Netflix Review: The Numbers Station

I haven't been doing much writing lately since I'm limited to the time I can spend on the computer thanks to the pinched nerve in my right shoulder. Instead, I've been watching way too much Netflix and Amazon Prime Streaming.

I really love that Amazon Prime offers so much more than just free shipping--which I take advantage of every chance I get. Here's a link if you'd like to Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies & TV Shows Anytime - Start Free Trial Now.

Currently, Amazon Prime Streaming has much better programming than their competitors. If you haven't tried Orphan Black yet, do yourself a favor and watch it. It's simply stunning. Also watch Sherlock. the BBC production. As for me, I'm working my way through the entire 10 seasons of SyFy's Stargate SG1 series. I'm up to Season 6 so far.

Sample Movies

On Netflix, I've got where I "sample" movies much as one samples a preview of a book on Kindle. Five minutes of watching a movie that sounds interesting is usually enough to tell whether your time would be well spent watching the whole thing.

Either I've watched everything worth watching on Netflix, or their programming just isn't up to par. They have an awful lot of obscure indie films, super low budget flicks that look as if they were filmed in someone's garage, and a massive amount of K-Pop, Japanese mange, etc. (If you don't know, K-Pop is Korean movies etc.)

When I actually find something like The Numbers Station on Netflix, it's worth a review. (The Amazon link for video streaming or DVD, etc. is for those who might want to see it, but don't have a Netflix account.)

What Is A Numbers Station

A numbers station is a type of shortwave radio station characterized by unusual broadcasts that read out lists of numbers or other incomprehensible morse code messages. The voices are often created by speech synthesis and transmitted in a wide variety of languages, but the voices are predominantly female.

The numbers stations first appeared shortly after World War II and were imitating a format that had been used to send weather data during that war. It is widely assumed that these broadcasts transmit covert messages to spies, but this is not officially acknowledged by any government.

Blurbing The Numbers Station

The Numbers Station, a 2013 British-American action thriller, stars John Cusack as Emerson Kent, a burned-out CIA black ops agent--a former wet works specialist--assigned to protect Katherine, played by Malin Åkerman, the code operator at a secret American numbers station located in the British countryside.

Liam Cunningham portrays the menacing Michael Grey, Emerson's cold-hearted, conscienceless boss.

My Opinion

The reviews were ho-hum for this film, but I found it quite intriguing with solid performances all around. It's a "thinking" film that one must pay attention to in order to catch the subtle clues as to what's happening and why. I find films like this don't do well in the mainstream. No big explosions, special effects, or over-the-top heroics. Just a man haunted by his past who doesn't know he's seeking redemption until he's faced with an opportunity that offers exactly that.

A lot of Mr. Cusack's films are like this. Subtle, intelligent, and respectful of the audience to connect the dots. I think the hitman topic is one that fascinates Mr. Cusack. His first entry into this genre was the droll and sly Grosse Pointe Blank, one of my favorite films. The Numbers Stations is much darker but just as excellent in its own way.

Takeaway Truth

An evening's movie entertainment is just a click away with video streaming.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with your review. This film really impressed me and got under my skin. They really seemed to me like an actual people and it felt very realistic. I see it as AU Martin Blank if he never left the CIA, among other things. Excellent work all around. One of my favourite films now.