The Netflix Stream: Week of April 3rd, 2011

It’s a good week for Netflix subscribers who also happen to be anime fans. Netflix signed a deal with Viz to get ‘Naruto’, ‘Bleach’ and a few others up for streaming. Even better, they’re subtitled. Not into anime? Then maybe you’ll be interested in ‘The Other Guys’ or ‘Toy Story 3’.

Leaving the Stream
  1. ‘The Jerk’ (4/6): Sometimes we lose great ones, and ‘The Jerk‘ certainly qualifies. It’s a shame to say goodbye to a comedy as good as this, the first film that Steve Martin starred in. While many others have come since, ‘The Jerk’ is one of his best. From the first line, “I was born a poor black child,” to the last, ‘The Jerk’ is one of the pound-for-pound funniest movies you’ll ever see.
  2. ‘Gojira’ (4/6):Gojira‘ is the monster movie that spawned a seemingly endless wave of imitators. Better known in the states as ‘Godzilla’, this film created a genre that helped to spawn ‘Mothra’, ‘Gamera’, ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ and even inspired a fight scene in ‘Crank 2’. It certainly doesn’t hold up in terms of special effects, but it’s an essential part of cinematic history.
  3. ‘Black Hawk Down’ (4/6): Considered by some to be one of Ridley Scott’s best, ‘Black Hawk Down‘ is a tremendous film. It’s gritty and realistic, and has been hailed for its quality of sound design and editing. A movie like this really deserves to be watched on Blu-ray, but if you must watch it streaming, you’d better get to it quick. (Read Blu-ray review.)
Entering the Stream
  1. ‘Toy Story 3’ (available now): If you somehow missed ‘Toy Story 3‘ in theaters and never picked it up on Blu-ray, then you need to at least watch it streaming. It’s one of the best films of 2010 and arguably the best movie in the esteemed trilogy. Before you get too excited, you should know that this is a Starz Play feature, and doesn’t offer HD viewing. It also streams without the ‘Day & Night’ short, which is a bummer for those who haven’t seen it. It’s not the best version of ‘Toy Story 3’ out there, but it’s still ‘Toy Story 3’. (Read Blu-ray Review.)
  2. ‘The Other Guys’ (4/12): When I saw ‘The Other Guys‘ in the theater, there were only two people laughing the whole time and the place was nearly packed. Two guys in the front row found this movie hilarious and laughed at jokes that the rest of the crowd didn’t find funny at all. I’d be embarrassed for those two if I wasn’t one of them. ‘The Other Guys’ isn’t for everyone, but if you can handle a slower build-up and wacky Will Ferrell comedy, you’ll really enjoy this one. (Read Blu-ray Review.)
  3. ‘Naruto’ (available now): It’s been a long time since I’ve been sucked into an anime series. After ‘Evangelion’, I dabbled in other shows, but didn’t find anything to latch onto. Then came ‘Naruto‘. In the span of one month, I watched seven seasons of the show – 182 episodes in total. It’s similar to ‘Dragon Ball’ in terms of humor, especially in the first season or two, and does an excellent job at building a story slowly but surely over several episodes. Having the show available on Netflix with subtitles is amazing. I just wish it had happened before I shelled out the cash for the DVDs!

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