Netflix guilt

Like I don’t have enough things to worry about, now I’m coping with Netflix Guilt.

It goes like this:

Once, a year or so ago, I put “Bloody Sunday” onto my list, figuring I should take more interest in how the Troubles started. Somehow it wriggles its way to the top of the queue, and comes to my house. I watch a bit of it. It’s shot in a documentary style. I can pick out, early on, characters who are Not Going to Make It. They are, of course, sympathetic characters. I know they represent real people, not fiction. I know there’s nothing I can do the inevitable slide toward this brief orgy of violence. It takes me about five tries to get almost all the way through the movie, and I still haven’t accomplished it, weeks later. I feel like I don’t care enough about violence in Ireland if I don’t watch it to the end, so I haven’t sent it back.

Trying to turn away from “Bloody Sunday,” I order “The Wrestler,” which has gotten all sorts of good reviews. I start watching it. I can see why it got good reviews. Have to wonder, does Mickey Rourke’s body actually look like that, or is that fake. Can see that this character’s “arc” is not upward. Quickly get tired of the seediness, and the character’s sadness, despite early glimpses of Marisa Tomei nearly nude. Feel like I have to watch it to the end, because this is a Serious Movie.

But I don’t want to.

Hence, Netflix Guilt.

I also have “Defiance.” Should I start watching it instead, if I actually get time for movie watching tonight? And… he asks with trepidation — will I like it any better? Will it be any better than the second James Bond movie he did? And if it isn’t, will I still feel like I have to watch it because it’s about a serious historical subject? Probably.

9 thoughts on “Netflix guilt

  1. Greg Flowers

    The wonderful thing about The Troubles is that they are very nearly resolved. Seeing Ian Paisley and Martin McGuiness cracking jokes together moistened my eye as did seeing McGuiness and Peter Robinson standing shoulder to shoulder decrying the recent Real IRA murders. (I know one local fellow who extols the killings and condemns McGuiness as a Quisling.) When the big debates in Stormont now involve water rates and how much money they can get from London, I am convinced that I am witnessing one of the great moral victories of my lifetime.

    In my personal opinion, even serious movies are theatrical productions and for the facts one should read a good history. That being said I just watched The Sand Pebbles (1966) which inspired me to read up on the European military presence in China during the 20’s and 30’s.

    Lastly (he rambled) there will only be one REAL James Bond and that is Sean Connery (though Pierce Brosnan did a more than credible job.)

    A very good World War II drama, little seen in this country is Zelary from the Czech Republic. Its on Netflix and is quite enjoyable.

  2. Burl Burlingame

    Ah, The “Sand Pebbles.” Fabulous book, too.
    I lived where they shot the movie in KaoShiung and recognized many locations.
    Another good WWII flick little seen is Dark Blue World

  3. Brad Warthen

    Yes, The Sand Pebbles is wonderful. I’ll put Dark Blue World in my queue.

    As for Bloody Sunday — it painted the Paras as being so trigger-happy, so eager to shed Irish blood, that it was practically a recruiting film for the IRA. Don’t know how factual that was.

    And yes, what’s happened in the last few years was nothing short of miraculous. Another good thing that happened on my man Tony Blair’s watch.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    I could not make myself watch Million Dollar Baby even though Netflix swore I’d love it.

    It’s entertainment. When you get to be a critic, you *have* to watch films and television programs. Otherwise, watch whatever you like. That said, I found The Wire worth the initial effort to get into, and I find that having watched “better” fare over the years, a lot of standard stuff seems so predictable as to be no longer entertaining.

    Do try The Wire, if you haven’t, yet. The season about the paper is so up your alley….but you have to have seen the previous ones to make sense of it all…

  5. Greg Flowers

    “Million Dollar Baby” is a great movie. The power of the acting was worth the tragedy. Whatever you hear, it is not a pro-suicide movie. More than anything else it is a story of platonic love. Maybe on my top 10 list.

    One major factor is the improving conditions in N. Ireland is the dramatic economic turnaround in the Republic. Material well being reduced the obsession with a united Ireland and made many in the South wary of taking on a relatively poor neighbor particularly the economic strain involved in the reunification of Germany.

    The Paras are a highly trained group of professionals. I have no doubt that many in the IRA exceeded them in bloodthirstiness.

  6. Brad Warthen

    I wouldn’t watch it, either.

    But I’m very high on “Gran Torino.” If you haven’t seen it, do. Of two celebrated flicks I recently saw fairly close together, “Gran Torino” was WAY better than “Slumdog Millionaire.” And that’s not saying “Slumdog” was bad; it’s just saying Eastwood’s latest was way better.

  7. Wolfran

    If you want to know about “The Troubles” (the Irish terrorist were largely supported and maintained by Americans by the way – hence the “chickens have come home to roost” interpretatiion of 9/11) maybe you should READ one fo the wonderful books on the subject. I think it is fair to say that one cannot learn anything about history from watching movies. I would have thought you would now ample time to delve into some of the literature on the subject.

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