The Fountain: Netflix Surprises

Click to stream the movie on Netflix Instant Watch here!

The Fountain is one of those movies that you either love or hate, depending on what kind of movie-watcher and person you are. Essentially, this might not be the movie for you if you don't have the greatest attention span.

A lot of people I know have watched this movie and have been bored out of their minds. A lot of people, though, really love this movie and think of it as a masterpiece of sorts.

It's hard to really explain what this movie is about without taking away a lot of the impact of figuring it out for yourself. There is a lot of dimension-traversing stuff going on in the plot, and usually when that's the case, it's difficult to explain to someone who hasn't seen the movie what you think happened.

Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz star in this visual grandeur of a film, which happens to be directed by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, etc.) so that alone should give you a hint of the kind of thing you have in store when you approach this movie.

More than anything, this is the kind of movie where you need to watch by immersing yourself into the thick of it, and only after you've finished watching will you likely be able to decipher what you just saw.

How to Get A Movie on Netflix Streaming

Awhile ago I wrote a post regarding the process in which the Netflix streaming community could band together to help out the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys, and get their new "show" Rifftrax on Netflix's Watch Instantly service.

The process, as explained within the post by MST3K and RiffTrax star Kevin Murphy, involved having enough people add it to their Netflix queue, thereby showing great enough demand for Netflix to stream it.

A lot of people got really confused over the process, wondering how in the hell it's possible that THAT's the process to get something to stream, if there are so many horrible movies to choose from already available.

But, apparently, it turns out that this is confirmed to be one of the ways in which people can in fact get a movie or TV series on Netflix. Via HackingNetflix, we learn that it was confirmed by Netflix spokesperson Steve Swasey,
"If we have a certain number of Queue adds, we will buy the title."
So, don't stop adding RiffTrax dvds to your Instant queue!

The Karate Kid (2010): Netflix Surprises

Click to watch the Netflix streaming movie here!

Now obviously, The Karate Kid is a famous movie. It has Will Smith's kid and Jackie Chan in it, and is a re-imagining/remake of one of the most famous martial arts related movies in American culture.

That being said, I still am recommending it as a surprise today because, even though it's famous and was released quite recently, it's surprising how good it is! (Although I'm still not quite over the fact that they call it "Karate Kid," when he's obviously doing Kung Fu - not Karate.)

I was very apprehensive going into my viewing of it, mainly because I'm such a fan of the original, but also because I've had just about enough Jackie Chan movies (I wasn't a fan of the Rush Hour movies). And really, how could you outdo the original movie?

But, setting aside my foundation of love for the original, I was able to recognize this film for its own merits. It's the same story, but thoroughly adapted to extend to the modern global era.

Will Smith's kid (of whom I will continue to refer to as Will Smith's kid) and his family move from America to China, wherein they're introduced into an entirely new culture. Aside from learning the ins and outs of the new world, Will Smith's kid gets roughed around by some locals who are his age. Jackie Chan (the Mr. Miyagi character of this film) helps him out a bit.

I usually despise the concept of remakes, especially when it's a case where the original movie wouldn't really gain much from a reboot (there aren't any special effects or anything that would add anything to the story), but this, to me, was a legitimate and genuine attempt at retelling the story for a new generation.

I enjoyed it, and I think you would too, no matter your age. Add it to your Netflix streaming queue and give it a chance!

CBS Library Shows Coming to Netflix Instant!

Via to Netflix,
Beginning in early April, dozens of hit shows from CBS will join the extensive library of television shows and movies available to watch instantly from Netflix for only $7.99 a month.
What does this mean? Oh, I'll tell you what this means.

This means the following shows will be coming to Netflix in April!
  • Medium
  • Flashpoint
  • Frasier
  • Family Ties
  • Cheers
  • Hawaii Five-0 (the original)
  • Star Trek (ALL generations!)
  • Twin Peaks
  • The Twilight Zone
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • ...and more!

I hope you're excited over this, because I sure am. I've been looking into watching The Twilight Zone for a long time, and it's going to be awesome to be able to watch Star Trek again.

Freakonomics: Netflix Surprises

Click to stream this movie on Netflix here!

I'm not a big fan of documentaries, but every so often, one catches my eye. Freakonomics happened to be one that caught it, kept my attention, and made me think it to be worth recommending.

Freakonomics is based on the book with the same title. I remember it coming out a few years ago to much praise and popularity, as well as much chagrin from certain sects of people who took offense to some portions of it.

The book (of which I haven't read yet, if it's worth reading - let me know) and the movie are known for taking some everyday occurrences and stating the correlations through unbiased statistics and objective responses.

What I really liked about this film is the fact that it axiomatically described the issues contained in not only a sound way, but with a fun rhythm to it all.

The animations brought a lot to the tone and feel of everything, and really allotted to a scrupulous, tightly-knit way of explaining some very complicated things in a very short and easy to understand manner.

If this sounds like the kind of thing you'd like, whether it be understanding cheating and lying more clearly - to better understanding why we have a lower crime-rate than we did in the late '80s, then this streaming documentary might be just the thing for you.

Louie: Netflix Surprises

Stream the television show on Netflix streaming here!

I don't know how I've failed to recommend this streaming TV show so far, but I apologize for my lapse in realization.

Louie is great! Based on and acted by the stand up comedy routine of Louis C.K., this show delves into an assortment of topics. What's most interesting about the show (other than the hilarity that ensues) is the fact that the show doesn't really have much of a structure. That meaning, that not every episode follows the same arch. For instance, some episodes may be like short movies and others may be heavily-routine based.

The show tackles a host of different types of topics, and it's so funny to see Louis C.K. put himself into so many excruciatingly awkward (but entirely believable) everyday situations, essentially mocking his own lifestyle, but simultaneously obviously having so much fun with it.

If you asked me to name who I thought was the funniest man in comedy right now, I'd be hard-pressed to decide between Ricky Gervais and Louis C.K. If you haven't gotten into Louis C.K.'s comedy before, here would be an awesome place to start, for he really tackles the entire television show idea and brings it into a new direction.

He absolutely has his own style and flavor of comedy, and you should take advantage of streaming his debut season of Louie on Netflix Instant while you still have the chance!

The Jacket: Netflix Surprises

Click to stream the movie on Netflix here!

If you know anything about me, you know that I'm heavily intrigued by cerebral, psychological thrillers. They're fun, exciting, and most of the time seem to think outside the box in terms of the realm of what could happen in a fictional story.

That's what attracted me to The Jacket, and that's why I'm recommending it to you today as a hidden gem. It may not be the best movie in the world (I admit it has quite a few quirks) but it's the kind of movie I very often find myself seeking out, for that mind-f*** type feel from a film.

The movie stars Adrien Brody as a Persian Gulf War veteran, whose loss of memory due to amnesia is very frustrating. He's put into a mental institution for various reasons, and finds a means of figuring out what has happened to him... but that's as much as I want to tell you in this post regarding the movie.

It can seem a little chaotic at some points, but when you sit back and think about the movie as a whole, you're glad you gave it a chance. Oh, and Keira Knightley is in it. So add it to your queue if it sounds like something you might be interested in!

The X-Files Fight the Future: Netflix Surprises

Click to stream the movie on Netflix here!

There is a good X-Files movie.

Yes, besides the awesome TV show that essentially ran forever (found on Netflix), there was a good movie.

Wait, do you think I'm talking about that X-Files movie that came out a couple years ago? That "I Want to Believe" movie?

No. God no.

The latest X-Files movie was garbage. It hadn't anything to do with aliens (seriously, why even make an X-Files movie without aliens?) nor much anything resembling a good X-Files episode.

But anyway, in 1998, there was a good X-Files movie, and it rocks. It's great, and it's available on Netflix.

The movie follows Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, two FBI agents who are tasked to the paranormal. Mulder is open-minded, and Scully is the balancing-out character, who's excessively "logical" (despite having years upon years of paranormal experience that can't possibly all be explained by scientific evidence).

If for some reason you haven't watched this movie, you need to if you have any love of science fiction. It's a fun ride, and it's a great adaptation of a TV series (it's basically just a high budget episode). Of course, if you haven't seen the TV show, give that a shot too, but if you're hesitant, this is a great place to start.

I'm Still Here: Netflix Surprises

Click to stream this movie on Netflix here!

I was one of the people, who, from the get-go, never once thought that Joaquin Phoenix was truthfully having any sort of "mental breakdown" in the past couple of years. I grew up loving Andy Kaufman, and it just seemed like something that Andy Kaufman would do.

When I heard that he was making a "documentary," it left no doubt in my mind. Of course this was a character, now. There's no way anyone would be going through this type of evolution (destruction?) in personality and character and want to document it for the world to see. Unless, of course, it was fake.

And therefore, it would be a mockumentary. And that's what Joaquin Phoenix has stated, after all - that it's nothing more than a social commentary on the decadence involved in fame, the destruction it can provoke in individuals.

I gave it a shot, and after all I've seen and experienced, I have to say that I'm seriously not sure anymore. I mean, I know and understand Phoenix has said he was "pretending," but some of the stuff in the movie just seems too real. Apparently, Roger Ebert thinks the same way I do about the movie.

The documentary/mockumentary is incredibly raunchy, either way. If you have the stomach for it, and/or are just simply curious, it's an incredibly interesting film, to say the least. If it's real, it's amazing to see the dramatics behind the scenes of the film industry's righteous. If it's fake, it's amazing to see the extent Phoenix went to preserve his "character" for so long (and in so many disdainful situations).

I think I'll believe he was faking everything the moment he starts working again. Until then, I'll just assume he's still in the horribly depressed and dysfunctional state he was in this film.

Top 10 Alien Movies on Netflix - February 2010

Don't like our Top 10 alien movies? Post us your list in the comments! Also, if you have any other fun ideas for Top 10 lists, be sure to let us know!

Big Fan: Netflix Surprises

Click to stream the movie on Netflix here!

Big Fan isn't really a comedy, as a lot of people would probably assume. It's a drama about a man who's really, really into the New York Giants (the NFL football team).

Big Fan represents the absurdity and idolatry involved in obsessive fandom of professional athletes. The main character in the movie, played by Patton Oswalt, is a huge (huge is an understatement) fan of the Giants, and specifically their quarterback (who's a fictional character in the film).

One night when the Oswalt character and his best friend are out and about having some pizza, they discover outside that the quarterback that they fawn over is outside, getting in his vehicle.

They follow him and his buddies, and eventually get themselves into a very bad situation, wherein the quarterback they've been following ends up brutally assaulting Patton Oswalt.

After this attack is when the movie really switches tones, and we see how he deals with the entire situation, being forced to reexamine the direction his life is going.

I enjoyed it, as it was very well written and acted. I'd recommend adding it to your queue, especially if you're a fan of Oswalt.

Chaos Theory: Netflix Surprises

Click to stream the movie on Netflix here!

I honestly can't decide what I think of Ryan Reynolds. He's in so many movies I despise, but in so many movies that I also don't hate.

Chaos Theory happens to be one of the movies I don't hate, and it's actually quite good. It took me awhile to get a good grip on the tone of the movie, but once it was set, it was a wild ride.

The movie itself is framed as a story that the Ryan Reynolds' character is telling to his daughter's fiance, starting before he and his wife were married. The point of the story is to demonstrate how quickly everything can change, for better or worse, due to even the most inconsequential of circumstances.

The circumstance that changes everything in his story has to do with a time in which Reynolds' wife set a clock in their house 10 minutes later, messing up his often tightly-scheduled day. As you might expect, this has sort of a domino effect, and some things go wrong in the process.

I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to a lot of people out there. This is absolutely a hidden gem, splicing together comedy and drama very well. It's very enjoyable, and will keep you watching till the end.

Battlestar Galactica: Netflix Surprises

Click to watch the streaming TV show on Netflix here!

Now I know that recommending Battlestar Galactica isn't much of a surprise. It's one of the most highly acclaimed television series of all time, not to mention adored by science fiction fans of all shapes and sizes.

But, what WAS a surprise to me today was to discover that the miniseries (or "pilot" episode of Battlestar Galactica) has finally been brought to streaming!

Before, the entire series of BSG was available, but not this excellent three hour prelude. Honestly, I have trouble seeing how people can like the actual show that much without seeing this (and that's saying a lot, because I know plenty of people who've never seen the miniseries). It's incredibly well written, showcases the overall tone of the show very well, introduces all important characters, and shows the destruction of the home planet.

If you're a Battlestar Galactica fan and have yet to see the miniseries due to it only being available via mail, you absolutely need to check it out.

If you've never seen Battlestar Galactica, it's the perfect place to start. You come to understand why this fleet of humans is floating through space (having crazy space adventures) while searching for something they've heard of called "Earth."

It's a remake of the show that came out 30-some years ago, but from what I've heard, it's miles different. It's enjoyable even if you're not to keen on sci-fi, and very engrossing if you give it a chance.

3rd Rock from the Sun: Netflix Surprises

Click to stream the streaming TV show on Netflix here!

3rd Rock from the Sun is amazing. I'm so pumped it's now on Netflix streaming.

I was lucky enough, when I was younger, to be able to have 3rd Rock from The Sun broadcast on one of my local channels every night before I went to bed. I was able to watch it nightly, and there was nothing that I found better to calm my nerves of the day and finally get to bed.

It's funny, smart, and fun, without really getting very serious ever. The show is about a collection of aliens that have arrived on Earth, only in human form. They're not used to these types of bodies, and the first episodes are them getting used to moving and living within their new bodies.

The show itself is about learning about the funny quips of human interaction. The show is a lot like Seinfeld, wherein the show is, overall, a commentary on social taboos. 3rd Rock from the Sun takes the "aliens" and puts them in normal, everyday situations, and shows from an outsider's perspective how silly some of the things we take for granted are.

I actually did a project involving this show in a sociology class I took a few years ago. It's fun when you get to mix academia and entertainment, and it's even better when it's a show that's as absolutely awesome as 3rd Rock from the Sun.

I'd absolutely recommend it to anyone who hasn't heard of it before. I mean, come on. It has John Lithgow, Jane Curtin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, French Stewart and more. Once you come to grips with the fact that the show isn't trying to be serious, you'll love it.

College Humor Netflix Cartoon

College Humor is one of the most famous "funny" websites out there. If you haven't been there before, you really ought to check it out. Most of their original videos are hysterical, and actually pretty well produced.

I stumbled upon a recent original video they did, regarding a funny little quick tour of the Netflix Watch Instantly collection. So here you go, have a look:

Groundhog Day: Netflix Surprises

Click to stream the movie on Netflix Instant here!

Yes, I know it seems like a poor, perfunctory excuse of a "Netflix Surprise," but I couldn't resist the notion of recommending one of my favorite movies on the holiday it's based on - Groundhog Day!

I'm holding out hope that there's someone out there who, for whatever reason, hasn't seen this classic yet, and can therefore it's a hidden gem to them. These same people must have also ignored all my Top 10 lists where I name this as one of the best movies on Netflix on a consistent basis.

Groundhog Day stars the amazing (and badass) Bill Murray, who is a news reporter, delegated to covering the footage of the Groundhog Day groundhog seeing his shadow (or not, you know how it works).

He has a horrible day, and is so glad to have it be over. He goes to bed, thankful that tomorrow is going to be a new day only to find.. what's this? The alarm clock is playing the same song he woke up to yesterday. And why are the morning radio announcers talking about today as if it's Groundhog Day still? Weird, that seems like a strange mix-up to accidentally play a repeat of the show the day after.

He goes on to realize that, through and through, he's experiencing the same day as he did yesterday. Once that day's over, the day repeats again, and again, and again throughout the entire movie.

This is one of those movies that I really can't find anything wrong with. It's great, and it's layered with a lot of existential philosophical undertones that don't get in the way of the story being really simple and easy-going. It's motivational and exciting, and I absolutely recommend adding it to your queue today of all days, as this is one of the only movies I can think of that represents this stupid holiday!

Top 10 Funny Movies on Netflix Instant - February 2011

If you're a fan of this Netflix blog, you know the deal. I only display within my lists movies of which I've seen so far. Here are the Top 10 "Funny" movies for the current month on Netflix streaming!

10. TiMER
8. Big

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