What to watch on Netflix this month

CLTure Staff

June 1, 2016

We here at CLTure are dedicated to guiding you toward the very best entertainment in Charlotte and beyond, especially if you can watch it while trying to come up the perfect “why I’m going to be four hours late” text message to your boss at work. Our staff writers and creatives will help you sift through the myriad of options on Netflix to help you find very the best movies, documentaries, and TV series. Here is what we’ll be watching this month:

Ali Wong: Baby Cobra (stand-up special) – Comedian/writer Ali Wong (Fresh Off the Boat) is fierce, filthy, freaky and, most importantly, unapologetically feminine in her debut comedy special, Baby Cobra. That she performs while 7 ½ months pregnant shouldn’t be as shocking as it is, considering that’s a very common condition in which women exist, but– as Wong herself says in the special– there’s a double standard when it comes to women and men after they become parents, particularly in the comedy world. So the sight is unusual and one of the many things that makes the special unique. You should also know there are a lot, A LOT, of jokes about freaky bedroom stuff (I’m serious…a LOT). But in between, Wong tackles feminism, racism, relationships, pregnancy (eventually), and presents one of the most authentic representations of the modern female I’ve ever seen. You should also listen to Wong’s recent appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast as a follow-up! – Michelle Wheeler, Writer

Documentary Now! (series) – Documentary Now! comes from the comedic minds of SNL vets Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader and is directed by another pair of long-time SNL crew members, Alexander Buono and Rhys Thomas. This is a painstakingly detailed send-up of a wide variety of famous documentaries and documentary styles. Each episode is introduced by Dame Helen Mirren, giving the series an additional level of ridiculous gravitas. Hader and Armisen are blessed with material that showcases an acting range only hinted at on SNL and Portlandia, and the laughs are plentiful. Spoofs of legendary documentaries like Grey Gardens and Nanook of the North are mixed with parodies of Vice-style journalism and pretty much every music documentary ever made. The premiere episode, “Sandy Passage,” is a spot-on take on Grey Gardens and its two eccentric female socialites before it takes an unexpected left turn into a legit scary homage of the found-footage horror genre. The two-part documentary “Gentle and Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee” brings in a laundry list of actual musicians for interviews and is accompanied by a real album recorded by this fake band, further blurring the lines between fiction and reality. What makes this series so special is the attention to detail (camera work, lenses, production design, costume design etc), and the hilarious, effortless chemistry between Hader and Armisen.  – Sean Titone, Photographer, Music Writer

Flaked (series) – If for no other reason, watch Flaked at least for the excellent soundtrack boasting music from Pavement, Wilco, Kurt Vile, Local Natives, and many more. Beyond the great soundtrack is one of Will Arnett’s best performances to date. The cast of burnout characters makes this dark comedy a must-watch, it will have you wanting to move to Venice beach to hangout with Cooler’s and Dennis’s after the first episode.  – Chace Black, Music Writer

Jurassic Park (movie) – If you are interested in a thrilling stroll down memory lane, consider hanging out with Malcolm, Dr. Grant and the gang as they discover both the awe and the terror of humanity’s scientific potential. One of Spielberg’s finest films, its influence is still extremely relevant in current cultural conversation, and it’s entertaining to boot. Re-experience all the emotions with Jurassic Park: terror, wonder, fear, joy, nostalgia all while viewing super cool dinosaurs. – Nikki Panos, Food Writer

Justice League / Justice League Unlimited (animated series) Comic book movies are hot right now and as we gear up for the epic Justice League movie, I’m reminded of how good the early 2000’s Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series are.  It’s from the creators of the ‘90s classic Batman: The Animated Series, set in the same universe and, like it’s predecessor, the stories are extremely complex and find the perfect balance between being engaging for both youth and grownups. I can’t help but to believe that the series still beats any of the live action hero content out there. – Ryen Thomas, Film Writer

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (movie) – The key to enjoying older movies is to joyfully give up your modernity for a couple of hours and appreciate the differences, not as something old, but as something new to you. Case in point: John Ford’s brilliant Western masterpiece, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Back in the day, movies reveled in larger-than-life characters, and realism wasn’t the big effing deal it is today. It’s a STORY, they would say. Viewers willing to enjoy the gentle theatricality of the actors as a style (which it is, not a sign of “oldness”) will find an extremely subtle, sober, and suspenseful study of the violent roots of American civilization. I constantly return to this film for its gorgeous black and white photography, its careful script, its broad humor, and its world-weary wisdom. – Dan Cava, Film Editor

The Replacements (movie) – I’m not what you call a “sports” person. Put simply, and more specifically, every football game may as well be the Super Bowl for me – I show up for the company and the snacks. So when I tell you that The Replacements, a football comedy from 2000, is available on Netflix and you should watch it– trust that it’s for the right reasons. Set in Seattle, Washington with the local team on strike, the team’s owner is forced to continue his normal season with a rag-tag group of replacement players. In the vein of sports-comedies like Major League or Necessary Roughness, you have a sumo wrestler for pass blocking, a Welsh soccer player as a field kicker, the one who can run but can’t catch, the cop who’s too aggressive, the criminal wanting a second chance, and, of course, the quarterback with no confidence. Though the trailer misrepresents the lightness of the film, since I found this movie in 2003, it has been on permanent rotation with my family and I. So join the all-star cast of Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves, Jon Favreau, Rhys Ifans, Orlando Jones, David Denman, and Faizon Love for some old-fashioned scab football. They may not know what they’re doing on the field, but they have miles and miles of heart. – Douglas Davidson, Film Writer

The Art of Organized Noize (Documentary) – In the early ‘90s, deep in the southern housing dungeons of Atlanta, a three-piece musical production team was formed, and they would change the sound of popular music forever. Responsible for creating the original deep southern Atlanta hip-hop and R&B sound, Sleepy Brown, Rico Wade and Ray Murray influenced the careers of several artists including TLC, OutKast, and Goodie Mob. The documentary features cameos from artists and industry titans that were heavily influenced by the Organized Noize sound, including Puff Daddy, 2 Chainz, Future and more. In an era of very little transparency in the music industry and artist knowledge of the business, the film documents a reoccurring theme, the rise-and-fall story line common in the era. The group has endured and still maintains relevant through the years. A great watch for the 90’s hip-hop and R&B music appreciator. – Cameron Lee, Founder 

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