Come one, come all it’s time to spin the Netflix Wheel. As I teased in my prior post, I am using the Reelgood website which is a quick and easy way to get randomized Netflix flicks to watch. So this is what happened after I took three spins of the wheel.
(This post was my idea of an appropriate challenge and it is an utter trainwreck. The thumbnail looks like hot garbage [more so than usual], the films are good films but I don’t have the best talking points, and I’m just a little disappointed with how it turned out. I would still maybe like to try the concept of Netflix Roulette again but probably should do some sort of caveat with it such as “only 5.0 or below IMDb scores” or “genre-specific films”. Okay, cool these films deserve some talking about so let’s do it.)
Before It was a recently cancelled CBS show, Code Black was 2013 Documentary directed by Ryan McGarry. The documentary centers around the County General Hospital and the C-Booth; An utterly chaotic close-quarters emergency room that makes me claustrophobic from my own living room. Code Black does many things. At its core it’s a nostalgic remembrance of the “wild west” of operating rooms and how that magic was lost when regulations and procedures were introduced creating an all new sort of frenzy.
Code Black gets into the politics of health care and I a simpleton will not pretend to know what’s right but it is a complex issue. The C-Block gives the viewer a face to the issue at hand in one of its most extreme cases. As part of the issue the documentary raises some fair points of the dysfunctional system of long waiting periods, paperwork, and difficulty finding staff shows the problems at hand really well. On the other hand, seeing the C-Block at play makes a clear example of how regulations and practice standards are really protecting the doctors. If the hospital was to defend against a malpractice or some type of legal action…. that shit’s not going to fly.
I think Code Black is at its best when you view it as an inside look at the lives of these medical professionals. It’s nice to get to see the people who are comfortable enough with the responsibly that comes with the medical field. I know I for one was not made for it, and I have no idea how I would respond if I was just trying to do my job and a customer started screaming that I’m trying to kill them. I’ve seen minor complaints about production quality but for the budget and conditions having to film in I think it’s appropriate. I found it fascinating and found that didn’t get too overwhelmed with pushing an agenda or be too manipulative in telling you how to feel (though some of the conversations feel somewhat awkward) Don’t know if it’s because some aspects are staged or if people who went through 8 years of med-school are just somewhat socially awkward. If you’re pursuing something in this general field or are curious then I’d recommend it. I am related to someone in nursing so this was a cool watch for me but I feel that your average joe just won’t be interested in it without some personal connection and that’s fair; movies don’t have to be for everyone but I’m sure Code Black has its audience.
Here we have the 1995 Best Picture Nominee directed by the Sundance Kid himself, Robert Redford, Quiz Show. The film is a retelling of the 1950’s scandal involving the popular game show 21. With producers rigging the game, the real entertainment comes from the behind the scenes inner workings of cheating and investigations into the scandal that almost ended televised game shows as a whole.
Quiz Show for lack of a better comparison feels like the director sequences from Mulholland Drive. A bunch of backlit big wigs pulling the strings with a lot of the drama being whether our protagonists succumbs to the pressure and power of their puppeteers. It’s a very clean looking film, the wardrobe, set designs, and overall art direction does give this a 50’s look. It’s an important aspect of pop culture history that almost subsequently ended all game shows until Jeopardy made giving contestants the answers the cool thing to do.
Quiz Show is something I highly recommend because I think it’s as valuable as ever. Especially writers… guys the themes are just as relevant today, if not more so. The film does a great job of focusing on the root of the problem, does entertainment have to be ethical? How much can celebrity status and idol worship make up for questionable moral ethics, how much of a facade is reality tv and to what extent are producers willing to go, or the wild west that is the internet where content can be just as fraudulent and successful as the show featured in this film are all examples of how this story is just ripe for a modern interpretation.
The Honorable Woman
If I had to describe this show in one word, it would be Gravitas. While the story of Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal) taking her family business of arms dealing in the middle East (primarily the conflict between Israel and Palestine) into a telecommunication efforts is maybe not personally for me, I can’t deny this is a well made show going off the first episode.
The 8 Episode mini-series would go on to be nominated for many Golden Globes and Emmy awards and that success does not at all surprise me. The opening scene of a voice over monologue and the visuals that accompany it show a high understanding of how to use the medium, as well as the cinematography/lighting which often goes for a wash out drab look but from the trailer you can see some pretty looking shots. It’s a well executed spy/political thriller that has what you want to see in that genre.
It’s a tough recommend as it is such a dense show, with a slow pace. Fans of: House of Cards, Scandal, The West Wing, Homeland and other political dramas this might be another show worth giving a shot, but I’m not sure if this show has enough action to recommend towards those uninitiated with this subgenre.
So which of these is your favorite, would you like a take two on this Netflix Roulette idea? Those are things you can leave in the comments. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day.