This Week on Netflix Instant: Antichrist, WarGames & More
by Ethan Anderton
February 23, 2010
And we're back with this week's installment of highlighting great movies that are releasing this week on Netflix Instant. Now remember, because there's been a bit of confusion, not all of the titles listed below are available today, but rather at various points throughout the week. They are listed in the order they are released throughout the week starting with some available now all the way through February 28th. Check right next to the title for the streaming availability date! Also, right after the Netflix titles, check out a big addition from Hulu and a collaboration with the Criterion Collection for all you Japanese cinema fans.
WarGames (Available Now):
One of your fellow readers pointed out that we missed this fine installment of 80's cinema starring a pre-Ferris Bueller Matthew Broderick in a somewhat Hitchcockian story of a young hacker named David Lightman who accidentally takes a step in starting a nuclear war thanks to a mysterious computer strategy game of Global Thermonuclear War. Suddenly caught up in espionage, his computer skills are put to the test in order to beat the computer and prevent a real-life nuclear war. Definitely a bit silly, but ultimately satisfying, this is a fun flick from John Badham who also directed another fine nostalgic turn in 80's espionage with Short Circuit.
Dead Snow (Available Now):
Nazi zombies. Need I say more? This quirky Norwegian horror flick and official Sundance selection from director Tommy Wirkola finds a group of medical students on Easter vacation in Øksfjord only to be encountered by a group of bloodthirsty Nazi-uniform clad zombies. Not willing to be torn to shreds by undead Hitler followers, the teens struggle to survive, even attaching machine guns to a snowmobile in an attempt to fight back. It's got a lot of horror cliches, but I'll say again: Nazi zombies. Are you watching yet?
Un Chien Andalou [An Andalusian Dog] (Available Now):
One of the favorite films of our very own Christopher Campbell, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali deliver a jarring, disjointed surrealist short film which is considered to be one of the best of the avant-garde movement of the 1920's. Don't be expecting any form of a traditional plot or narrative as this film takes on a sort of free association form with the sole purpose of shocking its audience with imagery like the now iconic close-up of a razor slicing a woman's eye. This is mandatory viewing for anyone preparing or even thinking about going to film school.
Antichrist (Available February 25th):
After the insane looking trailer and bold posters, Lars von Trier's controversial work is finally here, even before it sees a release on DVD! After premiering at last year's Cannes Film Festival, the film received tons of criticism citing misogyny and explicit sexual violence. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg play a couple mourning the recent death of their child and leaving for their cabin in the woods where they hope some time heals their wounds. However, strange and unbelievable things begin to happen spinning a surreal, shocking and horrific tale. I haven't had had the pleasure (or maybe the displeasure) of seeing this one, but Alex moderately enjoyed it, only to be skeptical of his own opinion later down the road after a second viewing. We'll let you make your own judgment if you dare.
Battlefield Earth (Available February 26th):
They're not all going to be great suggestions, and this is one of those films I've tossed in here simply because its consistently considered to be one of the worst films ever made. An adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard's scientology driven novel of the same name, this bomb of a sci-fi film stars John Travolta, Forest Whittaker and Barry Pepper in the year 3000 as alien beings called Psychlos who have ruled Earth for 1000 years and suddenly face a human rebellion as they attempt to use them as gold miners. Simply stupid and an absolute failure, this one just has to be seen to be believed. You've never laughed so hard.
Cop and a Half (Available February 26th):
Let it be said that I love my childhood, and no matter how terrible this film is, my inner-child will always have a special place in his heart for this buddy cop comedy that pairs Burt Reynolds with the sassy and charismatic child actor Norman D. Golden II after he witnesses a mob murder and refuses to tell the cops anything unless they make him a cop for a day. Of course things get a little more complicated as they get closer to the murderers. It's like a funny, cheesy version of Witness and, hey, even Roger Ebert gave it three stars, so it's not really that bad.
Punch-Drunk Love (Available February 26th):
This one made #9 on my personal list of the best films of the last decade, so you can bet your ass I'll be letting you know this has made its way to Netflix Instant. Directed by the masterful Paul Thomas Anderson, this quirky, romance see Adam Sandler in the best performance of his career as milquetoast, introvert Barry Egan comes to term with his difficultly controlled anger through an unlikely romance with a friend of one of his provoking seven sisters. Peculiar, but brilliant like the rest of Anderson's films, this also features spectacular performances from Emily Watson, Mary-Lynn Rajskub and a cameo from Philip Seymour Hoffman.
And now the best of the rest online free movie websites' new additions for your online viewing pleasure…
The Auteurs: Your online cinema. Anytime. Anywhere.
House of 1,000 Corpses, The Kid Stays in the Picture, Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten, The Three Caballeros, Batman (1989), Man on the Moon, Showgirls, Summer Hours, Strictly Ballroom, Stagecoach, Sid and Nancy, Out of Sight
Hulu: An evil plot to destroy the world. Enjoy.
The first six Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsmen films from the Criterion Collection's Channel: The Tale of Zatoichi, The Tale of Zatoichi Continues, The New Tale of Zatoichi, The Fugitive, On the Road, and Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold, as well as Star Trek VII: Generations, A River Runs Through It, Soapdish, The Dead Zone.
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 StreamingSoon, 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 titles. Now go watch some movies! Are you satisfied with this week's new selection?