I have watched a few movies using my Roku Netflix player , although mostly I have been sampling some series viewing and concert listening. Despite the relatively weak audio performance (just stereo), it works pretty well playing in the background as I slave away at the keyboard.
The Good German is a black and white Steven Soderbergh production, starring George Clooney, Tobey Maguire and Cate Blanchett in a story of romance, intrigue and murder set during the post war occupation of Berlin, as the Allied powers tried to figure out how to split it up. Clooney plays a weary journalist covering the events, although he is really searching out his ex-lover, Blanchett's Lena Brandt. Maguire complicates things and then things get really sticky.
Soderbergh strove for and attained a real 40s drama feel, from the obvious black and white connection, to the scene right out of Casablanca, right down to the (Oscar nominated) score. While some of the coincindences were explained later on, I still didn't completely buy the plot. It all felt a little scattershot, unconnected and uninvolving. It wasn't helped by the presence of Maguire, who just doesn't inspire me as an actor.
I also watched 5 Steps to Danger, a 1957 cold war noir/thriller starring the vastly underappeciated Sterling Hayden. Hayden gets picked up by a damsel in distress, which involves him in a spy plot, again hinging on post-ware Berlin. I really enjoyed this flick and, seeing as it isn't available on either tape or DVD, makes the Instant Watching of this all the more precious.
I played KOYAANISQATSI (life out of blalance) in the background one day, but it proved to be too interesting to just listen to. It kept pulling me away from the keyboard to watch its incredible images which match the classic Phillip Glass score impeccably. I was so enthralled with it that I immediately added both its sequel (POWAQQATSI - life in transformation) and Ron Fricke's (a writer/editor for th QATSI trilogy) Chronos. I am particularly intriqued by Chronos because it is available in hi-def BluRay, a treatment for which the QATSI trilogy cries out for. Great stuff, for sure.