Netpix: Best of 2018!


Now that 2018 has exited stage left, it will always be remembered as the year of political scandals, Hollywood sex scandals, outrage and  ugly racist women dialing 911 whenever they see a person of color doing normal activities like barbecuing or just taking a nap in between college classes! 

However, 2018 will also be remembered for a few good films and programs now available on Netflix (At the time of this writing, to say the least.) Here are my top content picks on Netflix for the year of 2018!


American Meme


Andy Warhol once said, "there's a moment where everyone will be famous for 15 minutes" (If I remember correctly. )

Well, thanks but no thanks to social media, we are witnessing the age of attention whores! American Meme showcases how 4 individuals have achieved fame and recognition through social media outlets such as facebook, twitter and something called Vine. I found myself disgusted how certain "celebrities" are treated with a huge cult following just for doing dumb shit like pouring alcohol on some chick's ass or running around in public wearing diapers!

This documentary features a who's who of idiots from The Fat Jew to DJ Kaleed and the ultimate attention whore, Paris Hilton! (You remember her from A Simple Life and her blockbuster film A Night in Paris of course.) These people are literally competing against one another just to get the most clicks and to some extent, it pays off attending a party full of celebs and politicians. Is this the new normal?



Baki


Wow, another anime reboot comes to Netflix! Based on the Grappler Baki Manga, Anime series and OVA, the titular character is pitted against a collective of superpowered inmates who avoided their death sentences and are enroute to Japan.

Can the young yet brash Baki Herma avoid chaos in the streets by taking them down one at a time and if so, will he still have any strength left to face his deadliest adversary-his father?
So far, this series is shaping up to be one of the better anime reboots.
The pacing is adequate and there's a copious amount of bloodshed and that was during its first episode!

Avengers Infinity War 

One of my favorite films of 2018 is now available on Netflix. Infinity War had to make the cut here! On the brink of annihilation, it’s up to Earth's Mightiest Heroes to stop the Mad Titan called Thanos! Infinity War is almost comparable to Marvel's version of Empire Strikes Back, in terms of a nihilistic tone and a downbeat ending. Sure, the sequel had its share of comedic breaks be it a bit forced but overall, it's a Superhero film that's part space opera. Looking forward to the concluding sequel.



Daredevil Season 3


The Devil of Hell's kitchen is back since his last appearance courtesy of Marvel's Defenders. Assumed dead, Matt Murdock manages to pick up the pieces that were shattered after the events of the ensemble Superhero series, but not only is Murdock once again, up against the
Kingpin, but someone who also has superhuman attributes, and is out to ruin the reputation of Matt's alter ego! 

Those expecting cameo appearances from Claire, Hogarth or other crossover characters from the "NCU" will be very disappointed. This series is more focused on story content than any distractions. Well, they could've done we without Karen Page's arc however, the conclusion of what is mentioned as the final season, is cathartic and a satisfying swan song.


Luke Cage Season 2


Prior to the announcement of Daredevil's cancellation, Luke Cage is no longer a hero for hire on Netflix's streaming service. The second season of Cage was a vast improvement over the first but it’s the case of too little, too late.

It starts off with a mysterious "Yardie" called Bushmaster, beating the shit out of the virtually indestructible Lucas Cage. But there's more to Bushmaster's background than expected. He's out for justice and if anyone gets in his way, its hell to pay! Mustspha Shakur gives an energetic performance as the villain or rather, antihero while Alfrie Woodard brings out the evil bitch in Black Mariah. 
The backstories were good and did not drag on regarding filler overload however, one too many club performances from musical artists, reminded me of Fox's Empire and Starz's POWER. For a second, I thought the segments were produced by the BET staff!
That critique aside, it was a great season with a somewhat cliffhanger ending that unfortunately, could not wrap up loose ends due to the show's cancellation. Well, at least we got to see what a "Powerman and Iron Fist" series would look like, during one of the episodes.


Who Killed Jam Master Jay?


This isn't documentary is more than some "whodunit", but a celebration of one of Rap's greatest pioneers!
Jay Michaels may be credited for putting his band Run DMC on the map, but it doesn't end there!
He was the catalyst for the genre being as successful as it is, without putting out sensationalism or negative images within the Black community. This documentary doesn't provide enough answers yet relies on theories of who Jay's assailants were. It still works as an exceptional companion to other Band retrospectives with only 60 minutes, there's more than enough intrigue and spotlight to make this a worthy watch.



Birdbox

After hearing all the hyperbole about Netflix's latest thriller starring one of Hollywood's sweethearts, Sandra Bullock, I decided to give Birdbox a watch and suffice to say, the hypetrain was on point!
Birdbox is reminiscent of a few Stephen King movies (Hell, there's even an unintentional nod to The Mist!) but it's originality, suspense and acting is one of the best made-for-TV cinematic experiences I have witnessed. The story begins with Bullock and two children called "Boy" and "Girl" making a trek to salvation across river streams.... while blindfolded!
The world has fallen prey to mysterious supernatural entities that once gazed upon, can drive human beings into the brink of madness, followed by suicidal tendencies. 
The only way to prevent being "exposed" to the light, is to shield your eyes via blindfolds and canoeing through a river while avoiding those who were tainted, is certainly by no means, an easy task!
I would have easily helped them get to safety, had not Netflix pulled the plug on my series. Oh, well.

What's so great about Birdbox, is how the storytelling is handled in flashback to flashforward segments, involving events leading to this dystopian nightmare. It's a solid addition to Netflix's ever-increasing library of inhouse Movies and Television programming!


Adam Sandler 100% Fresh


Confession: I can't stand Adam Sandler! Not on a personal level, he seems like a cool guy you may want to have a beer with, but professionally, his movies, standups and humor for the most part, is terribly bad!

But i'll be goddamned in hell if his recent standup special 100% fresh, wasn't (surprisingly) hilarious!
Between a few well-placed song breaks, Sandler jokes about his personal life and observations without treading into any political territory whatsoever.

One of the highlights of "Fresh", is the Hero song-broken into three different skits. Then there's the seminal tribute to the late comedian and fellow SNL cast member, Chris Farley. Unlike Chris Rock's Tambourine, 100 Fresh did not disappoint.  Great for a few good laughs and standup seems to be more of Sadler's niche than say acting in Movies?!?


Black Panther


Overhyped or just that damned good? Well, it's up to the individual cinemaphile to decide for his/herself. Personally, I was in awe of the depictions of Afrofuturism, a huge chunk of the storyline and of course, the exceptional performance of Michael B. Jordan as the sympathetic but brutal villain Erik Kilmonger. Sure, Black Panther has had its share of flaws, (The final battle sequences felt a bit rushed and Tchalla was a bit overshadowed by supporting characters.) but overall, one of MCU's better offerings and it's now available on Netflix until Disney's streaming service is up and running.


Ozarks Season 2


Money laundering Marty Byrd just can't get a break these days!
Just when he breathed a sigh of relief after witnessing the unexpected demise of a Cartel boss who threatened to kill him and the other Byrds, he finds himself in deeper trouble when forced to work for the sadistic Darlene. Although not as good as the 1st Season, Ozarks second run ties up a few loose ends as far as plotlines and who gets bumped off this season. Some may surprise you and some may have you cheering! Jason Bateman is once again, delivers and, ya just gotta love Ruth in her foul-mouthed sassy demeanor!



The Night Comes for Us


I noticed how Bop mentioned this a while back, but it kinda fell off my radar until I discovered it on Netflix’s New Releases section.  Night is a blood-soaked tale of redemption and it’s good to see the Raid Redemption alumni return for another action-packed Indonesian delight!
If you like John Woo's The Killer or No Tears for the Dead, this one's for you!


July 22


Norway was often mentioned as one of the best countries to live in, an ideal society to the extent that the Norwegians are more than welcome to migrate to the United States of Trump! However, all that glitters, is not gold as this movie, based on the horrific Oslo massacre during July 22nd 2013 demonstrates that there is no perfect place and how terrorism isn't just restricted to Islamic extremists!

A lone White Supremacist gunman who subscribes to the twisted ideology of Neo Nazism, commits an unspeakable act toward a peaceful commune of different ethnicities as well as his fellow Norwegians who embrace them. Director Paul Greengrass literally draws you into the perspectives of the victims and survivors who were unfortunately burdened with the ordeal while facing the mass murderer within the courts. July 22nd is not just a survival horror docudrama, but a harrowing story of tragedy, hope, and questioning one's own moral compass. It's also a sad reminder of how hatred and intolerance still permeate within the 21st Century. Especially when it comes to Europe and North America's sociopolitical climate.



Give any of these recommendations a watch and let me know what you think. Have a happy and safe New year.

Stalks, out!



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