Best Stuff Day 14: Netflix.ca

The TV selection still pretty much sucks, there’s not much in the way of new release movies, and the lack of a streaming movie queue is a bit frustrating. Aside from those (fairly major) quibbles, though, Netflix’s foray into Canada is pretty impressive. Just don’t try comparing it to the American service…

What do they have that’s so great? Well, let’s list a few, alphabetically:

The 400 Blows, Amelie, The Apartment, Brick, Brief Encounter, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cache (Hidden), L’Enfant, Dr. Strangelove, The Night of the Hunter, On the Waterfront, The Princess Bride, Taxi Driver… You get the point, I’m sure. None of these movies are particularly hard to find, but they’re all great, and all available on a whim. Maybe it’s a good thing that the TV side is lagging — when I briefly managed to get access to Hulu, it’s amazing how quickly my free time evaporated. Even with a limited selection, pacing myself is going to be a hell of an effort.

Previous best stuff:
Dominion
The Anthology Project
El Guincho’s “Bombay” (NSFW)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Eye Spy zine
Julia Tiller, illustrator
Hip: The History
Soundway compilations
No Exit
Comedy Death Ray
Metropolis + the Alloy Orchestra
Archer

Mario Crossover
Pixels

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Comments
2 Responses to “Best Stuff Day 14: Netflix.ca”
  1. iWoo says:

    I signed up for the free month trial and had a pretty good experience of it, despite seeing that a large number of films I searched for came up as unavailable. So instead of looking for films, I just do a bunch of browsing like being at a video rental store, and I always catch something interesting to watch. Or, I check out some of the comments and look up a recommended/mentioned film.

    I was very pleased to see a good selection of films from France (and one from Belgium); perhaps they did this on purpose knowing that Quebec represents a large population of Canada? They are subbed, and the quality with HD off (saves bandwidth) is pretty good, while the streaming seems flawless. None of these I had seen before, but I had wanted to for a while (exception of Banlieue 13, which was just a fun Hollywood-style action movie… but French)

    In no particular order:
    JCVD, La Femme Nikita, La Naissance des Pieuvres (Water Lilies), Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One), Wasabi, Angel-A, Banlieue B13, Leon

    For english-language films, I have seen:
    Lucky Number Slevin, Wristcutters: A Love Story, Johnny Mnemonic, Dark City, Short Circuit, Assassin In Love, Secretary, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, An Education, High Art, The Last Word, Girl Interrupted, Lie With Me, Hot Fuzz, Bubba Ho-Tep, The Thirteenth Floor, Primer, Pi, Merry Christmas

    All of which I would say were worth consuming a small chunk of my limited monthly bandwidth. The only two exceptions were Cool World and Life Force.

    In admitted geekiness, I also was pretty pleased to watch The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, a low budget/high dork factor/fairly funny indie film about pen and paper roleplaying (which I don’t actually do, but appreciate through the ADHD’s version: video games), a third re-watch of the excellent Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, three seasons of The Guild in much higher quality than YouTube (not to mention delivered as seasons instead of segments), and the one season of Invader Zim.

    That’s all in one and a half months, so I guess I failed at pacing myself. What’s heartening is that there are still films in your list that I will check out. I would like to see 400 Blows (or any other French New Wave, which I have always heard about but never seen), and Brick deserves another viewing. I may as well check out the others too, because as long as I don’t go over my download limit, it still only costs me $8. Another win.

    The one point that I haven’t been able to test: Netflix.ca has a free iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch application that should let you stream to your iDevice in its native resolution. This would be pretty fantastic.

    Sorry for exceeding your post’s wordcount in a single comment, but I count myself surprisingly (and happily) satisfied after giving the service a chance.

    • I think having far too many other obligations helped with the pacing — now that I have a bit more free time, I’ve already checked out the Stella and Upright Citizen’s Brigade live specials (which are both pretty solid), and I’m pretty sure I’ll spend at least part of my evening tonight watching either Primer, Hoop Dreams or Fritz Lang’s M, depending on the mood.
      Browsing seems like the right approach, though. I decided to start the free trial when the “We didn’t have what you searched for, but try this instead” options actually had a few decent movies in them. I doubt it’ll ever get to the point that they have every movie you could want, but it’s not hard to find at least something that’ll hit the spot.

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