After a short hiatus, our Fringe contributors are back, giving you their favorite TV shows and movies on Netflix. The results are diverse, but all are ripe for binge watching.
Set in the grisly working class town of Birmingham, England “Peaky Blinders” is a British import from the BBC detailing of the often-ignored mythology of the British working class. With blue eyed intensity Cillian Murphy steals the show as a psychologically torn man who returns from war with memories of things best left unseen, and a desire to transform his family of gypsy gang members into Kings. Navigating between family drama and gangster show, the two seasons expertly create a world of crime and violence that our main characters inhabit. Add in a vindictive police officer hell bent on convicting the family and a war with another clan of gypsies and leaving any episode unwatched will be hard to do.
Featuring crisp editing, spectacular cinematography and a rocking soundtrack this show is like a 12 hour long movie with each frame perfectly shot and balanced to leave the most impact on the viewer. The soundtrack to the show, a mix of Jack White and The Arctic Monkey’s, is anachronistic for the time period but adds a certain rock and roll vibe to a series with characters possessing the bravado of rock stars. With two seasons currently available and the third commissioned it is the right time to binge this show and become the coolest person at the water cooler.
In an endless catalogue filled with anything you could ever possibly want to watch, one of Netflix’s most hidden gems has got to be “Tru Love,” co-written, directed, and starring former Scream Queen Shauna MacDonald (horror junkies will recognize her from “Hemlock Grove” and the “Saw” franchise). MacDonald plays Tru, a commitment-phobic lesbian who has no real interest in holding down a steady job or girlfriend. Her life is shaken up when a friend’s recently widowed mother Alice (played warmly by Kate Trotter) comes to stay in town. The two women find themselves drawn to each other, but not if Tru’s friend Suzanne has her way. What makes this film so special is that it shines a light on dynamics we don’t always have access to in film; the polarizing relationship between a mother and daughter, the intimacies and secrets that come with being friends, and of course, romantic love between two women. “Tru Love” will touch and warm your heart. I can’t recommend this film enough.
From Antoine Fuqua, the director of “Training Day,” “Tears of the Sun,” and “The Equalizer,” comes the most abnormal entry in his filmography, “King Arthur.”
In the same vein as 2010’s “Robin Hood,” “King Arthur” reimagines the myth and legend of King Arthur and his round table of knights as something born out of real historical circumstances complete with Romans and Barbarians. Both films eschew fancy CG, focusing instead on the grit of the men who write history. This is a film heavy on handsome faces and proto-American sensibilities. I find the heroic ideology laughable and out of place for the time but serviceable for moving the plot along. It gives the murderers’ row of likable male stars something to talk about. This film is for anyone who wants to see some nice practical medieval fighting in a good looking film that will not insult you from plot point to plot point.
Clive Owen is King Arthur. You might know Joel Edgerton, Ioan Gruffudd, Ray Winstone or “Hannibal’s” Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy who make up the knights of the round table. They all have incredible hair and for that hair alone I recommend this film.
American Horror Story
I have been fascinated by horror movies since I was sixteen. While I’ve been vastly disappointed with many of them, especially the modern remakes of the classics and the newer original movies, I have yet to be disappointed with AHS, as their fans call it. There is a new and compelling story in every season, so you can start at whatever season you would like to and not have to worry about missing anything from a previous season. The actors also give exceptional performances, especially the main actors that appear in every season, Jessica Lange and Evan Peters in particular. AHS also covers many issues such as depression, extramarital affairs, abuse in mental health facilities, and religious institutions and subjugation of people who are different from the majority as the basis of their stories which can send shivers down your spine yet make you want to see more. Who knows? You could even end up watching a whole season in one night like myself and a few other friends of mine have.
The Triplets of Belleville
As a winner of many different awards throughout the world, as well as Academy Award nominations for “Best Animated Feature” and “Best Original Song,” this is not a film to be overlooked. The film tells the tale of an old woman who must save her son after he is captured by the French Mafia during the Tour de France.
The animation is filled with goofy caricatures, especially when the characters travel to the American inspired city of Belleville. Characters also move around with bounciness and vibrancy without feeling too squishy, much like a “Tom and Jerry” cartoon. It also manages the great feat of telling a compelling story with hardly a word of dialogue. While the film is a bit slow throughout plot wise, every second is used to add to the story or just entertain you. If you’re a fan of foreign films or animated films, you own it to yourself to check this flick out.