It’s half past four on a smoky Saturday afternoon. You could get off your couch, but why muster all that energy when you’ve got Cheetos, enough cash to tip the pizza guy and a Netflix account? The real challenge is deciding what to watch in that vast library of streaming titles. Even the choice between old-school Cartoon Network and the edgier Adult Swim is a real head-scratcher.
We at The Daily Texan know all about those lazy afternoons spent trying to figure out what Netflix title is most appealing, and we’ve put together a list of films for couch-surfing sessions of every kind so you can focus on the important stuff — like what you want to get on that pizza you forgot to order.
For when you want to watch something gratuitously violent — “Bad Boys II” (2003, 147 minutes) — The violence isn’t the only gratuitous thing in Michael Bay’s epic cop thriller. Besides the ridiculous runtime, “Bad Boys II” features excessive profanity, crassness and moments of highbrow comedy like Martin Lawrence getting shot in the ass. Besides, what’s better than Bay-sized carnage to shake viewers from a glazed-over stupor into a glazed-over glee at watching things explode?
For when you want to have no idea what’s going on (and love it) — “Holy Motors” (2012, 115 minutes) — Leos Carax’s meditation on the nature of filmmaking and performance is a lovely little gem of a film, and its shifting perceptions of reality and identity are perfect mind-benders for anyone already expanding their consciousness. Denis Lavant gives a powerhouse performance, playing nearly a dozen different characters, and the segment where he plays a repulsive garden troll who kidnaps Eva Mendes should cause plentiful giggle fits.
For when you want to have no idea what’s going on (and hate it) — “Enter the Void” (2009, 161 minutes) — Gaspar Noe’s aggressively edited acid trip through a murdered drug dealer’s afterlife is one of the most disorienting films available on Netflix. Thankfully, the film’s neon-coated color palette, trippy drug use sequences and sexually charged finale might provoke some interesting discussions — or maybe just a hasty retreat into the hazy reality Noe’s characters are constantly chasing.
For when you want to spend two hours in a fetal position — “V/H/S” (2012, 116 minutes) — A horror anthology masterminded by director Adam Wingard, “V/H/S” packs half a dozen short shockers into a single film, making for a variety pack of terrors. Anyone prone to paranoia should probably steer clear, but “V/H/S” manages to make its scares into crowd-pleasing moments of triumph and builds to a climax that sends chills down your spine in all the right ways.
For when puppets are hilarious — “Team America: World Police” (2004, 98 minutes) — What’s not to love about puppets shouting obscenities, blowing each other up and having anatomically questionable sex? The satire from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone is a comedic gold mine, full of hilarious moments that are equally brazenly offensive and side-splittingly funny. Besides, let’s just admit it, puppets are hilarious.
For when you want to be filled with self-righteous indignation – “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High” (2007, 104 minutes) — Brett Harvey’s exploration of Canada’s illegal marijuana enterprise may be just what you need to finally wake up that budding social activist inside you. Plus, it’s an informative, entertaining documentary about a relevant subject, and who’s to say that you can’t learn something from Netflix too?
For when you want to be a cliche — Cheech and Chong’s “Up in Smoke” (1978, 86 minutes) — Come on, you’re more original than this, right? But if you must, “Up in Smoke” is easily the best of Cheech and Chong’s films, chronicling a cross-country road trip in a van made of marijuana. Yes, seriously.
Who’s got time to watch a whole movie, anyway? — “Archer” (2009-2012, 30 minutes) — Netflix has more movies than you can watch in a lifetime, so why not just stick to “Archer”’s 30-minute chunks of sublime comedy? Gloriously vulgar, occasionally violent and always hilarious, “Archer” is your best bet once you’ve painstakingly rejected every single film on Netflix.