Watching

Netflix review: The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

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I’m still struggling with the Netflix search function. This one was recommended to me after I watched Blackfish, which once watching made sense.

On the surface, this is a documentary about a young man- who happened to found Reddit whilst making his name as an Internet activist- and his journey with the legal system after illegally downloading thousands of pay-per-view journals. In reality, it is a story about change, justice and a flawed political system. And it really made me question what the hell I am doing with my life.

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What I liked about this film… I learnt a lot! Seriously, working in online communications this is a must see film. In fact, anyone who uses the internet should see this film. It looks into copyright, online censorship, and digital piracy. It is educational and absolutely fascinating.

Aaron Swartz is a internet wonder. I mean he founded reddit, he developed RSS & creative commons and he lead the way to blocking SOPA. He is a goddamn Internet rockstar. But they humanised him. Of course, those who spoke on his behalf idolised him, but he was just a guy doing amazing things and they shared that.

It wasn’t corny. It is so difficult to make a meaningful documentary about something so powerful without crossing that line of utterly corny- but somehow they managed to do it.

But my favourite thing about this film, is that it actually might inspire change. I mean it inspired change in me, and I’m sure it can continue on Aaron’s legacy.

What I didn’t like about this film… unfortunately, they couldn’t get anyone to speak on the prosecutions behalf. They commented many times that they attempted it, but damn it would have been so good to hear them try and explain away what the hell they were trying to prove.

Yeah, it’s sad. I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but just have your tissue box handy.

Overall, there is very little to fault in this documentary. It might actually change your life, worst case scenario- you’ll have an educational and enjoyable 2hrs of viewing.

Four and a half stars-  WATCH THIS FILM!

The plot according to Wikipedia:

The film depicts the life of American computer programmer, writer, political organizer, and Internet activist Aaron Swartz. Footage of Swartz as a child is featured at the start and end of the film. The film is narrated by figures from Swartz’s life, including his mother, brothers, and girlfriends.

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Netflix review: Animal Kingdom (2010)

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How do you search for movies on Netflix? Me? I search by actor. So when I searched for Guy Pearce and saw that he was starring in an Aussie crime film with the likes of Joel Edgerton and Ben Mendelson, I knew it was going to be a great watch.

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And I wasn’t wrong.

Set in Melbourne and based on the 1998 Walsh Street police shooting, this movie follows a young mans initiation into his extended family after his mother dies of a heroin overdose.

Warning: this movie is very graphic and should only be watched once the kids are tucked well in bed.

What I liked about this film… seriously, if you blink you will miss a death of a main character. I love a daring film who isn’t afraid to kill of the people that the audience love.

And the mother/ grandmother. Played by Jacki Weaver, she takes you on such a journey, and at the end your really not sure whether you love her, or hate her- but no matter how you feel you can’t help but hope that everything works out for her in the end.

But my absolute favourite part of this film in James Frecheville’s portrayal of a young boy adjusting to his new world. His character is so unpredictable and he wears that blank 17 year old expression so well!

What I didn’t like… Uncle Pope!!! Okay, sure you are supposed to hate him. But DAYUM, he is the shittest bloke. Every scene he was in had me sitting on the edge of my seat, I had no idea what he would do next. And whilst I know he was written this way, I think they could have taken a small step back with this character.

Also, this movie just kind of began, and ended. I know this is classic Australian cinema, but I think a little bit of context could have gone a far way with certain characters in this film. For example, why were the cops watching the family so closely and why did they want Pope so much? I mean, their desire to lure him out motivated the main storyline of the film. But why did they want him so much?!? These questions, they haunt me!
And the ending… yes it left an impact. A huge impact. But I needed just a little bit more. And what happened to Nicky’s family?

Overall, this is a great representation of Australian film. The characters develop so much, but just don’t learn a damn thing.  It’s not a film I would sit down and watch over and over again, but I really cannot get it off my mind and i LOVE movies that make me think.

Four and a half stars, I will be recommending this one to all of my friends.

The plot according to wikipedia: 

Animal Kingdom is a 2010 Australian crime drama written and directed by David Michôd, and starring Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, James Frecheville, Luke Ford,Jacki Weaver, and Sullivan Stapleton. David Michôd’s script was inspired by the Pettingill family of Melbourne, Australia, who in 1991 saw the acquittal of brothers Victor Pierce and Trevor Pettingill (along with 2 others, Anthony Leigh Farrell and Peter David McEvoy) in the 1988 murder of two Victoria police officers.

New to Netflix: Hoodwinked too! Good Vs Evil (2011)

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A few months ago, we took a gamble and signed up to 30 days free with Netflix. We have not looked back since. I’ve decided to start reviewing some of the content on Netflix, because whilst their content is amazing their search function is below average.

This week, I’m reviewing Hoodwinked too! Good Vs Evil (2011) which only just popped up in Netflix kids.

My (almost) four year old LOVES this movie! And I think it’s great.

This is the follow up movie from the 2005 film Hoodwinked, and my sons absolute favourite watch this weekend- we’re currently watching it for the third time.

So what’s good about it? Red- the main protagonist- is a modern take on Little Red Riding Hood. And she is kick arse! She’s amazing. And, *spoilers* she has absolutely NO love interest. I know right? A female character motivated simply by doing the right thing (and a little bit by pleasing Granny).

The over arching theme (and title of the film) is good vs evil, and my kid is just at the right age for that lesson. There are a few plot twists, and through that the audience learns that good and evil is not black and white- and it’s all taught in a very fun and somewhat comical way.

Finally, the team work really makes the film. There are a lot of lessons learnt between the main characters and the way they interact with each other. It’s nice to watch, and good for the kids- particularly the big apology scene when everyone sucks up their pride and tells each other how much they care.

And what’s bad? The cliches, oh the cliches! Look, it’s not a deal breaker but it’s pretty blank.

Also, it’s a bit violent. There are a lot of fight scenes, and they have definitely been re-enacted in this house, which is not ideal.

It’s also a little bit scary, there are some jumpy scenes. It’s not too bad, but I wouldn’t recommend it for the nervous kids out there.

Overall: It will probably be played a few more times this week, and I’m okay with this. Oliver loves it and is old enough to understand that the violent scenes are pretend. As a parent, it’s not something that I would choose for us to watch but not one I would say no to.

3-star3 out of 5 stars. Would watch again, but only because Oliver will insist on it.

The plot goes something like this- as told by wikipedia:

Wolf (Patrick Warburton), Granny (Glenn Close), and Twitchy (Cory Edwards) are on a rescue mission to save Hansel and Gretel (Bill Hader and Amy Poehler) from an evil witch named Verushka (Joan Cusack). The plan goes wrong however and Granny is kidnapped as well. Meanwhile, Red (Hayden Panettiere) is in training with a mysterious group called the Sisters of the Hood where she learns that a secret all powerful truffle recipe has been stolen. She teams up with Wolf and Twitchy to find the recipe and save her grandma, but she and Wolf can’t get along and the team splits up. Meanwhile, Verushka, who stole the truffle recipe, tries to force Granny into making it for her.

Granny escapes and finds Hansel and Gretel, but learns that they are actually the masterminds behind the plot. Granny is recaptured and learns that Verushka was an old classmate of hers when they were both in training with the Sisters of the Hood; Verushka was always second behind Granny’s accomplishments. Eventually Red, Wolf, and Twitchy team back together and infiltrate Hansel and Gretel’s base. Red accidentally reveals the final ingredient for the truffle recipe and the truffles are made.

Hansel and Gretel eat the truffles transforming into giants and go on a rampage through the city. Hansel and Gretel betray Verushka, whereupon Granny convinces her to join forces with her, Red, Wolf, and Twitchy. They trick Hansel and Gretel into eating more truffles which make them so obese that they can no longer move their arms and legs, before the two are arrested.