Netflix: Everybody’s Favorite – Sometimes

Netflix is great. The films you want when you want. What is not to like? Except that all too often Netflix does not have the film you want. Research published last year showed that only 16 per cent of the most popular films are actually available on the service. That is something not to like. And that inevitably begs the question, just what are the films we cannot get? Funnily enough, that is not something that Netflix keep a list of. As a rule, the more recent a release, the more likely it is to be on the list. But if you go looking for anything older, the chances are that you are going to be flicking through the channels rather than settling down with what you actually wanted. For example, we set it a simple test. We went looking for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho. And here is what we found: Psycho II. That is the 1983 revisit. There is no mention of the 1960 original.

Then, because we were getting vexed, we set it another test: Casino Royale. Guess what? We got jack. Actually, what we got was Casino Jack. That is a run-of-the-mill Kevin Spacey vehicle from 2010. No Sean Connery, no Daniel Craig and not as much as a whiff of Bond…. James Bond. And no sign of Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci in the timeless Casino either. We lucked out. It was at this point that we had to resist the urge to give up and go to for a real casino. At least that way we could be guaranteed to find what we were looking for.

But we are nothing if not thorough, so we stuck to the task. One Million Years BC is surely a film with something for everyone. Nope, not on Netflix. Maybe a million was always going to be too far back in time for Netflix to have tracked back.

When it comes to the list of Netflix premieres we are looking forward to, the list could be one heck of a long one.

So, it seems Netflix have some catching up to do. But let us be charitable here. Nobody said they had to offer up every single film that had ever been made. But, for serious film fans, that limited selection is an undeniable disappointment.

On the plus side, the announcement for additions to the list this February are encouraging. Robocop and MASH are two highlights for retro fans. You can choose your own, of course, which is the real beauty of Netflix.

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