Netflix and I: Widening Horizons, pt. 2

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Tokyo Godfathers
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After I got accustomed to how Netflix worked, I stopped getting the latest releases and went for the older or lesser known movies.  I realized that I had gaps in my viewing, and that there was a broader selection of kinds of movies to watch.

Here’s where I began watching documentaries:  American Nightmare; Mad Hot Ballroom; Paper ClipsOur Daily Bread; This Film is Not Yet Rated.

I was disappointed in a couple of television shows and stopped watching TV shows on disc for awhile.

I began watching fewer touted anime series. Then I discovered Satoshi Kon’s wonderful films, which are like Studio Ghibli for grownups.  High quality, immersive and provocative.

K and I came to the end of Buffy.  It was emotional and we had a final episode party. (This was before season 8.)

At this point, I began the first of my genre movie projects.  I picked horror because I refused to watch horror movies till I went to college.  Too much of a cowardy-custard.

I’m glad I wasn’t blogging when I started watching horror movies because I think I would have triggered a vigilante group.  One time I mentioned a a certain horror movie was awful and, judging by their reaction, I ruined my friends’ childhood.

I did find a few gems, and it was worth it.  Horror seems to be one of the easiest genres to do and one of the hardest to do well.   The only classic horror movie now I haven’t seen is Rosemary’s Baby.  I keep meaning to.

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The Netflix and I: The Journey Begins, pt 1

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Family watching television, c. 1958
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Disclaimer:  No gifts were made to me by  I don’t even get those bonus discs my friends get from time to time.   *grrr*

I was inspired by Film Fanatic’s post to reflect a bit on my film watching habits.  Ever since I discovered her site, I’ve wanted a book like Peary’s.  But it’s OK.

Let me take you back to the olden days.  The first VCR that my family bought was about $500.  There were little VHS stores everywhere in those days.

Time passed, and chain stores with bigger stock opened up.  My family were avid movie watchers.  No section was safe from our foraging.  I remember after we had been renting for 2 years, I went to ask the clerk to recommend a movie for us.  She threw up her hands and said, “You watch everything.  I can’t think of anything.”

Later, when I was on my own, I continued to rent movies.  I was constantly getting caught by late fees and coming home with movies that I had little hope for.  Then my brother’s girlfriend (now wife, hey there W!) told me about Netflix.  I didn’t own a computer or a DVD player but I borrowed her computer and signed myself up.

That was in 2002.

I took my movies to my friends’ houses or my parents’ house to watch them.  It was a little difficult.  But eventually, I bought my own DVD.

There were so many classic films that I had read about but couldn’t find. Now I could get them.  So many of them were disappointing but enough of them were stellar, and kept me going.  I have loved movies for a long but now I could watch all the Godzilla/Gojira movies chronologically.  I see Rashomon instead of simply read an analysis of it.

And the extras and commentary.  It really opened my eyes to the process of film-making  and I gained new respect for how hard my favorites worked and how incredibly smart they are.

I discovered Joss Whedon in this period and joined the Whedon cult.  My sister K agreed to watch Buffy with me.  Those are some fabulous memories. (love you K, and thank you for ‘buffyizing.’)

I had read about Bollywood for years but never saw any of it.  My first was Rangeela AKA Colorful. I still love it even though I’ve seen better since.

Quick note:  Hidden Fortress has little to do with Star Wars, you’re better off watching Buster Crabbe’s Buck Rogers serials.

These lists are sampling of  the movies I rented during that time.

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Watchlist revisited

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I made a list of movies that I wanted to see in 2010.  Quick recaps on what happened.

Clash of the Titans – Fantasy. Lost interest.

Cop Out – Comedy. Universally panned but I thought it was passable.  The bit in the car was high-quality funny.

The Crazies – Horror.  The sidekick made this worth watching.  Not as good as it might have been but not a waste of time either.

Daybreakers – Horror.   Still haven’t seen this one.

Hot Tub Time Machine – Comedy. Lost interest.

How to Train Your Dragon – Fantasy. Still not seen.

Lightning Thief – Fantasy.  Book is better.

Mother – Drama Lost interest.

The Runaways – Biopic. Still not seen.

Shutter Island – Thriller.  I was warned against this one.

When in Rome – Romance.  I adore Kristen Bell but this was terrible.

Wolfman – Horror.  Troubled production and you can tell it.  Badly done.

Top 10 Witches

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Gallery from Eonline via Whedonesque.  Culled from movies and tv shows.  Fairly representative, I think.  If you want more, I have a sexy witches post, taken from comics and animation.

Romantic Movie Gestures that are actually horrifying

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Really, I agree with all of the movies on the list. And I have an unabating loathing for Jocelyn. Even so, I like 50 First Dates; Beauty and the Beast and A Knight’s Tale.

via Tumblr.

Dictionary of Fun

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I participated in Encyclopedia of Me blog carnival hosted by Bella Dia a few years ago.  Now Kat from Kat’s Weblog and Beffer from Befflets are going to post about 26 fun things to do.

New!  Crazybay from crazybay46913 has joined our Dictionary of Fun.

ABC page—


B is for Casual Gaming from crazybay

D is for Daydreaming from moonlitgarden

D is for Doctor Who from befflets

I is for Internet from kat’s weblog

Writers who died in 2010

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Martin Gardner (1914 – 2010) Mathematician, Science Writer.  His annotation of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass is highly entertaining.

Ruth Park (1917-2010) Author.  Playing Beatie Bow is an excellent time travel story.

J. D. Salinger (1919-2010) Author. Catcher in the Rye

Sid Fleischman (1920-2010) Author. The Whipping Boy. Newbery medal.

Patricia Wrightson (1921-2010) Author (fantasy). The Dark Bright Water. Hans Christian Anderson medal.

Donald H. Tuck (1922-2010) Bibliographer.  Hugo medal. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Eva Ibbotson (1925-2010) Author (fantasy).  Which Witch? and The Secret of Platform 13

Sharon Webb (1936 – 2010)  Author (fantasy). Earth Song trilogy

Erich Segal (1937 – 2010) Author and Academician. Love Story

Harvey Pekar (1939-2010) Comics writer. American Splendor and Our Cancer Year.

Stephen Joseph Cannell (1941 – 2010)  Mystery writer and TV show creator.  Appeared most recently in the TV show Castle.

Takeshi Shudo (1949-2010) Main writer for Pokemon.

John Steakley (1951-2010) Author (sci-fi and horror).  Armor and Vampire$ (much, much, much better than the film by John Carpenter).

Stephen Perry (1954 – 2010)  Scriptwriter. Thundercats cartoon and comics.

Jennifer Rardin (1965-2010) Author (paranormal fiction). Jaz Parks series.


Martin Gardiner – Telegraph; Scientific American

Ruth Park – Guardian

J. D. Salinger – NYTimes

Sid Fleischman – Washington Post; NYTimes

Patricia Wrightson – Times

Donald H. Tuck –  Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

Eva Ibbotson –  Independent; Telegraph

Erich Segal – Washington Post Guardian

Harvey Pekar – Blog.Cleveland; Newsweek

Stephen Joseph Cannell NYTimes

Takeshi Shudo – Suite 101

John Steakley –   Dallas News

Stephen Perry – Tampa Bay Online

Jennifer Rardin – Guardian