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Film: Netflix Streaming Top 5 Picks - Art Theft

Elizabeth Barragan’s Top 5 Netflix Picks: Art Theft
Thievery in the art world is not uncommon. In 2011 it was at an all time high. It has been the subject of films and on modern day television series like Blue Collar. From a man walking out of a San Francisco gallery with a Picasso under his arm to the looting escapades of the Nazi regime, Art Theft is the inspiration to criminals and my top 5 Netflix Streaming movie picks. 
  • The Barnes Foundation is a private collection valued at $25 Billion, in the documentary The Art of the Steal we uncover the struggle between a new museum in Philadelphia and the longtime students of Albert C Barnes, standing in the way.
  • Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t want any motherf’n snakes on any motherf’n planes or to see this coveted red violin sold to anyone but him at auction in The Red Violin. See a special musical instrument journey through centuries and in the hands of a variety of passionate owners, including Mr. Jackson.
  • What do you get when you pair the quirky Shirley MacLaine and stylish rouge Michael Caine? You get Gambit. A wonderful romp of art burglary, where even the best laid plans are likely to backfire.
  • Speaking of romps, in Topkapi you get the silliest and over acted caper to steal a jeweled dagger from an Istanbul museum. But there is plenty of design eye-candy in this retro affair and some solid acting chops by Peter Ustinov and Robert Morley.
  • From romps and capers to a more serious note of art theft in epic proportions, check out the extraordinary documentary The Rape of Europa. This chilling true tale is the story of Nazi Germany’s plundering of Europe’s great works of art in World War II and the Allied efforts to minimize the devastation. 

Happy Streaming!

Film: Netflix Streaming Top 5 Picks

Elizabeth Barragan’s Top 5 Netflix Picks: The Art of Love
Inspired by the approaching Hallmark Holiday, Valentine’s Day, I’ve selected a range of films that will satisfy the need for romance for any boy or girl. You may think this would be a perfect time to pull out some Jane Austen period piece, but those are good for any day (am I right ladies?) So as is with love, I’ve done the unexpected and left Austen and Shakespeare alone and tried to be more contemporary. I think you will find that romance is here for anyone. 

1. In Wong Kar-wai’s visually stunning and sad part one of a loosely based triologyIn the Mood for Love, we have a tale of two people coming to terms with their cheating spouses, re-creating how the affair began, but themselves vowing never to be like their cheating mates. The backdrop is 1962 in China, and Kar-wai’s rich, velvety settings are moody with style, sound and modern composition. 

2. Jim Carey’s serious side is expertly on display in this unlikely love story, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Its a tale of girl and boy who want to be erased from each other’s minds, only to find each other again. Written by savant Charlie Kaufman and directed by wonderkin Michel Gondry, this scifi romance plays out as a nonlinear story exploring the nature of memory and its grip over romantic love. In addition to Carey, my girl crush Kate Winslet, plays the lead romantic chick, and is beyond brilliant. Cast also includes, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Woods.

3. Let set our sails away from the romantic drama and towards a romantic comedy! Overboard starring Goldie Hawn and her real life lover, Kurt Russell, is an all-time favorite of mine, (as well as my bestie’s Marci Marshall). This 1987 Romcom, loosely based on the 1974 Italian classic, Swept Away, is set in the wilds of Oregon, and throws together a bitchy heiress and a widowed, father of four, country man. Hawn falls off her yacht, gets amnesia, is tricked by Russell into thinking they are married and the sparks fly! It’s directed by Garry Marshall, and surprisingly does not star Julia Roberts or Richard Gere, but rest assured, he keeps to his formula and has you rooting in the end for love!

4. Ahhh, who could turn the sweet Audrey Hepburn from the naive Sabrina to the New York City Call Girl Holly Golightly? Truman Capote, duh! The classic love story of drifters, hustlers and paid lovers, falling in love for love and not the dolla dolla bill y’all is at the core of this classic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I consider this Capote’s true masterpiece, over “In Cold Blood.” You won’t be able to resist seeing Holly, Paul and Cat, finding love in New York City, all to the tune of Henry Mancini’s Moon River. I think the lyrics say it best, “We’re after the same rainbow’s end - waiting round the bend, my huckleberry friend, Moon River and me.”  

5. With classic lines like “no one puts Baby in a corner” and one of the best-selling soundtracks worldwide, Dirty Dancing is an out right CLASSIC! Jennifer Grey plays a young woman, blossoming under the arms of skilled lover and dancer, Patrick Swayze (r.i.p.), during the family vacation. They dance their way out of abortions, infidelity and into L.O.V.E. This coming of age story is scorching with sexual tensions that only white people could find in the wilds of the Poconos. This is an essential tale of young love between two people from different sides of the tracks. (This pick would only be replaced with “Pretty In Pink” if available on streaming.) (Law&Order Bonus - Jerry Orbach plays Baby’s dad! Dun Dun)

L’Amour & Happy Streaming!

Netflix Streaming Top 5 Picks: FASHION

In honor of NYFW and other things we love, I bring you four films and one television series to get you ready for the Catwalk!

1. Madonna, take a bow to the real blonde bombshell, Marilyn Monroe, in the classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Monroe says it best with her number, “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend,” and Jane Russell is no slouch, matching Monroe step-by-step with her Brunette sass and legs that don’t quit. Oh and the fashions!!! This movie will have you dripping with jewels and screaming Cartier!!!

2. What is they say on American Idol - “she’s got the X factor.” Well, Clara Bow created the “X Factor,” way back in 1927 in her movie IT. This silent movie is a real treat and you get to see Bow, the orignal DIY hipster, go from counter girl to an evening at the Ritz with a few snips of her scissors. Before the now popular “The Artist” there were these silent movies, which are a real treat to catch on the streaming.

3. Brutal, sexy and dark, is the best way I can describe the mood, sets and costumes for The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. This 1989, NC-17 “romantic crime drama” stars not just Helen Mirren, but also Jean Paul-Gaultier's magnificent designs. You can truly see him beginning to “Express" himself with his moody and apocalyptic costumes, which were surely used to inform his conical bra for Madonna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.  

4. One of my favorite television series was Ugly Betty, which was an actual adaptation from a Spanish TeleNovela (Thank you Selma Hayek!) This series follows a young hispanic woman from Queens, Betty Suarez, as she begins her dream to be a writer and starts where she least fits in, the world of Fashion! Full of glitz, glam and backstabbing, this colorful sitcom has some great characters and has you rooting for Betty, because in the end, we all have a little hispanic from Queens in all of us! Yay Betty!!!

5. Please, please Mr. Cunningham, will let me hang out with you? After watching the documentary Bill Cunningham New York I was thrilled to know I moved to a city that produced the greatness of Bill Cunningham. He is a gentle soul with the fierce eye. He lives through the eye of his camera lens, which is the most endearing and saddest thing about watching his life unfold in this documentary. You will leave feeling inspired and wanting to dress a bit more dapper before you head out to the streets of New York!

Happy Streaming…You better Work It, CoverGirl!!!

Netflix Streaming Top 5 Picks | Leading Ladies

Happy International Women’s Day! We’ve been celebrating non-stop since the calendar page turned to the fairer month of March, but today’s the official day. We’re dedicating this Netflix Streaming Top 5 to our favorite Leading Ladies— looking for something to watch tonight? Here are the Finch & Ada picks. 

  1. Jennifer Lawrence, who was just awarded the coveted lead role in the much-anticipated movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, stars in the gritty Winter’s Bone as a tough-living Ozark teenager determined to hunt down her meth-dealer father to maintain possession of her family’s home. 
  2. Shirley MacLaine, sister to the legendary Warren Beatty, is a legend in her own right. She dazzles in the Mexican-set Two Mules for Sister Sara, wherein she tricks Clint Eastwood by dressing up as a nun, but she is really a prostitue. Hot Damn - the curses and mules fly!
  3. Turns out you should never try to hamper Kate Winslet's rich fantasy life? At least if you're playing her character's murderous girlfriend's ill-fated parents in the chilling and thrilling Heavenly Creatures. Also— this is based on a true story
  4. Hailee Steinfeld was fairly unknown when she stole the screen as a tough-as-nails daughter out to find her father’s killer in True Grit. Her portrayal of a young heroine in the American west earned Steinfeld an Academy Award nomination for Best Leading Actress! 
  5. They could not have cast a better thin, pale, and ghostly looking leading lady to play a dead woman who doesn’t realize she’s dead! Yes, we’re talking about Nicole Kidman in The Others. Kind of like The Sixth Sense for females. 

Girl, you watch those movies. Happy streaming! 

Mike Shea’s B-Reel | “C.C. and Company”

Mike Shea’s B-Reel is a preview for movies long forgotten in the annals of film, time and perhaps your movie queue. Like Indiana Jones, Shea will explore the film crypt to find hidden gems and discover the good, the bad and the ugly. This week: C.C. and Company.



C.C. and Company is a 1970 Seymour Robbie joint starring football quarterback superstar “Broadway” Joe Namath, Ann Margret, and lots and lots of motorcycles. Joe Namath plays C.C. Ryder, a character who represents the moral compass for a freewheelin’ group of motorcycle thugs who are led by Moon, a mustachioed hippy jerkoff.


1. C.C. Ryder says NO to aggressive Ann Margret groping
2. C.C. Ryder says YES to non-aggressive Ann Margret gawking
3. C.C. Ryder says NO to drugs and women who aren’t Ann Margret
4. C.C. Ryder says YES to stealing motorcycles in order to get Ann Margret’s attention
5. C.C. Ryder says NO to giving Moon all his motorcycle race prize money
6. C.C. Ryder says YES to touching Ann Margret’s bathing suit area
7. C.C. Ryder says NO to kidnapping Ann Margret
8. C.C. Ryder says YES to motorcycle racing for Ann Margret’s freedom


This movie’s pretty low on quotable dialogue, but the C.C. Ryder theme song is pretty great and Old Crow Medicine Show does a cover of it here


The first scene in the film shows Joe Namath walking around a grocery store and assembling a bologna sandwich from packaged foods located around the store. This is a perfect introduction to C.C. Ryder: a man who is cool and carefree enough to casually shoplift, but not so reckless that he needs to raid the register or punch out the manager or anything. I have a difficult time imagining Vin Diesel performing such a subtle act of rebellion.


Dear Contemporary Hollywood, 

It has come to my attention that there is one significant ingredient missing from all of your movies, and that ingredient is Superstar Quarterbacks. I mean come on: they’re handsome, they’re athletic, they have a built-in fanbase, and they’re guaranteed to be better actors than Steven Segal. Joe Namath doesn’t seem to have any idea how he got on set in C.C. and Company but he’s down to just ride it out and see what happens. I for one was on board for that ride, and without Joe Namath this film would’ve been just another Hippies on Hogs Fest (HHF).

Anyway here, I’ll do the hard work for you (you’re welcome) brainstorming possible new films:

The Exorcist IV - starring Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow stars as Father N’eauble Goodington, the whip-smart leader of a crack- team of globe-trotting exorcism specialists. While on a mission investigating the spiritual possession of a Qatari Prince’s first-born son, he and his team accidentally unlock an ancient Sumerian spirit tomb and Father N’eauble is forced to make a choice between faith and vengeance. Directed by Michael Bay. 

Escape Goat - starring Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning stars as Jack Jack, a disgraced ex-cop living in seclusion and trying to cope with his inner demons. When his estranged famous brother gets kidnapped, Jack Jack is pulled out of retirement and into a world of danger, intrigue, and second chances. Directed by Robert Rodriguez. 

Techno Prisoners - starring Tom Brady

Tom Brady stars as 0m1cr0nW0n, Earth’s most notorious computer hacker on the run from the law in the dystopian city-state New Bai. Framed for the online murder of his best friend and mentor’s MMORPG character, 0m1cr0nW0n is torn between two worlds and starts to lose track of what life really is. Directed by Keanu Reeves. 

Just remember to thank me at the Oscars.

Mike Shea


As Art: C-
As Entertainment: B

(See also: CC & Co.) 

(Mike Shea is a freelance graphic designer/illustrator/cool guy living in Brooklyn with two cats and an esteemed lady-friend. He earned his BFA at Maryland Institute College of Art and is available for hire, but only if you want a really great end-product.)