Comcast to Integrate Netflix into Its X1 Platform

Comcast’s X1 setup

Comcast has reached an agreement with Netflix to integrate the service into Comcast’s X1 platform.

The news was first reported by Recode, which called it a “very big deal.” Netflix stock jumped after the news was broken.

Comcast and Netflix have previously been critical with each other, but now the two companies are teaming up. They released a joint statement to Philadelphia magazine and other media outlets. Read more »

EDITOR’S PICKS: My Top 10 LGBTQ Movies on Netflix

Oscar winner Michael Douglas won an Emmy award for his role as flamboyant entertainer Liberace.

Michael Douglas won an Emmy for his turn as flamboyant entertainer Liberace.

1. The Kids Are All Right (2010)

This Oscar-nominated comedy/drama stars acting heavyweights Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as they navigate lesbian parenting and love in one of the most reflective gay films of the decade.

2. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Hillary Swank won her first Oscar for this emotional biopic on the troubled life of Brandon Teena, a transgender lover who lost his life due to a hate crime in a Midwestern town. Read more »

Netflix Has New Technology to Beat Comcast Data Caps


Remember when Netflix‘s primary business was sending DVDs right to your house? Boy, that feels like ages ago. Now the company’s model of streaming TV shows and movies seems ubiquitous to customers — but for Internet service providers, it’s been a sticking point because of all the bandwidth it takes up.

But Netflix has a plan, according to this story from Variety. It’s created a way to stream video to customers that saves 20 percent of data and offers better-looking streams, the story said. The company even put two TVs side-by-side and offered a reward to any employee who could spot a difference. Nobody could. Read more »

250 Best Movies of All Time

Ryan Godfrey works as a product manager for a local software company, surrounded by the kind of numbers and data that most of us will never be able to comprehend. Since the late-90s, however, he’s been working on a little side project that — while just as baffling in the backend — is about to make our lives a little easier, at least where it concerns our Netflix queues.

Think of him as a one-man He’s come up with a list of the 250 all-time best films by crunching data from film sites where critics and regular viewers alike have been plugging in ratings for years. The list he consulted most was IMDb’s Top 250. “I’ve never thought of [that] as a canonical list of great films, but I liked the idea that a bunch of movie lovers from all over the world were aggregating a list of what they thought was really good.”

But many of the films on that list “are just solid or okay,” he says, “and there’s always been a tendency for new stuff to crowd out classics that I felt were more deserving.”

250-all-time-best-movies 1

The beginning of Godfrey’s list of 250 best films.

So, using IMDb’s database of downloadable text files he was able to rework the same vote base “to get at something approaching a real populist, crowd-sourced canon that better honored the whole 120-year span of cinema.” He measured films based on the number of votes from other films of their era to essentially improve upon IMDb’s list. And it makes so much more sense.

His Top 250 has 132 in common with IMDb’s. The staples, like Citizen Kane, Vertigo and 12 Angry Men are all still there, but there are only three from this century that managed to make the cut: The Dark Knight and the first and third Lord of the Rings.

Read more »

5 Great Dysfunctional Family Movies on Netflix Streaming

We’re very quickly charging into what is the most family-intensive season of the year. Thanksgiving’s cattle drive draws together crazy aunts, grumpy uncles and too-cool-for-school cousins from all over the globe to sit at a table while packing carbo bombs into their mouths and relentlessly talking over one another. Maybe you are blessed enough to have a family that is loving, supportive, and totally in sync with your needs; for the rest of us, here are five dysfunctional family movies available on Netflix streaming that should make you feel a lot better about your own brood.

August: Osage County (2013)

We might as well start this list with one of the more exhaustively dispiriting offerings: John Wells’s adaption of the Tracy Letts play is loud, brutal, and only occasionally relenting (mostly in a tacked-on “happy” ending for co-star Julia Roberts that literally makes no sense in context of what came before it), but it also features a stellar cast, including Roberts, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Meryl Streep — each pitted against one another in an emotional sort of Hunger Games. Just do yourself a favor and kill the picture immediately right after the last shot of Streep up on the stairs looking bewildered in order to preserve the vibe of abject misery.

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Philly Actor Evan Jonigkeit Cast in Netflix Series Frontier

Evan Jonigkeit in Mauckingbird Theatre Company's 2009 production "Never the Sinner" | Photo by John Flak

Evan Jonigkeit in Mauckingbird Theatre Company’s “Never the Sinner” (2009) | Photo by John Flak

An actor who cut his teeth on Philly stages, Evan Jonigkeit, has been cast in a new action series from Netflix called Frontier. The show is set in Canada in the late 18th century and concerns a group of cutthroat characters who are fighting to control the North American fur trade.

“Told from multiple perspectives,” explains Deadline. “the series takes place in a world where business negotiations might be resolved with close-quarter hatchet fights and where delicate relations between native tribes and Europeans can spark bloody conflicts.”

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Alfred Hitchcock’s Philly Obsession: 14 Hints He Loved the City of Brotherly Love

Artwork by Mike Hague

Artwork by Mike Hague

In honor of the 60th anniversary of TV’s Alfred Hitchcock Presents (which you can binge-watch on Netflix streaming) we take a look at some of the Philadelphians who worked with the legendary director in film or another capacity on television. Hitchcock enjoyed working with many actors over the course of his career, but there is something about the people from Philadelphia that caught his eye. Just as a warning some minor spoilers ahead.

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5 Best New Movies on Netflix Instant

netflix instant

Mayor Nutter has suggested treating this weekend—when the Pope and an estimated 1 to 2 million of his most devoted followers (and almost just as many Port a Potties) descend onto Philly—like a winter storm. That means one thing: Start using the words “hunker” and “down” in the same sentence and cozy up on the couch with a few good flicks. To help you decide what to watch, I present you five of  my favorite new entries to hit Netflix instant streaming this month.

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5 Best New Movies on Netflix Streaming

best of netflix

To be fair, there were back-to-school sales as early as June (which, if I were a kid, I would be enormously offended by), but now we’re truly coming into the homestretch. Summer’s winding down folks, time to flip up the dark glasses and peer into the frigid grayness to come off in the far distance. I mean, not to bum you out or anything, but you have a month left of low-key, relaxed-office, quasi-vacation time left before the grind begins anew and with depressing vigor. Maybe it’s a good time to stock up on some fine visual entertainment before the onslaught, hey? Here are some of our picks for the best and most interesting offerings from Netflix streaming this month.

Read more »

Tina Fey and Kimmy Schmidt Cast Lip-Sync Beyoncé’s “Flawless”

Last night, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess posted on Instagram a video of him, Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski lip-syncing Beyoncé’s “Flawless.”

The video was taken from a jet and, being an Instagram post, it’s dreadfully short. They all get to show off their lip-syncing skills, though—especially Fey, who nails it with an extra bit of sass at the end.

Earlier that day, the crew attended the Television Critics Association press tour to talk up season two of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The series, which was created by Fey and her 30 Rock co-hort Robert Carlock, is due out late 2015.

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