🌊What to Watch, #2

A look at what is new, expiring and not worth your time on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Hi! From agoodmovietowatch.com, this is Bilal sending you the second edition of our newsletter. If you ever wonder what to watch on Netflix or Amazon Prime, this new weekly service we’re calling it “Film Nerds vs. Algorithms”  is meticulously handcrafted for you, like a house-blend espresso.

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What do you do right after you watch an amazing movie?

I grew up with three younger brothers. Up until I was 18, I had my eldest brother watch it again with me. Then if the film was really that good, I’ll grab my second-eldest brother, and then in extreme cases of otherworldly perfection, the third. For ten-year-old me, that movie was Gone in 60 Seconds. Each of my three brothers had to re-watch it me.

In adulthood, things are a little more rational (and I no longer live with my brothers). But now I can reach out to you and introduce you to my favourite films. Hell yeah.

This week, I have to tell you that I absolutely loved 99 Homes, and we think you will too.

Our 3 Top Picks of the Week

99 Homes

Andrew Garfield plays a single father living with his own single mother in their family home. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, they find themselves evicted from their home by a businessman, Michael Shannon. That character is no less intriguing than Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, if not more. Desperate for work, Garfield’s character starts working for Shannon’s character, ultimately helping him evict other people from their homes.

It is a star-packed, gritty and sobering tale on capitalism and on the lengths to which we’re ready to go to save face – while at the same time risking our most important relationships. It is beautifully directed by Ramin Bahrani, an Iranian-American genius.

📰 The New York Times called it “stunningly effective” and “a scolding look at a society gone astray, it is also a minor masterpiece of suspense, as tightly wound as Sicario.”

📺 on Amazon Prime; 🍅 rating: 92%

The Invisible Guest

This movie is like thriller-candy.

It is full of twists, it is very atmospheric, and in nicely predictable fashion it will deliver that excitement rush we (most of us) love. Accused of murder, a wealthy entrepreneur hires the best witness preparation expert he can find. They have three hours before the trial to come up with the most solid, plausible defence. But 😱, a new witness surfaces.

Don’t expect anything overly original, but expect to be entertained.

📰 Average rating on IMDb: 8.1/10. One user on Rotten Tomatoes said he “shook the entire time.” So that’s good.

📺 on Netflix everywhere; 🍅 rating: 63% (weirdly high # of critical Spanish reviews)

Searching for Sugar Man

This is the story of an almost unknown musician of the 60’s and early 70’s, known as Rodriguez.

He was shunned in his native U.S., but beloved in the most unlikely of countries, Apartheid-era South Africa. His bootleg albums circulated widely among his fans there, propelling him to extreme levels of fame. But he had no idea. This is a feel-good production that can also be sharp-witted when it needs to be.📰 The New York Times called it “a hugely appealing documentary” and added: “there’s too much sincerity in Searching for Sugar Man, too much love and enduring human mystery”. Average rating on IMDb: 8.2/10. It won an Academy Award.

📺 on Netflix USA, Germany, and Japan; 🍅 rating: 94%

Readers’ picks

The 🎖 goes to The Cider House Rules, which was added to Netflix’s catalogue this week. It stars – OK, get this – Charlize Theron, Michael Caine, Tobey Maguire, and Paul Rudd. And it was nominated for four Oscars.

On Amazon Prime, The Disaster Artist gets the 🎖. It features the Franco brothers and Alison Brie. It’s SO much fun, I don’t remember laughing out loud this much over a movie in some time.

New titles worth your time

  • On Netflix: If you spent the last few months on a secluded island, here’s what you need to know: Elon Musk is no longer cool and Black Panther is on Netflix. Ignore Musk’s tantrums, and go stream the movie. American Vandal: Season 2 becomes available today. The parody show about penis drawings actually won a Peabody award. BoJack Horseman: Season 5 is also going up. And if you’re into comics, today is a good day, because the Japanese live-action movie Bleach will become available.

  • On Amazon Prime: Not that we’d recommend it, but Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! with Jennifer Lawrence has been added to the catalogue. The Good Shepherd will be made available on Sunday. It stars De Niro, Matt Damon, and Angelina Jolie. It’s rather formulaic, but good fun.

Great titles that will soon expire

  • On Netflix: Moonrise Kingdom will expire on Sunday (at least in the U.S.). I’ll definitely watch that one again, probably for the 100th time. The Imitation Game, with Benedict Cumberbatch playing Alan Touring, is expiring Sept. 28 (again in the U.S.).

  • On Amazon Prime: Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! expires on Sunday. Leo DiCaprio’s Shutter Island will expire on Sept. 23. It really should have won an Oscar.

The weekly rant (on titles you can skip)

Please stay away from Sisters (marketed as Step Sisters outside the U.S.). Think of the most generic dance scenes from High School Musical, throw in a half-assed race theme (black girl trying to prove something to white sorority girls), add in horrible direction: if it had taken this movie $5 to be made, its makers should have used that money to subscribe to this newsletter instead. But Netflix spent $10 million on this. Go figure. Don’t let them jam it down your throat to justify that expenditure.

Who watches Quantico? Don’t be that person. I can’t believe they have made three seasons already. The latest is now on Netflix. Go watch Wild Wild Country, Mindhunter or Evil Genius instead. Let’s stop getting hooked on lame, engineered shows.

That’s it for this week.

I hope there’s something in there for you. We are not funded by anyone except for our subscribers, so please consider forwarding this newsletter to your friends and tell them to sign up. They’ll listen to you.

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The next edition will be in your inbox on Friday, Sept. 21.

Until then,