So, now that I broke down and subscribed to Netflix, I’m putting together the queue so that I’ve got movies coming in and going out fairly regularly (I went with the 2 at a time unlimited option - 3 at a time just seemed a little hefty for me right off the bat).
What I’m looking for are movies - I’ve got some TV things on there already, like Angel (beginning with s2, since I’ve seen s1). What I want to do is keep TV discs high on the list so I work my way through a season of something, but have movies coming in as well. So far I’ve just been browsing and if something looks interesting, putting it in the queue, but I feel the need to be more organized about this.
I know I haven’t seen a lot of the ones that people look shocked when you tell them you’ve never seen them - The Godfather, for one. Problem is, I can never seem to remember what they are when I’m looking for something different to watch that I haven’t seen before.
I’d prefer to stay away from a lot of horror movies - I’m just not a big fan of them. Beyond that, I’m ok with just about any genre - major studio or independent is fine.
Allow me to reply to your request by linking you to a list of movies that were used in one of those things where you get over 400 movies represented with sometimes less than a second’s worth of footage. My wife taped this thing called Precious Images off the Classic Arts channel.
You can ignore those that are too old or too weird, but I suspect any movie that’s on anybody’s Top 100 list would be included. Well, mostly anyway.
Netflix has several help lists at their website if you haven’t already found them.
middleman, I can try to name 10 - but I don’t know that I can come up with 10 that I liked/loved enough to call favorites. But here goes.
Empire of the Sun
Fiddler on the Roof
There are a lot that I like, but that aren’t favorites - to me, a favorite is one that, if you happen to see it while you’re flipping through the stations, you automatically stop and watch it - even if you’ve just seen it the day before, you watch it again. Zeldar, that’s the kind of thing I was looking for - I’ve seen some of the lists on Netflix, but I wasn’t making much progress. I don’t know why I was finding the lists there less than useful, but I was. As I flip through the list you linked to, I realize there are a lot that I haven’t seen - of the first 10 on the list, I’ve seen Casablanca and The Last Picture Show.
You probably have already realized this, but just in case, I thought I’d point it out: if you go through Netflix rating movies you have seen, it recommends movies you might like. So far, I have found it pretty helpful. It gives me 460 recommendations for the 963 things I’ve rated.
Just to take a couple of the movies you mentioned, I’d recommend Hope and Glory if you like Empire of the Sun (both stories of a boy’s life during WWII) and Brassed Off/The Full Monty/Waking Ned Devine if you liked Billy Elliot (all of them kind of quirky stories about lower-class Brits).
The nice thing about Netflix is that since you’re paying a fixed amount, there is no cost to trying something. Even if you don’t like it, you’ve only wasted two days or so while you wait for a replacement. With a regular video store rental, you’ve wasted four bucks or so.
I’m not a Netflix customer, but the same thing happens to me when I go to borrow a movie from the library. I always feel like I should have a list of movies I want to see(or ought to have seen), but I don’t seem to get to it. There are lots of gaps in my viewing history. I haven’t seen Casablanca either, but one of my old roommates made me watch all 3 Godfather movies a while back (definitely worth seeing).
Ideas that come to mind…
IMDB also has a recommendations feature. I think their magic formula is a bit peculiar, but you might run across some different recommendations than you would on Netflix.
My local library has a listing of all the movies it owns and it’s newest movies as well. The lists are PDFs, in case that makes a difference to you. Their top newest buys are listed on the page, though. They have a pretty good collection, so I thought it would be worth linking to.
Also, there was a fairly recent thread that had recommendations based on the OP’s "If I liked Four Weddings and a Funeral. The thread drifted onto other types of movies at one point and one of the recommendations was Billy Elliot, so I thought there might be something of interest to you in there.
Oftentimes, I’ll add one movie or TV series to my queue and get ideas for others I might like. For example, The Princess Bride led to Lady Jane because they both star Cary Elwes. Lady Jane led to the first season of Scrubs because people who got Lady Jane also got Scrubs. I’ve added maybe 20 DVDs at a time that way.
Glad the list served a purpose for you, Lsura. In case it appeared that way to you, this is not a list in order of preference or quality. The soundtrack has a rhythm, using actual movie music, and the selections are more for the way they fit together within various themes. Sometimes it may be “screen kisses” or “fights with blades” or roles by the same performer, any number of connecting keys. The main thing I would look for would be dates and/or directors. I have never seen a large portion of that list that dates from before my birth year (1941), although many of the ones from the 30’s were “new enough” when I was young to appear on things like “Million Dollar Movie.” Of those presented after 1950, I recognized (in some cases from other retrospectives) at least 75% of them, maybe more.
I realized from this list that I would fare poorly on any of the oldies involving The Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, silent films, old musicals, and any number of those recognized as “classics.” That’s unlikely to change unless one comes on TCM and nothing else is on I want to see and I’m in the mood to watch something that will expose me to what others deem “important.”
I’m one who tends to look for other movies by actors I have enjoyed, and to stick with that approach until they make a real stinker. Until that happens I’m cool with that person’s work. After that, I will need some strong recommendation to return to their offerings. Brando is a perfect case in point. Until I saw Reflections in a Golden Eye, he could do no wrong. It took The Godfather to get me back to his movies. Even after that I was leery, and missed some of his later work. (From what I hear, that wasn’t altogether a bad thing.)
The IMDB TOP 250 has the flaw of being generated by voters who frequent the site, and who have registered to vote there. It’s not as quality-oriented as it might appear.
Rotten Tomatoes is where I always go to get a good cross-section of critical opinion, as well as recommendations and top-x-number lists. Roger Ebert is the only individual critic I seek advice from, but I agree with his choices only 80% of the time. He can really miss the point of some movies. Bad. Like Blade Runner and Raising Arizona as a for instance.
You’ve gotten some good ideas in this thread from others, so maybe trying a little of all those approaches – if you have the patience for it – would help best.
Also - one way I’ve built up my queue is to use the “Friends” option where you are able to see what your “friends” rented and how they rated them, and “friends” can also suggest a movie specifically for you. It’s a cool feature - I just started using it.