Now on Netflix Instant: Fellowship of the Ring, 5th Element, More
by Ethan Anderton
November 27, 2010
Since the news has been slow this past week and everyone is still on Thanksgiving vacation, we thought now might be the best time to pick out some new Netflix Instant titles for you to sink your teeth into along with some delicious turkey (leftovers). There haven't been a ton of new updates, but it seems like we have at least one pick for everyone's own tastes. There's a Best Foreign Film nominee, a sci-fi action favorite, a Sundance indie, and a feature length behind-the-scenes doc, plus even a holiday comedy. In addition, I've tossed in a few recent favorites to keep you and yours busy over the holiday weekend. So what's in our queue this week?
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Available Now):
You can't go wrong with the first installment of Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Begin your journey to Mordor again a Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) journeys across Middle Earth in a valiant and courageous attempt to destroy the Ring of Power and keep Sauron from returning. But Frodo isn't alone as he has the sword of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) the bow of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and the axe of Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and the help of his bumbling trio of Hobbit friends to complete his daunting task.
The White Ribbon (Available Now):
Nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards and the winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film earlier this year, this German period drama comes from Funny Games director Michael Haneke. Shot in good ole black and white, follows a rural school in northern Germany in 1913, where a form of ritual punishment has major consequences for students and faculty.The practice itself may even have bigger repercussions on the German school system and perhaps the growth of fascism.
Fierce Creatures (Available Now):
A majority of the cast from the hilarious comedy A Fish Called Wanda has a reunion of sorts in this animalistic comedy. A failing zoo just acquired by a tough executive called McCain (Kevin Kline) sends in his manager Rollo (John Cleese) to save it. In order to amp up attendance, the zoo will only feature "fierce creatures" leaving zookeeper Bugsy (Monty Python's Michael Palin) to figure out a way to save the undesirable animals. Meanwhile, recently promoted executive Jamie Lee Curtis has to decide who's side she's on while fending off the sleazy antics of McCain's son Vince (also play by Kline).
The Fifth Element (Available Now):
Truly a fantastic and action-packed piece of science fiction, Luc Besson hits all the right chords as Bruce Willis tries to save the world. It's the 23rd century in NYC where retired military officer turned cab driver, Korben Dallas (Willis), finds himself in a position to protect The Fifth Element (Milla Jovovich), a perfect human being who is the last hope for Earth's survival amidst an impending strike from a strange alien presence. Helping this doomsday race is crazed corporate executive Zorg played brilliant by Gary Oldman.
John Q (Available Now):
If you still don't want to head out to the theater to see Denzel Washington try to stop a runaway train, then maybe you'd like to see him hold a hospital hostage until his son gets a much needed heart transplant not covered by his insurance provider. Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook) directs this melodramatic thriller of sorts which sees Ray Liotta as an all-too-eager police officer and hostage negotiator Robert Duvall trying to keep everyone calm and make sure no one dies which may or may not include Washington's ill son.
Trapped in Paradise (Available Now):
Though Nicolas Cage has been all about fighting the devil lately (see Drive Angry 3D and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) he once teamed up with "Saturday Night Live" alums Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz for this holiday comedy. When criminal brother David (Lovitz) and Alvin (Carvey) are broken out of prison and get back together with their brother Bill, the bumbling trio doesn't waste anytime getting back to crime as they attempt to rob a bank in a small town called Paradise. But what they didn't count on is being stuck in the weather struck town after committing their crime.
Holy Rollers (Available Now):
After making its premiere at Sundance back in January, this little indie from Kevin Asch is now available on Netflix Instant. The Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg stars as Sam Gold, a young Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn who breaks with Orthodox tradition when he becomes an intercontinental Ecstasy smuggler for an Israeli drug cartel. Justin Bartha (The Hangover) also stars in this blend of comedy, drama and crime. If it helps sweeten the deal, this film is apparently inspired by a true story.
Inferno: The Making of The Expendables (Available Now):
Until now I had never heard of this documentary, but this feature length film follows Sylvester Stallone as he juggles the hats of a writer, director, producer and star of the intense action ensemble flick The Expendables. This is a making-of featurette to the max with full access to Stallone throughout the making of this blockbuster complete with candid revelations about the price, both mental and physical, of being a film action hero along with the fragility of stardom, and the tenacity of one of Hollywood's biggest stars.
Recent Favorites (All Available Now): Pixar's Up, Monsters Inc, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Zombieland, Iron Man, Paranormal Activity, The Crazies, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, District 9, Julie and Julia, The Big Lebowski and The Iron Giant.
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?