With the growing popularity of Netflix instant streaming in the U.S. and its most recent arrival into Canada, we at Row Three would like to highlight some of the great choices available at the press of a button.
Annie (John Huston)
One of the very first films I remember my parents taking me too. And wow does it still hold up! Great song and dance numbers, anti-communism subtexts, the political divide, the great depression, cute kids, a stellar Broadway cast and the 7-UP guy using the force. If Burnett and Finney weren’t nominated for an Oscar that year, they damn well should’ve! Sheer brilliance. Family films just aren’t made this way anymore perhaps most certified by an extended sequence with the joy of going to the movies. It’s exciting, funny and if nothing else the thirties had style. Relive this near masterpiece now while it’s available at the click of a button.
Community – Season 1 (Dan Harmon)
Enough people had told me to watch Community that I finally caved and took a look. Within the first five minutes of the first episode I laughed so hard I had to pause for fear of missing the next joke. The show follows a motley crew of characters trying to perpetually study for Spanish class in an undignified community college. As ensembles go, this has got to be the best, with the stand-outs for me being Joe McHale as Jeff, the so-called leader of the group (who is as close to Adam Scott in acting style as you can get), Chevy Chase as Pierce, the elderly student trying desperately to seem cool, and of course, Danny Pudi as Abed, the insanely meta oddball who insists they are all in a sitcom. Meshing a lot of the great aspects of Party Down and Freaks and Geeks, Community is relentlessly funny (sometimes veering a bit too far into non-sequitur comedy for my taste but usually tempered with a meta-understanding that apparently builds upon the Abed character in future episodes). As someone who has attended community college I see a lot of truth in this otherwise go-for-broke oneupmanship of half-hour sitcom comedies. I have only seen the first 15 episodes so far, but of these, the consistency of quality remains incredibly high. Try the first episode, this is quality straight out of the gate.
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