From pre-war postal acronyms (CHINA: Come Home I’m Naked Already, e.g.) to a desperate Victorian plea (“Think of England”), every generation of bootknockers comes with its own euphemism for getting biblical.
The latest: Netflix and Chill.
But unlike the gambits of previous generations, this booby trap (heh) comes with a red flag: Netflix happens to stream shows and movies so ridiculously gripping that one viewing becomes five, until all parties succumb to exhaustion and the living room sounds like a rest home after lunch.
To the rescue: Netflix and Ignore.
Whether you're watching with ulterior motives or spending some quality you-time cleaning Instagrammatic house, below are ten movies that you can turn on, tune out and still retain enough of the plot to crush a trivia night. For our purposes, these are films you can either stream or rent (yes, some of us still use Netflix’s DVD rental program).
A helpful guide to our ratings: 1 is great for chores, social media browsing, and 2, well, buddy up there, cowboy.
A Hindenburg with the critics, this stripper-fied Horatio Alger tale remains one of MGM’s biggest financial successes … in home video sales. Clunky dialogue, 101 acting and a couple scenes that are really, um, not that bad at all. Rating: Solid 2.
This Is Spinal Tap
Improvised vignette brilliance in Christopher Guest’s cult classic. Drift in and out of flesh tuxedos, celebrity cameos and Mach pieces. Rating: Unless you’re with a fellow Guest-head, 1.
There’s a pool scene. You can get a whole lotta chores done to the rest of this flick, though. Rating: 2. Or 3 …?
Before Michael Bay was blowing up space robots, he was blowing up parts of San Francisco with gruff brogue merchant Sean Connery at the helm. There’s a plot about some stolen w— oh look, another explosion. Rating: Adrenaline up, libido down. 1.
Blatant historical inaccuracies (no kilts, no face paint and William Wallace was stinking rich) aside, you can still hoist a mutual stein to the infantry charges ... or respond to emails with a bagpipe soundtrack. Rating: 1. Unless she’s Scottish.
Sans the trappings of plot, hunky male lead or willowy femme fatale, the sweeping, epic visuals and an iconic score by visionary Philip Glass make this cautionary picturescape about the imbalance of modern life a standout. Rating: 1. Or 2. Or maybe 1 IS 2? Maaaaaaaan (passes joint).
West Side Story
Ok ok, so there’s a plot. But ignore it, and Leonard Bernstein’s emotional score will carry you through the Shakespearian arc. Rating: 2. Unless you prefer singing along.
Mad Max: Fury Road
After the old Max ranted himself onto the Hollywood blacklist, the new Max took the reins, revving his way through a dystopian petroverse. There’s a plot, but there are also spiked cars and guys who spray-paint their mouths silver. Cool. Rating: Same as The Rock. 1.
Two hours of old guys with sartorial flair shooting billiards and slugging (lots of) whiskey makes for a nostalgic backdrop. Minnesota Fats will still be the most dapper baddie you ever rooted for. Rating: For the film buff in your life? 2.
World War Z
There’s a zombie. Wait, now there’s two zombies! Crap, now there’s lots of zombies. But Brad Pitt. World saved. Rating: Depends how into Brad your date is. So, probably 2.