Recently, I discussed our Comcast service and its cost with one of their representatives. Their most interesting idea was informing me they could drop 4 or 5 of their lesser channels (none of which I ever used) and replace them with Netflix. Friends had raved about what could be had with that service provider, so we made a deal: the new service was available for no increase in cost.
In the first two weeks of Netflix, I found three programs (specials) to be of great interest. First was “Springsteen on Broadway.”(see above) It was a film version of the extremely popular and highly praised (and priced) stage performance that was out of my price range. It was not a concert of his greatest hits or a summation of his career. It was a two+ hour description of his life from childhood in a small shore town in New Jersey to his present status as rock and roll giant. There were songs within his presentation as he accompanied himself on a variety of guitars, harmonica, and piano. He described the various influences on him, his music, band members and marriage. He tours the entire country, band members change, influences on his music are made, and in the end, he says: “I’m Mr. Born-to-Run. I currently live 10 minutes from my home town.” His gave a magnificent performance. You get to meet him in all his stages of development. He tells a memorable tale and he and we are the better for it. Catch this film wherever you can.
Second was a filmed concert of Ellen Degeneres’ (see above)return to stand-up comedy. After a 15 year absence from where she started, the question was: Is she still “Relatable” to an audience? Her Seattle fans answered emphatically: Yes. She is funny and appreciated without the games and give-aways which she has provided for her TV audience. Her sexuality is no longer a question or obstacle to be overcome. She is humorous, observant, at ease with and entertaining for an audience. She has not compromised her talent for her fans, but they find her an approachable, honest, and talented performer. She is definitely worth your time on or off television.
The third program was called “A Grand Night in… The story of Aardman Animation.” I assume you are familiar with the concept of claymation or stop action film. If not, think of Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” or Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs.” In 1972, Aardman Animation began giving Great Britain and, then, the USA/world Animated Short Films and, later, Full-Length feature films. Oscars and BAFTA awards followed. My favorite characters are Wallace and Gromit.(see above) The first, Wallace, is a middle-aged inventor and the second, Gromit, is his dog/friend/co-inventor. Wallace usually sets up a storyline and Gromit saves the day in their adventures. Gromit never speaks. He has no mouth; but his eyes and their brows provide all the emotion a film’s co-star needs. They both love cheese.
Their first award was for: “Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out.” Wallace decides to build a rocket ship to take him and his friend/dog to the moon. Everyone knows it is made of cheese and, as it turns out, everyone is right. Four other adventures, both short and feature length follow, as do awards.
If you want to sample W & G’s work, go to You Tube for a 3 minute chase scene from “The Wrong Trousers”. The Hero (Gromit, with his friend Wallace) chase a villain (a gem stealing Penquin) aboard a train. Guess who wins? You do.
Perhaps I caught Netflix in a better than normal two weeks. But these 3 programs have caught my interest, and perhaps yours, as well.