The Netflix Stream: Week of February 6th, 2011

“I’d like to see posts about movies/shows coming to the stream,” wrote a commenter named DP (short for DDP?) last week. Well hell, that’s a fine idea. I’ve gone ahead and changed things up a bit. I’ll still be highlighting movies that are leaving the stream, but also ones that are just beginning to stream on Netflix. So without further ado…

Leaving the Stream
  1. The Sixth Sense (2/11): Bruce Willis plays a child psychologist treating a patient who believes he is capable of seeing and communicating with the dead. ‘The Sixth Sense‘ was nominated for six Oscars and even got a nod for Best Picture. You may already know it but there’s a big twist at the end. Spoiler Alert: M. Night Shyamalan never makes a movie this good again. (Read Blu-ray review.)
  2. Dune (2/11): You only have a few days left in which to let the spice flow. Also, fear is apparently the mind killer. I’ll admit to only watching half of ‘Dune,’ but I dug the bit I did see. Josh has blogged about the movie more than a few times, though so I thought it was well worth mentioning. It also has Sting in it, so that’s something. (Read Blu-ray review.)
  3. The Importance of Being Earnest (2/15): Ernest P. Worrell is back in Jim Varney’s most hilarious adventure yet. What? Oh, so it turns out ‘The Importance of Being Earnest‘ is based on an Oscar Wilde play and stars Rupert Everett and Colin Firth. It’s fairly well regarded and almost certainly worth a watch. KnowwhatImean, Vern?
Entering the Stream
  1. The Thing (2/11): John Carpenter’s remake of the 1950s cult classic has replaced the original in the hearts and minds of movie fans. ‘The Thing‘ is classic that Peter M. Bracke describes as “one of the most purely visceral and downright disgusting mainstream horror movies ever made” in his Blu-ray review. It’s coming to Netflix streaming this week, which is great. It also features people in even colder weather than the rest of us, which is better.
  2. Jason X (2/11): There isn’t too much coming to the stream this week (next week is looking a lot better), but I wanted to highlight one of the most awful and hilarious horror movies of the last decade. ‘Jason X‘ isn’t just dumb – ‘Jason X’ is one of the single dumbest horror flicks I’ve seen, and I’m a guy who seeks out bad movies. It’s about Jason, and he’s in space, and he’s killing people. It doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t have to. This is a great one to watch and make fun of with a few friends.


  1. Shayne

    Where do you find the list of movies coming and leaving the stream? The new arrivals section isn’t that specific. I’m obviously missing something.

    Also in regards to Jason X, the sleeping bag scene is the best scene in any Friday the 13th movie IMHO.

    • I tend to reference Instant Watcher, which can be easily found via a Google search (I think our spam filter may stop me from posting a link.)

      They’re fairly accurate – not perfect but not bad. So far the “Entering the Stream” titles have been right, but you’ll want to double check on titles leaving.

  2. Nice addition! And may turn more people on to streaming Netflix.

    Is this Dune the movie or Dune the mini-series? Josh prefers the movie, I prefer the mini-series. Also, if it IS the movie, it should also be noted that Patrick Stewart, before he was Captain Picard, is in it (toward the beginning).

      • Dope, didn’t even notice there was a link. It wouldn’t have helped anyways, Netflix is blocked at work for being “high bandwidth”. Can still pull up Blockbuster though – go figure. I guess people were streaming movies.

        In any case, I like both, but I just prefer the mini-series.It looks like it was filmed on 35mm at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (broadcast ration, intended ratio was 2:1), so I would LOVE to see a Blu-Ray release of this:

        While doing a brief search, i stumbled upon Be interested in seeing what ends up happening with that one

        • I’m pretty sure all the VFX for the miniseries were rendered in SD. Based on the quality of them, I’d say at a resolution of about 240i. High definition would really just expose how bad the miniseries’ matte paintings and green screen work looks, anyway. That was a cheap-jack production from top to bottom.

          That Dune remake project has been through many hands already. It will be through many more. I wrote about that a couple months ago here:

          • True, but Firefly VFX was rendered in SD, and it still found its way to Blu-Ray. Granted, the effects shots looked like crap.

            I would be happy with a cheap-produced Blu-Ray of it. Cheap tele-cine HD transfer, no post processing, static menus, no bonus features, box it up for about $13 at Wallyworld. I am sure a sub-par transfer could be made, and they would probably recoup their costs.

          • The thing with Firefly is that, even though the VFX were rendered in SD, the rest of the show was post-produced in the high-def realm. Real high-def footage was edited together with upconverted VFX footage to create a final HD master.

            I’m not so sure that the Dune miniseries was post-produced in HD. It was made a couple years earlier for a very low budget on a cable net with no HD channel at the time. This may be a situation like Star Trek: TNG, which currently only exists in SD form and would have to be completely re-edited and post-produced from scratch using the original film negatives. I just don’t know that there’s enough call for the studio to spend the money to do that. They’re very unlikely to recoup the expense with sales.

            Of course, a lot of this is just speculation. I don’t know for certain how the miniseries was post-produced 11 years ago. But I do know that those VFX shots look extremely low-res.

          • Ohhh, good point – that hadn’t even occured to me. Yeah, if shots are a combination of 35mm and SD sources composited together, or post editing was done in SD, yeah. Pitty.

            However, I have come to realize that there is plenty that was post-produced in HD and Sci-Fi / SyFi doesn’t show in HD. Enterprise is a HUGE annoyance for me – in fact, I refuse to watch it on SyFy – I will only watch it on HDNet.

            I’ll just continue to hold out hope that, one day, I’ll see ST:TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Dune in HD.

            You know, I am actually surprised no one has taken the concept of image-stacking and applied it to video yet. The concept I am thinking of I have seen takes several pictures, taken in a very short amount of time, takes into effect camera shake, and produces a slightly higher-resolution picture from it. Its not the same as shooting at high-res to begin with, but does result in better-looking pictures. I have actually taken about 15 or so frames from a video I shot at 640×480 and produced 1-2 megapixel images from it. Once again, not as sharp as taking a picture at that res, but deffinatley looks better than the original video, or a still image achieved by upconverting said image.

            I am just wondering how long it will be until someone tries applying that to shows originally shot on tape.

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