The Netflix Stream: Week of February 27th, 2011

We’re losing some good movies from the Netflix stream this week, but we’re getting some great ones in return. It’s a net gain overall, and I call that a win.

Leaving the Stream
  1. ‘Contact’ (3/8): It takes a lot for me to recommend a movie with Matthew McConaughey, but ‘Contact‘ is a good, relatively respectable science fiction film. It’s not perfect, and I take great issue with the changes made from the Carl Sagan book, but it’s still worth watching. Just don’t expect the same skeptical and scientific mindset that you’d get from Sagan. (Read Blu-ray review.)
  2. ‘The Sandlot’ (3/7): There’s something special about ‘The Sandlot‘. It’s a feel-good flick that plays on our nostalgia for the summers of our youth, and it just plain works. It’s also a great movie to watch in anticipation for the snow finally melting and the sun staying out for more than a few hours a day.
  3. ‘G.I. Jane’ (3/8): I don’t love ‘G.I. Jane‘, but I know a lot of people who do, despite Demi Moore’s Razzie for Worst Actress. It’s a sort of in-between movie for Ridley Scott, who was still three years from ‘Gladiator‘ and ‘Black Hawk Down‘. But if you’re looking for something to keep you occupied for 125 minutes, this will do it. (Read Blu-ray review.)
Entering the Stream
  1. ‘The Taking of Pelham One Two Three’ (3/6): No, this isn’t that disappointing Tony Scott flick where John Travolta fails to even swear convincingly. This is the real deal, and stars Walter Matthau and the great Robert Shaw. ‘The Taking of Pelham One Two Three‘ is gritty, suspenseful, and it has a feel of realism that the remake just couldn’t get right. Do yourself a favor and check this one out when it enters the stream this Sunday.
  2. ‘Canadian Bacon’ (3/4): Whatever you may think of Michael Moore’s documentary films, ‘Canadian Bacon‘ is a really fun movie that’s essential for anyone who likes a little bit of Canada bashing mixed in with their satire. As a Michigan native living a half-hour away from the border, ‘Canadian Bacon’ has always been a favorite. It’s also the last John Candy film ever released, though ‘Wagons East’ was his final role.
  3. ‘8 Mile’ (3/4) : I’m really letting my Detroit flag (adorned of course with the gothic D) fly today, huh? So be it. ‘8 Mile‘ is a really underappreciated flick that shows off the city in a fairly accurate light. It’s gritty but optimistic – dark but still fun. It’s not subtle by any means, but it’s well worth watching.


  1. Yeah, I have a love / hate relationship with Contact. The biggest issue was the cutting of 2/3rd of the book, making people who just saw the movie say, “WTF, the alien was her father?” What we got in the movie was about 30 seconds of her on a beach with her father, with a single one-line explanation as to why, and cut out like the entire thing about religion of mathematics, the collective of worlds, and all of that. I also have other issues with the movie, but the main thing is, people who have never read the book so totally do not understand the whole climax of the movie – because the climax is cut to 30 seconds.

    I love the movie myself – at least all but the last 5 minutes of it.

  2. Adam

    If Ray Charles singing “America the Beautiful” over the fireworks/4th of July scene in The Sandlot doesn’t cause your heart to swell and make you at least a little nostalgic and maybe even a little misty-eyed, then there is something fundamentally wrong with you as a person. Quite possibly one of my favorite scenes in any movie ever. I can’t help but love this movie, possibly because I was 10 or 11 when it came out and grew up with many of its catchphrases and lexicon. The film is great, the comedy is funny, the soundtrack is incredible – just one of my top 10 all-time favorite movies.

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