CBG’s Netflix Suggestions – July 2017

It’s hard to believe that summer is already here, but yet here it is. The kids are finishing up school, the days are longer, and there seems to be more time to go outside and enjoy the beautiful world around us.

But what do we do when it’s raining? We turn to NETFLIX, of course!! And believe me…there are a LOT of reasons to turn to Netflix in July. There are too many to mention, so I’m going to provide some of my recommendations here:

Friends From College

July 14

I had no idea what this Netflix Original was about until I saw the trailer and I gotta say…I’m so glad that I did!! 

This looks to be the exact type of quirky, well-written, well-acted “dram-edy” that I enjoy watching from time to time. The cast looks fantastic (Colbie Smulders! Keegan-Michael Key! Fred Savage??), it’s from the director of one of my favourite movies (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and the trailer makes this series look REALLY good.

Basically, it’s about a group of friends from Harvard who are facing down their forties. The show has interwoven and complicated relationships in a comedic exploration of old friendships, former romantic entanglements, and balancing adult life with nostalgia for the past. 

I hope my expectations aren’t too high…but right now I can’t wait!!

Ghost

July 6

This classic love story is back and available on Netflix the first week of July! It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen this blockbuster, so I’m hoping it hasn’t aged poorly.

Starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg, the premise of the movie sounds really cheesy and REALLY bad. The movie is about a young man who is murdered, but then finds that his spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger…all with the help of a reluctant psychic. 

When you read it, it kind of sounds like a goofy 80’s comedy. It’s not, though…so if you’re looking for a romantic evening with your significant other, this is highly recommended!

Snowden

July 1

I’ve heard a lot about Edward Snowden…from theories on why he is an American traitor to explanations on why he is an American hero. With a cast headlined by the incredibly talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I’m really intrigued to watch this and see the story unfold.

Of course, where it’s an Oliver Stone movie I’ll have to take it with a grain of salt as his versions of “the truth” can sometimes be a bit slanted, but with a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes I’m willing to take a chance that I’ll still be entertained.

Pixels

July 11

I know, I know…it’s an Adam Sandler movie and was critically panned (only a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but my son LOVED this flick. And yes, I realize that it wasn’t the best acting or storyline in the world, but if you want to turn off your brain with your kids for a couple of hours, this is the perfect movie for that. 

Plus it’s kinda fun to re-live some of the older arcade games that I grew up with come to live as actual alien invaders!

Castlevania

July 7

This is a Netflix original series that is based off of the very popular classic video game series. Castlevania is a dark medieval fantasy that follows the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan as he tries to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hands of Dracula himself! 

Adi Shankar, producer of the series, recently stated that the series is “very much done in the vein of Game of Thrones.” Taking that into consider in addition to (a) being familiar with the story and (b) having watched the trailer, I’m certainly willing to give this series a shot. 

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

July 14

My wife and I watched the first Jack Reacher movie with zero expectations and were pleasantly suprised. Tom Cruise was riveting in the role…even though we weren’t exactly sure what that role was. Months later, we couldn’t tell you what the movie was about…but we could still remember that we liked it a lot.

We entered the sequel with slightly higher expectations.  Again, don’t ask us what the movie was about (I know it co-stars Colbie Smulders, though!), but we both ended up liking it again. 

So if you like your action “straight-up” and not “in your face”, I think you’ll really enjoy this movie. Cruise may be on autopilot here, but it’s still a great performance.

Arrival

July 28

I feel as though this movie was just in theatres a couple of months ago, so I think it’s pretty awesome that it’s already available on Netflix.

The plot of the movie is that twelve mysterious spacecraft have appeared around the world (I know…haven’t we been here before?). But instead of a Will Smith-led war movie for the ages, this is MUCh more subdued as linguistics professor Louise Banks (played by the awesome Amy Adams) is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

The movie co-stars Jeremy Renner and Forrest Whitaker, so the cast is top notch. If you think you’ve seen this type of “alien invasion” movie before, you haven’t. This movie was one of those “quietly successful” blockbusters that kind of took people by surprise because it was that good of a movie. Definitely recommended!

To The Bone

July 14

I’ve heard really good things about this Netflix original (it was a pick-up from the Sundance Film Festival and currently has an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). So even though this type of movie is “not my jam”, I’m willing to give it a shot.

The film shares the story of 20-year-old Ellen (played by Lily Collins) and her battle with anorexia. Ellen enters a group home run by an unconventional doctor (Keanu Reeves) where she and the other residents go on a sometimes funny, sometimes harrowing journey – navigating their addictions and finding the path to choosing life.

Finally…July 2017 sees the Netflix Canada debut of…

ROGUE ONE:

A Star Wars Story

July 18

I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it is to have Star Wars movies streaming on Netflix. Sure, I own the blu-rays (as I owned the dvd’s and the VHS versions before that!), but there’s something about the convenience of watching it thru Netflix that just makes things more fun.

If you haven’t seen this movie, you are in for a treat. This takes place in the short time before the original Star Wars: A New Hope, as it tells the story about how the Rebel Alliance actually captured the plans to the Death Star and placed them into R2-D2 and C3-PO…thus launching a movie universe that is ever expanding.

And if I can be 100% honest here…Rogue One is one of the best movies in the entire franchise. I’d dare say it’s even in my “Top 3” in terms of Star Wars movies, and for a life-long fan that’s really saying something!

Want to see what else is coming to Netflix Canada in July? 

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Have I missed any? Are there any of your own “must sees” coming out in July? If you have any suggestions of your own, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I would love to hear them. You can always hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email.

I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, but all opinions are my own.

 

CBG’s Netflix Suggestions – June 2017

For whatever reason, I find myself having more opportunities to watch programs during the summer than I do during the other three seasons. Maybe it’s because school is in session the other times of the year, which means spending time with the kids whenever possible and running errands whenever my wife and I have free time together.

Of course, it doesn’t help when there are good programs to watch, either. As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I’m always given a listing of shows that are coming out each month. Whether by design or not, the month of June looks incredibly entertaining and I truly believe it has something for everyone.

These are the programs I’m most looking forward to watching on Netflix in June:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

June 1st

This isn’t a movie I have had the opportunity to see yet, but my stepdaughters have told me it’s really good. Because of their recommendation, I’m anxious to give it a chance once it premieres on Netflix.

The story of the movie is how a teenager discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times before finding a magical place known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers… and their powerful enemies. Ultimately, Jacob discovers that only his own special “peculiarity” can save his new friends!

 

Orange is the New Black

June 9th

I’ve been following the crazy ups and downs of Piper Chapman since the initial season debuted back in 2013. The ONLY problem I have with the show is that once my wife and I binge-watch an entire season, we have to wait 11 ½ months before the new one is released!

 

Vacation

June 13th

I’ll be 100% honest here…I wasn’t too keen on watching this movie in the theatres when it came out. I mean, how can you reboot a comedy as classic as Vacation with Chevy Chase?? I, however, am a big fan of stars Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, so I figure why not give it a shot? It’s designed as a modernized reboot of the original in addition to being a sequel of sorts. That type of description gives me interest, as does the movie trailer.

 

Disney’s Moana

June 20th

Unfortunately, I can’t deny that my “man crush” is Dwayne Johnson (of course, my wife will tell anybody within earshot so I couldn’t deny it if I wanted to…lol). I initially was hesitant to see Moana simply because it didn’t look like a movie I’d enjoy, but the success of the film in theatres and the subsequent positive reviews have meant that it’s definitely on my “watch list”.

 

GLOW

June 23rd

I’m a wrestling geek. Yes…I admit it. My wife, however, is not. Thankfully, I have convinced her to give this series a shot and in doing so am really hoping it’s as good as it looks.

Back in the 1980’s during the “wrestling boom” era of Hulkamania, GLOW was a real promotion that tried to blend beautiful women with athletic competition. It was ridiculously bad and failed miserably after trudging along for six years, but from those ashes comes this fictional story an out-of-work, struggling actress in 1980s Los Angeles who finds one last chance for stardom when she’s thrust into the glitter and spandex world of women’s wrestling. Where this is a Netflix original series, how can you go wrong??

 

Okja

June 28th

This is an extremely unique film in that it’s made by a South Korean-American director and isn’t entirely set in English. It’s got an ensemble cast with a crazy story, but it was realistic and gritty enough that it competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

As you can see in the trailer, the story is about how a young girl has befriended a massive animal over the course of 10 years in the mountains of South Korea. The animal (aka Okja) is taken by a multinational conglomerate in New York who believes that it can do great things for humanity with this animal, but that results in a rescue mission while different groups (demonstrators, consumers, capitalists, etc) all want to control the fate of this incredible creature.

I really can’t wait to see this with the entire family.

 

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Have I missed any? Are there any of your own “must sees” coming out in June? If you have any suggestions of your own, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I would love to hear them. You can always hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email.

I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, but all opinions are my own.

CBG’s Netflix Suggestions – Hidden Gems

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always take the advice of friends or co-workers when it comes to Netflix recommendations. Sometimes I feel as though if EVERYBODY loves it, then I will probably be disappointed when I finally get around to watching it. Of course, when I’m part of “the movement” and am one of those people recommending a show, then it’s completely different.

Of course, when you have your own blog to sound off on about Netflix recommendations then it doesn’t matter if people are actually interested or not. I figure if you’re here reading this, then you may want to know my thoughts on a few Netflix recommendations that you may not have heard about already.

So here we go…

COMEDY – Grace & Frankie

I’ll absolutely be the first one to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this show when I initially reviewed it a couple of years ago. Sure, I wanted to promote it and all, but I just didn’t think it was that funny and didn’t finish watching the first season.

My wife ended up watching it on her own and fell in love with it. I ended up watching the second half of the third season with her and was intrigued by the characters and the humour, so we both watched all three seasons from the beginning all over again.

Without question, this is one of the most uniquely quirky and enjoyable comedies on television. Jane Fonda is fantastic as Grace, Lily Tomlin is brilliant as Frankie, and Martin Sheen is 100% believable as Robert. While I’m still not completely convinced by Sam Waterston’s portrayal of Sol, the rest of the supporting case more than makes up for it.

The first season saw this show have difficulties finding its footing. The second and third season saw it off and running. If you are tired of the mindless “comedies” on network television, I highly recommend this one as an alternative.

THRILLER – Black Mirror

I wish I could adequately describe this show and give it the type of justice that it deserves. My new manager threw this suggestion out to me during our initial “get to know me” meeting about a month ago. She was a big Netflix fan and said this show would throw her and her boyfriend into a “tizzy” afterwards because it made them think so much.

Basically, this is a science fiction / fantasy series that revolves around the unexpected consequences of new technology (but not in a “20+ years from now” type of way…but in a “few years from now” type of way that makes you wonder if this could actually happen within our lifetimes.  Every single episode (which are completely standalone and separate from each other) can be pretty dark with satirical themes that circle around society today and where we’re going as “humanity” in the future, even if that future is next year.

While some of the episodes are extremely hard to watch (if you can get past the first episode and appreciate it for the messages it is conveying and not simply seeing it as what they’re presenting), my wife and I ended up watching and loving this entire series. There is a new season coming at some point in 2017 and it’s definitely going to be on our “weekend binge” list.

DRAMAThe Fundamentals of Caring

I gotta be honest…I was NOT looking forward to this movie based on the title alone. But every other Friday my wife and I take turns choosing a movie and the other one has to watch it without complaint (at least until it’s over), and one Friday night this was her choice. I’m so glad that it was!

This is a Netflix original movie that stars Paul Rudd (a writer turned caregiver), Craig Roberts (as a sarcastic 18 year old who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy), and Selena Gomez (as Dot, a mysterious hitchhiker) about how a simple road trip helps two men both learn about life from the people they meet along the way. It’s a “dramedy” that blends drama and comedy together in a very believable way.

I realize my description makes this sound extremely cliché in nature, but trust me…this is a surprisingly entertaining movie with some great performances by both Rudd and Roberts. It’s got a 77% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (with an 83% audience score) and a 7.4/10 on IMDB, so I’m not just blowing smoke here. It’s definitely worth a shot.

AWESOMENESSWentworth

If you’ve been on Netflix for any time whatsoever, you may have already binge-watched every season of Orange is the New Black. And with good reason, too! OITNB is quite simply one of the best programs on television and has to be considered revolutionary for its portrayal of women.

But one program that you might not be aware of is Wentworth. While some may call it “Orange is the New Black – Australia Version”, that’s really too simplistic of a description. Let’s put it this way…if OITNB was grittier, darker, less comedic but even more all-around awesome, it would be Wentworth.

The show is set in modern-day Australia and focuses on Bea Smith when she first enters prison after being charged with attempted murder of her husband. While it has a lot of similarities with OITNB, the supporting cast and ensuing storylines are completely different. Quite frankly, if given the option of choosing only one, I would probably pick Wentworth simply because of the incredible directing of the program (almost every episode in the first season looks like a “miniature movie” in how it’s directed). I think you’ll be a lover of Wentworth, as well, once you finish that first season. And thankfully, the show hasn’t gone downhill since!

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So these are just some of my Netflix recommendations for programs that you may not be overly aware of. If you have any suggestions of your own, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I would love to hear them. You can always hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email.

I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, but all opinions are my own.

Why Parents Should Watch ’13 Reasons Why’

I am a remarried father with an incredible wife and a blended family of five children. Mind you, those kids aren’t with us 100% of the time…but they all get along and we truly see ourselves as a family when we’re all together. This is important because the ages of the kids are 10, 12, 14, 18, and 20…so it’s always been a battle to relate to them as they grew up, but even more so now because they are all developing (or already have) individual and different personalities.

When 13 Reasons Why was announced as a series coming to Netflix, I didn’t think much of it. I knew that it was previously a book but that was about all I had heard about it. Let’s face it; as a 43 year old man I didn’t really think that I was the demographic that this show is aimed at.

But that’s where I was wrong.

As a parent with kids either entering their teens or just leaving their teens, this is EXACTLY the type of show that I need to be watching. This program really shows how kids are living their daily lives in 2017. The reality that I have in my head simply isn’t the case, and it’s important as a parent to be as aware as possible of what my kids are going through on a daily basis…even if it is only a dramatic telling and not reality.

I was picked on as a kid by bullies. Hell…I was picked on as a kid by my friends. While I don’t think I ever had suicidal thoughts, I did have other dark thoughts about how I wanted to respond to those bullies and “get back” at them. I went through some bad times as a teenager and did my best to hide them by being the overly animated extrovert that people knew me as. Needless to say, I know what it feels like to be so down and depressed and hating yourself that you don’t know how you’re going to get out of bed the next morning and go to school to face everyone.

And while this type of situation doesn’t happen to every kid in high school, I’ve witnessed my stepdaughters get picked on or ostracized by their own friends in elementary school and middle school. So to know that they could possibly be thinking along the lines of Hannah Baker terrifies me. Thankfully, this show helped me confront that possibility in a way that was disturbingly realistic without coming off as “preachy”.

This show doesn’t glorify suicide in any way. If you believe that, then you either haven’t actually seen all thirteen episodes or you didn’t really pay attention when you did watch them. Suicide is never a heroic or romantic act. Although some might watch 13RW and see Hannah in that way, there is nothing heroic in 13 Reasons Why. In fact, this show should be viewed as a tragedy. Hannah may be the star who tells the world why she committed suicide through a series of audio recordings, but the end result (and extremely disturbing suicide scene) isn’t seen as “heroic” or “the only way out”. It’s seen as a choice that ended up hurting a LOT of people unnecessarily…especially when there were people there ready, willing, and able to help pick Hannah up and help her get through these horrific days that she was going through. 

Suicide is not a common response to life’s challenges or adversity. The vast majority of people who experience bullying, the death of a friend, or any other adversity described in 13 Reasons Why do not die by suicide. In fact, most reach out, talk to others and seek help or find other productive ways of coping. They go on to lead healthy, normal lives.

The show also attempts to slap the faces of those who do the bullying, even if they don’t see themselves as bullies. Yes, some terrible things end up happening to Hannah and some of the supporting characters (ex: sexual assault, drug abuse, public humiliation) but at the end of the day if the people on these tapes simply took a minute to rethink their actions, maybe they could have saved a life.

This series isn’t glorifying Hannah’s choice to end her life; it’s emphasizing the need to not be the ones responsible for this type of situation happening to begin with. If Clay had only told Hannah about his feelings for her or if Justin hadn’t shown anybody that “crotch shot” photo of her or if Zach had only not taken Hannah’s rejection to date so hard and didn’t try to “get back” at her or if Sheri hadn’t lied about the accident or if Ryan hadn’t published her intimate poem without her consent…if ANY of those things hadn’t happened or if ANY of those characters had tried to make amends for doing something wrong, maybe Hannah wouldn’t have made the selfish decision to end her pain.

And let’s not kid ourselves…suicide is NOT the cool thing to do. It takes a selfish person to do this type of act as a way to (a) not have to deal with the bad shit that happens to them and (b) hurt those who hurt them to begin with. It really isn’t brave or anything to be looked favorably upon for any reason. And to me, at least, this series really emphasized that.

At the end of the day, all parents should watch this show to see what life is like for their teenage kids in 2017. I don’t know if I’d recommend watching it WITH your kids as some of the language and sexual content could make any family feel awkward (which would take away from the reason to watch the show in the first place).

Listen, 70% of parents worldwide wish they had more to talk about with teenagers. A recent Netflix study revealed a new place where you can find common ground: entertainment.

Canadian parents (82%) are already watching teen shows to feel closer to them and teens around the world (74%) are on board, saying that they’d be interested in talking to parents about the shows they watch. With the majority (89%) of Canadian parents agreeing entertainment would give them something to talk about, why not let a hard-hitting and impactful show like 13 Reasons Why be the catalyst for communication?

But if this program can encourage discussion and communication to take place between parents and teenagers, then that’s really the best result that can take place.

This series isn’t for everybody, but if you truly want to have a solid relationship with your teenager on a level that is more than what I grew up with back in the 70s and 80s, you really owe it to yourself to watch this and really try to walk away with a better understanding of how precious life is and how quickly one or two poor decisions can change everything…but so can one or two good decisions.

If you’re thinking of watching 13 Reasons Why with your teen and are looking for additional information, here are some resources to help navigate the conversation:

13 Reasons Why Talking Points

13 Reasons Why: Beyond The Reasons (an “after-show”)

If you are immediately concerned about a teen in your life, you can find a list of local market resources on the 13 Reasons Why Global Resource Website.

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If you have any thoughts of your own about 13 Reasons Why, please don’t hesitate to start up a conversation as I would love to hear from you. You can always hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email.

I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, but all opinions are my own.

CBG’s Netflix Suggestions – February 2017

Y’know, I had thought about doing some kind of “Valentine’s Day” post providing you with mushy, romantic movies to watch on Netflix. Instead, I thought I’d just take a look at what’s new this month and tell you what I’ve already seen or cannot wait to see.

And let me tell you…February is JAM-PACKED with visual goodness!

Kingsman: The Secret Service

February 1st

I had lowered expectations going into this movie when I first saw it, primarily because I didn’t know anything about it. Once I watched it, though, I was completely blown away.

This is such an incredibly unique spin on the “classic spy movie” in a way that I can’t quite describe. The action is better than the majority of films out there, with a direction that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. The characters, though odd at times, are still well developed in a way that you don’t expect.

And all I can say is that the “church scene” is one that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

So if you’re a fan of action movies, do yourself a favour and check this one out!

Hector And The Search For Happiness

February 1st

I’m a fan of Simon Pegg, but not so much of a fan that I’ll watch everything he does. When I first saw the trailer for this movie, though, I was thoroughly intrigued.

Pegg plays Hector…a psychiatrist who, being unfulfilled by his career as a psychiatrist, he leaves everything behind and travels around the world in search of true happiness.

I think this movie will bring a smile to your face, too.

Wayne’s World

February 3rd

If you haven’t seen this movie before, you owe it to yourself to see Mike Myers and Dana Carvey at the height of their Saturday Night Live popularity. This is as good as “cheesy movies” get.

And if you have seen this movie before but not in a very long time (like me), then there’s no time like the present to re-live the moments that you used to yell out “PARTY TIME!! EXCELLENT!!” with your friends when you were drinking.

Yes…you ARE worthy.

Santa Clarita Diet

February 3rd

I really don’t know too much about this show other than it stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant as married realtors leading vaguely discontented lives in the L.A. suburb of Santa Clarita. However, Barrymore’s character dies and apparently turns into a zombie…kind of.

I’m a fan of the zombie genre, so I’ll definitely be giving this series a shot.

Serenity

February 12th

I’m one of those guys who never saw the Firefly series on Fox originally, so when I went into this movie I really didn’t know what to expect. Having seen it a few times over the years, I can tell you that it’s a “space cowboy” movie that needs to be seen to be believed…and no, you do NOT need to know about Firefly in order to watch and appreciate Serenity.

The movie stars Nathan Fillion (Castle, Cars 3), Morena Baccarin (Deadpool), Alan Tudyk (Rogue One, Big Hero 6), and Gina Torres (The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions, Suits) as a cast with incredible chemistry who appear to be having a great time filming this really fun movie.

Saving Private Ryan

February 16th

Simply put, this movie is considered one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) war movies of all time. If you have never seen this before, it’s one that is highly recommended.

Finding Dory

February 17th

I absolutely loved Finding Nemo and have seen it numerous times with my son. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to watch the sequel, but my step-daughters have told me it’s really good, too. I’m just happy to see it’s already available on Netflix!

Dragons: Race to the Edge

February 17th

This Netflix original is now entering it’s fourth season! It’s a series based on the 2010 movie and showcases the continuing stories of Hiccup and his dragon, Toothless.

Trevor Noah – Afraid of the Dark

February 21st

After Jon Stewart left The Daily Show, I was really hesitant to give his replacement a chance. Over the past few months, though, Trevor Noah has provided me with a lot of laughs at the expense of Donald Trump…and you just can’t go wrong with that.

So I figure it makes sense to give this Netflix Original a chance. The “Daily Show” host ponders the perils of naming countries, how traffic lights turn New Yorkers invincible, and why you shouldn’t drink in Scotland. He dives into sexism, racism, and apparently attacks the world’s worst “isms” with killer wit … and a few fake accents.

Kill Command

February 23rd

I don’t know ANYTHING about this movie other than what I’ve seen in the trailer (below). But if you’re looking for a potential “guilty pleasure”, this might be the film you’re looking for!

Ultimate Beastmaster

February 24th

This Netflix Original series is the first international competition show of its kind. It will feature six country-specific versions, with local languages, competitors, and hosts from each country: the U.S., Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany, and Japan. All 10 episodes will launch at the same time worldwide on Netflix, with each hourlong episode featuring 12 contestants – two from each locale. The athletes will run a demanding new obstacle course known as “The Beast,” and each episode will crown a “Beastmaster,” with the nine individual winners competing against each other in the final episode of the season for the chance to become the Ultimate Beastmaster.

COUNT ME IN!!!

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

February 25th

I don’t know a ton about this movie, but it looks like it could be a lot of fun (if made correctly). Plus, my wife and I are fans of Adam Devine from Modern Family so we’re hoping it’s a good movie.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

February 27th

Finally, we have the sequel to 2014’s reboot. My son and I really enjoyed the first movie, so we had our hopes up for the sequel when it came out last summer. Unfortunately, bad reviews stopped us from watching it in theaters.

But really, that’s the great thing about Netflix…you don’t have to pay extra for newer movie releases! My son and I will definitely check this out on one of our weekends together.

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That concludes my recommendations for February. If you have any suggestions of your own, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I would love to hear them. You can always hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email.

I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, but all opinions are my own.

CBG’s Netflix Suggestions – January 2017

It’s a whole new year and it’s time to kick-start those resolutions! For me, those resolutions include catching up on some of the Netflix programs that I wanted to watch in 2016 but never got around to doing it.

Therefore, my picks for January are some of the programs available on Netflix that I really want to see but haven’t had the opportunity to as of yet…

Marvel’s Luke Cage

I remember reading the comic adventures of Power Man & Iron Fist when I was a kid, so when I heard that Netflix was going to make series of both superheroes, I was really excited to see how a modern take on the characters would look.

I’ve watched and loved the series of both Daredevil and Jessica Jones, so I am fully aware of what Netflix brings to the table in terms of quality programming and a realistic take on these incredible human beings. So you may be asking yourselves why I haven’t yet watched this series?

Well…I’ve started it, so I guess that’s why this is the top pick for me. After watching the first couple of episodes, I’m really loving the gritty realism that Netflix brought to this series. I’m definitely “all in” and I can’t wait to finish watching how Luke Cage deals with both Cottonmouth and his own morals at the same time.

Elstree 1976

I am a MASSIVE Star Wars fan and have been since watching the original on the big screen way back in 1977 shortly after it premiered. So I do whatever I can to gather information on stuff from behind the scenes whenever possible (it’s my “nerdy side” coming through, I guess).

This is a documentary where actors and extras reminisce about their time on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and how making the film affected their lives. It shows “Then and Now” footage of bit players who appeared in the movie and tells the story of how the film and its legions of fans changed their lives forever.

While I’ve always watched stories from the stars of the movies reminiscing about creating these films, I’ve never heard the tales from extras and “bit players”. So needless to say, I’m really looking forward to seeing this one.

Roman Empire: Reign of Blood

I gotta be honest…I don’t really know a lot about this series. What I do know, however, is that almost every new take on the Roman Empire (ex: Rome, Spartacus: War of the Damned, etc.) has been excellent, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing this play out. 

Now, what makes this intriguing is that it’s not a “series” with a new spin on it…it’s a docuseries based on historical events. I like that because sometimes new versions can go off the rails in their attempts to “entertain” as well as educate.

Reign of Blood is done in six parts and derives its origins from the historical Roman Empire and tells the story of Commodus, who was Roman Emperor from 180 to 192. He was the son of Rome’s greatest philosopher king, but he was also the fool who brought down an empire.

The Big Short

I have heard a TON of really good things about this movie, but for whatever reason I just haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.

Four men, who are in the world of high-finance, predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s. However, the big banks don’t have the same foresight so they decide to take on the big banks and walk away with unbelievable wealth.

The cast is what really intrigues me…Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carrell. Wow…talk about a great group of actors! Needless to say I’ve got to find the time to watch this Academy Award winning movie.

Gotham

I’ve been extremely hesitant to watch any of the television series that deal with superheros because, quite frankly, the film versions are better 99% of the time. As much as I love the Marvel cinematic universe, I’ve never watched a single episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Of course, having said that let’s not ignore the fact that Netflix has done an incredible job with Marvel characters thus far (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and what I’ve seen of Luke Cage to this point have been stellar series). But with the floodgates seemingly opened on television (ex: The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, etc.),  I just didn’t know if I’d want to dive into another series.

But from everything I’ve heard, Gotham is an excellent series on its own. It’s a unique twist on the Batman tale where we meet Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne before Batman has even been created. The stories are really focused on the origins of many of Batman’s eventual arch-villain nemesis’s: including Penguin, RiddlerCatwomanPoison IvyTwo-Face, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, Hugo Strange, Mad Hatter, and Ra’s al Ghul

To me, this sounds like a crazy way to introduce all of these bad guys…where they really all around Gotham in the years before Bruce Wayne turned into Batman? Well…from everything I’ve read and have been told, the series does a great job of introducing everybody without being too over-the-top. So for that reason alone, I’m willing to give it a shot.

**********

That makes up my “2017 Netflix Resolution” list. Are there any shows that you’ve been wanting to watch but just haven’t had the time yet? If you have any suggestions of your own, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I would love to hear them. You can always hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email.

I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, but all opinions are my own.

The Best Television of 2016

Favourite TV Shows of 2016

best-of-the-best

The Walking Dead

 

walking-dead

Without question, this is my favourite program on television. Believe me; I have heard all of the complaints from people about the show: “I don’t like zombies”; “There aren’t enough zombies in it”; “It looks dumb”.

Listen, at the end of the day this show is about humanity and its spiral into the abyss once the apocalypse hits. Let’s say there weren’t any zombies but a monster virus still killed off 75% of the world’s population, which then led to the destruction of all utilities that we take for granted (ex: electricity, a working government, ability to communicate, etc.). How would the world react? How would people survive? That’s what this show is really about. The zombies are just another obstacle thrown into their way.

the-walking-dead-on-netflixI remember telling my wife about the show for years before she finally decided to give it a shot a couple of months ago. Thanks to Netflix, we’re now firmly entrenched into Season 4 and she’s loving it, even though she’s not a big fan of zombies at all. She loves the character development, the storylines, and the incredible acting…which are all reasons why this is still my top television program.

Game of Thrones

I’m hoping this pops up on Netflix at some point soon because I would LOVE to be able to get my wife into watching it with me. This show is incredible from top to bottom. And while I still have a difficult time trying to keep all of the character names straight, at the end of the day this show has everything you could possibly want in a television program. And honestly, if you watched GoT from the beginning and at the end of the “Hold the door” episode DIDN’T get “all the feels”, then I don’t think we can be friends.

Stranger Things

stranger-thingsI didn’t really know what to expect from this one. The word of mouth spread extremely quickly when it was released, and that normally means it’s over-hyped. Thankfully, my wife and I gave it a shot and were extremely impressed with what we saw. The story was incredibly unique, the acting top to bottom was amazing, and it left us wanting more when the season ended. If you have Netflix and HAVEN’T watched this yet, then you’re really giving yourself a massive disservice.

Orange is the New Black / Wentworth

oitnbAgain…I’m diving into Netflix here because, quite frankly, some of the best original content on television over the course of 2016 came from Netflix. My wife and I originally gave OITNB a chance because I had heard good things about it and she was willing to give me two episodes to convince her it wasn’t softcore pornography. Once Season 3 had ended, we were emotionally heartbroken and shocked…which says that we were both emotionally invested.

wentworthMy wife had also heard about this “Australian version of OITNB” that we should check out. Now that we’re done watching Season 4 of Wentworth, we can honestly say that we love both shows equally and for completely different reasons. Yes, they’re both shows that take place in female prisons, but they are extremely unique and worth watching individually.

This Is Us

this-is-usI wasn’t convinced to watch this show at first, but I caved after a request from my awesome wife. I’ll be honest…it only took one episode to get me hooked. The incredible uniqueness to storytelling with this show is only part of the reason why we both love it so much. As far as “regular” television goes, this show isn’t simply the best new program of 2016, it is far and away the best drama on TV: period. I can’t give away too much because you need to watch from the beginning to truly understand and appreciate the show (sorry…don’t jump in part-way through the series), but just know that the show continues to surprise and suck you in after the first two incredible episodes have completed.

Modern Family 

modern-familyStill, without a doubt in my mind, the best family comedy on television today. While not every episode is a winner, when the show fires on all cylinders there is no better comedy out there. Period.

Masters of Flip

masters-of-flipWhile I may have a massive crush on Kourtney Wilson, that doesn’t really take away from the fact that this is a really entertaining HDTV program. Kourtney and her husband, Dave, are a realtor/designer/construction combo team that take houses and flip them in Nashville. The flips themselves are only part of the appeal of the show, though. The primary appeal comes from the married couple, as their charisma and natural chemistry comes through in every episode. I don’t normally watch renovation programs, but I love this one.

Survivor 

survivorEven after 30+ seasons, the family loves to get together in the living room every Wednesday night and watch Jeff Probst guide a new group of people through an incredibly entertaining season. We love that even after all of this time, the show isn’t stale. This is due to a number of reasons:

  1. The people that they choose to play the game are usually quite interesting;
  2. The themes of each season are always different (for example, this past season was “Millennials vs Gen-X”)
  3. The games played are a blend of physicality and intelligence, sometimes based on previous seasons and sometimes completely original;
  4. The new players are all Survivor fans, so the game play and how votes are cast is a fascinating process to watch; and
  5. Jeff Probst himself, who continues to be the primary reason why this show is so bloody entertaining.

America’s Got Talent

agtThe family also loves getting together to watch normal-yet-talented people do incredibly entertaining things. Sure, it’s fun to watch weird people, too…but to see a vast array of singers, gymnasts, dancers, and performances that don’t fall under any particular category all compete on stage for the same prize. The chemistry of the judges is also fun to watch, too. Oh…and did I mention that Simon Cowell returned to judging, too!?!

MasterChef 

masterchefFinally, this is another show that the family loves to sit around and watch. Whether it’s MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, or MasterChef Canada, the premise of the program and how it’s directed/edited always makes for an entertaining hour of food porn.

*****

What about you? Were there any TV shows from 2016 that you’d like to share some love for? Sound off below!