Archives for posts with tag: Netflix

When I was growing up I was amazed at the interest my cousin had in animals. He spent most of his spare time reading about them, and he’s still the same. I didn’t have much of an interest. We didn’t have pets growing up – with the exception of a pup for three weeks! (He nipped a neighbour and was sent to a great big park somewhere!?) So, animals and pets are a new concept to me.

Now I see my children showing an interest in animals that helps me learn more about them as well. We have hens, a goldfish and a cat. Their numbers fluctuate over the years – the hens are fairly constant, the goldfish started with one, then two, then back to one. The cat likes travelling so he is like a teenager in the family – you see him when you see him. Oh, and we used to have a hamster or some small furry animal thing. It was more of a nocturnal creature so we rarely saw it during the day. I suppose it was also like a teenager.

Anyway, thankfully the interest we have in animals is easily fed when you look online. We have a few animal books in the house, but everyone has to agree the attraction of moving pictures is often more appealing to children (and some adults). Our main source of tv programming is through Netflix, so over the years my daughter has moved through the various age appropriate animated shows. There is a wide collection of shows that use animals or anthropomorphic characters telling a tale or sharing information. It’s a great source of learning.

Television shows are very informative nowadays, and many do a great job in making it entertaining and appealing to children and adults. While growing up, I learnt a lot from watching tv, and complimented this with reading; so I’m not the kind of parent that thinks tv is bad. Therefore, watching a selection of shows is a tool for learning used in this house.

I’m not a fan of Peppa Pig (earlier shows are very sexist), but the kids love it. However, the selection of other shows on Netflix is a great distraction. I’ve enjoyed, and continue to watch with my youngest, the talented works of Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear, Clifford the Dog, and more recently Wild Kratts. The latter is great and the information on animals is fascinating. Other shows that are watched here are Bubble Guppies (which has a great ‘rap’ for going outside) Animal Mechanicals (pre-engineering course), Busytown Mysteries (problem solving), and then for entertainment (very important part of all ages of growing up) we have watched Babar, Snow Dogs, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and Open Season.

It’s great to have days outdoors, with (possible) sunshine, nature and fresh air. But if you happen to have a day indoors, I’d definitely recommend watching some of these shows with your child. You can switch off from adulthood and learn or be entertained with your child. Enjoy!

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Note: this post is part of the Netflix Stream Team promotion. As usual, all words and thoughts are my own.

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Of all the Oscar nominated movies this year, many parents will probably only recognise the award winning feature ‘Frozen‘. It’s a typical Disney style movie: amazing animation, love themed storyline (this time with a twist), and lots of singing! A bit too much of the latter for me, but my body-building brother impersonates it so well that I’ve fond memories of the musical theme now. Well done Disney!

Thankfully, I’m lucky to have a mother-in-law that is happy to babysit for us, so I often get to the cinema, and therefore I’ve seen a few of the movies from this year’s Oscar nomination list. The Best Picture winner ’12 Years a Slave’ was an amazing film and definitely deserves to be on the list. It’s an amazing depiction of an enslaved freeman on the northern States; I felt nauseous throughout most of it – watching a brutal slavery period of the United States is not ‘entertaining’ . Watching it play out in such a realistic manner was hard to stomach at times.

On a lighter note, the movie Gravity was equally amazing – it’s so quiet in its delivery – with a bit of action as well. Brilliant performances by the small cast, and I really appreciated the 91 minutes they used to tell the story. If it had been longer I would have felt they were dragging the story out to keep up with the expected 120 minutes of movies today.

The Great Gatsby was another Oscar movie I was lucky to see. I’m a big fan of Baz Luhrman films (not his Chanel advert!) so I’m probably a bit biased in my review. Brilliant portrayal of the book, really enjoyed watching the film – Leonardo Di Caprio is a great Gatsby (sorry!) but casting Toby Maguire was a bit distracting. He did well in the movie, but I would have preferred to watch a lesser known actor in the part so that Gatsby (DiCaprio) was more of a ‘celebrity’ next door.

I hope to see a few more movies from the winners and nominations of the Oscars. I might have to wait for my babysitter, or a quiet night for renting a DVD, or for it to play on Netflix.

We have lived without a tv for many years so when Netflix came to Ireland I was intrigued and loved the first month free option. I was hooked within a week. There is so much online that I had endless hours of entertainment. I will admit that the attraction was enhanced by the fact that I haven’t seen or heard of many of the programs listed, so it’s a novelty for me to see so much at once. The option to watch a whole series back to back is simply amazing. Breaking Bad and the popularity of the Netflix series ‘House of Cards‘ demonstrates how many people appreciate that option.

Thankfully, there are many movies also available with this subscription, so I’ve managed to catch up with some previous Oscar winning films as well. The Iron Lady, The Help, Capote, The Usual Suspects, Fargo, The Aviator, are all available on Netflix – and can be watched on a tv, smartphone or tablet. It’s great! They’re also showing The Square, a documentary based around the Egyptian Revolution and tells the story of the power of citizenship. I’ve watched some of these movies while sitting in the car waiting for the rest of the family at various events. I reckon I will get to watch a whole lot more in the weeks ahead. With the current weather conditions, view on demand, any kind of device, huge selection of programming and movies, you couldn’t be bored! Just remember to share the popcorn. πŸ™‚

Please Note: I did plan to write about the flexibility of programming Netflix offers to parents, so this post is still very much my own opinion. However, to be totally honest with my readers, I have to mention that I recently received an annual subscription to Netflix in return for mentioning some of their updates and offers. This is one of them – but without a doubt, Netflix have loads of movies for you to watch – some are Oscar winners.

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Pics courtesy of IMdb.com

The last few weeks have been an effort for me. In the midst of trying to get stuff done there were a few factors that slowed me down or distracted me altogether. Some of these were not preventable – such as me or the kids being ill. However, some distractions were self inflicted.

In my college days I used to clean the house, or rearrange furniture to avoid sitting down to study for exams or write a thesis. I’m still taking this approach today – in the guise of creating a more functioning family and the attempt to put a better design into our home – I avoid some more essential tasks – clearing out the garage for maintenance works, rebuilding a website, moving email accounts… These tasks are not too appealing, so I seek distraction.

So, low and behold, a knight in shining armour appears a few weeks ago in the form of an Xtravision Summer Madness deal! For the small price of €20 I had the ability to take any two DVDs out each night for one month – that’s 60 DVDs!! That is one great distraction πŸ™‚

So, for a man starved of cinema trips over the last few years, also without a television for many years – this was a bargain! I can catch up on so many worthwhile movies! So I sat and caught up with some ‘blockbusters’ I was hoping to see. I have to admit the majority were not as good as I hoped, so I was glad to have avoided the €8 cinema charge for many of them.

My list of movies, in no particular order, with a short review from me:

Identity Thief : simple comedy, a few laughs, Jason Bateman shows usual facial expressions

A Good Day to Die Hard : If I was twenty years younger…this may have been better!?

The Hardy Bucks : homegrown comedy I hoped would be good. Twenty years younger…

The Impossible : enjoyed it because it made me grateful for what I have!

Flight : thought this was a media turns in hero, rather than the usual alcoholic recovery effort

Silver Linings Playbook : brilliant! Great cast, great story, simple and entertaining

Five Year Engagement : felt like I was there with them for the whole five years!! 😦 terrible

I Give it a Year : who thought it could get worse? (see above) how do they get the money?

Arbitrage : simple thriller story but effective in entertainment. Worth watching

Life of Pi : loved the imagery; knowing the end took away some magic. I enjoyed the book more

Good Vibrations : great surprise. Knew nothing about it before. Great music, inspirational

Perks of Being a Wallflower : coming of age story (thankfully no vampires needed) Brilliant!!

End of Watch : not just a shoot out between LA cops and gangs, there’s also a love story

Killing Them Softly : cool hitman safes the day. American attempt at cool. French do it better

I’m not going to link each movie, but will recommend the imdb website for trailers or info on each of them. I’ve another week left on the deal and hope to improve the stats on the movies worth watching. I also have to admit that my distraction from my distraction is Netflix, and a brilliant program there is ‘The Killing‘ (US version), and for nostalgia I’ve watched a few ‘Quantum Leap‘ episodes – still brilliant.

Anyway, better get back to my distractions. If you have any good recommendations for movies, please let me know – or maybe drop me a line to tell me if I ‘misunderstood’ some of those listed above.

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