This Week on Netflix Instant: Harold & Maude, Gojira & More
by Ethan Anderton
April 6, 2010
Last week there was an impressive and hefty addition to the Netflix Instant library that not only included many great movies, but a monstrous update of television series as well. This week brings fewer new titles, mostly older selections, but still some good films as well, including Star Trek II (and details on the rest of the Star Trek sequels), the classic Japanese monster movie, one of Ridley Scott's mediocre films, the 1996 Beavis & Butt-Head movie, and the Hal Ashby directed 1971 romantic comedy Harold & Maude. Plus, new films on Hulu and The Auteurs since they've been off the list for a while. So what's in our queue this week?
Gojira (Godzilla) (Available Now):
Hot on the heels of the official announcement of an all-new Godzilla movie from Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures, the original 1954 monster movie hits Netflix Instant. This is the original Japanese version of the film that finds a 400-foot tyrannical lizard attacking Tokyo and wreaking havoc on its people. This is as classic as monster movies get and if you consider yourself a fan of Godzilla or have never partaken in an old school monster movie then you need to give this one a well-deserved look.
G.I. Jane (Available April 9th):
It's somewhat difficult to remember a time when Ridley Scott didn't have Russell Crowe in his movies, and for this one we go all the way back to 1997 when Demi Moore was more than just Ashton Kutcher's MILF wife. This intense drama has Moore looking ripped and tough as a female Navy topographer chosen as a litmus test for women in combat. She overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds and obstacles with the Navy SEALs who have a 60% dropout rate, but she couldn't overcome criticism as she received the 1998 Razzie for Worst Actress.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Available April 10th):
Largely considered to be the best installment of the original Star Trek film series, this sequel has Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) returning to the USS Enterprise along with Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in a training mission for Starfleet cadets. However, the crew gets more than they bargained for as escaped villain Khan (Ricardo Montalban) steals a powerful weapon and comes after the admiral seeking revenge. In addition, you can also check out Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek: First Contact all available on Netflix Instant April 10.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (Available April 10th):
Take a time machine back to the 90's when the kids were being corrupted by two hard rock loving idiots who would sit in their couch and deliver biting commentary on music videos while getting into plenty of trouble at school and work. In this feature length film Beavis and Butt-Head (both voice by Mike Judge) end up on an unexpected road trip while trying to get back their stolen television. In a story of crazy twists and turns, the two are suddenly thought to be terrorists with the authorities in hot pursuit as the idiots laugh endlessly at toilet humor and more.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (Available April 10th):
Johnny Depp plays Gilbert Grape, a man struggling to live in a pitifully small Iowa town where Burger Barn is the hottest thing since sliced bread. Grape struggles to support his mentally challenged brother (Leonardo DiCaprio in a stunning breakthrough performance at 18 years old) and his literally larger than life mother and a couple sisters who give him more than enough grief. But a traveling girl (Juliette Lewis) gets momentarily stranded in town and lights up his life with a little romance and perspective. Crispin Glover, John C. Reilly and Mary Steenburgen have great supporting roles in this quirky romance of sorts.
Harold & Maude (Available April 10th):
It seems a bit weird to call a film such as this a romantic comedy, but if you stick with the label its certainly one of the most unique and spectacular romantic comedies to grace the screen. Hal Ashby directed this cult favorite that finds a dark, death-obsessed teen named Harold (Bud Cort) visiting random funerals and making an unlikely acquaintance with Maude (Ruth Gordon) an old widow who lives spontaneously and without limits. What proceeds is two soul mates who find solace and happiness in each other despite decades of time between them. This is one of my all-time favorites.
School Ties (Available April 10th):
In a film somewhat reminiscent of The Dead Poets Society in its containment of some unbelievable young talent who would later rise to the A-list and depiction of private school life in decades past. The story follows David Green, a Jewish boy (Brendan Fraser) as he finds himself riding his football skills to a scholarship at a prep school in the 1960's. However, in order to better fit in, he hides his religion from his prejudiced classmates which include Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris O'Donnell and Cole Hauser. But everyone has a lot to learn about themselves when the truth is revealed about more than Green's religion is revealed.
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.
Octopussy, Friends with Money, Arlington Road, Fast Times of the Ridgemont High, Sling Blade, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dick, Little Man Tate, The Secret of Nimh, Dear Zachary, The Nines, Blade, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, American Psycho, A Bug's Life, Boxcar Bertha, Rescue Dawn, and Grizzly Man.
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?