Monday, 5 August 2013

New to Netflix UK - 04/08/13

So there appears to by heaps of new content this week, which is nice for a change.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off - A teen skips school with his girlfriend and depressed best-friend, embarking on a set of adventures around Manhattan all while being pursued by the headmaster. It's funny, endearing, well-written and ultimately one of the greatest teen movies ever made, though you'd expect nothing less from John Hughes.

Unbreakable - After a man survives a deadly train crash without a single scratch, he becomes the target of obsession for a rare-comic seller who is convinced the man is a superhero. It's one of the most subtle examples of a superhero movie but the acting is top notch and the script and direction reminds us why Mr Shyamalan was once so well respected.

Good Morning Vietnam - A radio DJ is enlisted by the army to help boost morale for the soldiers in Vietnam, but his unorthodox attitude on the air causes friction with some of the officers. The ability to create a comedy around one of the darker examples of the US Army conflicts is a difficult task but Levison and crew pull it off, providing one of the best anti-war films ever made and giving Mr Williams one of his best roles to date.

The Bone Collector - When a sadist begins abducting and killing people, it's up to a suicidal police officer and his troubled partner to stop them. It's well acted and although the film may not be executed in the most logical fashion, there are enough cheap thrills here to make an enjoyable thriller.

Déjà Vu - After a bombing on a ferry, a police officer finds himself embroiled in a top-secret operation that allows people to travel back in time. Despite the high-concept, a lot of the interesting ideas fail to shine through resulting in a bog-standard, albeit watchable, action-thriller.

Airplane! - An ex-USAF pilot is forced to take over a commercial airliner when food poisoning takes out the pilots and half the passengers. This is one of funniest movies ever made and the greatest spoof movie of all time. There's nothing more to say. Just watch it.

The Green Hornet - Following the death of his father, a young playboy and his driver find their calling as masked vigilantes who pose as criminals in order to fight crime from within. It divided a lot of people on its release, most notably because it left the original source material behind, but it's a mostly fun action-flick that doesn't over-stay its welcome.

Vanilla Sky - A man, charged with murder, recounts his fall from the big leagues after he was subjected to a horrific car crash that left his body scarred for life. The film is pretentious to a fault, but look beyond that and you are treated to a mind-numbing psycho-drama that rewards those who stick with it to the bitter end.

Seraphim Falls - A Union footsoldier is relentlessly pursued by a Confederate Colonel across the harsh terrain of post-Civil War America. It's long, slow and the ending feels like a bit of an after thought but the acting is decent and it has enough atmosphere to keep your attention.

Funeral in Berlin - Harry Palmer is tasked with helping a defecting Soviet defector but the situation proves to be a lot more complicated than previously imagined. It's not as good as The Ipcress File but Caine is still excellent as Palmer.

Metro - A San Francisco hostage negotiator seeks revenge after his best friend is killed by a jewel thief. Passable Murphy vehicle that benefits from some well-made action sequences but is otherwise forgettable.

Instinct - A scientist, who has spent the last few years living with gorillas, is jailed for murder prompting a psychiatrist to find out exactly what happened to him. Despite some decent performances the film never lives up to its true potential but there's enough here to satisfy those in need of a good thriller.

Big Trouble - A mysterious suitcase ties together the lives of a recently divorced father, his wayward son, a bored housewife, two inept criminals, a homeless man and a psychedelia-inducing toad. Light-hearted farce that never tries to be more than what is advertised.

Ghost - After being killed during a mugging, a man is reincarnated as a ghost and must find a way to warn his girlfriend that she too is in danger. It's obviously famous for that one pottery scene, but otherwise there isn't really much else to this movie other than a typical romantic drama.

The Enforcer - The case against a network of hired-assassins is jeopardised when the lead witness is killed, prompting the DA in charge to revisit the case and find new evidence against them. Decent Bogey crime film that's less of a typical film-noir and more of a drama.

Anita & Me - Determined to fit in with her new surroundings, an Indian girl befriends the local trouble-maker all while her family adapt to their new surroundings. It's not ground-breaking stuff but the film is charming enough to help you forget that the culture-clash message isn't exactly well handled.

Schultze Gets the Blues - After his taste in music makes a sudden change, an out-of-work miner and accordionist makes a trek from Germany to New Orleans and finds his life re-invented. Somewhat odd but completely fresh and charming, this dark comedy finds a new way to encompass the human spirit.

Sweet Sixteen - In an effort to save his abused mother, a teen sets out to find a new home not caring how he gets about raising the cash. It's hard-hitting and at time shocking, exactly what you would expect from Loach, but there's an undeniable sense of humanity to the movie that makes it an extremely emotional experience.

The Miracle Maker - The life of Jesus as told through the eyes of a terminally-ill young girl. Aside from the Catholic appeal, this is a really well made stop-motion film that shouldn't be ignored just because you don't believe.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind - After witnessing a group of lights in the sky, a group of people find themselves entranced by a mysterious urge to visit an isolated location where something wondrous awaits them. Classical Spielberg sci-fi that's just as magical to watch now as when it was first released.

Fly Away Home - After her mother dies, a girl is sent to live with her father where she ends up becoming a surrogate mother for some Canadian geese, resulting in her having to make the migration trail with them. Beautifully filmed and well-acted, this is one of those movies you can watch as children, revisit as adults and still find yourself emotionally overwhelmed by the story.

Rudy - Despite being of poor physical condition, a man is determined to make the Notre Dame [American] Football team to avoid having to work in his mining town. Movies like this are rather common but this one stands out thanks to some great performances and the fact it doesn't overwhelm you with (too many) sport movie clichés.

Lost in Yonkers - Two boys are sent to live with their scary grandma and eccentric aunt but there boredom is soon removed when their mobster uncle returns with a price on his head. It's not the best of Mr Simon's adaptations however there is still much of his trademark farcical humour involved, most of which is excellently delivered by the great cast.

Krull - Armed with a legendary weapon, a prince and his friends go off to rescue the princess who's been kidnapped by alien invaders. It has a strong cult following but it's still debatable on whether this movie is actually any good.

Pineapple Express - A stoner and his dealer go on the run after one of them accidentally witnesses a mob hit. Extremely funny stoner comedy which features some great one-liners and great chemistry between the two leads.

Vertical Limit - A mountaineer mounts an expedition to K2 to rescue his sister after she disappears on a climb. It's preposterously silly and full of plot holes but it's good for a Saturday night in, just don't expect to remember much afterwards.

Powaqqatsi - Follow-up to Koyannisqatsi which examines the impact of civilisation. It's not as good as it's predecessor, and you wouldn't be wrong to dismiss it for being much the same, but it's still full of some incredible images and still worth checking out.

Adaptation - Meta-film in which a screenwriter recounts his attempts at bringing The Orchid Thief to the screen, while his life crumbles around him mimicking the events of the book. Incredibly bizarre but incredibly well acted, you don't find many films that dare to be as intelligent as this one.

Detention - When a serial killer starts taking out students at a high school, a group of students serving detention band together to stop them. It's a tough film to recommend as its own self-awareness of hipster jokes and pop-culture can completely overwhelm the already thin plot but it's a really fun movie if you just let it do what it wants to do.

Tower Block- Residents of an apartment block find themselves the target of a sniper and must fight their way out. It's a simple concept that forgives the mediocre drama surrounding it but the thrills are plentiful (if cheap) and it doesn't overstay its welcome.

Legend of the Seeker (TV) - While trying to find out the person responsible for his father's murder, a young man is drawn into a quest to end the rule of a tyrannous overlord. It may not be as good as the other Raimi produced series but the production values are decent enough to make for an entertaining fantasy saga.

A few BBC additions have also made the site, which include...

Mock the Week
Knowing Me Knowing You
Live at the Apollo
I'm Alan Partridge

Plus some more episodes in Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends

No comments:

Post a Comment