American: The Bill Hicks Story: Netflix Surprises

Click to watch the documentary on Netflix streaming here!

I'm going to be honest, before I'd seen this documentary, the extent of my knowledge of who or what Bill Hicks was about was from that one Tool album. Tool had a track on one of their albums where they played a bit from Bill Hicks, played to the typical Tool sound, and it sounded angry and raw. It intrigued me for a long time, but for whatever reason I never seeked out any of his material until now.

I saw that the Bill Hicks documentary "American" had become available on Netflix Streaming, so I gave it a shot. It's phenomenal.

Bill Hicks died at the age of 32. This is the story of how his career (which started at the age of 16) of standup comedy started off slow, and then right when he was about to explode, 'the biggest joke of all' was played on him, and he wasn't able to become everything that everyone knew he could be.

A lot of people view Bill Hicks as an angry man, and this movie really does address that viewpoint, by showing that he wasn't a two-dimensional person. He was a very complicated man, and throughout his entire life he really was coming to find wisdom through his own methodology. He experimented and experienced all sorts of things, which led him to have a very distinct and defined viewpoint of the world, of which more people need to hear.

Check it out, the animations of the pictures that are on the screen while people are telling tales of his childhood are cool enough alone to make this one of the types of docs that really do the person justice.

Snake Eyes: Netflix Hidden Gem Surprises

Click to watch this movie on Netflix streaming here!

I know there are a lot of people out there who are sick and tired of Nicolas Cage movies, but those people should shut up and realize that there are a lot of Nicolas Cage movies that are pretty dang good. This is one of those movies that's a lot better than you'd think it would be.

Snake Eyes starts off with one of the best opening scenes I've ever seen in a movie. The elongated shot tells the entire story of the movie in a very fun way, introducing all the different characters involved and allowing you to really feel like you're a part of the action.

We follow Nicolas Cage as he walks through a casino where a boxing match is about to take place, meeting all sorts of different people that are all contributing factors to the end game.

This is a thriller/mystery type movie that's fun to watch because it's in a closed environment, and you're able to take part in figuring out what's going on. You get to follow the clues and it's fun to see if you can figure out what's going on and what's going to happen before the characters do.

If you're not a Nicolas Cage fan, you should recognize that there are some movies that are a lot of fun to watch. If you are a Nicolas Cage fan, you'll enjoy this one as well.

I wish he did more movies like this one.

Peep Show: Netflix Hidden Gems Surprises

Click to watch this hidden gem on Netflix streaming here!

I've never been one to be too keen on British humor (or 'humour') but within the past couple months, I'm beginning to like it more and more. Peep Show has a lot to do with this.

I had a lot of trouble watching The Office UK. There's something about watching characters dealing with extremely social awkward situations that can make me, myself, feel extremely awkward while watching. I know it's probably cliche at this point to call this out as a problem, but I can honestly say that this is one of my problems (or has been one of my problems) with British humor until lately.

I checked this show out, and this show really seems to have been my gateway drug to being able to watch and enjoy that "awkward British humor" thing I'm talking about.

Peep Show is a very interesting idea for a show. Besides the fact that the show is about two boring characters going through their everyday life, the show is called "Peep Show" because every single camera angle is supposed to be from the vantage point of one of the characters. Seriously, every single scene is seen from the eyes of one of the characters.

Now, this might seem like it wouldn't work, or would be awkward (ha), but it really makes for a cool show. Not only do we get to see from the characters' point of view, but we also get to hear their inner-monologue. This is such a cool way to tell stories that I can't believe hasn't really been done before.

Along with all of this, the show is very funny. So yeah, you should check it out, especially if you're a fan of British humour. Add it to your queue!

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret: Netflix Hidden Gem Surprises

Click to watch the show on Netflix streaming here!

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret is one of those shows that popped up on Netflix that I was confused by, primarily because I'd never even heard of it before. This is strange, because I'm a big fan of David Cross and Will Arnett (have you seen that 'Arrested Development' show? I heard it's pretty good...).

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret's season one has made its way to Netflix Instant, and it's pretty dang good. The show has David Cross as the lead, as its most clueless lead I've really ever seen in a show. He's an American, and has just been given a big promotion to lead a marketing department in England.

The show demonstrates what it would be like to throw a stupid, lying, clueless individual into an international business situation, and how hysterical that might be. It's a very short season, but that's somewhat the beauty of it. The conciseness of it allows it to be very well written and it makes it all smooth and hilarious.

If you're a fan of David Cross and/or Will Arnett, you should check this out immediately. Add it to your queue!

The Making of South Park: 6 Days to Air: Netflix Surprises

Click to watch it streaming on Netflix Instant here!

I'm a huge fan of South Park, and I've always wanted to look into the world of Trey and Matt, so this was the perfect (mini) documentary to watch.

I saw commercials for this a few weeks back playing on Comedy Central, and I was furious with myself when I realized I'd forgotten to DVR it. I was very happy to see it become available on Netflix Instant Watch.

Anyway, this mini-doc (I say that because I'm pretty sure it doesn't even break an hour) shows the process that Trey Parker and Matt Stone have to go through each week to get an episode on the air. Unlike most (all?) other cartoon shows on national television, they don't take nine months to write, script, draw, animate, and broadcast a show. They do it in about six days.

This documentary shows the process behind one show, but it demonstrates the immense amount of effort that goes into that one show. It's amazing, and it's nothing short of astonishing that they repeat it every single week.

If you're a fan of South Park, or Trey Parker/Matt Stone, this is definitely worth checking out.

Top 10 Action & Adventure Movies - January 2012

Here's this month's Top 10 list for Action & Adventure movies streaming on Netflix Instant. All are worth putting on your queue!

True Grit: Netflix Streaming Surprises

Click to watch the movie on Netflix streaming here!

This film, in my opinion, had the Best Picture award stolen from it in the Oscars in the year of its release. True Grit is not only the best western I've ever seen, but it's also one of the best films I've seen in quite awhile.

Obviously, any movie by the Coen Brothers is going to likely be exceptional, but there was something about this film that really made me like it even more than say, something like No Country for Old Men in terms of that whole "best picture" quality.

This movie is stacked with great actors: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and a very surprising Hailee Steinfeld, who all but steals the show.

What I love about this movie, is (and I know this sound simple and stupid) the way everybody talks. There's an overall fun level of diction that's used throughout this movie that just makes you feel like you've sped to the past, and are actually completely enthralled in the time of the story.

The acting is great, and it has that whole Coen Brothers wittiness that has its way of taking a serious tone every year or so. This one hits on all cylinders and it's great.

If for some reason you haven't seen this film yet, now's your chance! It's a great movie to watch, even if you're not a big fan of westerns. Really, I think this movie should have won Best Picture.
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