Monday, 3 June 2013

New to Netflix UK - 03/06/13

At last we've been granted some actually decent material.
Like, really really decent material.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail - (Highly) unorthodox retelling of how Arthur and his Knights found the Holy Grail. The absolute best of the Python movies (sorry Brian), this film has one of the most insane use of narrative techniques (and plot in general), the best quotes, a trojan rabbit and the most ridiculous opening/credits ever seen in a movie.

Desperado - A lone musician goes head-to-head with the crime lord who killed his girlfriend. A bigger budgeted sequel/remake of El Mariachi, this film is nonetheless still highly entertaining to watch and features some of the coolest weaponised guitar cases ever used.

The Verdict - A washed-out lawyer takes a medical malpractice case to court rather than settling as a way to redeem himself, both mentally and spiritually. Combining Lumet and Mamet on the same movie was always going to be a success but throw Newman into the mix and you have a really powerful movie about the lengths people go for redemption.

Dogtown and Z-Boys - Documentary about the South Californian skateboarding scene in the 70's. It's an endearing look at how skateboarding got turned into the expressive form of art that many see it as today.

Desert Fox - An account of the life of Erwin Rommel, from his involvement in protecting Germany to his death. It's an entertaining and watchable war biopic but the hand of Hollywood is heavily felt through its historical inaccuracies.

Working Girl - After her manager steals her big idea, a woman gets even by pretending she is the boss. Fun and light comedy from Mike Nichols that features some good performances who make the most of the sometimes contrived plot.

Guarding Tess - A Secret Service agent, desperate to be taken of protective detail for the First Lady whom he bitterly resents, finds himself put in charge of her full time at her own request. Passable but forgettable comedy whose only redeeming feature is the good dynamic between Cage and MacLlaine.

Dirty Pretty Things - Two immigrants discover the dark and sinister side of London, a revelation that could prove deadly to both of them. Incredibly well acted and scripted thriller that finds ways to really shock you to the bone.

Bicentennial Man - A robot, longing to be human, embarks on a long and arduous journey to fulfil his wish. It's over long and too ambitious but there's no denying that Robin Williams is brilliant in the movie.

Broadcast News - Two TV reporters contest for the same female producer while coping with the major changes happening at the studio. A exceptionally well-written comedy, brimming with style and personality, that still finds ways to offer a satirical insight into the business.

Criminal Minds (TV) - (4 seasons) Procedural drama following an elite group of behavioural psychiatrists as they track down serial killers. It's not a new idea but the show executes it really well, offering twists and some really disturbing insight into what makes serial killers tick and how to predict their moves.

Jerry Maguire - Fired for expressing his newly-found beliefs, a sports agent uses his new philosophy on his only client. It's somewhat overindulgent but Cruise is on top form and there's no denying this is a well crafted story of personal growth.

The Quick and the Dead - A deadly competition throws a retired gunslinger-turned-preacher and a mysterious stranger looking for revenge into a violent battle of the wits. While not anywhere near as good as it should have been, this is still a fun movie full of great action and funny moments.

Four Rooms - A series of four outlandish inter-connected stories take place around a hotel during new years eve, all witnessed by Ted the Bellhop. The stories vary in consistency but it's still an interesting exercise and must see for fans of Tarantino and Rodriguez.

Little Voice - A shut-in with a penchant for her late fathers old records finds herself enrolled in a singing contest against her wishes.A special little movie filled with big dreams and great performances.

Starsky and Hutch - Two detectives with opposing methods to work must find common ground to bring down a notorious drug baron. It's more a spoof of the series than an adaptation but the movie is still very very funny, with great interaction between Stiller and Owen, and is a great addition to the buddy-comedy genre.

Hollow Man - A scientist tests an invisibility formula on himself, with positive results, but soon finds himself losing his mind and becoming a threat to those around him. The movie has received much flak from critics but it's a taut little thriller with a great Bacon rating that's just not to be taken seriously.

Charlie's Angels - Three top agents must track down the location of a stolen computer program capable of hacking into major security systems. It's not a decent movie by any standards but there is enough intrigue to make it watchable on a dull night, if only for the sex appeal of the three leading ladies.

I Spy - A top agent finds himself partnered up with a civilian boxer in order to locate a stolen high-tech jet. It's a terrible terrible movie, but I somehow like it thanks to the great chemistry between Wilson and Murphy.

Chasing Ice - Documentary following the movement of glaciers over the course of a year. It may not sound like much but this is a highly engrossing documentary that is brought to vivid life thanks to some absolutely amazing photography.

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