Monday, February 15, 2016

Netflix and getting tired of the same 'ol thing.

I hope you all had a romantic Valentine's Day. I'd like to say that I did, but I didn't. It's no fault of my own, nor my husband's but we have extenuating circumstances so that is that. Either way, I hope you all did have a fine one indeed!

I'm not alone in saying that Netflix's streaming service isn't what it once was. There were a number of great films and television shows at one time. They even helped you filter out what you never would watch, ever in your life. They ditched that idea (I cannot fathom why) and now they've ditched entertainment too.

For this reason, I cannot find anything good to watch anymore. I've had to resort to Googling what's good on Netflix. It's too bad that there isn't a really good list out there.

I came across one article and because the title isn't dated, I'm assuming that the list will change monthly. To get my point across, I sent it to Let me immediately say that I validate my purpose there in saying that because it is a list of pop-culture popular movies at a certain time, it's archive worthy. That said, the list, while valuable due to its commentary on the films folks are watching, it is a terrible one. This is the archive link in case the page changes. This way if next month, if they clear it and rewrite the page, you'll still be able to look at what I was looking at.

Which, let me digress for a moment here. Some people are so stupid. They think that once a blogger posts something it's there written in stone, never to be changed. A good example is a lot of comments on reviews at Amazon. The reviewer will say "it doesn't say what size it is" and invariably some nit-wit will make a comment saying "it says right there in the product information what size it is". Well sure, on the day they visited after the reviewer did. Not so the day the reviewer wrote it! They think that because it's there now it's always been there. How silly to believe that!

Anyway, the point is, I've made it more permanent for you.

Let's take a look at that list. It has everything a politically correct person could hope for! It has foreign films, gay films, sci-fi films, sexually explicit films, horror films, African-American films, Hispanic films (I refuse to use the word Latino; Google my username and Latino to see my rants and feelings on that... maybe I'll write a post about it too), indie films and even a silent film. What it doesn't have is actual substance in films. Despite its incorrect title of "The 100 Best Movies Streaming on Netflix Right Now" they are not the best. They're not even the really good ones either. In fact, some are so bad that they were nominated for Razzie awards, I kid you not.

The first one that pops into my mind is Hard Ball. Seriously? That was so bad, that it's not even worth discussing it. One of the commenters said everything that I would say.
Most of these are scraping off the bottom of the barrel. I'll call out The Conversation as a good one though. The fact that Laura isn't on here is a serious fatal mistake. For that matter, this list is blindly choosing modern film over classic. The author clearly doesn't like anything that either isn't in color (I mean seriously, Journey to the Moon in color?!) or was made before 1960 (aside from Journey to the Moon). Missed are Laura (which I've already mentioned), Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in 80 Days, An Affair to Remember, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Greatest Show in Earth and so many more! Do you know how many Oscars these films were nominated or or won? How many nominations/wins did Hard Ball get? I can't believe that you could seriously write that it is a "best movie" at all! It was nominated for a freaking Razzie!

No. This is an awful list. I could do much better. Instead of trying to politicize and pick a range of film types, stick to the "best" which isn't political nor is it a range of film types.
It's like they're me or something! Let's take a look at the films mentioned and the Oscars they were nominated for or won:

  1. Laura - Nominated for 5, won 3.
  2. Journey to the Center of the Earth - Nominated for 3.
  3. Around the World in Eighty Days - Nominated for 8, won 5.
  4. An Affair to Remember - Nominated for 4.
  5. Love is a Many Splendored Thing - Nominated for 8, won 3.
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird - Nominated for 8, won 3.
  7. The Greatest Show on Earth - Nominated for 5, won 3.
That's quite an impressive list she threw out there, isn't it? She touched on a subject that is controversial and one that I have a definite side with, the colorization of films. The silent film she named was the wrong title. She called it Journey to the Moon but it was A Trip to the Moon. Either way, her point was that it was colorized and she insinuated that this was a bad thing and it is. 

A simple search for black and white photo art will show you exactly what I mean. Taking a picture in color and taking a picture in black and white are very different. Let me show you what I mean. Let's take a look at a small portion of a picture and compare them side by side. 

You can tell in the color photo that the dress is different from the little thing behind her that is in color. However, in the black and white photo, you're not really sure. Is that something sticking out of the dress? Yes, it's subtle but the only thing I could come up with that was for a quick comparison. If I spent all day looking for the perfect example then I'd just stop writing. Note too what I didn't circle, her other side. You can't quite tell what that is in black and white. It looks almost like artifact. 

If you've never heard of Edith Head, you really should learn about her. Her life is fascinating! She has a trademark though, so to speak. She's famous for wearing dark glasses. It was common to hear people refer to them as sunglasses. However, that's not why she wore them! 

Edith Head was a famous award winning clothing designer who designed costumes for films in both black and white and color. It's amusing to learn that the sketches she used for her initial job interview portfolio were actually someone else's. Yet, she was a success! I digress again though. The point here is that she wore dark glasses and it became her trademark.

However, they were not sunglasses nor did she prefer a dark tint. They were so that when she was looking at fabric she could tilt her head back and see what it looked like in black and white. This way the colors would be different and not blend together. It was a smart way of doing it, rather than using a camera to sample them. 

Either way, black and white requires careful planning. You can't just slap a costume on and put the person in a room. You have to make sure that the colors will be clear because you're working in only shades of gray. Not red, green and the like. 

For this reason, it took much more thought and planning when it came to black and white films. To color them erases all the work and creativity that was used initially in the film. How very sad.

In the end, you can't really blame the article for the lack of quality Netflix entertainment. The blame should be squarely put on Netflix's shoulders. To begin with, they need to reexamine how to make customers happy by seeing what they like for themselves. I will never watch a gay film in my life. Never! I can't relate, so I'm not interested. I will never ever watch a martial arts film in my life. Why should I be forced to look at this in my suggestions? I find it actually rather offensive that they presume to show me what I've already told them I don't like. The taste profiles are gone or if they're there, I've no idea where they went. I'm now seeing garbage that I hate. I will never watch them EVER! 

So hear me Netflix. You're screwing up. You're going to lose customers because there will be better filters out there in the future. Someone will come along and pick up what you threw away and people will flock. I will flock. My time with you is limited unless you get back on the ball. 

Please everyone join me in letting them know about this. Fill out this Netflix contact us form and tell them that you want to be able to permanently filter out what you'll never watch. Go ahead. Please. If you want, send them here. I don't care. Just tell them because you feel it's true. 

Oh and before I forget, I just want to remind everyone that today The Americans, Season 3 should be available for streaming via Amazon Prime. Join me in watching!

God bless you all and have a great day!

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