Now on Netflix Instant: 'Toy Story 3', 'Easy A', 'The Other Guys', More
by Ethan Anderton
April 27, 2011
It's been awhile since our last update on the new titles in the Netflix Instant library, so this week we have some great stuff for you to check out. There's quite a few hit movies and low key praiseworthy flicks from last year that include a comedy reminiscent of John Hughes' past work, the most recent Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature Film, a time traveling jacuzzi and more. There's also some great indie gems from years past, a couple of stellar documentaries to see, a film from a time before Steve Martin made terrible family comedies, and the whole lot of classic James Bond films. So what's in our queue this week?
Toy Story 3 (Available Now):
Pixar's conclusion to their franchise that started their computer animation reign at the box office is one of the few films to bring me to tears in the movie theater. This charming films take Woody and Buzz and all of Andy's toys into The Great Escape territory as they find themselves trapped inside of a day care center and desperate to get back to Andy before he leaves for college. It's amazing just how emotional you can get about toys that you never had in your childhood, and just how moving an animated film can be.
Easy A (Available Now):
Here's a great teenage centric comedy that completely caught me off guard with its genuine charm and witty script. Channeling John Hughes' classic high school films (though it's not perfect) this film follows ambitious student Olive (Emma Stone) as she decides to boost her popularity by pretending to be the school slut. As the school's swirling rumor mill increases both her notoriety and her finances, Olive enjoys her newfound status but eventually must decide which is more important: popularity or self-esteem. Prepare for Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci to steal some scenes for your entertainment.
Salt (Available Now):
Though it's certainly over-the-top, mostly silly, and completely unbelievable, this is a fun action flick with Angelina Jolie kicking some serious ass. After she's accused of being a Russian sleeper spy, rogue CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) goes on the run, using every tactic, accent and disguise she knows to elude her pursuers, clear her name and protect her husband. Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor are in hot pursuit, and the chase makes for some mindless entertainment.
The Other Guys (Available Now):
Though many seem to be split on their enjoyment of this comedy, I found it to be quite a laugh riot. Complete with the unlikely teaming of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, director Adam McKay delivers one hell of an action comedy following two lower level police officers who get caught up in a big financial firm crime. Look out for some great supporting hilarity from Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson too.
Four Lions (Available Now):
This is a low key comedy that certainly won't be for everyone, but has been getting rave review from those who have seen it. Comedy writer Christopher Morris makes his feature directorial debit with this outrageous comedy about a group of young Islamic Brits who fancy themselves bloodthirsty jihadis of the first order. The film showcases Morris's satirical talents at their vicious best in a scathingly hilarious indictment of true believers and the social systems that create them. I haven't seen it, but plan on watching soon.
Hot Tub Time Machine (Available Now):
If you ever wanted to go back to the 80's by way of a mystical time traveling hot tub, then this is the raunchy comedy for you. With a classic feel of the films from the very decade that our story goes back to, this comedy definitely delivers some great laughs. Fueled by energy drinks, vodka and nostaliga for their younger, wilder days, a group of best friends (John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke) travel back in time to 1986 where they get the chance to relive the best year of their lives and maybe make some changes for their future.
Before Sunrise (Available Now):
This might be Richard Linklater's greatest film and is arguably one of the best screenplays that I've ever encountered. Brought to life effortlessly by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, the story follows an American backpacker who strikes up a conversation with a lovely fellow traveler on the train to Vienna and persuades her to spend his last day in Europe with him. Wandering the picturesque streets of the Austrian capital, the two share stories of their pasts, and their dreams for the future, ultimately forging a bond that leads to love. And check out the surprisingly great follow-up Before Sunset also available on Netflix Instant.
Father of the Bride (Available Now):
This is one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time. Steve Martin is in perfect form as a nervous father navigating his way through his only daughter's wedding. Full of touching moments, and a heavy heart, this really is one of those great films in Martin's career. Paired with Diane Keaton and featuring a great hilarious supporting performance from Martin Short, not to mention a young Kieran Culkin and an ever-so-brief appearance by Eugene Levy.
The Pixar Story (Available Now):
You'd think Toy Story 3 would be enough Pixar on Netflix Instant, but instead there's this amazing documentary chronicling the beginning of Pixar from their earliest short films through their struggles at Disney, and up to their work on films like WALL-E. It's a truly remarkable look at one of the greatest animation studios and all of the creative minds who dedicated their lives to crafting amazing stories, and bringing some of the most iconic characters of the past 20 years to life through animation.
James Bond Franchise (Available Now): Since there's whole slew of 007 films now available, here they are without any beating around the bush and links directly to their page on Netflix Instant: You Only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun, Live and Let Die, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, Never Say Never Again, The Living Daylights, Licence to Kill, Octopussy and A View to a Kill.
Honorable Mentions (Available Now): The Terminator, 21 Grams, Red Dragon, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Hunt for Red October, Kicking and Screaming, Little Man Tate, Marvin's Room, The Conversation, Dead Alive, Elizabethtown, The Graduate and Gangs of New York.
That's all for this week's installment of Now on Netflix Instant new titles. And remember, if you ever want to look back at the thousands of Netflix titles already released, look forward at what's on the way, or check out the entire library of Netflix Instant titles available, 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 good movies! Are you happy with this week's latest titles?