Saturday, February 15, 2014

Netflix and Hulu Plus: My picks

The Winchel compound recently got rid of cable because we were tired of shelling out ridiculous dough for the 4 channels we watched regularly.

The combo of Netflix and Hulu Plus costs a fraction of what we were paying just so I could fall asleep to Diners, Drive Ins & Dives.

Enter my documentary addiction.

For me, it's not about the subject. I can watch a doc about anything if it makes me care about the people featured in it. Though, my favorites are about music, movies/TV, religion, and health.

If you are dealing with the Netflix search coma, ("This looks good...but what else is on here?!") these are recommended by your friendly neighborhood couch potato:

Hellbound?

I can think of quite a few people in my real and social media life who are likely going to think I'm bonkers for even posting this. This documentary completely shook me to the core of my heart and soul. If this interests you at all, whether you grew up in a fire-and-brimstone preaching church or not, I encourage you to watch Hellbound?

Rewind This!

This doc features some really interesting, quirky people. I had no idea collecting VHS was a thing. I'm fascinated by the changes in how we consume entertainment over the past 30 years. This offered some great insight into the rise and fall of VCR's and VHS. I recommend it for anyone interested in culture, entertainment, movies (especially obscure ones), electronics, or even the '80's. I have only seen this title on Hulu Plus.

Also, watch the trailer. There's a cat operating a VCR.

I Need That Record!

In the same vein as Rewind This!...but focusing on record stores. This doc looks at the music industry as a whole as well. It hits on media conglomeration, and how the death of these record stores points to a bigger trend American culture.

Done the Impossible

Thanks to my high school and college friends, I was familiar with Firefly  and have actually seen Serenity. This doc is about mega-fans of the show Firefly, and how their passion helped a major movie get made. You meet some really cool people in this one as you learn how a--seemingly nerdy and misfit--community formed online for the cause. I want to be a part of something like that! Quick--someone find me a doomed western set in space to fall in love with.

I'm not a huge Joss Whedon fangirl or anything, but this doc makes him seem like a damn cool dude.

Cleanflix

Yes, someone made a business out of sanitizing R-rated movies for the conservative Mormon community. This doc covers the rise of Clean Flicks video stores and the legal battles with Hollywood that followed. It ends up focusing on the guy in the still above. He continues to struggle to keep the business going, and ends up have a pretty big personal and legal fall from grace. I won't ruin it for you.

America in Prime Time

This is a four-part series that aired on PBS. Each episode features a character type that has endured on television: the Man of the House, the Independent Woman, the Misfit, and the Crusader. Each episode shows why these character types have lasted in prime time, how they've shaped our culture...and how pioneers in the TV biz--have allowed these character types to evolve over the years.

Hit So Hard

This doc follows the story of Patty Schemel, the drummer for the band Hole. You'll see a lot of behind the scenes videos of Hole on tour. There are also some very sweet videos of Kurt Cobain that will make you scream "WHY?!" loudly toward the heavens. If you don't like Courtney Love, this isn't going to change your mind. But ultimately, watching Hit So Hard lets you get to know Patty as a talented, tough lady who let addiction take her to some very dark places..and you get to go on the journey back to the light with her.

Kurt and Courtney

The Courtney non-Love continues! Hey, I don't know the gal. I did dress up as her for Halloween a few years ago. Mike and I decided to dress as Kurt and Courtney because we had just watched this documentary. But enough about me wearing lingerie in public.

Kurt & Courtney seems pretty one-sided at times, but it does offer a dark and fascinating look into who Courtney Love is/was and her relationship with Kurt Cobain. I don't think we're ever going to know exactly what happened.

Pearl Jam Twenty

This doc takes us back to pre Pearl Jam, with the band Mother Love Bone. It starts with a look inside the Seattle music scene in the early '90's, and made me wish I had been there. But, without the heroin. PJ20 shows us Pearl Jam's fast rise to success,and chronicles the major milestones and struggles with fame all the way through their twentieth anniversary. Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) directed it, if you weren't already convinced to pour yourself a cup of good coffee and watch.

Since their 20th anniversary, Pearl Jam has released Lightning Bolt, another great album that's worth a listen.

Pretty much any Classic Albums episode

Many of these are on Netflix. My favorites include:

Metallica's The Black Album, Black Sabbath's Paranoid, and Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast.



The Paranoid episode hit me the hardest. Black Sabbath's stuff sounds SO good and SO heavy today. Put yourself back in the time they were making this music. Mind-blowing. And it still is

I have a lot more documentary watching to do! What are some of your favorites?