Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Best of Netflix Recommendations (all 100% true)

-Because you enjoyed Stand By Me: Lord of the Flies
-Because you enjoyed The Queen: March of the Penguins
-Because you enjoyed The Network: I, Claudius
-Because you enjoyed My Neighbor Totoro: Jackson Pollock - Love and Death
-Because you enjoyed The Host: Through Deaf Eyes (PBS Home Video)
-Because you enjoyed Godzilla Vs. Gigan: Spongebob for Hire
-Because you enjoyed Hotel Rwanda: Finding Neverland
-Because you enjoyed Gandhi: BBC Presents – The Life of Birds (3-Disc Series)
-Because you enjoyed Young Frankenstein: Legacy: The Origin of Civilizations (3-Disc Series)
-Because you enjoyed Seven Samurai: The Red Balloon
-Because you enjoyed 12 Angry Men: Hamlet – Special Edition
-Because you enjoyed Zatoichi – The Blind Swordsman: Abominable
-Because you enjoyed Rope: The King of Kong

To clarify for those people who don’t watch a lot of crap, the joke is that Netflix is using an algorithm to guess which movies I’d like to watch based on what movies I’ve told it I already like, and its suggestions are wildly inappropriate. For instance, I liked Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman, a quirky Japanese drama about a blind swordsman at the end of the period of the samurai, coming into conflict with a town mob that is alternately grave, such as his encounters with a mercenary who serves the mob only to pay for medicine for his dying lover, and hilarious, such as the closing dance scene. Based on whatever preferences other people had registered for the film, the algorithm decided the movie I’d most like next was Abominable, an American B-horror movie about a guy stuck in a wheelchair who watches in terror through his window as a bunch of bimbos next door get mauled by a guy in the single worst yeti costume I’ve ever seen. Similarly it saw that I liked The Network, a classic indictment of television news and media culture, and decided I would like the I, Claudius miniseries, about a hunchback who watches various ancient Roman politicians get assassinated. It saw that I liked Hotel Rwanda, the largely true story about a hotel runner who hid targeted minorities in his rooms during ethnic cleansing in the hopes of saving their lives, and decided I would like Finding Neverland, the largely embellished story about the guy who wrote Peter Pan falling in love.


  1. All told, the Spongebob recommendation out of a Godzilla pick makes a great deal of sense to me. Just not sure I could explain why.

  2. The movie ends with them saving the day by "Rocking Out." I can't help but find that as awesome as the defeat of a giant lizard by a silk-spewing moth and her tiny whores.

  3. Godzilla neither rocks out nor fights moths in Gigan! He bleeds, and thereby traumatizes a generation of children that rented this instead of the Wiggles.


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