Now on Netflix Instant: The Shining, Centurion, Rain Man & More
by Ethan Anderton
December 9, 2010
While it's most certainly the time for snow and shopping, this winter weather and busy season for the stores is reason enough to stay home and enjoy some movies curled up on the couch next to a roaring fire. That's why we're back with yet another batch of new titles that recently hit Netflix Instant. Remember, we're not looking forward to titles down the road anymore, but just letting you know what recently became available so you can watch right away. This way you're not stuck waiting for a film to arrive along with your Christmas presents. This week's latest new additions have something for everyone - so what's in our queue this week?
Cronos (Available Now):
This directorial debut from fan favorite filmmaker Guillermo del Toro just hit the Criterion Collection and Blu-Ray for the first time since its release and now it's available on Netflix Instant. After an ancient device attaches itself to his body, aging antiques dealer Jesus (Federico Luppi) struggles to cope with an insatiable thirst for human blood, a menacing brute (Ron Perlman) dead set on retrieving the mechanism and the gradual realization that he cannot die.
Rocky (Available Now):
The first movie in this iconic boxing series has been on Netflix Instant for sometime, but we're highlighting it again, because almost every film in the series (with the exception of Rocky Balboa) is once again available for streaming. So if you're looking to treat yourself to a marathon of Sylvester Stallone throwing down fisticuffs in the ring with Mr. T, Dolph Lundgren and more, you can move through plow through them in order starting with Rocky and moving through, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV and Rocky V.
Restrepo (Available Now):
Winner of the Best Documentary feature at Sundance, this documentary from Sebastian Junger (author of The Perfect Storm) teams with photographer Tim Hetherington to spend a year embedded with the Second Platoon in Afghanistan, documenting the hard work, fear and brotherhood that come with repelling a deadly enemy. Hunkered down with the soldiers in one of the region's most strategic valleys, the filmmakers uncover the dark humor, sleepless surreality and constant anxiety of war
Centurion (Available Now):
A Roman epic featuring the rising star of Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) as Quintas Dias, the lone survivor of a Pictish attack on a Roman frontier post. Looking for revenge, the solider finds himself standing with the Ninth Legion under the command of General Virilus (Dominic West) as they move swiftly to destory the Picts. Neil Marshall (The Descent) directs this bloody adventure which, thankfully, does not attempt to copy the over-the-top style of 300.
Valhalla Rising (Available Now):
One of two epics on this week's list, Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson) directed this story of Viking warrior One-Eye (Mads Mikkelsen) escapes from his captors and seeks refuge on a Norse ship bound for his homeland. But when a storm throws them off course, the crew ends up in a strange land where they come face-to-face with invisible demons. One-by-one the creatures take the lives of these seemingly doomed men as One-Eye questions their whereabouts and their fate.
The Bourne Identity (Available Now):
The first part of the blockbuster trilogy featuring Matt Damon kicks off as Jason Bourne has no idea who he is, but seems willing and able to do anything and everything to find out. As he finds himself, almost mindlessly, knocking out security guards and quickly escaping capture, Bourne knows that his past holds much more mystery than he first believed. The stakes get even higher as Franka Potente gets caught up in the chase as Chris Cooper and hitmen like Clive Owen are in hot pursuit.
Rain Man (Available Now):
This film is in my Top 20 favorites of all-time, and perhaps inappropriately, I've been watching it since I was very young. For some reason, as a child I was always looking for a motorized little car (one that you pulled back and let-go to drive away) that resembled the 1949 Buick Roadmaster in the film. Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise put in performances that define their careers in this Best Picture winner from Barry Levinson. If you haven't seen this one yet, you don't know what you're missing.
Rookie of the Year (Available Now):
This is a childhood favorite of mine set in the world of baseball. While it doesn't have the same charms as The Sandlot, this completely unbelievable comedy inspired my love for the Chicago Cubs and made me hope that an injury would someday give me some sort of crazy ability. A young Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie) is suddenly blessed with a crazy fastball pitch after his healed broke arm apparently mended his tendons too tightly. Directed by Daniel Stern (Marv from Home Alone) this is as much a love letter to Chicago as it is to baseball.
The Shining (Available Now):
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. The same can be said for a lack of presents around Christmastime, but that's another story. This classic from Stanley Kubrick isn't exactly full of Christmas cheer, but there's plenty of blood in it, and uh, that's red, so let's just go with it. Jack Nicholson is brilliant in what might be the role of his career as aspiring novelist Jack Torrance who accepts a position as the off-season custodian at an elegant but eerie hotel so he can write undisturbed. But the hotel has a few creepy surprises in store for its residents.
Friday the 13th (Available Now):
Not only is the first film in this bloody, horror franchise available, but you can watch nearly the entire series unfold as Jason kills every teen he can get his hands on. From his rampage at Camp Crystal Lake all the way to taking Manhattan, see Jason slice and dice in: Friday the 13th, Friday the 13 Part II, Friday the 13th Part III, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Friday the 13th: Jason Lives, Friday the 13th: The New Blood, and Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan.
Honorable Mentions (All Available Now): After.Life, The Beach, About a Boy, The Crucible, Falling Down, Fly Away Home, Harry and the Hendersons, The Man in the Iron Mask, Outbreak, The Pledge, Roger & Me, Henry V, Mayor of the Sunset Strip, Death to Smoochy, Batman Forever and Top Gun.
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?