NerdGlow’s Netflix Recommendations Pt. 10

Manhattan

Black Mirror

From Claire Rychlewski

The first time I heard the title Black Mirror, I thought, “Oh, I get it! The black screens of our phones and computers and televisions really serve as a reflection of humanity’s current state. Cool.” It’s not often that I connect with a work’s title so instantly, but Black Mirror is a show that is precise. A modern-day Twilight ZoneBlack Mirror explores what our relationship with our technology might look like in a not-so-distant future .

Black Mirror is undeniably dark, sometimes bordering on unwatchable—the penultimate episode “White Bear,” for instance, is relentless in its portrayal of the sick voyeurism that festers in our media culture. Some of the episodes are particularly gripping—”The Entire History Of You” would make a beautiful science fiction feature. And of course, some are weaker than others—”The Waldo Moment” is far too heavy-handed and consequently a bit empty. But as a whole, the six episodes are stunning and compelling as they explore the potential fruits of the rapid advancements in the technological sphere.

Manhattan

From Jackson Lewis

Manhattan is essentially Woody Allen’s sacrificial offering to the great god that is New York City. He really takes a piece of himself and gives it up to the city. Shooting the film in black and white gives and adding George Gershwin and other classical music into the mix gives the film a feel somewhere between a romantic comedy and  a noir.

Isaac Davis, played by Allen, is a silly yet hostile middle-aged man somehow dating a seventeen-year-old girl played by Mariel Hemingway. Isaac falls for his married friend’s mistress and it all goes downhill from there.

The premise is definitely out there, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend the first part of the movie trying to wrap my head around Woody Allen dating a seventeen-year-old. It bothered me and took me out of it quite a bit. I also felt like there wasn’t a lot at stake for these characters.

It helps that the acting is spot on. Hemingway was nominated for an Academy Award and the cinematography is a knockout. The scene with the shot of the park bench by the Queensboro Bridge will stay with you for days.

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Alex wishes he had the smarts of Will Hunting, the skills of Jason Bourne and the nose of Linus Caldwell. You also might find him sticking his fingers into spiderwebs, just in case one happens to be radioactive.

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