As college students, every $5 Tuesday at the theater cannot be taken advantage of. Whether you’re finding yourself at the bottom of a schoolwork avalanche or simply have prior commitments, making it to the cinema can be difficult at times. Luckily for us, there are plenty of alternatives. Netflix has been on a roll as of late, making many notable additions to their vast vault of options, and I’ve also been enjoying some movies from the past that have rekindled old fanhood flames. So, if you’re disappointed that you can’t get to a theater on one or many busy Tuesday nights, here are some alternatives that can fill the void.
American Horror Story (Netflix, two seasons)
Recently finishing its third season on-air following a coven of witches, this haunting series divides each season into its very own horror story. The first season follows the Harmon family as they move across the country to escape events that have gradually torn them apart, only to find out that they now own the infamous “murder house” that an old Hollywood doctor used to own for his immoral practices. Each season has no link to the next, so each season is essentially its very own “horror story.”
Having just finished the second season days ago, it fell short of what the first season did. Much less tense and suspenseful, it tackles much more mental aspects, but can come across as corny on more than one occasion. What keeps a good amount of interest, however, is that the main actors all stay the same, but play completely different characters in each season. For example, Dylan McDermott plays two very different characters. In season one he is the impulsive, cheating husband who struggles to keep the family together even as it falls apart in front of him due to the horrors within the house. In season two he is a young man whose father was a murderer that raped a young woman who then tried to abort him, but he lived.
Season one was fantastic, season two was just above mediocre, and I’ve heard great things about the third, which will no doubt be added as soon as Netflix can get it. The cast works very well together and includes McDermott, Jessica Lange, Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, Zachary Quinto, Connie Britton, James Cromwell and Sarah Paulson.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Back in November, I reviewed The Counselor, a dialogue heavy crime film written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy. Although that film was far less enthralling, this is one of his best works. Based on his novel of the same name, McCarthy’s story of a hunter finding the scene of a botched drug deal in the desert and walking away with $2 million in cash is brought to life by the Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel. Filled to the brim with mayhem, violence, action and McCarthy’s forte, rich dialogue, this thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat guessing until the final shotgun shell hits the ground.
The cast compliments the quality of the content superbly, with the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly MacDonald, and the ghostly Javier Bardem who plays the bloodthirsty, money-hungry assassin Anton Chigurh. This film has won 114 awards, including Best Picture, Best Directing, and Best Adapted Screenplay for the Coen brothers’ admirable job in converting this novel to silver-screen. Javier Bardem’s memorable performance also won him Best Supporting Actor, and the all-around triumph currently sits at rank 170 on IMDb’s Top 250.
Dexter (Netflix, eight seasons)
Amazing shows come and go as all good things must come to an end. When Breaking Bad came to its conclusion it became difficult to find a show that grabbed me with both hands. On October 31, Netflix smiled on me by adding the first four seasons of Dexter, later adding the remaining four in January to complete the set. For those unfamiliar, Dexter is a blood spatter analyst for Miami Metro PD, but has a secret beyond anyone’s knowledge; he’s a serial killer. This isn’t your cut-and-dry serial killer, though. In order to channel his impulses as a killer that stem from a tragedy he experienced as a child, Dexter only kills serial killers. Keeping the streets safe is easy, but not being discovered for what he is, that’s where the hardships reside.
I’m currently halfway through the final season and this has definitely been one of the top five shows I’ve watched. I’ve heard from a slew of friends and family that the end is extremely disappointing, but most shows have to be left up to personal taste. The character development is matched by very few other shows and each season takes you on a ride even deeper into Dexter’s dark mind. Michael C. Hall portrays the devilishly charming Dexter, and is accompanied by a group of somewhat unknown, yet outstanding actors such as Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, James Remar, C.S. Lee, Desmond Harrington, Lauren Velez and Julie Benz. The special guests are through the roof, as you’ll see familiar faces like John Lithgow, Mos Def, Ray Stevenson, Keith Carradine, Julia Stiles, Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks.
Now you don’t have to be so down about not being able to utilize that holy $5 on Tuesday nights. The life of a college student is tiresome, eventful and unpredictable, so don’t consider it a sin to want to stay in and lay off going to the movies for one night – you’ll have plenty of chances.
Hopefully you find these suggestions helpful next time you think you’ve exhausted all options.