Monday, June 2, 2014

Neflix Instant adds a bunch of new titles for June

It's the beginning of the month, so it's time once again to see what good movies Netflix Instant added. They are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Apocalypse Now (1979) – Francis Ford Coppola
Using Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness as inspiration, Francis Ford Coppola made his fourth masterpiece of the decade (after “The Conversation” and the two Godfather films). This one is a journey into the heart of darkness as a burn out off an officer (Sheen) is sent up river into Vietnam to track down and kill Col. Kurtz. Kurtz has gone crazy and taken over as leader of a group of natives. The film doesn’t go many places but straight down. As the crew heads up river, the tone gets darker, and the hope that there might be an upbeat or positive ending all but disappears. Coppola is at the top of his game with stunning battle scenes, terrific use of music, and he gets great performances out of all the actors. Duvall is memorable in a short part, one which spawned one of the most memorable lines in film history. Sheen, who had a heart attack during filming, portrays a man broken down by the horrors of war, then reborn into those same horrors perfectly. And Brando does what Brando does in an almost nonsensical part. One of the greatest war films of all time. - ****

2. Cold Mountain (2003) – Anthony Minghella
Great adaptation of a fantastic book about a confederate soldier (Law) trying to make it back to North Carolina to the love of his life (Kidman) in the closing days of the Civil War. This was the last really good movie from Minghella before his untimely death soon after. It is well acted (despite some shaky accents), and the final half hour is tragically beautiful. Also, Romania makes for a good substitute for the old American south. - ****

3. Five Easy Pieces (1970) – Bob Rafelson
Jack Nicholson plays a man who has left his priviledged existence, and a career as a concert pianist, to work on oil rigs and wander aimlessly through life. After his father falls ill, he must return to the life he left - ***1/2

4. Oldboy (2005) – Chan Wook Park
Really cool Korean thriller (not the Spike Lee version) about a man getting revenge on the people that kidnapped and held him for 15 years. Includes a scene where he destroys tons of guys in a hallway with just a hammer - ***1/2

5. A River Runs Through It (1992) – Robert Redford
Robert Redford can find a metaphor for life in just about anything, and in this film he finds it in fly fishing. The story revolves around Rev. Maclean and his two sons, one who is out of control and one that has pulled it together. However, they connect through fly fishing in rural Montana. Very pretty and peaceful film about a family trying to work together. - ***1/2

6. The Triplets of Belleville (2003) – Sylvain Chomet
Wonderful animated movie in an old French animation style about a woman and three sisters trying to rescue her kidnapped grandson - ***1/2

7. Waking Life (2001) – Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater takes his conversational style into the world of dreams with this animated film about a young man wandering through his dream. He comes across various characters as they discuss the nature of nearly everything and how dreams relate. The conversations are deep and thought provoking and the animation is eye popping.- ***1/2

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