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 »
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 RottenTomatoes.com. 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.”
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.
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.
We might as well start this list with one of the more exhaustively dispiriting offerings: John Wells’s adaption of the TracyLetts play is loud, brutal, and only occasionally relenting (mostly in a tacked-on “happy” ending for co-star JuliaRoberts that literally makes no sense in context of what came before it), but it also features a stellar cast, including Roberts, ChrisCooper, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and MerylStreep — 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is officially the dead zone for most sports fans. Unless, you know, you are seriously in to golf or the WNBA, you find yourself with all sorts of extra time sitting in front of a TV and not knowing what to do with yourself. Might we suggest some streaming-film entertainment on the world’s most comprehensive cinematic streaming site? Splendid, let’s get to it, then. Here are some of our picks for the best and most interesting offerings from Netflix streaming in July.
An Honest Liar (2014)
The Amazing Randi (James Randi) is a magician of some professional renown, a title he is happy to embrace, now entering into old age. He has used slight-of-hand and misdirection to produce fantastic illusions throughout his career. Where he directs his ire is toward members of the guild who suggest what they are doing is actual conjuring, be it seances with the dead or bending spoons with their minds. To them, Randi is their worst nightmare: A professional skeptic with the trained eye and the skills to debunk the nonsense they’re pitching to a gullible public. A fascinating doc.
Nina Simone wanted to be a classical pianist. In fact, the iconic star that we know as a soulful singer never wanted to sing.
These and many, many more revelations about the late performer can be found in the totally gripping Netflix-produced documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? The film chronicles the, at times, painful life of Simone—the suicidal thoughts, the terrible abuse of her husband, her manic-depressive behavior. What makes the documentary so effective is the huge amount of archival footage from interviews and live performances that you most likely have never seen before, even if you are a staunch Simone fan. Read more »