FlixWorthy: Leave The Gun, Take The Cannoli

By David Wharton 2010-09-16 15:53:50
Welcome back to FlixWorthy, your weekly guide to Netflix streaming. Yet again we're bringing you a handful of new or notable selections from Netflix's streaming catalogue. Some will be classics, some will be little-seen gems, some will be shows you might have missed, and some...some will be crap so awful they simply has to be seen to be believed. Here's what's FlixWorthy this week, kids.

The Godfather
(1972, Rated R, 177 min.)

What more is there to say about The Godfather at this point? It's an uncontested modern classic. It's got a 100% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. It's currently listed as the second best movie of all time by IMDb voters (with Part II following just behind as number three). It's quoted constantly, referenced continuously, and emulated by everything from film to TV to video games. Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo's adaptation of Puzo's novel is, simply put, one of the best movies ever made. Even better, it's followed by a sequel that equals if not betters the quality of the original. And then, well, there's Part III. If you've somehow never seen it, Netflix has given you the perfect excuse by posting the original along with Part II and Part III.

Double-Feature It With:

On the Waterfront
(1954, Not Rated, 108 min., HD)

Really, if you watch all three of the Godfather films, you're pretty well set on the movie-marathon front. But if you're in the mood to vary things up a bit, the first film would make a nice companion piece to another of Brando's most iconic roles as Terry Malloy, the former prizefighter who "coulda been a contender."




Repo! The Genetic Opera
(2008, Rated R, 98 min.)

No, not the craptacular sci-fi vehicle casting Jude Law as an enforcer tasked with collecting the artificial organs from folks who have fallen behind on their payments. Repo! The Genetic Opera was actually first to the organ-repo party, based on a rock-opera written and composed by Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich. The film version was directed by Saw franchise director Darren Lynn Bousman. The flick has become a cult classic since its limited run in theaters, following in the footsteps of Rocky Horror with a touring version of the show that even birthed a fan-run version. Set in the year 2056, Repo envisions a future where the biotech giant GeneCo has made a fortune selling organ transplants. The catch (the same one that formed the basis of Repo Men, which came out several years later) is that GeneCo expects prompt and regular payment. You won't have to worry about late fees for that shiny new liver of yours, but you will have to worry about Repo Men showing up to cut it out of you should you miss a payment. It's got organlegging, it's got catchy tunes, and it's got Anthony Stewart Head...what more could you ask for?

Double-Feature It With...

Repo Man
(1984, Rated R, 93 min., HD)

Nope, still not the horrible Jude Law movie. Instead, I'd recommend pairing one cult classic with another. Alex Cox's spectacularly weird sci-fi comedy stars Emilio Estevez as a young punk who stumbles into a gig repoing cars and soon becomes entangled in a plot involving conspiracy theorists, insane scientists, and UFOs.




An American Werewolf in London
(1981, Rated R, 98 min.)

Aaahoooooooooooooo, werewolves of London...ahem. Sorry about that, it's instinctual. I'm kind of astonished this film hasn't been remade (horribly) yet. Sure, it got the less-said-the-better sorta-sequel An American Werewolf in Paris, but so far John Landis' horror-comedy classic remains untouched. David "The Dr. Pepper Guy" Naughton stars as David, one of a pair of American buddies backpacking through England. One night on the moors, they're attacked by a strange creature, which kills Jack (Griffin Dunne) and wounds David (Naughton). As if the loss of a friend wasn't traumatic enough, David soon begins having horrible dreams and visions of Jack, who tells him the beast was a werewolf and that David is now cursed to transform during the next full moon. Landis' script features a perfect balance of black humor and genuine scares, something that few wannabe horror-comedies actually manage. The film also features the best onscreen werewolf transformation of all time, courtesy of the peerless Rick Baker.

Double-Feature It With:

Teen Wolf
(1985, Rated PG, 92 min.)

Okay, I'm not going to sit here and argue that Teen Wolf is an '80s gem of the same order as American Werewolf, but come on! It's Michael J. Fox as a basketball-playing lycanthrope! Plus, it was co-written by comics golden boy Jeph Loeb.





Showgirls
(1995, Rated NC-17, 131 min.)

If you weren't old enough to be paying attention during the mid-'90s, it's kind of ridiculous the amount of attention Showgirls got at the time. Part of it was that it was a rare NC-17 theatrical release, one of the only ones I can remember ever playing in theaters while I was growing up. There was more than a little "our culture is being dragged into the gutter" hullabullo in the media, but honestly the only reason anyone my age knew or cared about it was because it had Jesse from Saved by the Bell showing her lady parts. And, little did we know, violently schtupping Special Agent Dale Cooper in a swimming pool. Showgirls is not a good movie, clearly. Fortunately, it never really aspires to be. As Will so enjoyably argued in his review of the recent Blu-ray edition, Showgirls is "the most entertaining piece of cinema (for all the wrong reasons) of the past 20 years." Well, okay, I don't know if I'd go that far, but the joy of mocking Showgirls with a group of friends while drinking heavily simply cannot be overstated.

Double-Feature It With:

Inside Deep Throat
(2005, Rated NC-17, 90 min., HD)

Just because it's another NC-17 movie that's available streaming. That's the only reason, I swear. Why are you looking at me like that?







UHF
(1989, Rated PG-13, 97 min.)

I remember finding a DVD copy of UHF in the bargain bin at Winn Dixie sometime in the latter days of my high school experience. I can't, however, even begin to estimate how many times I watched it over the years that followed. Probably somewhere between "a lot" and "seek help." UHF is a bizarre relic scooped straight out of the hyperactive subconscious of "Weird Al" Yankovic and then-manager Jay Levey. On the surface, it's the story of a luckless loser (Yankovic) who wins the deed to a failing UHF station, Channel 62. Without any experience in programming, he just starts letting his friends shoot and air whatever they want...and the network becomes a huge hit. In fact, it becomes so successful that R.J. Fletcher, head of the rival VHF network Channel 8, vows to shut them down. Really, though, UHF is just an excuse for Yankovic and Levey to let their imaginations run wild in the form of songs, parody sketches, and general silliness. Also keep an eye out for a pre-Seinfeld, pre-scandal Michael Richards as Stanley Spadowski, a dim-witted janitor who becomes a kids'-show sensation.

Double-Feature It With...

The Jerk
(1979, Rated R, 94 min.)

There is never a bad time to rewatch The Jerk. That is all.









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