Picture this, it’s 10pm, late enough that you could go to bed but not late enough that you can’t start a movie. You check your Letterboxd watchlist which you started in an attempt to avoid doing what you know you’re about to do anyways. Everything on the list is something you know you should/want to watch at some point, but the timing doesn’t feel right. You open your TV streaming app of choice, choose the broadest sorting method available (I like ‘HBO - all movies - alphabetical’), and begin scrolling.
If you’re like me, this scrolling can be endless. You feel like you‘re on an archeological dig for the perfect film from the past that, for whatever reason, you never watched - a film that was written for you, but has not been pinged by the algorithm yet. You don’t trust the algorithm. In fact, you subconsciously place all of your trust in the creative agencies who designed the movie poster thumbnails you’re flipping through at light speed, hoping one will catch your eye.
Unfortunately for me, the poster aesthetic and color palette that catches my eye is similar to the header image for this article. Unfortunate because bold, illustrated, highly saturated design can signal an incredibly well executed movie with a similar cinematic palette (“The Neon Demon”, “Assassination Nation“, “Blade Runner 2049”, “Scott Pilgrim vs The World” to name a few favorites), but more likely it’s a false advertisement, meant to intrigue fans of the types of films I just listed. It’s much easier to rip off someone else’s successful marketing than it is to execute a full length film that delivers on the expectation your poster created.
I didn’t, however, come here to write a thesis on movie posters. I came here to break down a few categories of film that I love and have been returning to while there’s more time than ever to watch fun movies. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I feel like I should say the movies and categories here purposefully do not focus on capital “F” “Film”. Sometimes you just want to watch something that takes you on a ride. It’s important to watch those seminal films that inspired and shaped pop culture (and there are a few here), but maybe today is not that day. Without further ado, here are some categories I wish my Netflix algorithm would start curating for me.
Androids, They’re Just Like Us
Blade Runner 2049
The Stepford Wives (2004)
Someone’s Getting Sacrificed, Bitch
The Neon Demon
Cabin In The Woods
Ready or Not
The Witches of Eastwick
My Dad Found It On TV So I Made Us Popcorn
Alien vs. Predator
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Anaconda: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Mr. And Mrs. Smith
Sexy '60s & '70s Retold
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood...
Movies That Feel Like a Comic Book
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Mad Max: Fury Road