What to watch on Netflix this month

By CLTure

July 7, 2017

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 drowning out your neighbors’ leftover fireworks. 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 season:

Tower (documentary) – Combining archival footage with current interviews and, most jarringly, animation heavily informed by the rotoshopping of Linklater’s landmark dorm room staple Waking Life, Tower tells the story of the 1966 shootings at the University Of Texas at Austin. An exhibition of the heroism shown by everyday people thrust into extraordinary circumstance, Tower puts you at the center of the horror of an act of domestic terrorism that took place over half a century ago, making it a singular documentary and an absolute must watch. – Michael Venutolo-Mantovani, Writer

Black Books (series) – This throw back series features Irish comic Dylan Moran in a star turn as chain-smoking, alcoholic and misanthropic book seller Bernard Black. The material is lo-fi loopy in that way that is unique to British television of a certain era, and it hits some interesting notes about melancholy, disappointment and the relentless stupidity of all mankind. This is an acquired taste but, once you’re in, you’ll be a devotee. Bill Bailey is also exquisite as Bernard’s Sancho Panza-esque assistant.Matt Cosper, Writer

Anne with an E (series) – I’m a huge fan of the ‘80s classic miniseries, Anne of Green Gables and hated the new adaptation that aired on PBS in 2016. But despite my apprehension, I enjoyed the Netflix series, Anne with an E. While the series is not as romanticized as the original, it pleasantly stands out in its own with an actress who perfectly portrays Anne’s awkwardness, firey passion and vulnerability. She’s joined by the same characters we’ve come to love, but in more “real” portrayals that I prefer to the original. The drawback for me is that we have a very short run here, and I dread having to wait for the rest of Anne’s story. – Ryen Thomas, Film Writer

Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up For The First Time (comedy special) – Rory Scovel is something of a That Guy in the sitcoms-featuring-comedians television genre but, in his second stand-up special, he establishes himself as a name you should know. He’s effortlessly funny in the same way some of your friends might be funny, and at times it’s hard to tell if he’s planned any of this or if he actually is pitching these jokes to the audience for the first time. Either way, his physical presence combined with his comedy (including a hilarious riff musing on the Barack Obama citizenship circus) make this a comedy special worth watching.  – Michelle Wheeler, Film Writer

Amores Perros (movie) This amazing Mexican film introduced the world to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who has gone on to become one of the world’s most celebrated directors. Six separate lives are all connected by a car accident in Mexico City.  Inarritu uses this story to help innovate the multilayered story approached that became prominent in the early 2000s with films like Traffic and Crash, and that Inarritu himself would later use in his other heartbreakers, 21 Grams and Babel. The film’s examination of the painful side of love is brutal, funny, and sad. If you’ve never seen this one, do yourself a favor: grab some tissues and check it out.Matt Gilligan, Writer

House of Cards (series) – The latest season of House of Cards is its most intense yet. Over the previous four seasons, we’ve seen some of our favorite (and least favorite) characters fall to the ever-cunning Underwoods, be it by political sabotage, clever back-door deals, or stealthy murder, but nothing like this. The latest season follows all of the dark deeds of the past finally catching up to both Frank and Claire, pushing them further and further into the corner of impeachment and even conviction. The Underwoods plunge themselves into darker territory than we thought possible of even the most morally-bankrupt politician. Whether you’re a first-time viewer or a four-season veteran, the latest installment of the series is by far the greatest, and definitely not one to be missed. – Delaney Clifford, Local/Music Writer

One Punch Man (series) – Set on an Earth-like planet, citizens are besieged nearly every day from some kind of underworldly or otherworldly threat which requires a long established team of heroes to defeat. Joining the fray is Saitama, a man who became a hero for fun, who is so strong that he can defeat his enemies with a single punch. Sounds serious, right? Actually, One Punch Man serves as a parody of anime’s heyday with its flamboyant characters and extravagant action scenes while also asking existential questions in interesting ways like: if you’re too tough to be hurt, too strong to be penetrated, can you ever feel anything at all? Though only available with the original Japanese subtitles, One Punch Man is a unique experience that’ll have you clamoring for the still belated season two. – Douglas Davidson, Film Writer

Suite Francaise (movie) – How can one find solace in the arms of another that has just murdered, raped and pillaged one’s own country? That is the question asked by Suite Francaise, a poignant film set in the early days of Nazi Germany’s occupation of France. Starring Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas and directed by Saul Dibb, this compelling wartime romance is about a married French woman falling in love with a German officer staying in her home. Will she be able to see in him something other than the swastika flag he salutes? – Oyebola Ande, Writer

Sense8 (series) – Sense8 is spectacular. Filmed across multiple continents, this sci-fi drama by the Wachowski sisters displays the most colorful and captivating cinematography and editing you will see. After the first two or three episodes slowly set up a complex plot involving eight characters who find themselves mysteriously connected, Sense8 becomes a visual and aural masterpiece propelled by a gripping storyline. Don’t let the fact that the show got canceled after two seasons stop you from watching it. Sense8 is the Wachowskis at their best. Bradley Bethel, Film Writer

Occupied (series) – Outside of the US and UK, Scandinavia is arguably media’s most outstanding contributor with the likes of Ingmar Bergman, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and, of course, Robyn. Occupied is a Norwegian political thriller that takes place in a near-future where the lack of peace in the Middle East plus climate change lead to an energy crisis that results in Russia’s subtle, stealthy, media-savvy invasion of major oil producer Norway. The action mostly follows three characters, the Norwegian prime minister, a government agent, and an investigative reporter, through the ensuing repercussions. Yes, it’s subtitled (except for when the Norwegians and Russians are negotiating because they both speak English) but the production value is top notch and the intensity is hair-raising. If you’ve just wrapped up House of Cards and you want a little international flavor, this one’s for you!  Jonathan Shuping, Film Writer

Okja (movie) – In Netflix’s growing effort to fill the feature film space in their ever-expanding catalog, they funded the latest from South Korean director and screenwriter, Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, The Host). The movie follows the story of a genetically modified pig, “Okja” and her caretaker, a young Korean farm girl named, Mija. The broader scope and underlying theme of the film details a corporate food conglomerate, Mirando (like Monsanto) and their revenue building agenda through blatant propaganda. The film, shot mainly in Seoul, Korea has a lot more soul and human emotions than most of the CGI-heavy studio blockbusters we’re accustomed to seeing on the big screen. Cinematically, it’s reminiscent of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with it’s whimsical real-life-meets-fantasy world gloomy aesthetics. It might be a while before Netflix dominates the feature film market, but with films like Okja, a $50 million production (mid-level in Hollywood standards) and marquee actors like Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton, they can definitely help break the mold of over-budgeted, soulless and repetitive studio films. –  Cameron Lee, Founder, Editor-in-Chief

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