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Netflix’s ‘Creep’ Is Good Low-Budget Horror– and Good Business

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On the face of it, Creep (which premieres Tuesday on Netflix) looks like any number of low-budget horror movies. It’s shot in the handheld “found footage” style, which turns the limitations of lo-fi equipment into a storytelling tool; it has, true to that style, no musical score; it only features two speaking roles of note; the bulk of the action takes place in two (home) locations. But Creep has a more robust pedigree than your average Netflix horror streamer — it’s produced by Jason Blum, the prolific horror impresario behind the The Purge, Insidious, and (a-ha) Paranormal Activity franchises, and Mark Duplass, the equally busy actor/director/producer/indie mascot. Duplass co-stars in the film and shares a story credit with director Patrick Brice, who also helmed this summer’s indie comedy The Overnight. So what the hell are they doing making a straight-to-Netflix movie?
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10 Sexily Packaged Netflix Streaming Movies That Are Not Even a Little Bit Sexy

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I see you, Internet. Every week, we do a nice little roundup of the new releases of note on the DVD/Blu-ray shelves and the streaming services, and it gets a fair amount of traffic — solid, nothing spectacular — and that’s that. But last week’s column was huge, far and away the column’s high point and one of our most clicked posts of the week, though the movies in it weren’t blockbusters. Oh, but it did the documentary Hot Girls Wanted, Netflix’s recent Sundance pickup about the horrifying exploitation of young women in the world of “amateur” porn. The disproportionate popularity of our post that mentions that title made me wonder if Netflix is seeing the same kind of traffic — if they maybe even bought the movie in part because it’s got such a click-friendly title. And all I can say, having seen Hot Girls Wanted, is that any late-night dirty-movie creepers who click “play” based on that title are in for a big, big disappointment. Which prompts the question: How many more Netflix streamers sound like they’re gonna be sexy, and really, really …Read More

Netflix’s ‘Scrotal Recall’ Is the Perfect Spring Binge-Watch: Quick, Romantic, But Not At All Saccharine

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Though it sounds like a gay porn parody of a Paul Verhoeven movie, Netflix’s Scrotal Recall couldn’t be farther from what its awful title suggests. A British half-hour comedy that premiered on Channel 4 in October before stealthily surfacing among Americans’ streaming options last month, the show is romantic and sweet (and straight, alas), even in the select moments when it gets overtly sexy. It also only runs six episodes, making it the perfect low-commitment binge-watch for a time of year when you might be saving your precious free time for frolicking in the sunshine.
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Tina Fey’s ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Has All the Promise (and Some of the Problems) of Early ’30 Rock’

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the new show from 30 Rock team Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, and its first season appeared today on Netflix. The show sets up its concept in a tight two minutes: Kimmy (Ellie Kemper, best known for The Office and her supporting role in Bridesmaids) was abducted at 14. She has spent the past 15 years of her life in an apocalypse bunker.
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Grab Some Popcorn and Watch Theater Chains Fight Netflix Over ‘Crouching Tiger II’

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Well, that was fast. Less than 48 hours ago, we got word that the Weinstein Company and Netflix are partnering up for a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with an unusual distribution strategy: a simultaneous release online via Netflix and in IMAX theaters. Already, the four largest exhibitors in the country (AMC, Regal, Cinemark, and Carmike) have joined Canada’s biggest chain (Cineplex) and Europe’s second-biggest (Cineworld) to announce they will not screen the Crouching Tiger sequel if that release plan stands. Imagine my surprise.
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I Miss the Video Store: What Netflix’s Algorithims Get Wrong

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By ceding movies and television media to Netflix and other streaming plans, we’ve lost the joys of the video store, the power of browsing, and — crucially — the well-curated, hand-picked library. I discovered stuff at the video store. It was where I rented Bottle Rocket on a weekly basis, mostly because I thought Owen Wilson was cute and the Siskel and Ebert review of it was beguiling in their confusion, watching it every day I could until I nearly knew the film by …Read More