This Week on Netflix Instant: Big, 2012 & Boondock Saints II
by Ethan Anderton
July 30, 2010
Sorry for Netflix Instant being MIA two weeks in a row (honestly there wasn't a whole lot you missed), but our preparation for Comic-Con 2010 followed by the convention itself just took a whole bunch of time away from us. Anyway we figured you'd like coverage from all the kick-ass happenings in San Diego than a couple more titles to add to your ever-growing queue. But fear not, because we're back with a vengeance this week as a whole new slew of old favorites have hit Netflix Instant in nearly every genre you can think of. Thrillers, comedies, action-adventures and foreign films are at your disposal. So what's in our queue this week?
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Available Now):
Many of you know that the events of Almost Famous are based on writer/director Cameron Crowe's real-life exploits as a rock journalist touring the country with the one-and-only Black Sabbath. But did you know that in his writing for Rolling Stone magazine, Crowe also managed to go undercover at a high school and put together the inspiring book with the full scoop on sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll in the early 1980's? Crowe is one-of-a-kind and this film from Amy Heckerling showcases some more unique characters brought to life by Sean Penn, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, Eric Stolz and many, many more.
The Hudsucker Proxy (Available Now):
Thanks to this great Coen Brothers film I always find myself constantly using the repeated Tim Robbins' line "You know...for kids!" This is quirky as only Joel and Ethan Coen can deliver with Robbins becoming the CEO of a successful toy company. But little does he know that this is all part of a ploy for the evil new president Sidney J. Mussberger (Paul Newman) and the other board directors to make a fortune on the falling stock price. Peculiar, fanciful and funny, this is a Coen Brothers work that you should not be missing.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (Available Now):
For all you fans of the cult classic who didn't catch this in theaters or run out and buy/rent the DVD right away, you can now enjoy the long awaited, eagerly anticipated sequel of vigilante justice on Netflix Instant. Director Troy Duffy returns with Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Falnery as the MacManus brothers who must come out of hiding on a sheep farm in Ireland to fight for justice in Boston. Billy Connolly and Willem Dafoe are back and Clifton Collins, Jr. and Judd Nelson even get thrown into the mix.
The Art of the Steal (Available Now):
This is one that I haven't personally seen yet, but I was convinced by the trailer to check it out and have heard nothing but good things about it. This documentary is a gripping tale of intrigue and mystery in the art world which traces the history of the Barnes collection of Post-Impressionist paintings; a collection worth billions which became the subject of a power struggle after the 1951 death of the owner. Dr. Albert Barnes collected 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos and many other valuable paintings. But the political wrangling over the collection eventually led to its division.
2012 (Available Now):
Roland Emmerich is back with yet another ensemble apocalyptic disaster movie, but this time it's the Earth that's destroying itself (or maybe it's aligned planets; that's never made clear). Anyway, you're not watching this film for substance or art. You're watching this flick for ridiculous special effects (of which there are plenty) and for the chance to see Los Angeles, Las Vegas and other major cities fall to the wayside. Honestly, the disaster scenes here are so detailed that you'll noticed something new everytime you watch it. Oh and John Cusack and some other people are in it if that does anything for you.
Wall Street (Available August 1st):
What better way to prepare for the promising looking sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps than to re-visit (or watch for the first time) the Oliver Stone film that so boldly declared that greed is good. Michael Douglas is diabolical as the cunning Gordon Gekko who takes a young Charlie Sheen under his wing, only to lead him right into an insider-trading scheme that could ruin the careers and lives of others, not to mention his own. John C. McGinley, Hal Holbrook and even Martin Sheen also make appearances.
Big (Available August 1st):
Yet another throwback to the funny version of Tom Hanks who seems to be lost in some kind of hack puzzle book from Dan Brown. I'm not afraid to call this film a comedy classic as Hanks channels his inner-child to play 12-year-old Josh Baskin who finds himself trapped in a grown man's body after he makes a wish to a mystical carnival machine that he wants to be big. Though being a grown-up eventually gets him everything he's ever wanted, there just might be some fun to be had back in childhood. If you haven't seen this, then you (and your kids if you have them) need to sit down and enjoy the hell out of it.
The Fugitive (Available August 1st):
I wish we could go back to a time when Harrison Ford was more frequently making great movies. This much-praised crime thriller finds Han Solo Ford on the run from Jabba the Hutt Tommy Lee Jones when he is falsely accused of the murder of his wife. Hellbent on proving his innocence, Ford is forced to go on the lam to try and collect any evidence he can to convince the authorities otherwise. This is the perfect film to give you a little taste of old school Harrison Ford until Cowboys & Aliens comes out next year.
La Dolce Vita (Available August 1st):
I've pointed you to a couple Federico Fellini masterpieces before and this one is no different. The Italian filmmaker puts his best foot forward with this classic foreign film which acts as a meditation on the meaning of life and love. Marcello Mastroianni plays Marcello (who is really a version of Fellini), a gossip writer who seeks the fleeting excesses and decadence of life and sex. i couldn't even begin to explain to you the majesty of this film in one paragraph, so you just need to see it for yourself.
Doc Hollywood (Available August 1st):
This is one of those small town comedies that just so happens to get a boost from a fine cast including Michael J. Fox, Woody Harrelson and Julie Warner (including an appearance from her, um, supporting chest cast members). A Hollywood-bound plastic surgeon (Fox) takes a detour when a fender-bender lands him in a small South Carolina town. Sentenced to community service, the big-city doctor starts work at the local doctor's office and just happens to meet the woman of his dreams (Warner). Can a quaint town drag the doctor away from the bustling, plastic surgery loving City of Angels? Boy, do I miss Michael J. Fox on film.
Available Now: Fools Rush In, Planet 51, A Town Called Panic, Jackie Brown and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.
Available July 31st: Broken Embraces, Eraser and Executive Decision.
Available August 1st: Paycheck, Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke, Dude Where's My Car?, The Man with Two Brains, The Whole Nine Yards, Waiting for Guffman, Boys Don't Cry and The Hunted.
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?