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New to Your Queue

| Monday, October 31, 2011

“Breaking Bad”

When low-paid, underappreciated chemistry teacher Walter White finds out he has terminal cancer, he decides to produce high quality meth to provide money for his family. Teaming up with his underachieving former student, Walter slowly changes from Mr. Chips to Scarface in this critically acclaimed AMC original series. A wide array of characters from comic to killer, violent action sequences, creative cinematography, great acting, suspenseful storytelling and the beautiful but dangerous setting of Albuquerque make this show a must-see. Watch seasons 1 through 3 to catch up with the currently airing season four.

“Gossip Girl”

One of the most stylish shows on television is now in your instant queue. Watch the most dramatic teenagers on New York’s Upper East Side as they flirt, fight and flaunt their wealth. It’s the perfect escape from real life, complete with glamorous parties, incredible fashion and beautiful people. Serena van der Woodsen and her friends Blair, Chuck, Nate and Dan represent something almost impossible to reach, yet so enjoyable to watch. Catch seasons one through four on Netflix for clothing inspiration and indulge in guilty pleasure excellence. 

“Up”

Although it may bring tears to your eyes at parts, “Up” will also warm your heart and bring a smile to your face.  This animated film follows the adventures of Carl Fredricksen, a man who loses the beloved wife he had planned on taking grand explorations with.  When he finally begins his journey, a young boy named Russell surprisingly tags along. At first Carl is a crotchety old man, but he grows to appreciate Russell. “Up” is the touching story of friendship, love and perseverance in achieving your dreams.

“Searching for Bobby Fischer”

Chess never seemed more interesting than in director Steve Zaillian’s critically-acclaimed film about a chess prodigy who may or may not follow in the footsteps of chess’s most enigmatic and energizing master, Bobby Fischer. Based on a true story, the movie explores what it is like growing up with an incredible gift and what it means to win. The all-star cast includes Joe Mantegna and Ben Kingsley. With a 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you know this movie is the worth the time.

“Sherlock”

Sherlock Holmes has appeared in many different forms throughout his 100+ year history. He has worn that famous deer hunter cap, been played by Iron Man and has even been featured as a mouse. However, you’ve never seen him quite like this before.

“Sherlock,” produced by the BBC and presented in America by PBS, comes from the geniuses behind the cult British show “Doctor Who” and features the man who played Bilbo Baggins as Sherlock’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) sidekick Watson (Martin Freeman). The story now takes place in modern London and Sherlock is a genius who uses modern technology along with his own wits to solve crimes. Check it out on Netflix in preparation for the second mini-series, premiering early next year.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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New to Your Queue

Scene Staff Report | Wednesday, October 26, 2011

“The September Issue”

Though the notorious September Issue of “Vogue” already came out, dig into the real story behind the massive fashion guide with the documentary, “The September Issue.” It details the creation of the hundreds of pages that comprise the September Issue, closely following “Vogue” Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour — the real-life inspiration for Miranda Priestley in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Even if you don’t love fashion, check out the film for a new appreciation of everything that goes into not just “Vogue,” but the fashion industry itself.

“Super Troopers”

This crime-comedy is a classic that will bring laughs even in your darkest moments. It follows the lives of five Vermont state troopers who are better at pranking each other than actual police work. They have an intense rivalry with the local police officers, which becomes a central part of the movie and adds a great comic element. The state troopers set out to take down a drug-smuggling ring and succeed, with their usual hijinx along the way. It’s a must-see for all comedy lovers.

“Trollhunter”

Just in time for Halloween, Netflix has stocked this Norwegian import about a band of kids of who follow around a troll hunter responsible for protecting the Norwegian people from the country’s big, dark secret. The film was a hit overseas and has Chris Columbus (director of the first two “Harry Potter” films) ready to produce an American remake. “Trollhunter” provides a welcome relief from movies about sparkly vampires and werewolves with six-packs ⎯ these trolls are real monsters, and they’re definitely not pretty. Let yourself take a step back from reality and enjoy the ridiculous ride that is “Trollhunter.”

“Clerks”

“Clerks” is a black-and-white, extremely low-budget and absolutely hilarious cult comedy. A classic Gen-X movie, “Clerks” depicts one day in the life of Dante, an aimless but well-intentioned twenty something and his best friend, the sarcastic and pessimistic Randall, as they work at a convenience store in a small New Jersey town. The film hits perfectly on the humor in day-to-day tedium and directionless of post-graduate life and love. Plus, it’s Jay and Silent Bob’s first film appearance.

“Dirty Dancing”

Finally, Patrick Swayze stellar dance moves are available to watch at any time of the day. This classic film about forbidden love and breaking out of your shell is a great movie for any occasion. Jennifer Grey stars as Baby, a wealthy New Yorker vacationing with her family in the Catskills, who falls in love with the dance instructor, Johnny (Swayze), of whom her father does not approve. But love cannot be denied, and neither can their dancing.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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New to Your Queue

Scene Staff Report | Monday, October 10, 2011

“Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

After getting the boot from NBC as the host of “The Tonight Show,” Conan O’Brien was legally prohibited from appearing on television for months after his departure. He ultimately found a home at TBS, but during his TV-hiatus, Conan took his comedy on the road with “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.” This documentary follows Conan as he prepped the tour and took it around the country for a string of completely sold-out shows. The unprecedented look into Conan’s life is equally hilarious and moving as he puts the pressure on himself to bring the funny.

“Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father”

A man is killed, and his best friend makes a tribute to his unborn son through interviews with his closest friends and family. If you want to properly experience this documentary, that’s all you should know going into it. What will result is the most heartfelt, shocking and thrilling hour-and-a-half you’ll ever experience watching a film. This true-crime tour de force pulls you in from the first seconds and never lets you go, even long after it’s done. Twist after twist leaves viewers emotionally raw and exhausted at the end, but the experience is so worth it. And once more, don’t look up any other details before watching.

“The Big Lebowski

This film is, simply put, a cult classic. The movie is directed by the Coen brothers before they became Academy Award winners, and stars Jeff Bridges and John Goodman in what might be their finest roles. The story is an absurd mystery, drawing from the classic film-noir the Big Sleep. It follows the Dude, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing, a laid back old hippie who just wants compensation for a destroyed rug that really tied the room together.

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Everyone knows Audrey Hepburn’s classic film, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” It has a mammoth presence in pop-culture 50 years after its release and is as iconic now as it was then. But how many of you have actually seen it? Netflix is there to fix this problem with its recent addition to Watch Instantly. Grab some tissues and your favorite pearls for a look back at the classiest of films.

“Valentino: The Last Emperor

This intimate portrait of the famed Italian fashion house exposes the complicated process of designing impeccably beautiful clothing. Valentino himself is the picture of diva-ness, and in all honesty, it’s fantastic. Who could possibly pull off having five pugs dripping in diamonds? Valentino, that’s who.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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New To Your Queue

Scene Staff Report | Wednesday, October 5, 2011

1. “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”

This action-packed film, based off the popular video game series, has everything you could want in a guilty pleasure movie — attractive stars and a cheesy plot that will always bring a smile to your face. Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) must keep The Sands of Time, a magical dagger that controls the flow of time, from falling into the wrong hands. He teams up with Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) to protect the dagger, and a stereotypical love-hate relationship develops — I won’t give away how it ends. Though by no means Oscar-worthy, it’s a great movie to throw one when you just need to relax or laugh.

2. “The Blues Brothers”

This all-time great comedy stars Dan Aykroyd (also the co-writer) and the great John Belushi, two more or less criminal brothers with a penchant for soul and rhythm-and-blues music. When the orphanage they grew up in falls behind on their taxes, the Blues Brothers decide to put their band back together to put on a show to raise the money. Breaking the law every step of the way, the Blues Brothers end up being chased by all sorts of characters, from the Illinois state police to a Nazi-themed party. With the Netflix Instant always changing, don’t miss this classic while it’s there.

3. “The League” Season 1

While Netflix has delayed offering season two of this hysterical series, the first season, currently on instant Netflix, is enough to quench anyone’s thirst for comedy. The show follows five friends from high school, now in their 30’s, as they compete in a fantasy football league. The coveted prize, the Shiva, is named for their high school valedictorian. It’s the perfect fall comedy set against the backdrop of extreme fantasy competition.

4. “The Princess and the Frog”

Disney’s first black princess has hit Netflix. This adorable story of love and acceptance in New Orleans will delight audiences of all ages. All the songs and graphics harken back to Disney movies of old, bringing back childhood memories with a slightly Cajun twist. Don’t miss Tiana and Prince Naveen’s Jazz-age story of amphibian love.

5. “The Office” Seasons 5-7

Do you miss Michael Scott as Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc., a division of Sabre? Is Andy Bernard just not cutting it for you? If you miss the old days when the Nard-Dog was just a lackey, look no further than your instant-queue, where you can find seasons five through seven. Relive Pam and Jim’s wedding, the Michael Scott Paper Company and so many other classic memories. And try to give Andy another chance as manager.