Since OMGJ started our sort-of-regular Netflix Friday series of articles, Netflix itself seems to be getting a shittier and shittier selection of movies.
Hello again OMGJ readers — or at least whoever has stuck around during the less-than-active first half of 2012. If we’re going to keep this site open, then I’m bringing back Netflix Friday — a chance for me to write about movies without doing a 5,000 word scene-by-scene breakdown that in the past had caused me to lose my mind and light my belongings on fire.
Excel Saga may well be the dumbest thing I have ever watched. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not exactly a bad thing. I mean, there’s stuff that’s “dumb” in the way that it actually makes you feel like you’re losing brain cells just from sitting in front of it. And then there’s the “dumb” that just makes you sit there slack-jawed through the entire thing, wondering just what the Hell you watched after it’s over. Excel Saga easily finds itself sitting in the latter group. I have never seen anything that elicits so many “What?”s, or “Why?”s from me in any given episode. It is truly, truly dumb. And maybe more than a bit mad.
The premise is genius: Make an anime series that parodies every worn out, pile of shit stereotype in Japanese animation. From the nonstop schoolgirl dramas, sci fi nonsense, tired sports dramas, and even terrible American animation. Nothing is sacred to Excel Saga, and it goes out of it’s way to make you understand that. If even to a fault. Excel Saga does not ever stop. Ever. It is a nine year-old kid hopped on on a pound of pure sugar for pretty much it’s entire run time for every single episode. It’s just.. it’s pure madness:
Each episode plays out with the two main characters (Excel and Hyatt) being briefed by some evil overlord intent on taking over the world, and the means that Excel and Hyatt will have to go through to accomplish that. Honestly, none of this matters, as it is just a front for setting up each episode’s batshit insane plots. I wish I could sit here and describe everything that goes on in an individual episode, but I’m afraid I would be unable to not stop gritting my teeth together for upwards of a week if I tried. This isn’t even mentioning the several sub plots that run throughout the series, including an ongoing thing about eating their pet dog (This gets an entire episode at one point), and a super weird thing involving a Mexican guy named Pedro that was killed and is forever tormented by his still alive wife and child. I’m already starting to grit my teeth, so I need to stop here.
So should you watch Excel saga? Sure! I won’t judge if you just can’t handle Excel’s CONSTANT nonsense, or just the absolute insanity of it all. But underneath all that, there is an excellent parody of just about everything anime has ever done. It’s all very slick, and there’s never an episode where some random thing didn’t cause a burst of laughter. It’s only 27 or so episodes, and each one runs fast and furious. So do yourself a favor and force yourself to sit through an episode. Any episode. It doesn’t matter. Just try it. Your jaw muscles will thank you later.
So I decided to really take the spirit of Halloween to the MAXIMUM XTREME and start off crazy hardcore with an INTENSE viewing experience. I climbed up Netflix Mountain to see what was on offer in the genre known as “Spookiest.” They have some things in that Instant Watch that are worthy of Halloween Time Viewing. I mean, if you are into being scared and such. I am not particularly, but I decided to be a tough guy and take one for the team just for you guys. Just for you fine readers out there. I decided to watch Mad Monster Party.
I watched this movie last night hoping it would be sad. And it was, kind of. All of the elements for sadness were present. It was a slow, plodding tale of a nice guy with the odds continually stacked against him, having to endure just the worst of days, every day, with no actual relief. By the end of every scene, I expected him to snap and kill everyone. He never did. But I am sorry for getting ahead of myself here. Oh, also, I plan to spoil the hell out of this whole movie. I am doing this to SAVE YOU THE TROUBLE.
So if you looked at my recently watched section on Netflix, you’d probably think I was some completely out of touch child. It’s like a never-ending list of bad 80’s cartoons, old Nickelodeon shows, and then completely random shit, like Hoarders and softcore porn. Every time my girlfriend is around, and we load up my Netflix, it is like some sort of personal embarrassment for her. If guests are around, you can bet her Netflix is the one being loaded up to avoid awkward silences, or people just outright leaving in sheer disgust. Mine is mostly saved for drunken nights of screaming at the TV thinking it has come to life, or the occasional hankering to watch Ren and Stimpy (this is often, btw). But we are not here to talk about how sad my viewing habits are. Today we’ll just look at ONE of the many bad things littering my Netflix Queue, which is the complete He-Man series.
Most weeks, if I write a Netflix Friday offering it’s some old horror / sci-fi movie, which makes sense since that’s 99% of what I will watch on Netflix. However, every once and a while I’ll get a weird impulse to watch something out of the ordinary, and my Netflix recommendations queue loses its mind and I get some recommendations that I can’t help but check out. Well, a few weeks ago I felt like watching some documentary on the New York Dolls, and afterwards I got a whole bunch of other music recommendations. Most of them were rock / punk concerts and documentaries, but towards the end I saw something that I couldn’t possibly not choose — there was a Village People movie.
Back in the mid-1990s, there was an outbreak of instant classic hits that might have wound up standing the first test of time which occurs about 10 or 15 years after initial release. Actually, that’s a time span that most things that have ever been popular are up against. Fashion, lingo, films, technology, people in the limelight – all of that sort of stuff – if it is still able to be liked fifteen years later, it becomes a Timeless Classic. It can still represent the era it’s from – but it isn’t embarrassing or painful to watch. I believe Friday falls into this category.
Way back in 1990, they decided to make a cartoon out of the wonderful instant classic hit film, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Ordinarily this is a terrible idea that owners to movie rights should never choose.
Ever since Netflix introduced their Instant Watch feature, there have been a handful of things I have routinely checked for, waiting for them to be there for my viewing pleasure. All of the episodes of Fantasy Island, the Simpsons, assorted old movies, and the Twilight Zone. Well, they’ve finally heard my prayers and have decided to throw me a bone in the form of Twilight Zone. I couldn’t be more pleased.