Ric’s Netflix Picks: Preparing for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (Pt. 1)

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All of us here at Snippet Studios are very excited for the release of the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy: The Desolation of Smaug. Ever wonder what Martin Freeman worked on before wielding Sting and the One Ring? Find out here! In anticipation of Smaug, Ric’s Netflix Picks shall take a look at the previous works of the key players that are available on Netflix Instant. Part I of our look will cover Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch.

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MARTIN FREEMANBILBO BAGGINS

THE OFFICE (UK)

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You have probably seen The Office.

But have you seen The Office?

In the English town of Slough is a branch of the Wernham Hogg Paper Company, run by David Brent (Ricky Gervais). This comedian wannabe manages his branch with a strange mix of ineptitude and luck. Under his employ are his two best salesmen; the lovable slacker Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman) and the hard-working, oblivious and possibly crazy, Gareth Keenan (Mackenzie Crook). Thrown in the mix is the wide-eyed yet naive receptionist, Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis).

This BBC show, a mockumentary, follows the lives of these characters as they navigate personal and professional waters. The Office is full of dry British humor and will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoyed the first two seasons of the American adaptation (rating: 4.5 out of 5.0). Fans of the later seasons of the American version may find the comedy a bit difficult and perhaps miss the emotional relationships between the characters.

Fans of the The Office (US) should definitely check this one out. If you end up liking the comedic stylings of Ricky Gervais, be sure to check out his new original series, Derek (rating: 4.0 out of 5.0), available ONLY on Netflix Instant.

Rating:

4.2 out of 5

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BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH – SMAUG and THE NECROMANCER

WRECKERS

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Ever get embarrassed when a family member shows your significant other your baby photos?

What if it were something… a lot more serious.

Dawn (Claire Foy) and her husband David (Benedict Cumberbatch) have an ideal life. They live happily in the English countryside, renovating their home and trying to have a child. Things get shaken up when David’s brother Nick (Shaun Evans), on leave from the military, shows up unexpectedly. Dawn finds herself attracted to Nick and, as the two get closer, David’s past begins to surface. Slowly Dawn discovers the uncomfortable truth- that she does not know her husband as well as she thought.

Wreckers is a slow, character-driven tale of relationships and trust. Cumberbatch plays a more subtle character than I am used to seeing him play in Sherlock and it works. You can really feel the quiet frustration he portrays. Foy feels incredibly genuine, and we see the relationship between Nick and David through her unknowing eyes. Evans draws a lot of sympathy from the audience with his realistic mannerisms of a war veteran.

Wreckers is a good movie to watch for a serious night. It is slowly paced and requires focused attention to watch. It is what they call an “actor’s movie.”

Rating:

3.8 out of 5

SHERLOCK

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How well would Sherlock Holmes fare in the modern world?

Let’s ask Steven Moffat.

Residing at 221B Baker St. is the world’s only consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch). Although he is typically antisocial, Sherlock invites war veteran Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) to move in with him. Together, the two solve complex and intriguing cases, all while bickering like an old married couple.

BBC’s Sherlock is one of the best shows to have graced television screens in recent years. Although each season has only three episodes, each episode is about 90 minutes long. The episodes play as a series of connecting movies. Cumberbatch is brilliant in his role, and his relationship with Freeman’s Watson is complex and crisp. The supporting cast of Rupert Graves, Andrew Scott, Una Stubbs, Mark Gatiss and Louise Brealy are sharp and supremely satisfying. The sultry Lara Pulver guest stars in one episode, in an incredibly memorable role.

Anyone who is a fan of Moffat’s work on Doctor Who and Jekyll will absolutely devour this show. It is a 100% definite must watch. Double bonus points for featuring two actors from the upcoming Hobbit sequel.

Rating:

5.0 out of 5

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Stay tuned for a few future articles, including more Ric’s Netflix Picks, leading up to the release of The Desolation of Smaug on December 13, 2013!

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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