By the end of last year there was a reported 190,000 Irish users on Netflix and over 65.5 Million worldwide. That’s a whole lot of viewers. Netflix have been delighting audiences with a mix of classic movies, fan-favourite TV series and are currently releasing excellent original TV shows, documentaries and films. So lets take a look at what’s happening on Netflix right now.
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This raw, gritty series chronicles the gripping real-life stories of the drug kingpins of the late 1980s and the corroborative efforts of law enforcement to meet them head on in brutal, bloody conflict. It details the many, often-conflicting forces – legal, political, police, military and civilian – that clash in the effort to control cocaine, one of the world’s most valuable commodities.
I’m currently making my way through the latest Netflix original series. And it is good. Very good. I obviously can’t make up my mind on the series as a whole just yet but by all accounts (by which I mean critics and trustworthy friends) the entire first season has been a huge success. Portraying the drug kingpin, Wagnor Moura’s performance is stunning as the egotistical, power-hungry and at times maniacal Pablo Escobar. If you like great TV, watch this. I’ll let you all know if I feel the same towards the end of the season but as Netflix have already signed them on for a second season and boasting an impressive 9.1 on IMDB this is certainly a show I do not expect to fade away.
Adding to the Pixar collection already available (Up, Cars 2, Monsters, Inc.) Netflix have added two more titles from the celebrated studio and with more to come. The lack-lustre prequel to the brilliant Monsters, Inc., Monsters University is not a terrible film but it just doesn’t have the heart that the original boasted. A more conventional movie, University sees our heroes tackle scare school to hone their skills and features just about every trope you would expect from a coming-of-age, Revenge of the Nerds-esque feature. Where the original was, well, original, the prequel is sadly not. It has however got some great Pixar moments and is worth a watch, especially if you have some little ones to keep entertained.
More excitedly however, Netflix have just added Toy Story to their growing catalogue. There is not much that needs to be said about this except I am extremely excited that I can watch it over and over again without rooting out my tattered VHS. Okay, I’ll admit, I probably won’t watch this over and over. But I do like the fact that it is now there and available. Also, Netflix are adding Toy Story 2 and 3 on the 18th and 25th of this month. I smell a hangover triple-threat at the end of October. Note to self: buy Kleenex.
An Evening with Kevin Smith
I always like to think of it as like, I’ve got ’em sittin’ there, whip a little message at ’em. Whip a little moral at ’em. Whip a little of what my view of the world is. Because that’s what every good filmmaker does. You can’t change the world. You can’t cure the world. All you can do is be like, “This is it through my eyes. Do you agree or not agree?”
Kevin Smith has lots of stories to tell, from maxing out all of his credit cards to make Clerks, to nearly writing a Superman movie, to meeting Prince and more. This Q&A features a great mix of Hollywood insights and stupid slapstick stories from both on and off his movie sets. This has just be released on Netflix but the original is from 2002, meaning it will have stories from Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. Running at over 3.5 hours the whole thing is an undertaking to watch in one sitting but if you want hilarious inside stories from a comedy director at his best this is it. A must watch for any fan of Smith or film in general.
Nas: Time is Illmatic
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Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary film that delves deep into the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation. Twenty years after its release, Illmatic has become a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the socio-political outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young black men searching for their voice in America.
For any music or documentary lovers out there, Netflix has just included the story behind one of the greatest rap albums of all time, Nas’ Illmatic. Widely accepted as a turning point in the rap game, Nas’ terrific lyricism and themes are still as important today as they were twenty years ago when it was released. From new up and coming director One9, we follow Nas back to his neighbourhood and delve into the world he grew up in and how it shaped the artist he became. With a host of interviews with the likes of Q-Tip, Alicia Keys and Busta Rhymes as well as Nas’ friends and family a picture is painted of the life that he was born into and the game changer that is Illmatic.
Keith Richards : Under the Influence
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This weekend (18th September) will see the latest Netflix’s original documentary; Keith Richards: Under the Influence available for viewing. The film is a beautifully documented portrait of Keith Richards that takes us on a journey to discover the genesis of his sound as a songwriter, guitarist and performer. Under the Influence is unparalleled in its access as it looks at one of the architects of rock ’n’ roll music, while charting his sound and influences, back to the music that inspired him then and now — electric blues, country honky-tonk, southern soul, and more – as he creates his first solo album in 23 years. A culmination of both new and beloved music, rare archival materials and hours of intimate and reflective conversations with Keith, the film documents his long and unusual path to become the legend we all love.
Check back again to keep up to date on the new releases and latest Netflix original content streaming straight into your front room, or laptop, or train…ah, technology is great isn’t it!?