17 August, 2018
Netflix has around 10,000 titles, taking in everything from rom-coms to action movies, TV shows and documentaries; and that can be a problem. It’s called the paradox of choice; faced with an endless array of options, people freeze up. Before you know it, you’ve spent an hour scrolling through the possible choices, and you’ve run out of time to watch a movie.
Fear not; we’ve done all the hard work for you, picking out the cream of the streaming crop. Read on…
Alex Garland’s directorial debut is a brilliantly realised slice of sci-fi about what makes us human. Oscar Isaac plays Nathan, the charismatic billionaire CEO of a tech company who wrote the code for his search engine as a child.
When one of his employees, super-nerd Caleb, wins a competition to spend a week at his boss’s high-security bunker home, Nathan uses it as an opportunity to test his new invention: Eva, the physical incarnation of Nathan’s latest AI software. But can she pass the Turing Test even when the examiner knows full well she’s a robot?
While Caleb is something of an off-the-shelf geek, Nathan is a cross between Mark Zuckerberg and a Bond villain. One minute he’s sweating out a hangover and dancing with his live-in maid like a laddish Steve Jobs, the next he’s intimidating Caleb from the darkness of his concrete-walled, warren-like lair.
The interactions between Eva and Caleb could easily have become tedious interviews but Garland infuses them with flirtatious humanity. Much like Joaquin Phoenix’s character in Her, Caleb finds a lot to like in his artificial companion, with some incredible make-up and special effects making her equally appealing and believable to the audience. And that’s what makes the denouement of Ex Machina all the more shocking.
A Netflix Original, this animated series features Arrested Development’s Will Arnett as the titular Horseman, a, er, “horse man” who enjoyed success in a beloved 1990s sitcom but now wallows in boozy, druggy self-loathing as a washed-up former star. But don’t worry if we’ve made it sound too grim – the show’s serious:silly ratio is nicely balanced.
Set in a skewed version of Hollywood in which humans live alongside anthropomorphic animals, BoJack Horseman features a strong cast (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul plays BoJack’s best friend Todd while Alison Brie plays love interest Diane) and razor sharp writing, and with three seasons and a couple of one-off specials available, it’s perfect fodder for a weekend binge-watch blowout…..Read More>>>>