Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Your Monthly NetFIX
Get It On...

Once again, I've pilfered the INSTANT WATCH avails to suggest some of the more interesting under-the-radar releases now streaming.

Cult Classics, Not-So Classics, Not-Yet Classics and Disney rule the month..
FIRE AND ICE

Directed by Ralph Bakshi
Produced by Ralph Bakshi, Frank Frazetta
Written by Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas
Starring  Susan Tyrrell, Maggie Roswell, William Ostrander, Stephen Mendel, Steve Sandor

A follow-up, of sorts, to Ralph Bakshi's popular animated feature Wizards, this cult classic was a joint collaboration with Frank Frazetta.

Heavy on the Fantasy imagery, but not as disjointed (in my opinion) as the similarly timed Heavy Metal

It's of note that it's from writers of the Marvel Comics Conan series.

It's of even stranger note that background paintings were done by James Gurney and Thomas Kinkade!






V/H/S

Directed by  Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe SwanbergRadio Silence
Produced by Brad Miska, David Gary Binkow, Roxanne Benjamin 
Written by David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Ti West, Chad Villella, Justin Martinez, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Nicholas Tecosky, Simon Barrett, Tyler Gillett

Found Footage mixes it up a tad with Anthology Horror in this crackerjack of a movie that was a hit on the festival circuit last year.

The tape itself is a MacGuffin, and actually that devise doesn't 100% work.

But if you're game for some creepy visuals and refreshingly smart storytelling, V/H/S is for you.

There's something strangely poetic that you can watch it without having to rewind.





THE RESCUERS

Directed by  Wolfgang Reitherman, John Lounsbery, Art Stevens
Produced by Wolfgang Reitherman, Ron Miller 
Screenplay by Larry Clemmons, Vance Gerry, Ken Anderson, Frank Thomas, Burny Mattinson, Fred Lucky, Dick Sebast, Dave Michener 
Based on The Rescuers and Miss Bianca by Margery Sharp
Starring Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, Michelle Stacy, Geraldine Page, Joe Flynn, Jim Jordan, John McIntire, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram, Bernard Fox

This is one of a handful of animated films that Disney has up on Netflix now.  You could watch Dumbo or Alice in Wonderland, but our generation remembers the real classics like The Rescuers.

Its 1990 sequel is also available, but is far less charming.

The original is a full-on celebration of the original talent from the Walt Disney Studios' Golden Era, though the regime and success had long faded from memory by 1977.

This Netflix version is the same restored edition also recently made available on Blu-ray last year and it looks even better than it did when first released.


DARK HORSE
Directed by Todd Solondz
Produced by Ted Hope, Derrick Tseng
Screenplay by Todd Solondz
Starring Jordan Gelber, Selma Blair, Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow

What geek can't relate to being the lead character in this, described in the log-line "now in his 30s but emotionally stuck in his early teens?"

Dark Horse is the barely released new film from director Todd Solondz (Happiness) that reteams him with his Storytelling star Selma Blair.

It's another dark Romantic Comedy as you would expect from the director, but to label it would do a disservice.

Also starring Justin Bartha, Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow, this makes for a good pairing with the also on Netflix Life During Wartime, which was Solondz's previous work.





THE MILLENNIUM TRILOGY
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev, Daniel Alfredson 
Adapted by Nikolaj Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg, Ulf Rydberg, Jonas Frykberg. 
Starring Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace 

Divided into six separate installments, here are the complete original movies adapted from  Stieg Larsson's massive best-selling trilogy that started with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Not just a pairing up of all three movies, this is the true saga treatment, a la Godfather or Lord of the Rings.

Each of the original movies have now been extended to include footage previously cut.

It plays a bit like a miniseries, but the additional detail is worth it for a watch even if you've already seen them.







HARDWARE
Directed by Richard Stanley
Produced by Ray Corbett, Nik Powell, Polly du Plessis Written by  Steve MacManus, Kevin O'Neill, Richard Stanley 
Starring Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, Iggy Pop, Carl McCoy, Lemmy

This late 20th Century SciFi Horror tale about a 21st Century world gone haywire is already pretty dated.

But it has it's following.  It's usually a love/hate following, but it exists.

Early Dylan McDermott joins rockers Iggy Pop and Lemmy in this, which only is matched in strangeness by the film's off-beat style.

A lot of it is laughable, but then a lot of it is kick-ass too.

Don't throw out the cyborg with the bathwater.





DOGGIE B  
Written and directed by Romanus Wolter
Produced by Constance Hasapopoulos, Ken Martini, Keith Myer, Delicia Niami, Cheryl Parrott, Kevin Suter, Steve Whitson, Romanus Wolter
Starring Jesse Draper, Bettina Devin, Jane Wiedlin


Cute dogs doing anthropomorphic antics are a dime a dozen on the straight-to-video circuit.

From Air-Bud: Golden Receiver to Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3, you can take your pick of sport, profession or location.

But finally, someone's made a movie about a dancing dog

And did I mention it stars and features music by The Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin?  

Yeah, now you're interested.  Admit it.

You're welcome.






* Author's Note: all movies available to WATCH INSTANTLY on Netflix as of early-January and availability is subject to studio licenses. It is recommended to watch before the month ends!

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