Now on Netflix Instant: Alice in Wonderland, The Sting & Casino
by Ethan Anderton
November 20, 2010
It's been months since our last update regarding the growing library of titles available on Netflix Instant, and for that we are dreadfully sorry. But we're back with a vengeance and a slightly different format. Before we used to highlight the forthcoming titles heading to Netflix Instant over the next week, but to make things easier, we're going to take a look back at the previous week (or some golden oldies) and let you know what's available to start watching immediately. This way you're not overflowing with eager anticipation, and we can make sure our fresh picks are available before we tell you about them. So what's in our queue this week?
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Available Now):
One of Steven Spielberg's finest films takes to the Midwest where Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) finds his life falling apart as his mind is filled with fascination, curiosity and maybe something more after a close encounter with beings from another planet. As Neary and another Midwest woman whose son was abducted seek out the truth behind these encounters they get caught up in a cross country journey that will take them to the Earth's first mass contact with aliens. Even famed French director Francois Truffaut makes an appearance.
Casino (Available Now):
Another great film, from another fantastic filmmaker comes along with Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Nicholas Pileggi's book about love, marriage, adultery, murder, revenge, the Mafia's loss of their stronghold on the casino business in Las Vegas. Set in the 70's and 80's the story brings Scorsese's usual suspects Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci back into the world of underground crime along with supporting cast members like Sharon Stone and Kevin Pollak. A must-see for Scorsese enthusiasts.
The Sting (Available Now):
Sure you've seen Danny Ocean and his ragtag team of thieves take down a casino, but before George Clooney and Brad Pitt held up the Bellagio, Robert Redford and the late Paul Newman hit the racetrack for a scam that took home Best Picture. After rookie grifter Johnny Hooker (Redford) tracks down veteran flim-flam man Henry Gondorff (Newman) in 1930s Chicago, the duo plans to fleece a homicidal racketeer (Robert Shaw) through a phony racetrack scam involving a string of double and triple crosses.
Alice in Wonderland (Available Now):
This all-new epic take on Lewis Caroll's classic characters comes from Tim Burton who unsurprisingly brings his favorite actor Johnny Depp onboard for the craziest tea party you've ever seen. This time Mia Wasikowska is the one who goes down the rabbit hole and finds Wonderland (or Underland) in darkness where she must do battle with the crazy Red Queen and the monstrous Jabberwocky if the fantasy land will ever be the same again. It's not perfect, but it certainly has its moments.
Annie Hall (Available Now):
The film that beat out Star Wars for Best Picture in 1977 has to be pretty damn good right? Well, luckily Woody Allen's classic romantic comedy delivers as one of the best and most innovative films in the genre. Groundbreaking and hilarious, Allen's self-deprecating humor and semi-autobiographical main character Alvy Singer's romance with struggling singer Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) makes this the epitome of romantic comedy. Keep an eye out for a small appearance from the one and only Christopher Walken.
Batman (1989) (Available Now):
Sure fanboys are filling their pants with the thought of The Dark Knight Rises, but Tim Burton's take on Batman was pretty decent in its own right back in 1989. Jack Nicholson gave Heath Ledger something to shoot for in his portrayal of the iconic villain The Joker, and Michael Keaton blew everyone away as a pretty damn good Batman. It's a little hard to endure Bat Dance and a soundtrack that features a little too much Prince, but this was one of the first well-crafted superhero flicks of its time and paved the way for the onslaught of comic book heroes today.
The Good, The Bad, The Weird (Available Now):
Sergio Leone never got this crazy, but the western genre should be lucky to have this wacky action-packed South Korean box of amazing. On a train crossing the Manchurian desert, an unlikely trio -- good bounty hunter Park Do-won (Woo-sung Jung), bad gangster Park Chang-yi (Byung-hun Lee) and weird train robber Yoon Tae-goo (Kang-ho Song) -- unite to find a treasure map's promised loot. Racing through the unforgiving landscape, they stay one step ahead of rivals and the Japanese army. Just watch and you won't be disappointed.
Metropolis Restored (Available Now):
Before this restored version of the 1927 classic even hits Blu-Ray (it's already on DVD) this complete restoration of Fritz Lang's masterpiece is available to stream in HD complete with the original score and 25 minutes of additional restored footage. In the year 2026, when the populace is divided between workers who must live underground and the wealthy, who enjoy a futuristic city of splendor, a man from the upper class abandons his privileged life to join oppressed workers in a revolt. A must-see for any film buff.
The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (Available Now):
Why not gross yourself out with this stomach-churning horror flick from 2009 directed by madman Tom Six. Three Americans find their car breaking down in Germany to be the worst experience of their lives as that misfortune is apparently a demented doctor's wet dream as he uses them to create a human centipede by surgically connecting them mouth-to-anus. Controversial and disgusting, this film is not for the faint of heart or those with a weak stomach. It is however, a lovely family film (no it's not).
That's all for this week's installment of new Netflix Instant titles and other free movies to check out online. And remember, if you ever want to look back at titles already released, look forward to movies on the way, or check out the entire library of Netflix Instant titles, you can head over to InstantWatcher (in my opinion the most complete listing of Netflix's instant titles, updated daily) or also FeedFliks, whose hawk-eyes are on the lookout for future streaming release dates. And of course we'll also be back next week with the latest line-up of new Netflix titles. Now go watch some movies! Are you satisfied with this week's new selection?