Netflix Match Must Die

This started as a review of Supernova. It may have ended as a rant.

supernova film review posterI try to keep things upbeat on Stranger Views. Apart from the occasional rant about how bad Doctor Who has got under Steven Moffat, I generally only write about books and shows I actually like.

But something happened last night that I just have to vent about. I settled down to watch a film on Netflix when I came across Supernova. A 2000 horror/science fiction film featuring James Spader and Angela Bassett. The cover didn’t fill me with confidence, but I thought I’d give it a go because Netflix said it was a 86% match for my tastes.

I know I’m no-one to criticise the Netflix’s mighty algorithm, but what makes Netflix think that I would like such a pulsating pile of puss? These are the only reasons I can think of that could lead Netflix to make such a slur on my movie tastes.

Netflix thinks I’m a sociopath

Early on in this joke of a film, the captain of the spaceship dies a horrific death during a ‘dimension jump.’ I’d say that was a spoiler. But this film is spoiled by its own existence. How do the rest of his beloved crew react to their captain’s brutal demise? With less empathy than my cats feel for the mice they dismember, that’s how.

Oh, wait, Angela Bassett’s character has zero-G sex with James Spader. Someone she’s shown no prior interest in. And that’s it. The rest barely even notice. Why would Netflix think I was an 86% match for a film that introduces a character, only to kill him off moments later and it to have no discernable effect on anyone or the plot?

The only conclusion I can come to is that somewhere in my viewing habits Netflix has uncovered a personality defect hitherto unknown to me. Namely that I lack empathy and enjoy the pointless suffering of others. Watching Supernova isn’t the way I’d have chosen to find out I’m a monster in human form, but thanks Netflix for letting me know!

Netflix thinks I want to watch soft porn

I think the creators of Supernova thought they were making Event Horizon. Instead, they appear to have made Emmanuelle in Space. Characters have sex with each other at the drop of a hat. Often with no build up or connection between the characters being evident in any way. In fairness to the actors, they clearly felt as nonplussed by this I did as they conveyed nothing but dead-eyed remorse during the sex scenes.

I don’t remember watching any poorly scripted porn on Netflix, or even any films that would come close. But apparently, my viewing history makes me an 86% match for a film that was basically an excuse for a director to see Robin Tunney’s, admittedly attractive, breasts.

It’s like Netflix thinks I’m a pre-internet teenager who’s stayed up late in the vague hope of catching some sideboob in a risque movie on Channel 5.

On the plus side, I did enjoy trying to figure out where I knew Robin Tunney from (Hey Detective Lisbon!)

Netflix thinks that if you watch science fiction – you like any old shit

I watch a lot of science fiction. Some of it pretty low budget. That doesn’t mean that I would like any science fiction film. Surely Netflix can bake some sort of quality metric into their algorithm? Supernova scores 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. To put that in context, Batman Forever scores 40%.

Yep, that’s right, Supernova is four times worse than Batnipples.

Yet somehow, because I liked Europa Report and Turbo Kid, Netflix recommends crap like Supernova. A film so bad I’m pretty sure I saw James Spader’s soul escape through his eyes by the third act.

It’s time for Netflix to bite the bullet and go back to stars. This match system is turning a great service into a digital lucky dip. True, I could just check out each film on Rotten Tomatoes but that’s just way too much effort on a Friday night.

Hope some of you got some enjoyment out of this, or at least more than I did out of watching Supernova.


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