Friends, Streamers, Countrymen, I certainly hope you guys are Netflix users, because they’re the only ones with anything to show for themselves this week. So we won’t Cross the Streams so much as just concern ourselves with one specific stream. But what Netflix is offering is solid entertainment for all ages and all tastes, though I don’t think any one person is going to enjoy everything on this list. Feel free to make it a challenge, though. Winners are eligible for free high fives for life.
Done the Impossible: The Fans’ Tale of Firefly & Serenity (Netflix Instant)
Done the Impossible, its title taken from one of Mal’s quotes in the Firefly pilot, isn’t a behind-the-scenes documentary about Firefly and its feature follow-up Serenity so much as an almost obsessive love letter to the series from the fans who played a part in turning Joss Whedon into a geek god. Hosted by Adam Baldwin, the 2006 doc features talks with much of the cast and enormous fanbase, and shows just how big a role they played in getting the unlikely Serenity film made. Will it anger you that the same fanbase hasn’t been able to sway anyone to make more Firefly? Maybe.
The Bay (Netflix Instant)
This is one of those movies that really polarizes audiences in different ways. A low-budget found-footage style mockumentary horror from director Barry Levinson — a description that has likely already lost some people — The Bay is also something of an ecological cautionary tale where a New England seaside becomes infested with mutant parasites. While there is some dumb science and heavy-handed environmental proselytizing, Levinson knows how to vary his usage of found footage. While there is an overall narrative that keeps returning to some of the town’s citizens as it goes on, portions of the film present mini-vignettes where anyone holding a camera meets their grisly doom. The film isn’t up to Levinson’s former pedigree, but it is probably on par with or better than most of the shit he’s come out with since 2000.
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (Netflix Instant)
Make no mistake, there is a good chance you will think Lost Skeleton is the funniest science fiction comedy that has ever been created, and it was made on video in 2001 for less than $100,000 by the geniusly absurd Larry Blamire. Not too shabby. The film spoofs 1950s sci-fi B-movies in every possible way, from senseless plotting, to overly wooden acting, to some of the craziest dialogue ever spoken. The plot: a meteor falls to Earth that contains the rare element atmosphereum. Aliens come down to look for it, having to pass for human beings. The titular skeleton is unearthed and needs the atmosphereum to come back to life. Along the way to the ridiculous climax, you’ll hear wordplay and jokes that provoke groans you didn’t know you were capable of, and you’ll be left wanting more. Assuming you don’t just hate the film with all your being, because that’s perfectly plausible. It’s an acquired taste. Here’s hoping Blamire’s other films hit streaming sites before too much longer.
State of Emergency (Netflix Instant)
Get your zombie fix right here, but don’t expect it to be a very powerful one, or one that you’ll remember the next day. And it isn’t really undead zombies so much as people who were driven to flesh-eating madness by biological warfare. Jay Hayden stars as a survivor cut off from the rest of the world. Derivative action ensues. But even though the story is old hat, it looks better than 80% of its contemporaries thanks to director Turner Clay.
Lab Rats: Season 1 (Netflix Instant)
Gotta give the kids a little something, don’t we? This huge hit for Disney XD centers on Leo, a 14-year-old whose mother marries a billionaire with three bionic children, each with their own sets of powers. The family tries to live harmoniously, but things…get crazy…I’m not going to pretend like I’ve ever watched this series.
Thingstarter (Hulu Plus)
Hey, look, it’s non-Netflix video! Unfortunately, it’s only a clip for what may end up being a series of videos, but I like the concept, even if it isn’t quite sci-fi or science. The Bilderbergers sketch group created Thingstarter, which parodies Kickstarter videos, with writer Craig Rowin in the role of penis diaper inventor Ed Daniels. It’s no showstopper, but it has potential.
While I probably could have added the final two episodes of CW’s Cult, (which you can watch here and here, even though they’re listed on the site by their originally planned air dates), they were just as bizarre and disappointing as the rest of the season, landing on no answers. So watch it if you will, but I’m not giving it a picture. See you next time and thanks for reading!