What the Flix?
Article by Matteo Molinari
(click any of the images to enlarge them)
Yes, I use Netflix.
And the other day a friend of mine told me that on Netflix they have a documentary about Woody Allen (titled “Woody Allen: A Documentary” — clever). So I decided to rent it, on the basis that I like documentaries and I like Woody Allen — the choice was quite easy, I have to admit.
After I clicked the “Add to DVD Queue” button, Netflix unselfishly decided to recommend me similar movies to the one I just selected — on a page titled, “More like Woody Allen: A Documentary.”
“Scoop”, a Woody Allen movie. Fine.
“Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures”, another documentary. Fine.
“Eight Legged Freaks”, a monster movie with giant spiders attacking a small town — Wait, what?!
Granted, I’ve neglected to mention that the friend who suggested me this rental is the always excellent Diane Vincent, daughter of legendary TV horror-host Seymour — but this is not “Fright Night”! I was expecting suggestions similar to “Woody Allen: A Documentary”, not a monster movie with David Arquette and Doug E. Doug. Who decided that recommendation? And who put “Iron Man 2” in that very list? (I’ve always thought that “Iron Man 2” clearly had more similarities with “Man on Wire”, but that’s just me).
“Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” — This movie was recommended me (as it’s stated on a box to the right) based on my interest in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “The Incredibles” and “Jaws”.
“Ferris Bueller”?! No, danke shoen.
“Avatar” — In the “More like Avatar” section, I found “Alvin and the Chipmunks — The Squeakquel” and “Old Dogs”. Maybe there’s a different level in the Na’vi’s story I’ve ignored all this time, but really? The Chipmunks? Do the Na’vi want a hula hoop for Christmas? And what’s with “Old Dogs”? It’s an alleged comedy with John Travolta and Robin Williams that’s as fun as being trampled by a heard of buffaloes, and the only similitude I could find between “Avatar” and “Old Dogs” is that the latter seems as long as “Avatar”, but it’s only in 2-D (Disappointing and Demented).
“Deep Red” — Okay, you have to follow me on this one: in the “More like Deep Red” section, a double mystery: first, “Deep Red” (original title, “Profondo Rosso”) is a slasher whodunit movie by Italian supposed master of horror Dario Argento, which originally was marketed in the USA as “The Hatchet Murders”.
In fact, in parenthesis after the title “Deep Red”, you can read “Profondo Rosso” and “The Hatchet Murders”. So… why among the recommendations is “The Hatchet Murders”? As in, “If you like this movie, you may want to watch it again with a different title!” Egad.
Also, still among the recommendations, is Federico Fellini’s “Amarcord”. Not a slasher movie. Not a whodunit? More a whydidit than a whodonit — but this is another story.
“Grumpy Old Men” — In the “More like Grumpy Old Men” is the Mexican movie “Y Tu Mamá También”, which is not exactly a zany Neil Simon-like adventure about two old geezers… I can still picture the faces of my parents after they rented the Spanish-speaking movie hoping to see a mindless comedy. Oh, well…
“Jaws” — In the “More like Jaws,” you can find “The Sting”. Uh — what? Okay, Robert Shaw is in both of them, and they’ve been produced by the same team, but that doesn’t make them similar! Paul Newman doesn’t get harpooned on the poker table. Robert Redford doesn’t crash his head against a boat. It would have been fun to see it, I agree, but not this time.
“King Kong” — In the “More like King Kong,” I was slightly surprised to find “Every Which Way But Loose” with Clint Eastwood. Yes. Sure. Just because Mr. Eastwood has in this movie an orangutan as a sidekick, it doesn’t make it a movie even remotely similar to “King Kong”. Yes, they both have simians in them, but… Ah, why bother?
“Orca: The Killer Whale” — In the “More like Orca,” the first choice was “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Of course! Do you remember that amazing sequence of Indiana Jones running out of the temple, chased by a huge, rolling orca? Or when he was about to enter the Well of the Souls and there were orcas everywhere, prompting him to say the classic line, “Orcas. Why’d it have to be orcas?” Or when they open the Ark of the Covenant and all those orcas come out and kill the Nazis? Yeah, me neither.
“Titanic” — In the “More like Titanic,” it’s listed also “The Mad”, a zombie movie. Okay, a horror-comedy zombie movie. No, still doesn’t seem to fit. Wait! A horror-comedy zombie movie with Billy Zane, who also happens to be in “Titanic”. Nope. Still doesn’t work. I mean, there’s a lot of hearts going on, and livers and brains, but still…
“Snakes on a Plane” — In the “More like Snakes on a Plane,” it’s present also “Soul Plane”. Samuel L. Jackson and Julianna Margulies and a bunch of dangerous snakes in the first one, Snoop Dogg and Tom Arnold and a bunch of lame jokes in the second one. If they had the snakes in the “Soul Plane”, perhaps that would have been cool. Not as a movie — just lock Snoop Dogg and Tom Arnold in a plane filled with snakes. Everybody wins.
Sometime, even the Internet Movie DataBase slips on something. Case in point…
“Ted” — The R-rated comedy of a foul-mouthed teddy bear was a very funny movie — maybe a tad, or a Ted, too long, but funny nonetheless. Well, in the “People who liked this also liked…” the site lists also “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days”. Discuss.
Okay, so this is my annoying article about recommendation. Thank you for reading it.
If you liked this article, you may also like: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Phantoms by Dean Koontz, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.