Mar 11

Netflix Recommends: Season 1 of Community

My roommates and I got Netflix cause there was a free one-month trial. To be honest, at first we were a little disappointed. The range of things they advertise to have on their website, really refers to the American Netflix, so we were sad when we realized the Canadian version has nothing from HBO or a lot of other American networks, as well as a weird selection of movies. After realizing this, we just figured we would keep it for the free trial, then subsequently get rid of it and go back to watching tv on the internet like normal people. But here I am, almost five months later, and we still have Netflix. It turns out the movies on it are actually pretty good if you dig (lots of criterion, good documentaries, cool independent and foreign films), there are good comedy specials (GALIFIANAKIS!) and the content is getting updated regularly. This brings me to the main point of this post: Netflix has just become fucking amazing.

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Mar 11

Zach Galifianakis on SNL

Now you’ve got a good reason to stay in this Saturday: Zach Galifianakis is hosting SNL (or stream it later to aid your Sunday hangover). And since many culture critics have said his appearance last year was one of the only solid shows of the season, it’s something to look forward to.

Here’s a refresher of last year’s episode:

“Remember that time when someone who wasn’t Zach Galifianakis hosted SNL? What a mistake that was,” says The Huffington Post. While I liked him in both Bored to Death and The Hangover, his stand up is my favourite. And what I loved about his opening monologue (and his entire performance at that) is that he was never out of his element as some hosts are, take Miley Cyrus last week, for example. He just meshed with the regulars—or as some reviewers have said—he was better.  “The episode as a whole was uneven, and the cold open, on the unpopularity of the healthcare bill, was unusually flat, but host Zach Galifianakis was hilarious,” says The Atlantic. I agree, the skits with Zach were the strongest.

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Mar 9

Netflix Recommends: Mother / Madeo / 마더

As mentioned in a previous post, Netflix is a wonderful service, but one suffering (especially in Canada) under some burdensome licensing issues.  Hollywood, in its perennial race to sabotage its own success, has declared open season on Netflix, quite oblivious to the fact that as far as consumers are concerned the only real alternative is piracy.  But that’s another story for another day.  Today, we focus on all the best that Netflix has on offer.  I had a trio of films picked out to write about (Triangle, Wild Grass, and Fish Tank — all of them excellent films from 2009, and all of them made far away from Hollywood) but last night I caught Mother, and it was so good that it demands our immediate attention.

Every so often, a movie comes along that defies description.  In the case of Mother (Madeo in the original Korean), Joon-ho Bong’s 2009 … thriller? comedy? film noir? this task is complicated further.  This is a movie so slippery that any attempt to pin it down is like wrestling a hydra.  The only way to describe it is to cut off its many heads one by one.

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Mar 8

Come Up To My Room 2012 is accepting submissions

This is a little outside our usual subject matter, but Come Up To My Room is an alternative design show, so it makes sense to look for submissions from unusual places.

If you’re not familiar with the show, I suggest you check out the website, which is full of examples of previous years’ work. It features a lot of unique, site-specific and really interesting design, all hosted at the historic Gladstone Hotel.

The official call for submissions is here, and will answer most of your questions.  You can ask me any others you may have!  The show runs late January 2012, and submissions are due at the end of May, so you have plenty of time to think about it — creativity is obviously paramount.

And please pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested!  It’s a great launching pad for new ideas, and anyone is welcome to apply.

Mar 7

I Love You Errol Morris. (You too, Banksy.)

Am I missing something? Wasn’t Exit Through the Gift Shop the best movie of the year?

Errol Morris would think so.  Unfortunately, that might be as close as we get to a review of this movie from him — a real shame given the way the film’s themes overlap with the work Errol Morris has done over the 30 years.

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Mar 5

Remembering Freaks and Geeks

Copyright of NBC

I recently read a great memoir (not always antithetical!) written by writer-comedian Paul Feig, creator of one of the greatest comedies of television and film, Freaks and Geeks. The book was called Superstud or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin and it was so funny and reminded me so much of how great the show was that I’ve since started re-watching the DVD. The experience thus far has been bittersweet. Sweet, because I get to enjoy all the offbeat humour and emotionally honest moments on the short-lived series again. Bitter, because I know once I’m done with this DVD boxset the experience will be over. The show was canceled after only eighteen episodes in order to make room for NBC gems like Tommy Lee Goes to College and Crossing Jordan.

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Mar 4

Charlie Sheen: Winner or wanker?

Charlie Sheen

Our latest offsite reading is an article in the New York Times, written by the creator of Jezebel.com, about Charlie Sheen: the “winner”, the walking embodiment of cocaine, proverbial slop for scandal-starved gossip rags….and the list goes on. While I have my reservations about Jezebel, this is a different take on the image of Charlie Sheen and one that I can certainly jive with. Read it and post your thoughts here. You can find it on the right side under “off-site readings”, titled The New York Times: The Disposable Woman.

Happy Friday!!

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