Needles in a haystack: the hidden treasures of Netflix

If one does just a little bit of searching, one may find some gems amid the vast streaming storehouse of Netflix.

Netflix contains thousands upon thousands of instantly streamed movies and television shows, most of which – in my opinion – fall into one of two categories: videos everyone has seen too many times to count or the absolute scum of the movie and television industry. However, after weeding through such cinematic masterpieces as “Fast Zombies,”Oggy and the Cockroaches” or “Nude Nuns with Big Guns,” there are indeed some glimmering needles hidden within the proverbial Netflix haystack.

1.) “iSteve”

This raunchy parody of the “Jobs” biopic may not be the most accurate depiction of the legendary Apple CEO’s life, but the film’s clever humor more than makes up for its innumerable biographical errors.

“iSteve” takes the audience on a hilariously exaggerated journey through Steve Jobs’ turbulent existence and presents its version of how his famous company got its start. It pokes fun at the relationship of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple’s famously overlooked co-founder. It also includes hyperbolic ridiculousness and forges a completely fictional situation between Jobs and Microsoft founder Bill Gates where, according to “iSteve,” Gates gifted Jobs his trademark black turtleneck on his 30th birthday. The film follows Jobs from his quest for enlightenment, in the form of LSD, to the invention of the Apple I computer, all the way to the creation of the iPad and his eventual death. This movie is geared toward the technically inclined and those who have seen “Jobs.” However, the witty humor will have everyone laughing.

2.) “Luther”

The traditional cop show model is old, worn out and overdone. A crime is committed, the police track down the criminal, they are arrested, everyone lives happily ever after and that’s it. The showLuther” aims to change that. This BBC crime drama pulls together intense emotional suspense spanning multiple episodes and complex overlapping plot lines to create a new type of cop show, one where the good guy doesn’t always win.

The audience follows the life of John Luther, a detective for the London Police Department who has serious personal issues. He struggles to win back his wife Zoe, who has left him for another man, while he simultaneously deals with blackmail by a sociopathic murderer, all while working at a job that has consumed his life and in itself causes daily emotional challenges.

Those who enjoy shows like “Breaking Bad” will be quick to latch on to this British crime drama and its perpetually mysterious and solemn mood. Though one of the darkest shows on Netflix, the constant twists and turns in “Luther” never fail to entertain.

3.) “Restrepo”

Filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington follow the men of the Army’s second platoon battle company into the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan, one of the most dangerous deployments in the United States military.

The film, named for a soldier who died early in the campaign, journalistically and elegantly captures the hardships dealt with by the men during their 15-month deployment. It avoids the discussion of the politics behind the controversial war on terrorism, which ensures no awkward political debates will ensue. Along the same lines as films like “The Hurt Locker” or “Saving Private Ryan,” Restrepo shows uncensored military violence, which at times may be a little much for some viewers.