It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so I’ve been told via Christmas songs in every single store since Thanksgiving. Those songs might actually have something this time though, as the Netflix fairies have been very kind this week. Kicking things off is the visually sexy Art of Flight. This might be the lowest on the name drop list but do not let that fool you into thinking this documentary doesn’t deserve your time. Art of Flight follows professional big mountain snowboarder Travis Rice and his friends as they go down the slopes of some of the most majestic landscapes you have ever seen. I’ve been snowboarding, and frankly sliding down anything on a piece of wood sounds like a game out of the Saw films, yet Art of Flight feels like peace and harmony. I am sure we all recall the outstanding series Planet Earth, well my friends that is what Art of Flight feels like. This time instead of seeing people step back from the environment you have people launching themselves off it. The views you are taken to are breathtaking.
Speaking of snowboarding through the mountains, The King’s Speech has found its way from England to the internet. I’m sure most are at least familiar with Tom Hooper’s Oscar winning film, and you should be since its great. If you have been holding off on seeing Colin Firth show why he should be King, now is the time to catch this wonderfully put together story.
Fellow Oscar winner Martin Scorsese drops by Netflix this week with 2011’s Hugo. First a confession, I don’t really care for Scorsese’s moving picture stories. Outside of Gangs of New York, I always found myself confused and out of the loop when people talked about how great Martin’s films are. That said, I may have to go back and rewatch Raging Bull and the like, as Hugo was fantastic and everything a movie should be. Hugo is more than just a love letter to the movies, it made me feel like a kid again. Hugo brought back memories of the movies from the early 90s. Movies that captured my imagination and wouldn’t let go. Hugo is perfect and fit for any audience. Plus Ben Kingsley is in it. He was in BloodRayne you know.
As all good stories start, Once Upon a Time now has its first season up for your eyes to take part in. If you are anything like me, upon first hearing about this ‘fairy tale creatures in our world’ show, you cast it aside like some bastard son of Fables and Twilight. ‘Pish posh!’ you would have said. ‘How dare they take the Fables story and twist it so the Twilight cretens will enjoy!’ you would proclaim. Then last week while bored, ‘Well I am bored’. You would watch the first few episodes. You wouldn’t find anything that was overly bad or terrible, so you would keep watching. After about 10 episodes something would change inside of you. You would fist pump when Snow White made a joke at Prince Charming’s expense. Before your own eyes, you were starting to love this show. Once Upon a Time is playful, it’s visually appealing, and it has, against all odds, rock solid writing. If you were ever read a fairy tale when you were little, you owe it to that tiny version of yourself to give this show a chance. Not only will you see Robert Carlyle’s fantastic version of Rumpelstiltskin you will also see what appears to be every NBC, ABC, and CBS primetime guest star of the past 10 years.
While we are on the subject of things from our childhood, remember how awesome the 90s Spider-Man cartoon was? If you don’t, I hate you and you’re stupid. FOR MY PEEPS WHO DO, you are in luck, Ultimate Spider-Man season 1 has swung (sorry) its webhead (sorry) self over to Netflix. This isn’t the first, second, or even the third Spider-Man cartoon since the 90s version, it is however the best. The comedy pacing of Ultimate Spider-Man is, I dare say, only rivaled by shows like Arrested Development. Every piece of dialog holds the potential for the laugh out louds. Not only are there laughs left and right but the cameos, my god the cameos. If you are the slightest bit into the Marvel Universe, you will be delighted every episode by the heroes and villains brought in. While it would have been easy for Marvel to stick to the mold set by previous Spider-Man cartoons (or the movies), Marvel thankfully decided to try something different. Ultimate Spider-Man is only Ultimate in name and has no real connections to the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series, which at first, I will admit, bugged (sorry) me. Spider-Man is no longer a solo act, but the leader of a young superhero team, not unlike DC’s Young Justice. With young versions of Iron First, Luke Cage, White Tiger and Nova, Ultimate Spider-Man has a formula that no other Marvel Cartoons have, a formula that lets Spider-Man cut loose on the humor and fun. While describing Dr. Doom, Spider-Man drops a classic, ‘Not the turn your head and cough type of Doctor’.
If you are into coughing, and by into coughing I mean things that are disgusting, American Horror Story is on Netflix. Feel free to watch it and tell me how it is. Just kidding, I have no desire to know how it is, I’m basically a 4 year old girl.