We're not messing around for volume 9; we know the weekend only has so many hours and we don't want reading this list to replicate the overlong browse through Netflix.

Sticking to the theme, this week we've got films that get equally straight to the point (actually, bar one that definitely takes its time, and then some, to get going). This weekend's best Netflix films include a seminal '90s indie comedy, one of the most underrated Scorsese films ever, the modern archetypal boxing movie, a hipsters wet-dream, and one of the most defining Hong Kong action movies ever made. What's not to like?


Clerks (1994)

Clerks

Recommended Viewing Time: Friday 9pm
"This job would be great if it wasn't for the fucking customers."

Kevin Smith's rise to indie superstardom couldn't have been more cliché; spurned on to become a director after seeing Richard Linklater's low-key Slacker, Smith rounded up a group of friends and associates, maxed out a bunch of credit cards, sold a particularly extensive comic collection and shot Clerks in his home town on a mere budget of $27,575. It could have been a disaster, but fortunately the film's dry wit, DIY ethos and experimental techniques born from the obvious lack of budget consolidated Smith as the archetypal independent auteur.

And regardless of how the director has fared since, it's obvious why Clerks, even over 20 years later, is still a big deal. There's something about the semi-professional ethos of the whole shoot that makes the film feel so distinct, and seeing actors with barely any experience indulge so passionately in a genuinely great script comes across as so humanly endearing. Clerks' simple plot of working in a dead-end job with no hope of escaping just feels so relatable, and the film's repeated, iconic line of "I wasn't even supposed to be here today" perfectly encapsulates the plight of the bored, vaguely apathetic American slacker of the '90s.

More than that though, Clerks is just a great film - and an exceptionally funny one at that. Impressively, the gags are so low-key and come so often, be it from witty one liners, long monologues or just blink and you'll miss it background visuals, that even on multiple viewings you'll always be catching new details. With its rag-tag group of actors, its opportunistic shooting style and at times clunky editing, Clerks isn't perfect by any means, but these imperfections only serve to give the film a sense of heart that a flawless production could never replicate.


The Aviator (2004)

The Aviator

Recommended Viewing Time: Saturday 7pm
"Sometimes I truly fear that I am losing my mind."

While it's not the most beloved Scorsese flick, the lengthy 2004 Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator, is definitely one of the director's most interesting. Seeped in paranoia, The Aviator tackles the troubled legend's fall into madness in a genuinely unnerving way, aided of course by great performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett. Scorsese is one of the greatest directors around who makes movies about movies, and The Aviator's interrogation into the life of one of cinema's most defining figures only proves why.


The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter

Recommended Viewing Time: Saturday 10pm
"That's the movie you wanted to see? There wasn't even any good sex in it."

Boxing films are just about their own sub-genre at this point, right? While perhaps not always hitting the first page news, boxing movies come out on a regular basis all the time, but sadly never quite change up their formula enough to warrant much recognition. Will the film feature an aspiring fighter, down on his luck who just needs "one more shot"? Almost definitely. Do they live in a run-down part of town, surrounding by either a) an overbearing and fractured family or b) a wacky set of characters? Always. Unfortunately, while The Fighter doesn't move far away from these sub-genre clichés, the performances are so great, characters so interesting and direction so finely-tuned that you won't care. It might not do anything particularly new, but The Fighter perfects everything we've come to expect from gritty boxing dramas.


Detention (2011)

Detention

Recommended Viewing Time: Sunday 8pm
"I've been thinking about stuff. Nudity, mostly."

Where to even start with Detention? A weird, off-beat "horror" film, the 2011 indie cult hit is almost indefinable; a genre-blending, hipster wet dream, the film simply can't be done justice in a hundred word description. Even upon finishing Detention you'll probably still be at a loss as to what the film actually is, but whether or not you come out the other side of the flick loving or hating it (there really is no middle ground), there's no denying that this audacious, obnoxious but wholly ambitious indie thriller doesn't leave a lasting impression.


Hard Boiled (1992)

Hard Boiled

Recommended Viewing Time: Sunday 10pm
"Birthdays aren't important when you don't have a real identity."

While recent action films like John Wick or The Raid re-energised a flagging genre, it was Hard Boiled which set the ground-work for just about every current ultra-violent, over the top crime thriller. John Woo's perfectly paced flick is at times both campy and gritty, with its odd mesh of influences creating an oddly endearing and explosive Hong Kong caper. The best thing about Hard Boiled though, if you haven't already seen it, is the sense of déjà vu you get while watching it, as throughout the movie's never lulling 120 minutes it becomes clear where just about every great contemporary action film pillaged all of their most memorable scenes from.

The 405's Weekend Netflix Guide: Volume 8

I hadn't realised until it hit me this week, but the past few months' biggest films have all been continuations of over twenty year old franchises.


Notable Additions

As chosen by Mike Clark.

Finding Fela (2014, Alex Gibney): Sprawling documentary about the sprawling, controversial life of Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.

The Guest (2014, Adam Wingard): Highly enjoyable '80s-movie pastiche from the director of You're Next (2011), or the one were the Downton Abbey guy became unexpectedly hot.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003, Quentin Tarantino): Speaks for itself, really.

Life After Beth (2014, Jeff Baena): Off-beat zombie comedy starring Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan.

The Lone Ranger (2013, Gore Verbinski): An unfairly slated blockbuster; it's all over the fucking place, but hardly bereft of spectacular moments or charm.

Margin Call (2011, J.C. Chandor): Compelling drama set over a twenty-four hour period at the very beginning of the 2008 financial crisis, starring Kevin Spacey, Paul Pettany and Zachary Quinto.