Tag Archive | Netflix

The Greatest Sports Documentaries of All Time

the last dance netflix
Michael Jordan in The Last Dance

Settling down to watch an interesting, thought-provoking documentary is a way of learning something new. As you are probably held in quarantine right now, you might be missing sports, if you are a fan. Currently, everyone is buzzing on the recently launched Netflix documentary about Michael Jordan’s golden era, The Last Dance. However, if you are looking for similar documentaries to keep you entertained, we got you covered.

Even if you aren’t a particularly big fan of the following sports, you should find that these documentaries involving them make for great viewing.

Do You Believe in Miracles?

This 2001 documentary takes us back to the 1980 Winter Olympics. At the height of the Cold War, a young and inexperienced American ice hockey team took on the vastly experienced Russians for a crack at winning the gold medal. This inspirational story shows us footage from the legendary final from Lake Placid in New York. It became known as the Miracle on Ice and this documentary lets us see exactly what was so incredible and unexpected about the American comeback and eventual triumph.

Commentator Al Michaels shouting out “Do you believe in miracles?” as the crowd counts down the final seconds remains as one of the most thrilling moments in sport. It is one of the greatest underdog stories of all time.

A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story

You will find yourself engrossed in this riveting story of the golden age of motor racing. Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio was the main figures in the early years of Formula One, as he won five of the first ten championships. His record of five victories was only beaten almost half a century later, by Michael Schumacher. Fangio has the highest winning percentage in the history of the sport and is regarded as being arguably the greatest racing driver of all time. Yet, this documentary looks at more than just his triumphs on the track.

A Life of Speed is a misty-eyed look back at the days when the drivers were great friends and when the sport wasn’t so dominated by commercial interest. Originally broadcast in Spanish, A Life of Speed shows interviews with the likes of Fernando Alonso and Mika Hakkinen.

Hoop Dreams

Dating from 1994, this fascinating documentary shows us how basketball offers the hope of a brighter future to many players. It follows a pair of promising young players – William Gates and Arthur Agee – from inner-city Chicago who dream of becoming professionals in the NBA. It is about the hopes that these players have of reaching the top of their chosen sport. Hoop Dreams is also about the sacrifices that are needed to make a dream come true. The youngsters need to take a 90-minute commute to a new school to try and fulfill their potential.

Hoop Dreams was only meant to be a 30-minute short film, but filming was carried out over 8 years and it ended up as a 3-hour documentary that has enjoyed huge success around the planet. It is a story that can capture anyone’s interest, regardless of whether they understand NBA odds and statistics.

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

He may not be a household name now, but this 1998 documentary gives us an intriguing glimpse at the huge impact of Hank Greenberg in baseball and in sport in general. Hammerin’ Hank played in the MLB in the 1930s and 40s, mainly for the Detroit Tigers and also briefly for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

His spectacular statistics show us that Greenberg was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He recorded a batting average of .300 in the 8 seasons he played as a pro and still holds the record for most runs batted in during a single season by a right-handed player. However, this documentary largely looks at the uphill struggle he faced to be accepted, due to the fact that he was Jewish. We can see how he was forced to ensure abuse on and off the field before going on to cement his reputation as one of baseball’s true legends.

Orange is the New Black Season Three Subway Ad

OITNB Season Three Subway Ad
Photo By Gail

These ads for the new, third season of Orange is The New Black — where each character is depicted on the front of a Jesus Candle — started showing up in the subway last night on those interactive information boards that they have in some stations (if you’re lucky). I’m only on season two, so I have some catching up to do!

Remembering Harry Nilsson on his Birthday

Harry Nilsson Grave Stone

The late, great singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson was born on this day, June 15th, in 1941. I recently watched the unbelievably well-made documentary, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? which is now available on DVD via Netflix.

I’m a huge fan of Nilsson’s music, as he reached the height of his popularity in the sixties and seventies, when I was growing up, so I thought I knew a lot about the guy. But Who is Harry Nilsson? gave me quite a schooling on the details of Nilsson’s life and career that I couldn’t have imagined.

This insightful documentary goes way back to his childhood, his family life, his early career writing songs for others that grew into his own recording career as a solo artist, his film soundtrack projects, personal friendships with other songwriters and musicians (Nilsson was a favorite artist of all four Beatles and he maintained close friendships with John Lennon and Ringo Starr until his death) and a wildly in-depth overview of his recording process via interviews with those he worked closely with (the interviews with producer Richard Perry alone are worth the time it takes to watch the film).

Of course, it’s not like you don’t know how the story is going to end. A well-covered topic in Who Is Harry Nilsson? is the artist’s ridiculously indulgent and debauched Rock Star Lifestyle, which lead directly to his early death at age 52 – a tragic waste of an extraordinary and irreplaceable talent.

I was entirely captivated, entertained and profoundly moved by the life story of Harry Nilsson, who was extremely respected for his talent and considered by his peers to be the greatest American singer of his generation. There is no doubt that his influence is vast and deeply felt even today. Harry Nilsson died on January 15th, 1994 from heart failure brought on by a lifetime of alcoholism and hard drug abuse. If he were still alive, he would be celebrating his Birthday today. Happy Birthday, Harry, we still miss you.

Jonathan Levine Gallery Presents Josh Keyes’ Migration


Stampede By Josh Keyes

One of last night’s hot-ticket gallery openings was the debut of Portland-based artist Josh Keyes’ new show, Migration, at Jonathan Levine in Chelsea. Migration features a series of paintings on panel, study drawings on paper and a ten-foot canvas entitled Stampede (See above), which is the artist’s largest painting to date.

On the subject of his show title, Keyes offers, “Migration and displacement were ideas that continued to surface in my mind while I was painting these images. I was thinking about the effects of climate change and the way some ecosystems that thrive in a specific range of temperatures — like polar or tropical climates —are experiencing a shrinking of their boundaries. Ecosystems that were separate are now slowly merging and overlapping one another, causing disruptions in the food web and increased competition for food and space among species. Some become displaced and are forced to migrate, in order to survive.”

Levine’s exhibit Press Release continues that: Keyes’ imagery in this exhibition pushes the potential consequences of ecosystem clashing to a climax that wavers on the surreal. A bright orange tiger rests contently on top of a graffiti covered dumpster, staring intensely at a pack of wolves, scavenging whitetail deer scraps from the tiger’s morning hunt. Below the smooth floodwater surface, glides a great white shark. A pair of giant pandas, marooned on a submerged jeep, watch with curiosity as the shark’s fin circles by. Deer, elk, wolves and other animals form a stampeding herd, charging through a city street, leaving upturned cars and ruptured pavement in their frenzied wake.


The Artist with His Work

I liked the way Keyes’ paintings encourage imaginative extrapolation in the viewer while combining visual beauty with a sense of foreboding and dread. The story they hint at reminded me a bit of a film I saw not too long ago called The Last Winter, which I highly recommend adding to your Netflix queue. Something I had not seen before at a gallery opening was a formal, organized line of fans waiting to meet Josh, that snaked through Levine’s rear gallery – a line which I waited in for 20 minutes just so I could say Hi to Josh and get him to sign one of his cards. Josh was super nice and took the time to meet and sign stuff for everyone who was waiting – very cool! Also spotted in the packed gallery were notable local artists Michael Fumero, Beau Stanton and Dima Drjuchin, all of whom appeared to be really digging the show. You can read more about Josh Keyes and see additional pictures from the exhibit at This Link.

Josh Keyes’ Migration Runs through November 19, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

What If Your Birthday Was on September 11th?

911 Birthday Cake
Image Source

Confession: Most of the time, I can barely recall what Netflick I watched last night or what I ate for lunch earlier in the day, but ask me what it was like to be in Manhattan on September 11th, 2001, and I remember that day like it was still happening. I remember seeing the smoke from the first tower as I stood at the corner of 19th Street and 5th Avenue, walking to work that morning and thinking “Something’s on fire.” I can tell you what the weather was like (the most beautiful late summer Tuesday, ever).

I recall the most minute, bullshit details of numerous conversations I had with people that day. I can tell you what I made for lunch (pasta with chicken in red sauce). I even remember what I was wearing. It’s been ten years since that day and for me it’s like it was, as they say, just yesterday. I’m sure I’ll have the same clarity about September 11, 2001 for the rest of my life. If you were in NYC at the time, you can’t ever forget. But think about this: what is that day like for people whose birthday is on September 11th? That’s something I hadn’t really considered until I read this fantastic story in The Awl built around first-person testimonials from10 people who are unfortunate enough to have 9/11 as their birth date. Ten People Who Observe Birthdays on 9/11 is by far my favorite remembrance piece of the too-many-to-mention that I’ve already read over the past few days. It captures just the right balance of candor and uncomfortable humor that feel appropriate after a decade of 9/11 anniversaries. The piece starts out like this:

Jotham Sederstrom, 34, freelance reporter: On September 10th, my friends took me out for birthday drinks in Chicago. I was out until three or four, I think, at a place called “The Hideout,” among other places. I didn’t wake up until about noon, at which point everything had changed.

George Spyros, 44, executive producer: I got married the weekend before. We had a bunch of friends and family from out of town, and went out Monday night for dinner. My wife and I were supposed to fly out on September 11th for our honeymoon. On top of that, it’s my birthday.

Michael Wright, 44, editorial director: September 11th has always been the best day of the year for me — and then it all goes to shit.

Allison Spensley, 31, mid-career change: It was my 21st birthday, so of course I had plans to go out.

And it just gets more engaging. You can read the rest – and I strongly recommend that you do – Here.

Gail’s Netflix Queue Recommends: HELP!

HELP! is an amazing screwball comedy/adventure/musical film that was made in 1965. It stars The Beatles as themselves and is certainly one of my very favorite movies ever. I own a copy, of course, but if you haven’t seen it you should rent it. Because it rules.

Recommended NetFlick of the Week: Flashbacks of a Fool


A few months back, I watched the above scene (known as “the Roxy Music scene”) from the totally obscure Daniel Craig film, Flashbacks of a Fool, at my friend Randy’s house, and it made my head explode. I finally got Flashbacks of a Fool in the Netflix and watched it last night. Man, what a cool movie! While the scene above is my favorite part of the film – because, you know, I was that girl – it really is a movie that is just so full of surprises that I ended up enjoying it very much. Plus Daniel Craig gets naked a bunch of times. So do yourself a favor if you do decide to add it to your queue: DO NOT under any circumstances watch the theatrical trailer that’s included on the DVD as part of the “Extras,” because I swear to god it gives away every single surprise and plot twist. And I hate it when they do that.

How Netflix Works

Netflix

Do you love the Netflix? Then you might enjoy this fun article from the Chicago Tribune about how Netflix gets your movies into your mailbox so fast. Yay Netflix!

Snack Food Stadium: Where Every Seat is Delicious


“Touch Down!”

Personally, I couldn’t give a crap about the Super Bowl. This evening I’ll be watching some Netflix, then Big Love and Flight of the Conchords in a blissfully Football-free wonderland. And I already had a big lunch at Gonzalez Y Gonzalez (hey, $5 Margaritas at the bar!) so I won’t be eating again tonight. But if I were to attend a Superbowl party (say, because I lost a bet) I sure would be happy to see this stadium made of tasty snacks waiting for me to sample. Here’s what’s in it:

Ingredients:

The Field:
1 Pound of Guacamole
15 Oz. Queso Dip For The Steelers End Zone
15 Oz. Salsa For The Cardinals End Zone
2 Oz. Sour Cream for the Field Lines

The Players:
15 Vienna Sausages
Helmets – 3 Oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese

The Goal Posts:
1 Slim Jim for Each Goal Post
1 Oz. Monterey Jack Cheddar To Anchor (each)

The Stands:
58 Twinkies
1 Pound of Bacon
1 Bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
1 Bag of Cheetos
1 Bag of Corn Tortilla Chips
1 Bag of Chex Mix

The Blimp:
20 Oz. Football-Shaped Summer Sausage (optional) (on second thought, no, this isn’t optional. Go buy one.)

TOTAL CALORIES: 24,375
TOTAL GRAMS OF FAT: 1,285
TOTAL COST: $86.47
TOTAL DELICIOUSNESS: 1 Billion trillion, dude. One billion trillion.

See how to make it at the link below!

Thanks to Holy Taco via Neatorama

Netflix Origami: A Fun New Way to Recycle!

Have you perhaps been looking for a way to combine the art of Japanese paper folding with the footprint reducing practicality of recycling and the endless, low cost fun of your Netflix subscription? Then your search has ended! Look no further than a website called simply NetFlix Origami, where you can learn to make the cute little items below, among others.