nothing more than a prologue sequence where it was quickly forgotten. Whoever made that executive decision is an idiot, but what can you do?

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Now that I’ve gotten that ranting out of my system, I’ll move on to what worked here. This movie offers exactly what it seems to offer in its very fitting title–a battle. A very long battle that lasted the entire third act of the film, which was possibly a little more than an hour. While some people might not like this, I thought it made for an exciting ending to what should’ve been an epic series. The action is genuinely entertaining and is the plot device that moves the story along in the last act.

There are periods where the characters are allowed to take a breather and come to realizations of who they’ve become throughout this long journey, and it’s these moments that allow for their characters to fully develop before the story ends. Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) is such a character that forgoes a drastic change throughout the film. As he and the dwarves search for the Arkenstone while being surrounded by an endless sea of treasure, he becomes overtaken by greed and blinded by paranoia. He goes back on his word to Bard by not giving him the gold to rebuild his burning city, and he admits to Bilbo (Martin Freeman) that he believes one of his fellow dwarves is keeping the stone from him. He also refuses to return some long lost gems to Thranduil (Lee Pace) and the elves, and instead, chooses to go to war with them. When the orcs reach the Lonely Mountain, he has to try to hold on to a shred of who he was before in order to stand up and fight amongst the rest of his people.

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Bilbo changes a lot during the duration of the trilogy too. In the first film, he is somewhat selfish and cowardly, but by the third he is a genuine friend to the dwarves, he looks out for Thorin despite his “dragon sickness,” and he no longer shies away from dangerous situations. Unfortunately, Bilbo is not really a prominent character in this movie, and aside from trying to help save Thorin from himself, he doesn’t have a huge purpose. It’s a shame, because he is a really likable character, much more so than Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. I can’t even begin to explain how much I hate Frodo, and I would take Bilbo over him any day. A better main character is perhaps the one thing this trilogy has over the previous one, I must say.

Aside from Bilbo and the dwarves, there are some characters we’ve come to know well over the past decade that show up in the trilogy and are present in this film. Obviously, Gandalf (Ian McKellan) is one of the most beloved characters from both franchises and he’s no less awesome here than he is in any of the other movies. It was also cool to see Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and Saruman (Christopher Lee) fighting off the Ringwraiths, and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) turning into that weird, scary image of herself while being tempted by Sauron. Legolas (Orlando Bloom), who was somewhat annoying and unnecessary in the second film redeems himself here by being less annoying and a lot more useful to the other characters, despite still standing in the way of Tauriel’s (Evangeline Lilly) weird love affair with Kili the dwarf (Aidan Turner). He’s also so agile he can jump rocks while they’re falling in mid air. Who knew?

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As I said before, the battle takes up the majority of the time this film, but there’s still plenty of time for emotional sentiment. The characters have time to say their good-byes to each other, and when certain deaths happen, there’s enough reaction to it, for me anyway. Too much sentimentality is not my thing. I’m glad when Bilbo quickly goes on his way in the end. It might seem rushed in comparison to the long battle, but when you really think about it, who needs more Peter Jackson fluff? We’ve already got over 17 hours in Middle-earth (and that’s not counting the extended editions), that’s more than enough for me.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies mostly met my expectations, even though I don’t quite agree with where they decided to split the second and third films. But this has a lot of great CGI and exciting scenes involving the clashing of orcs, elves, dwarves and humans, which I am all for. Even though the battle is long, I didn’t find it boring. Bilbo and Thorin have become my two new favorite characters, and I enjoyed the return of those from The Lord of the Rings, as they helped in bridging the gap between the two trilogies. Even though I don’t think The Hobbit franchise was terrible, it’s pretty clear now that Jackson has stretched Tolkien’s stories far enough. The ending of our time in Middle-earth is bittersweet, but it’s definitely for the best.

3/5

A look ahead to 2015: Marvel vs. DC

I, along with Mark and Rich from the ISCFC, discuss the upcoming battle at the cinema between Marvel and DC. I know most people have opinions on this, whether they be neutral or not. Go read and share your thoughts!

2015 could be a blockbuster year at the Box Office. The studios are putting together a host of massive franchise movies for the masses. But there’s a contest which stands out amongst the crowd as two cinematic universes prepare to collide. Me and Mark look ahead at the battle between Marvel vs. DC with Self-proclaimed movie connoisseur Justine Baron. You can read more of Justine’s writing at https://justbmovies.wordpress.com/ and follow her at https://twitter.com/justine_baron

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Mark Longden (https://twitter.com/Mark_ISCFC):

I read an interview with a director the other day (annoyingly, I can’t remember who) and he talked about DC’s “Batman” movie series. He hated them, he said, because it was ridiculous to have a superhero movie be about brooding and emotions and all that – Marvel got it right with their lighter, breezier, fun romps; indeed, that’s the only way superhero movies should be. Now, I think that’s a load of…

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Whiplash (2014)

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How far would someone be willing to be pushed in order to achieve greatness? That’s a question that is inevitably answered through 107 minutes of intense imagery as we watch one jazz band student exude actual blood, sweat and tears while being humiliated, as well as physically and mentally abused by his own music teacher. Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash is not a movie about music, it’s a movie about the obsession with becoming the next great musician at any cost. To be remembered purely for your unmatched talent is something that is strived for, and everything else in life is just another obstacle to achieving your goal, at least, that’s what goes through the mind of our main character.

Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) is a 19-year-old drummer attending one of the best music schools in the country. After an encounter with the infamous teacher and conductor of a competitive school jazz band, Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), Andrew is offered to sit in as an alternate drummer in the band. At first, Fletcher gives him friendly assurance to just do his best, and Andrew is shocked by his reaction when he fails to follow tempo and has a chair thrown at his head. He soon realizes that Fletcher is far from the encouraging, easy-going teacher he thought he might be. Andrew practices and practices until his hands blister and bleed so that he can fight for the spot as main drummer, all the while he struggles with having a social life and making time for his new girlfriend. Fletcher pushes Andrew to his limits, chastising him and humiliating him in front of his peers at any available opportunity, and no matter how hard Andrew tries, he feels he may never live up to Fletcher’s impossible standards.

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The thing about Whiplash is that it poses some pretty interesting questions about what it takes for someone to reach their full potential. Is Fletcher ruthless and abusive? Yes. Is he doing it purely just to be an evil bastard? I don’t think so. He’s obviously not completely sane or moral in the way he tries to do it, but I honestly think he really was trying to find the next great jazz musician. One could argue that our society has become too over-sensitive when it comes to even the smallest things in life. Everything is about political correctness, you can’t even say Merry Christmas to someone anymore without them getting offended. It’s borderline ridiculous, to be honest. So in this film, a merciless teacher comes along and pushes Andrew over his limits. It’s easy enough to say that it’s wrong because you shouldn’t abuse other people, but was it completely wrong after all? Even though it seemed as though Andrew was already obsessing over the idea of becoming a famous musician before Fletcher came along, would he really have ever achieved it unless there was someone like Fletcher to light a fire under him? You can’t really know for sure.

In the movie, Fletcher tells Andrew, “There are no two words more harmful to the English language than ‘good job’.” That’s a tough statement to come to terms with, but I have to kind of agree. If he had coddled Andrew the entire time and deceivingly assured him that he was doing a “good job,” then Andrew would never have the motivation to push himself further in order to fully reach his potential, then maybe the dream of becoming a famous musician would never be fulfilled. Of course, the movie doesn’t show you whether or not Andrew goes on to make it big, but the last scene gives you the assurance that there was at least a good chance of that happening.

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I almost feel bad sticking up for Fletcher because he was pretty terrible and insanely scary, and I’m not one to condone abuse and bullying. I felt like I was going to have nightmares of J.K. Simmons screaming in my face, “Were you rushing or were you dragging?!” The extent of Fletcher’s abuse was definitely over the top, but I can’t fault a teacher for being hard on a student that is worthy of achieving so much more than just doing a “good job.” Although, I’ll admit, I hated teachers I came across that were even just a little bit like that. I needed it, though, because I was a grade-A slacker.

Now that I’ve babbled on too much about morality, let me move on to the two stand out performances from J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller. Like I said, Simmons was so intense and scary, he’s worthy of being the object of nightmares. I’m too used to seeing him in comical roles, I was surprised he could take such a drastic turn. Admittedly, some of his insults were a bit comical, but in a bad way, the type you feel awful for laughing at. He’s not someone I would ever want to go head-to-head with, in fact, if I were Andrew, I probably would’ve given up that dream real quick. I won’t be surprised to see Simmons’ name in the list of nominees for an Oscar this season, because this performance is definitely worthy of it.

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Miles Teller surprised me even more. He’s not really an actor I’ve been crazy about lately, and it probably has to do with the multiple roles he’s taken as a teenager or young adult tool, and he certainly has no problem with those. He’s taken a turn for his career here though, and it was a smart one. Not only is he extremely convincing as a talented drummer, but the emotions quite literally pour out of him in this film. It’s insane to watch, it’s even hard to watch at times, because I can feel the intensity of his and Simmons’ performances to the point where my body was actually tense.

Whiplash is a great film about the obsession with achieving greatness. It raises questions of how far is too far, and if the end really justifies the means when it involves an overly harsh teacher and an impressionable student. The performances, direction, cinematography and editing are all worth noting here, as they work flawlessly together to create an experience where you can’t take your eyes off the screen. There are so many movies that have impressed me this year, and this is one of them. It’s another must-see for anyone looking to enjoy some really great talent.

5/5

Netflix: Expiring Soon (December 2014)

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Below you will find lists of titles expiring on Netflix during this month (December) in the US, Canada, and the UK. For anyone wanting to know what has been added this month, you can find that list here. I try to keep it as updated as possible.

As usual, if anyone comes across any expiration dates that are not on this list, leave the title in the comments and I will add it. There is also bound to be many more popping up as the month goes on, so I will attempt to find those titles and add them as I see them. Since it’s the end of the year, expect there to be a slew of movies expiring by the end of this month. As Netflix doesn’t like showing expiration dates too soon, I’ll have to add them later. So check back later on!

Note: Unless any of these titles are renewed, the dates below represent the date of the last day these titles will be available for you to watch.

Netflix US

12/9
Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
Madea’s Witness Protection (2012)
Paradise: Faith (2012)
12/10
FDR: American Badass (2012)
Where Soldiers Come From (2011)
12/11
Blade of Kings (2004)
Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)
Zero Bridge (2008)
12/12
A Beautiful Life (2011)
Senna (2010)
12/13
Adam’s Apples (2005)
The Bothersome Man (2006)
Fraulein (2006)
The Great Match (2006)
Viva Cuba (2005)
The Woodmans (2010)
12/14
American Addict (2013)
And Everything Is Going Fine (2010)
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)
Blue Crush 2 (2011)
The Citizen (2012)
Death Race 2 (2010)
Debra DiGiovanni: Single Awkward Female (2011)
A Happy Event (2011)
The Island (2007)
Last Ride (2009)
Punk in Africa (2012)
Secret Sunshine (2007)
Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony (2012)
The Wave (2008)
We Are the Night (2010)
12/15
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Broken Flowers (2005)
12/16
The Bay (2012)
12/18
Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012)
The Mighty Macs (2009)
12/20
Manny – 16 episodes (2011) (TV)
12/21
The Avengers (2012)
Kevorkian (2010)
Lockdown – 2 Seasons (2006-’08) (TV)
Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011)
12/22
Let the Bullets Fly (2010)
12/23
Spiderhole (2010)
Tales From the Golden Age (2009)
These Amazing Shadows (2011)
12/24
Electoral Dysfunction (2012)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Soldiers of Fortune (2012)
12/26
Certified Copy (2010)
Grey Owl (1999)
Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (2006)
Little Men – 2 Seasons (1998-’99) (TV)
Love Crime (2010)
Outfoxed: Murdoch’s War on Journalism (2004)
Pusher (2012)
The Time That Remains (2011)
12/27
Sassy Pants (2012)
12/28
6 Souls (2009)
12/30
11/11/11 (2011)
Absolute Wilson (2006)
Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter – 6 episodes (2012) (TV)
Bunraku (2010)
Cake – 13 episodes (2006) (TV)
The Hanoi Hilton (1987)
12/31
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Christmas Wishes for My Dog (2011)
Affliction (1997)
Afghan Luke (2011)
Alice (1990)
American Me (1992)
Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Annie Hall (1977)
Backdraft (1991)
Bad Boys (1983)
Bad Boys (1995)
Bananas (1971)
Batman (1989)
Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Beethoven (1992)
Beethoven’s 2nd (1993)
The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)
Belly (1998)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
The Big Bird Cage (1972)
Big Doll House (1971)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Bloodfist (1989)
Body Count (1997)
Bol Bachchan (2012)
Boomerang (1992)
Boyz n the Hood (1991)
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
Brain Dead (1990)
Braveheart (1995)
Bratz: Babyz: The Movie (2005)
Bratz: BFF: Best Friends Forever (2007)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Bro’ (2012)
Caged Animal (2010)
Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
Carrie (1976)
Chasing Christmas (2005)
Cheerleader Massacre II (2009)
The Chinese Connection (1972)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
The Company Men (2010)
Croom (2012)
The Day I Saw Your Heart (2011)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Death Race 2000 (1975)
Dinosaur Island (1994)
Duck Soup (1930)
Dutch (1991)
Eat My Dust! (1976)
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)
Endless Love (1981)
Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
Far and Away (1992)
Fat Man & Little Boy (1989)
Found Memories (2011)
The Frighteners (1996)
From Here to Eternity (1953)
From the Hip (1987)
Fully Alive (2011)
Galaxy of Terror (1981)
The Gambler (1974)
Gandhi (1982)
G.I. Joe: Renegades – 1 Season (2010) (TV)
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
Gladiator (2000)
The Golden Bowl (2000)
Grand Canyon (1991)
Grand Theft Auto (1977)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Grudge 3 (2009)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Happy Gilmore (1996)
The Hard Way (1991)
Heart and Souls (1993)
Himalaya (1999)
Hit! (1973)
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
House (2008)
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
House Arrest (1996)
Humanoids of the Deep (1980)
I Am Slave (2010)
Imitation of Life (1959)
Interiors (1978)
I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
Imitation of Life (1959)
In Search of Santa (2004)
Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters – 52 episodes (2012) (TV)
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Legally Blondes (2009)
Little Town of Bethlehem (2010)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
The Longest Yard (1974)
Love and Death (1975)
Love Ranch (2010)
Manhattan (1979)
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1987)
McHale’s Navy (1997)
A Midsummer’s Night Sex Comedy (1982)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
My Girl (1991)
My Girl 2 (1994)
Narc (2002)
The Next Karate Kid (1994)
Nick of Time (1995)
Not of This Earth (1988)
Novocaine (2001)
Nowhere Boy (2009)
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
Paradise Road (1997)
The Parallax View (1974)
The Parent Trap (1998)
Paths of Glory (1957)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Radio Days (1987)
Rain Man (1988)
Red Bull BC One: New York (2009)
Red Bull Cubed Pipe (2011)
Red Bull Minor Threat (2011)
Red Bull Rampage: The Evolution (2010)
Red Bull Return to Millen Mountain (2011)
Red Bull Way Back Home (2011)
Red Dawn (1984)
A River Runs Through It (1992)
Rock-A-Doodle (1991)
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)
Rocky I­-V (1976­ – 1990)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Saved! (2004)
Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
SEC Storied: Lolo Jones (2012)
September (1987)
Shadows and Fog (1991)
Shivers (1975)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Slap Shot (1977)
Sleeper (1973)
Smalltown, Italy (2005)
Sneakers (1992)
Sniper: Reloaded (2010)
Snow Day (2000)
The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
Sorority House Massacre (1986)
Sorority House Massacre II (1990)
Spaceballs (1987)
Starcrash (1979)
Stardust Memories (1980)
Stargate (1994)
State Property (2002)
The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All (1999)
Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon (2011)
Tamara (2005)
The Tangerine Bear: Home in Time for Christmas (2000)
The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
Titanic (1997)
Tombstone (1993)
Top Dog (1995)
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
Transformers – 4 Seasons (1984-’87) (TV)
Turner and Hooch (1989)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
The Wash (2001)
We Are Family! (2012)
Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Women in Cages (1971)
WWE: The Top 100 Moments in Raw History – 2 episodes (2012)
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
Zelig (1983)

Netflix Canada

12/9
Catfish (2010)
Dead Tone (2007)
The Expendables (2010)
Jack Goes Boating (2010)
Let Me In (2010)
Locked Down (2010)
Nowhere Boy (2009)
Special Ops (2010)
StreetDance (2010)
12/10
Creature (2011)
My Way (2011)
Where Soldiers Come From (2011)
12/12
Lebanon (2009)
12/14
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Buried (2010)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996)
Highlander: Endgame (2000)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Kingpin (1996)
Punk in Africa (2012)
Swingers (1996)
12/15
Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
12/16
3 Musketeers (2011)
12/17
Saw: The Final Chapter
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (2011)
12/19
Alpha and Omega (2010)
12/24
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
12/26
Love Crime (2010)
12/27
The Last Exorcism (2010)
12/28
Almost Famous (2000)
Juice (1992)
12/29
Stone (2010)
12/30
It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)
My Soul to Take (2010)
The Next Three Days (2010)
12/31
Accepted (2006)
Antares (2004)
Belly (1998)
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Bless the Child (2000)
Blood & Chocolate (2007)
The Bothersome Man (2006)
Buddy (2003)
Bulletproof Monk (2003)
A Call Girl (2009)
The Campaign (2012)
Child’s Play (1988)
Crack in the World (1965)
Dark Shadows (2012)
The Desperate Hours (1955)
The Drummer (2007)
Eye for an Eye (1996)
Friends (1971)
The Grocer’s Son (2007)
Hannie Caulder (1971)
He Died with a Felafel in His Hand (2001)
Hoodlum (1997)
The Ice Storm (1997)
In Love We Trust (2007)
Mandingo (1975)
Masterpiece Classic: Great Expectations – 3 episodes (2011) (TV)
Masterpiece Classic: Wuthering Heights – 2 episodes (2009) (TV)
Masterpiece Contemporary: Page Eight (2011)
Masterpiece Mystery!: Endeavour (2012)
Masterpiece Mystery!: Endeavour – 1 Season (2013) (TV)
The Molly Maguires (1970)
Monsieur Hire (1989)
Morlang (2003)
The Naked Prey (1966)
A New Leaf (1971)
Noise (2009)
The Parallax View (1974)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
The President’s Analyst (1967)
Psychopathia Sexualis (2006)
The Rainmaker (1997)
Raja (2004)
The River Murders (2011)
Saved! (2004)
Suspect Zero (2004)
Tell Tale (2009)
Testament (1983)
The Thing (2011)
Troubled Water (2008)
Untold Scandal (2003)
Will Penny (1968)
The Workshop (2007)
XXY (2007)

Netflix UK

12/8
Skyfall (2012)
Uninhabited (2010)
12/9
Cote d’ Azur (2005)
The Fish Child (2009)
Leave It On the Floor (2009)
12/10
Jungle 2 Jungle (1997)
12/13
Falling Awake (2009)
Punk in Africa (2012)
Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony (2012)
Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project (2011)
12/14
Snow Buddies (2008)
12/15
The Avengers (2012)
El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (2011)
12/17
The Bay (2012)
Producing Adults (2004)
12/18
Ek Tha Tiger (2012)
12/20
Defiance (2008)
12/21
Tangled (2010)
12/24
Great Expectations (2012)
Presque Rien (Come Undone) (2000)
Sasha (2010)
12/27
Holy Motors (2012)
12/30
The 13th Warrior (1999)
Andromeda – 5 Seasons (2000-’04) (TV)
Boogeyman 3 (2008)
Dead Silence (2007)
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
Georgia Rule (2007)
The Horse Whisperer (1998)
O’ Christmas Tree (1999)
Sydney White (2007)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Zulu (1964)
12/31
Brotherhood – 3 Seasons (2006-’08) (TV)
Californication – 5 Seasons (2007-’12) (TV)
The Cleaner – 2 Seasons (2008-’09) (TV)
Holes (2003)
MacGyver – 7 Seasons (1985-’91) (TV)
Numb3rs – 6 Seasons (2004-’09) (TV)
The Purple Sea (2009)

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

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Everything about Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is right on point. The acting, directing, the drum beat score, the editing, and the cinematography with the continually roving camerawork all work to bring you right into the world of theatre, captivating the audience in this darkly humorous satire about showbiz and those lucky, or rather, unlucky enough to be a part of it.

Riggan (Michael Keaton) is a washed up actor who was once well known for playing a famous superhero named Birdman. He tries to revive his career by directing and acting in a Broadway play. His ego gets the better of him as he alienates his troubled daughter, Sam (Emma Stone), and struggles to work with the few actors in his play, especially Mike (Edward Norton). Meanwhile, he wrestles with his inner demons who have appropriately taken the form as Birdman, his former claim-to-fame character, acting as a kind of alter ego who discourages him on a regular basis.

Birdman2

One of the things about this movie that impressed me within the first ten minutes is the way the cinematography is handled. I have nothing but admiration for Emmanuel Lubezki after seeing this movie. No doubt using some inspiration from movies like Hitchcock’s Rope, the whole thing is filmed to look like one continuous shot. The camera follows the characters around the Broadway theatre, as one character moves off screen, another comes into the frame and then it follows that character. It feels like you’re watching an actual Broadway play where there’s no cut scenes or edits, or even more so, it feels like you’re a shadow that’s observing all these human interactions behind the scenes. It’s brilliant and even though you know there’s probably a cut when a character moves into a dark hallway or something, you don’t notice it, because everything is seamlessly edited.

Because of the unusually long takes, the actors were required to memorize and perform up to fifteen pages of script at a time, which leads me to the performances. The small ensemble of main actors–Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, and Andrea Riseborough are all amazing, they contribute to the seemingly effortless flow of the film. The stand out here, though, is Michael Keaton who gives an impeccable performance as a man trying to achieve success while battling his own ego. He’s so wrapped up in his own head that the movie switches back and forth from realism to fantasy. He’s most likely either manic depressive or schizophrenic, but the ending of the movie is ambiguous, leaving you to wonder whether Keaton’s character is the only one who’s a little crazy, or if the fantasy is real within the confines of this particular world. Michael Keaton is really something to behold here, and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t nominated for a Best Actor award this coming season.

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Edward Norton is another show stealer. He is cocky and humorous and often times lights a fire under Riggan’s ass. He’s kind of a dynamic character overall. One minute he’s being a complete jerk to Riggan, and the next he standing up for him, like when Sam talks to Mike about how Riggan wasn’t a good father. Mike seems confident, but there are times when it becomes clear that there’s something quite different bubbling beneath the surface. I feel like he, and all of the play actors represent those in the business who only flaunt a big ego because they are overcompensating for the little self worth they actually have. I’ve always liked Edward Norton, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie I really liked him in. Even in the couple of Wes Anderson movies he’s been in, I’ve found him somewhat forgettable. In my opinion, this is the best role he’s had in a while.

Birdman acts as a great social commentary on showbiz and the whole idea of success and fame achieved through the medium of “true art,” which in this case would be Broadway, as opposed to Hollywood blockbusters, like a Birdman franchise. As Riggan’s alter ego constantly reminds him, he had it made as a superhero, but Riggan wanted to be something more than that. The movie even criticizes the real life actors who act as Hollywood’s cash cow and give in to playing superheroes in big blockbusters. The fact that Michael Keaton has played Batman before, Edward Norton has played The Hulk, and Emma Stone has been the love interest of Spider-Man, it gives the casting in this movie a bit of irony. They have all delved into the superhero-achieved fame and have felt the pressure that comes with the celebrity status. They haven’t yet become irrelevant like Riggan (although Keaton admittedly hasn’t achieved this much success since Batman), but so many others have felt that sting of being typecast and then thrown away.

Birdman4

There is a lot that can be taken from Birdman, and most of it is simply personal perspective. The great thing about it is that different people can see it and come away having different views, because a lot of the messages are up for interpretation. Aside from that, it succeeds in its flawless direction and cinematography, as well as some outstanding performances by a few very talented actors. I assure you, Michael Keaton will see a nomination for this. This is a movie that demands to be seen, it is one of the best I have seen all year. With one more month to go in 2014, I don’t think there will be too many new films that will push this out of one of the top spots. Some are calling it a masterpiece, I’m not one for throwing that word around lightly, so I will just say it’s very, very good.

5/5

007 December – From Russia With Love (1963) – Justine’s Movie Blog

My review for MovieRob’s 007 December Blogathon is one of my favorite James Bond movies–From Russia With Love.

Thanks, Rob! 🙂

007-December Blogathon

For today’s 3 review of From Russia With Love (1963), I’m happy to present a review by Justine of Justine’s Movie Blog.

Thanks again Justine!

fromrussiawithloveposterFrom Russia With Love is the second Bond film in a long-running series and arguably, one of the best examples of what the James Bond stories are all about. It is, first and foremost, a Cold War spy thriller, and it has all the elements you need in a Bond film–action, romance, cool gadgets, and a great setting.

James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent on a mission to retrieve a cryptographic device from the Soviets called a Lektor, which is something MI6 has wanted for years. What he doesn’t know is that SPECTRE has devised an intricate plan to steal the Lektor and sell it back to the Soviets, and at the same time, exact revenge on Bond for killing Dr. No. SPECTRE operatives…

View original post 588 more words

Netflix: What’s New on Streaming (December 2014)

netflix-logo

Here are the US, Canada and UK lists for new movie and TV titles that have been added to Netflix streaming this month of December. As usual, I will try to keep this list updated as I find more titles are being added later on in the month. In the meantime, you can see what new was added last month and what expired recently. Enjoy!

Netflix US

12/1
2 Days in the Valley (1996)
1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story (2014)
Ali (2001)
Almost Famous (2000)
Aluna (2012)
American Beauty (1999)
Andrew Jenks, Room 335 (2006)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
Batman Forever (1995)
Bewitched (2005)
Big and Small – 13 Episodes (2008) (TV)
Black Mirror – 2 Seasons (2011-’13) (TV)
Black Rain (1989)
Breaking the Taboo (2011)
Brightest Star (2013)
Camp Takota (2014)
Chanuka at Bubbe’s (1998)
Christmas on Salvation Street (2014)
Chuggington – 3 Seasons (2008-’10) (TV)
Crossroads (2002)
Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life (2007)
The Dark Crystal (1982)
Darkness (2002)
The Deadly Bees (1967)
The Dentist (1996)
The Dentist 2: Brace Yourself (1998)
Doki – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Dracula II: Ascension (2003)
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Frequencies (2013)
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)
Friday the 13: Part 3 (1982)
Friday the 13th: Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)
Friday the 13th: Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th: Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)
Friday the 13th: Part 7: The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th: Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
From Russia with Love (1963)
G.I. Jane (1997)
Goldfinger (1964)
The Gospel of John (2014)
Hammett (1982)
Heavenly Sword (2014)
Hondo (1953)
The Hustler (1961)
An Innocent Man (1989)
Jade (1995)
Jewtopia (2012)
Knights of Badassdom (2013)
A Knight’s Tale (2001)
Labyrinth (1986)
Last Night (2010)
Legends of the Fall (1994)
Live and Let Die (1973)
The Living Daylights (1987)
love, no matter what – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
Madison (2005)
The Magic of Heineken (2014)
McConkey (2013)
Medora (2013)
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Mosquita y Mari (2012)
Myth Hunters – Season 2 (2013)
Necessary Roughness (1991)
Never Say Never Again (1983)
Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut (1990)
The Omen (1976)
Damien: Omen II (1978)
Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)
One from the Heart (1982)
Out of the Clear Blue Sky (2012)
Out of Time (2003)
The Out-of-Towners (1999)
Outside Providence (1999)
Panic Room (2002)
The People That Time Forgot (1977)
Perfect Sisters (2014)
Reincarnation (2006)
Ride Out for Revenge (1957)
Runaway Train (1985)
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
Sing Along at Bubbe’s (1997)
Stomp the Yard: Homecoming (2010)
Stuart Little 2 (2002)
Tetro (2009)
Thief (1981)
Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
The Truman Show (1998)
Turbo FAST – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare (2008)
VeggieTales: Celery Night Fever (2014)
VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables (2012)
VeggieTales: Veggies in Space: The Fennel Frontier (2014)
Velvet – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
A View to a Kill (1985)
Waking Up in Reno (2002)
What She Wants for Christmas (2012)
You Only Live Twice (1967)
12/2
4 Minute Mile (2014)
30 for 30: Rand University (2009)
Eureka Seven – 2 Seasons (2005) (TV)
House of Flying Daggers (2004)
Human Prey – Season 1 (2009) (TV)
In Need of Romance – 16 Episodes (2011) (TV)
Legends of the Knight (2013)
Shut Up & Let’s Go – 16 Episodes (2012) (TV)
12/3
Black Ops – Series 2 (2014) (TV)
Oculus (2014)
Son of God (2014)
12/4
Frontera (2014)
12/5
Bill Burr: I’m Sorry You Feel That Way (2014)
12/6
American Horror Story: Coven (2013) (TV)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Super-Sized Version (2013)
Ava & Lala (2014)
The Improv: 50 Years Behind the Brick Wall (2013)
King of Devil’s Island (2010)
Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)
12/7
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! (2012)
12/8
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown – Season 3 (2014) (TV)
12/9
Doc Martin – Series 6 (2013) (TV)
Drive Hard (2014)
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012)
Family Guy – Season 12 (2014) (TV)
Fanny (2013)
I Am Ali (2014)
InRealLife (2013)
Korengal (2014)
Marius (2013)
More Business of Being Born – 4 Episodes (2011) (TV)
Sesame Street: Classics – 2 Volumes (1969-2012) (TV)
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013)
12/10
A Haunted House 2 (2014)
I Am Yours (2013)
It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)
12/11
36 Saints (2013)
The Village (2004)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
12/12
Broadchurch – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Get Santa (2014)
In Your Eyes (2014)
Marco Polo – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
Nick Offerman: American Ham (2014)
12/13
Chinese Puzzle (2013)
Don’t Blink (2014)
How to Build a Better Boy (2014)
Mercenaries (2014)
Mystery Road (2013)
12/14
The Great War Diary – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
12/15
Agatha Christie’s Poirot – Series 11 (2008) (TV)
Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case (2013)
Breastmilk (2014)
Could This Be Love (2014)
Dragons: Dawn of the Dragon Racers (2014)
The Gruffalo (2009)
The Gruffalo’s Child (2011)
Jake Squared (2014)
Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story – Part 1 – Season 1 (2010)
LEGO: Legends of Chima – Season 2 (2014) (TV)
Littlest Pet Shop – Season 3 (2013) (TV)
Playground (2009)
Ring the Bell (2013)
Room on the Broom (2012)
Roseanne Collection – Season 1 (1988) (TV)
Total Drama – Season 5 (2013) (TV)
Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro (2013)
Wrath of Grapes: The Don Cherry Story II – Part I – Season 1 (2012)
12/16
At the Devil’s Door (2014)
Beyond the Hills (2012)
Cam2Cam (2014)
The Dark Matter of Love (2012)
Dear Dumb Diary (2013)
Santa Claws (2014)
12/17
My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks (2014)
Timeline (2003)
12/18
The Honourable Woman – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
Pee-wee’s Playhouse – 6 Seasons (1986-’88) (TV)
Ragnarok (2014)
What Now? Remind Me (2013)
12/19
All Hail King Julien – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
BoJack Horseman Christmas Special (2014)
The House of Magic (2013)
12/20
An Evergreen Christmas (2014)
Kundo: Age of the Rampant (2014)
The Last Sentence (2012)
Le Chef (2012)
Oh Boy (2012)
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Extended Version (2013)
RoboRex (2014)
Tru Love (2013)
The Watsons Go to Birmingham (2013)
12/21
21st Century Sex Slaves (2012)
Alaska Fish Wars – 2 Seasons (2012-’14) (TV)
American Weed – 2 Seasons (2012) (TV)
Animal Superpowers – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
Apocalypse 101 – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Autumn Blood (2011)
Battleground Afghanistan – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Beast Hunter – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
Breakout – Season 1 (2010) (TV)
Built for the Kill – 2 Seasons (2012-’13) (TV)
Cesar 911 – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
Cesar Millan’s Leader of the Pack – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Comic Store Heroes (2012)
Crocpocalypse (2014)
DinoFish (2012)
Doomsday Castle – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Drugged – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
Fish Tank Kings – 3 Seasons (2012-’14) (TV)
Freaks and Creeps – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
Hard Time – Season 1 (2009) (TV)
How to Survive the End of the World – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Hustling America – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Inside the American Mob – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Inside Cocaine Wars – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
Inside the Hunt for the Boston Bomber (2014)
Kissinger (2011)
The Savage Line – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
Secret Life of Predators – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Sex: How It Works (2013)
Snake Salvation – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
To Catch a Smuggler – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
Untamed Americas – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
12/22
Dark Skies (2013)
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
12/23
A Trip to Italy (2014)
12/24
Legends to Oz: Dorothy’s Return (2014)
12/25
Good People (2014)
12/27
Child of God (2014)
Labor Day (2013)
12/28
Behaving Badly (2013)
Comedy Bang! Bang! – Season 3 (2014) (TV)
I, Frankenstein (2014)
Jessie – Season 3 (2013) (TV)
Maron – Season 2 (2014) (TV)
12/30
Last Weekend (2014)

Netflix Canada

12/1
1001 Rabbit Tales (1982)
4 Minute Mile (2014)
The Addams Family (1991)
The Almighty Johnsons – Seasons 2-3 (2010) (TV)
Amistad (1997)
Argo (2012)
The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song (2012)
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
Black Ops – Series 1-2 (2012)
Breaking The Taboo (2011)
Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! (2007)
Christmas on Salvation Street (2014)
Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island (1983)
Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life (2007)
Derby Dogs (2012)
Dying Young (1991)
For the Boys (1991)
Frequencies (2013)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
The Godfather: Part III (1990)
The Gospel of John (2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Heavenly Sword (2014)
History of the Eagles (2013)
The Hole (2009)
Home Run (2013)
It’s Not Over (2014)
Killer Joe (2011)
Laurence Anyways (2012)
Like Water (2011)
love, no matter what – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)
The Magic of Heineken​ (2014)
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Modern Problems (1981)
Mosquita y Mari (2012)
Myth Hunters – Series 2 (2012) (TV)
Paradise Road (1997)
Pitch Perfect (2012)
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Space Cowboys (2000)
Sushi Girl (2012)
VeggieTales: Celery Night Fever (2014)
VeggieTales: Incredible Vegetables (2012)
VeggieTales: Veggies in Space (2014)
Velvet – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
What She Wants for Christmas (2012)
Without a Trace (1983)
12/2
Eureka Seven – 2 Seasons (2005) (TV)
Human Prey – Season 1 (2009) (TV)
12/3
In Need of Romance – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
Joyride 3: Roadkill (2014)
Shut Up & Let’s Go – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
12/4
Extreme Prison Breaks – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
OC87 (2010)
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
White Collar – Seasons 1-5 (2009) (TV)
12/5
Aluna (2012)
Chuggington – Seasons 1-3 (2008) (TV)
Devil’s Due (2014)
Dogs with Jobs – Seasons 1-2 (2000) (TV)
12/6
Alex Cross (2012)
Argo (2012)
12/7
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! (2012)
Hit & Run (2012)
12/9
Family Guy – Season 12 (2013) (TV)
12/10
Attila Marcel (2013)
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012)
It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)
A Long Way Down (2014)
12/11
Afflicted (2013)
Below Zero (2011)
Black’s Game (2012)
The Great Fight (2011)
Korengal (2014)
Sacrifice (2010)
12/12
In Your Eyes (2014)
Marco Polo – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
Nick Offerman: American Ham (2014)
12/13
Don’t Blink (2014)
Mystery Road (2013)
Witching & Bitching (2013)
12/14
Broadchurch – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Bully (2012)
Croczilla (2012)
No Reservations (2007)
Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)
12/15
Lego: Legends of Chima – Season 2 (2013) (TV)
12/16
Bermuda Tentacles (2013)
Dragons: Dawn of the Dragon Racers (2014)
Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story – Season 1 (2010)
Littlest Pet Shop – Season 3 (2012) (TV)
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic – Season Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (2012)
Playground (2009)
Wrath of Grapes: The Don Cherry Story II – Season 1 (2012)
12/17
For No Good Reason (2012)
My Little Pony: Rainbow Rocks (2014)
12/18
The Mind of a Chef – Seasons 1-2 (2012) (TV)
Pee-wee’s Playhouse – 6 Seasons (1986-’88) (TV)
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
Wentworth – Seasons 1-2 (2013) (TV)
12/19
All Hail King Julien – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
BoJack Horseman Christmas Special (2014)
The House Of Magic (2013)
Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special (1988)
Sinister (2012)
12/20
Dear Dumb Diary (2013)
The Watsons Go to Birmingham (2013)
12/22
We Are the Best! (2013)
12/29
Ted (2012)

Netflix UK

12/1
Aluna (2012)
Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome (2012)
Beast of the Bering Sea (2013)
Ben 10 / Generator Rex: Heroes United – 2 episodes (2011) (TV)
Ben 10: Alien Swarm (2009)
Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens (2012)
Ben 10: Race Against Time (2007)
Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix (2007)
Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan – 1 Season (2011) (TV)
Breaking The Taboo (2011)
The Case Against 8 (2014)
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Escape from Tomorrow (2013)
Good Burger (1997)
The Good Doctor (2011)
Hansel and Gretel (1987)
It’s Not Over (2014)
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
love, no matter what – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
Puss in Boots (2011)
Rumpelstiltskin (1995)
The Sacrament (2013)
Smashed (2012)
Snakehead Swamp (2014)
Space Warriors (2013)
Stalingrad (2013)
TEDTalks: Hot Buttons – 9 episodes (2014) (TV)
TEDTalks: How to Start a Movement – 8 episodes (2011) (TV)
Tootsie (1982)
Turbo FAST – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
West of Memphis (2012)
What She Wants for Christmas (2012)
12/2
The Invisible Woman (2013)
Space Dandy – Season 2 (2014) (TV)
Tokyo Ghoul – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
12/4
A Hard Day’s Night: Collector’s Series (1964)
Kickboxer (1989)
My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)
12/5
Bill Burr: I’m Sorry You Feel That Way (2014)
Inspector Gadget (1999)
Piglet’s Big Movie (2003)
12/8
The Lunchbox (2013)
12/11
Free Ride (2013)
12/12
Marco Polo – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
12/13
Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009)
In Your Eyes (2014)
12/14
Gold (2014)
Stephen Fry Live: More Fool Me (2014)
Total Drama – Season 5 (2014) (TV)
12/15
Adventure Time – Season 4 (2011-’13) (TV)
The Stag (2013)
12/16
The Bachelor Weekend (2013)
Beyond the Edge (2013)
Fringe – Season 5 (2013) (TV)
12/17
The Dorm (2014)
Zach Galifianakis: Live at the Purple Onion (2006)
12/18
Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse – 9 episodes (2012) (TV)
Pee-wee’s Playhouse – 6 Seasons (1986-’88) (TV)
The Stranger Within (2013)
12/19
All Hail King Julien – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
BoJack Horseman Christmas Special (2014)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mickey Mouse (2000)
Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special (1988)
12/20
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
12/21
Cars 2 (2011)
12/22
Blind Date (1987)
Merlin – 5 Seasons (2009-’12) (TV)
My Babysitter’s a Vampire (2010)
My Babysitter’s a Vampire – 2 Seasons (2011-’12) (TV)
12/24
Him & Her – Season 3 (2012) (TV)
12/25
As I Lay Dying (2013)
Flight (2012)
12/26
Mardaani (2014)
12/27
Doctor Who – Series 7 (2013) (TV)
Jimmy P. (2013)
Last Love (2013)