Now on Netflix Instant: Apollo 13, Moulin Rouge, Dogtooth & More
by Ethan Anderton
February 15, 2011
It's been about a month since we've had a decent dump into the Netflix Instant library, but we've got a whole batch of new titles for your enjoyment this week. There's definitely something for everyone, even people who like terrible movies such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. There's a couple of ventures back into history, two great works from Baz Luhrmann, some decent flicks from 2010 and plenty oldies but goodies. As a bonus, if you're a Kevin Smith fan, you should probably check out his newest pseudo stand-up special Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40. Otherwise, there is plenty new to enjoy. So what's in our queue this week?
Update: We just added a bit of extra news at the bottom about Hulu adding 150 titles (and hundreds more on the way) from the Criterion Collection available in high def if you have a subscription. More on Hulu!
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Available Now):
Continuing the tradition of terrible video game movies, this movie just doesn't deliver. Why are we tossing it on our list? Well, there's probably plenty of you who haven't yet had the "pleasure" of traveling through time with Jake Gyllenhaal. Everyone should hear the 20 different times Prince Daston yells "Give me the dagger!" And if you didn't get enough exposition from Gemma Arterton in Clash of the Titans, well, she's back with a vengeance this time around, for better or (more accurately) worse.
Apollo 13 (Available Now):
Houston, we h ave a problem. One of the most recalled and repeated movie quotes of all times come from Tom Hanks in this spectacular look back at a near disaster in NASA's history. Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton are also on the crew of Apollo 13 as their 1971 mission to the moon goes awry, and their new objective is making it back to Earth alive. This is one of Ron Howard's best films right down to the traditional cameo appearance from his brother Clint Howard.
The Cotton Club (Available Now):
Francis Ford Coppola re-teams with The Godfather co-writers Mario Puzo and William Kennedy for this venture into 1930's gangsters and romance. When Dixie Dwyer (Richard Gere) saves the life of mobster Dutch Schultz (James Remar), he finds he must fight for his own life when he falls for the psychotic gangster's moll (Diane Lane). While Coppola certainly doesn't capture the same magic that made The Godfather trilogy such a pinnacle in crime drama, it's not a bad flick.
A Fish Called Wanda (Available Now):
Some of the crew from the Monty Python comedy troupe comes together for this hilarious 1988 comedy. A crooked foursome commits the heist of the century and is about to get away until the London police arrest one of them. Can the three on the lam (Michael Palin, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline) persuade their comrade's lawyer (John Cleese) to reveal the stolen loot's location? Seriously, you have to see this, if you haven't already.
Letters from Iwo Jima (Available Now):
In my opinion, this is the best of Clint Eastwood's two back-to-back World War II films (the other being Flags of Our Fathers), but I love how each of them ties into the other. This time we see the war from the point of view of the Japanese troops defending Iwo Jima during World War II as they prepare to meet their fate. Ken Watanabe stars as a Japanese general who knows his men are outnumbered and, with no hope of rescue, that most will eventually die in battle.
Meet the Parents (Available Now):
Though this led us to the mess that is Little Fockers, believe it or not, Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller delivered a pretty hilarious family comedy with this 2000 film. Greg Focker (Stiller) is ready to ask his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo) to marry him, but first he has to win over her father Jack Byrnes (De Niro). The problem is Jack isn't the easiest guy to please and his background in the CIA makes him the most cautious, invasive and difficult man to win over.
Moulin Rouge (Available Now):
Using pre-existing songs from the likes of The Police, Elton John and even Nirvana, director Baz Luhrmann delivers a stunning, beautiful musical about freedom, beauty, truth and love. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor are literally pitch perfect as they fall in love in the midst of one of the biggest stage productions in their career. Meanwhile the treacherous Duke (Richard Roxburgh) wants the lovely Satine (Kidman) all to himself. You'll be singing along and loving every minute of this great musical.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Available Now):
While serving time for insanity at a state mental hospital, implacable rabble-rouser Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) inspires his fellow patients to rebel against the authoritarian rule of head nurse Mildred Ratched (Louise Fletcher). This film took home every single one of the five major Academy Awards which include Best Picture, Best Director (Milos Forman), Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress. This is Nicholson as his best, and truly a timeless classic.
Romeo + Juliet (Available Now):
That's right, Baz Luhrmann makes two appearances in our queue this week as he takes the Shakespearean verses from the classic story of star-crossed lovers and throws it into modern times. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes are the titular lovers spilling Shakespeare out of their lips as natural as can be. Powerful supporting performances comes from John Leguizamo and Harold Perrineau and you should also keep an eye out for Paul Rudd and Jamie Kennedy.
The Runaways (Available Now):
Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning grow a little more on screen as they take on the sexually provocative and rocking roles of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie respectively. The story follows the two teen girls as they rise in the rock world to become the innovative lady rockers of The Runaways. Though the film doesn't really feel like anything more than an extended music video, the performances are worth a glimpse, and if you're a fan of girl's rocking out, then this is right up your alley.
Dogtooth (Available Now):
I've yet to see this film, but I've heard nothing but good things from colleagues. In this Oscar-nominated Greek drama, siblings who grow up cut off from the world -- homeschooled and reliant on one another for entertainment -- create their own idyllic alternative universe, which is shattered when their father lets in an outsider. Sex enters the picture when dad begins bringing home a female security officer to satisfy his son's libido and suddenly nothing is the same within the highly idiosyncratic family unit.
Enter the Void (Available Now):
This is another film I've been waiting to see, and I've heard the trippy visuals require that you watch this on the biggest, high definition TV screen at your disposal (and drop some acid while you're at it). When Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), a foreign drug dealer living in Tokyo with his stripper sister, Linda (Paz de la Huerta), is fatally shot in a police raid, his spirit leaves his body in a hallucinatory odyssey that merges his past, present and future into a chaotic whole. French auteur Gaspar Noe screened the film in competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
And now the best of the rest online free movie websites' new additions for your online viewing pleasure...
For those that are fans of the Criterion Collection, it was officially announced today that Criterion will now be offering "more than 150 of our most important films online on the Hulu Plus subscription service," with hundreds more to come. It only costs $7.99 and you can stream any film, in high definition, instantly anywhere at anytime from Criterion's growing collection. Some of the highlights in the collection include: Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, the original 1950's horror classic The Blob, NASA doc For All Mankind, Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman and Nobuhiko Ôbayashi's wacky horror Hausu. For more details, read the news on Criterion.com or visit hulu.com/criterion to subscribe and start watching!
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?