We’re the Netflix generation. Cable is dead and most true fans of television and movies are fed up with what we’ve been fed. Networks are busy trying to cut the bottom line and make substantial profits rather than have quality programming. The best thing that could happen for consumers is the competition Netflix now has to face with Blockbuster and other companies raising the bar.
With the capability we now have of watching movies and television shows (without having to go further than our mailbox) we’ve got the makings for a very happy public. Netflix raising their prices bothered me initially but, to be honest, it’s the best bargain for my entertainment dollar by far. I’ve discovered some movies and rediscovered some others that are now among my favorites. I’ve decided to compile what I believe is a list of just a few must see movies, documentaries and television shows that most people may have never seen, or may have simply forgotten.
- The China Syndrome – TV reporter Kimberly Wells (Jane Fonda) yearns to do hard news and suddenly gets her wish while she and cameraman Richard Adams (Michael Douglas) are covering a routine story at the local nuclear plant. This movie could very easily have been made today instead of 1979.
- A Remarkable Century – Legendary newsman Walter Cronkite takes us on a journey through the 20th century in this award-winning program documenting the events that shaped the world. Archival photos and newsreel clips cover the development of organized crime, the Great Depression, World War I and World War II, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the struggle for civil rights, the space race, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War, to name a few.
- Chicago 10 - Blending archival footage with modern animation, this documentary examines the massive protests besetting the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, and the courtroom trial of several activists and participants in the aftermath. Among those featured are Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, who were charged with inciting a riot. Mark Ruffalo, Hank Azaria and Nick Nolte provide voice-over work.
- Undeclared: The Complete Series – College frosh Steven Karp (Jay Baruchel) tries to put his geeky high school years behind him in this comedy series created by Judd Apatow that stars Seth Rogan as Steven’s beer-swilling buddy and features A-list guest stars from Adam Sandler to Will Ferrell. The plot follows Steven, his roommates and their friends as they navigate their first year away from home and learn to lean on one another when life gets confusing.
- Arrested Development – The single greatest television show ever created, this Emmy-winning television program follows the lives of the Bluth family. Starring Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman Jessica Walter, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett and Tony Hale.
- The Most Dangerous Man in America – Oscar-nominated account that features compelling interviews with Daniel Ellsberg, retired New York Times editor Max Frankel and other key figures concerning the leak of the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon administration. One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen.
This is just a few of the choices I’ve been happy with in the past few weeks. I’m sure there are others out there that are really excellent, so I’ll update my list from time to time.