‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser’ — Soundtrack Out Now

Sierra Burgess is a Loser Cover Art

My inner tweenie is elated by today’s release of ‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser,’ especially on the heels of my two favorite Netflix rom-coms, ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ and ‘The Kissing Booth.’ It’s an exciting time for teen flicks, and it’s especially exciting that Netflix has introduced us to some new stars, including the very endearing  Noah Centineo, who seems to have stayed humble on the heels of his massive shot into the fame stratosphere.


The film also stars Shannon Purser, Kristine Froseth, and RJ Cyler. Directed by Ian Samuels and written by Lindsay Beer, the story centers on Sierra (Shannon Purser), an intelligent teen who does not fall into the shallow definition of high school pretty but, in a case of mistaken identity that results in unexpected romance, must team with the popular girl (Kristine Froseth) in order to win her crush (Noah Centineo).

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Netflix is now Qwikster? — Dumbest Company Ever

Just when you thought Netflix could not get more stupid — think again. As if their new, cost splitting structure wasn’t confusing enough, Netflix has now decided to rename their DVD-by-mail service, calling it “Qwikster.” The term “Netflix” will now only apply to online streaming. Don’t worry — it gets worse. If you subscribe to both Netflix and “Qwikster”, then you have the annoying task of logging into to two different websites to maintain your film selection. Allow me to explain to Netflix why this is a terrible decision. The most important element of a successful company is its branding, and Netflix just obliterated that. It’s one thing to increase prices by implementing a new, confusing cost structure, but to remove the name that the consumer has come to love and trust — that’s just corporate suicide. So goodbye Netflix — it was fun while it lasted. And let this be a lesson to everyone — always think like an underdog — because there’s something about success that ruins people’s ability to reason.

Netflix Recommendation: Lars and the Real Girl

I’ll never understand why Ryan Gosling didn’t get an Oscar nomination for this film.  Despite getting some great movie roles, I still see Gosling as an extremely underrated actor.  I first noticed his talent when I saw The Notebook, and he confirmed his acting chops with Lars and the Real Girl.  The film is about a lonely guy from a small town who tells his family that he finally got a girlfriend.  His family is thrilled, and they invite them over for dinner to meet his girlfriend.  When Lars (Gosling) shows up with a doll and introduces her as his girlfriend, his family has no idea how to react.  They decide to treat the doll as if she’s a real person until they can figure out a solution.  The exploration of Lars’ mental health, coupled with the task of treating a doll as a real human being, makes this film one of the best I’ve seen.  Rent it.

Vintage Movie Pick: Sea of Love

People are always asking me for Netflix recommendations, and I’m consistently shocked to discover how many great films go unwatched. So this week I’m recommending Sea of Love, a classic thriller with Al Pacino and the very sexy Ellen Barkin. Here’s the story in a nutshell: three men are killed in the same unique way, and Al Pacino and John Goodman (two cops assigned to the case) discover that all the men took out a personal ad. Pacino decides that they were probably killed by the same woman, so he takes out his own personal ad and goes on a series of very quick dates for the purpose of getting each woman’s finger prints. One woman doesn’t touch her glass, and Pacino finds himself attracted to her. They begin to date, despite the possibility that she’s the killer. So is she the killer? You’ll have to rent the movie to find out. I’d also like to say that there’s some very hot sex scenes in the film, which is great because you rarely get a great story coupled with great on-screen sex. It’s usually one or the other (remember Showgirls?).

Blockbuster Files Chapter 11 — The Witch is Dead

I don’t usually rejoice at the failings of others, but I’ll make an exception for Blockbuster. I’ve hated the company most of my life, primarily because they are responsible for many childhood scoldings from my father. Care for details? When I was a tweenie, there was little to do except rent movies with my friends and watch them at home. Because Blockbuster had a monopoly on movie rentals, I had no other options. I would inevitably lose the movie under my bed, and when I found it and returned it to Blockbuster, I was given an exorbitant late fee, which usually amounted to over $100. The bastards behind the counter never adjusted the price despite my tearful protests. The result was inevitable — I was grounded by my father, and banned from any future Blockbuster rentals, until I was old enough to either pay for the late fee myself, or put it on my own credit card. Needless to say, it was a long time before I rented movies again. Many years later, Netflix became the first company to give Blockbuster competition, and they immediately trounced them. Blockbuster then copied Netflix’s model, by launching online rentals, and changing their despised late fee policy. But it was too late. The online launch cost them millions, and the company never recovered. Perhaps if they decided much earlier not to rob little children like myself, they would have survived. It shouldn’t take a competitor to make your company moral, you should be moral on your own. So goodbye Blockbuster. May you rest in peace.