Now Streaming: Your Netflix Instant Alternatives To Expendables 2, Cosmopolis And Sleepwalk With Me
With so many titles to choose from, Netflix Instant's catalog can be overwhelming. And so we offer this biweekly column, which showcases enticing streaming titles that correspond to the latest theatrical releases, to help you make the most of your Netflix subscription.
Following in the vein of The Expendables 2, Cosmopolis, and Sleepwalk With Me, this week we're suggesting some of the best of Stallone, cerebral dramas, and the drama behind stand-up comedy.
The Expendables 2
Sly Stallone and company return for another testosterone-stuffed action epic. Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lungren, Jet Li and Liam Hemsworth co-star.
Stallone has been an action staple for decades. Relish in all things Sly, from his burly build to his growling bravado and mumbling delivery, with three films that represent different phases in career.
The Expendables (2010) Playing on his own persona and plenty of fan love, Stallone returned to the familiar terrain of explosions and gunfire galore with this super group of action icons playing a team of mercenaries tasked with taking down a corrupt authority on a Latin American island. Stallone not only stars in and co-wrote this flick, he also directed it. Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts co-star along with much of the cast of its sequel.
Demolition Man (1993) After many strong-jawed and serious action features, Stallone showed a sense of humor with this over-the-top sci-fi flick. Here he plays John Spartan, a rogue cop known for more for his destructive methods than his heroic deeds. These antics get him put in a cryogenic freeze alongside a psychotic quipping criminal called Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes). But when both are awakened in 2032 and unlueshed upon a seemingly serene California landscape, it's more than buildings Spartan will bring down as he unveils this brave new world's disturbing underbelly. Peppered with meta jokes and a sassy sidekick (Sandra Bullock), this is one of Stallone's wackier projects, but it's still satisfying fun on a WTF level.
Rocky (1976) The film that scored Stallone his only Oscar nods, for Best Lead Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Here he plays aspiring boxer Rocky Balboa, the poor sap selected to face-off against world heavyweight boxing champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Though Stallone didn't win and Academy Award that night, Rocky won three, for Best Editing, Best Director and Best Picture. And if you just can't get enough of this tenacious pugilist, make your own marathon with Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV and Rocky V, which are all now streaming.
Based on Don DeLillo's novel, the latest feature from David Cronenberg casts Robert Pattinson as a pontificating billionaire whose drawn to sex and destruction but feels nothing. Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton, Kevin Durand, and Jay Baruchel co-star.
Made up of scene after scene of scene of dizzying dialogue and perplexing personalities,Cosmopolis is an art house drama that repeatedly and unrepentantly plays with your perception. For more Cannes-selected cerebral cinema from thought-provoking directors, check out this trio. But be warned, these features play by their own rules.
Certified Copy (2010) Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami crafts a mind-bending tale of a man and woman whose relationship may be more than meets the eye. Cosmopolis' Juliette Binoche, who won Best Actress at Cannes for this role, dazzles as the elegant owner of a Tuscan gallery whose day trip with a heralded British writer (William Shimell) offers poignant moments and mind-bending conversations. There's a mystery here, and it lies in the ties that may or may not bind this curious couple.
Dead Man (1995) Indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch gives his own unique spin to the Western genre with this surrealist and satisfying feature that boasts performances from Johnny Depp, Gabriel Byrne, Robert Mitchum, Crispin Glover, and Iggy Pop. Depp stars as an accountant, mistaken for a poet, who inadvertently begins an odd odyssey after he kills a man and so is spurred into the wilderness where he meets a Native American named Nobody (Gary Farmer). If the cast alone isn't enough to convince you this one's worth a watch, then perhaps you ought to just mosey on.
Secret Sunshine (2007) From celebrated South Korean writer-director Chang-dong Lee comes the compelling drama that won its star Do-yeon Jeon the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress for her role as a recently widowed woman forced to new depths of grief when her young son is abducted. Rather than presenting a fast-paced thriller, Lee and Jeon linger in their heroine's life following her husband's death, where she tries to create a safe place to raise her son on her own. But once her boy is snatched away, the film changes tactics and pulls viewers with in with Jeon's tour-de-force performance. Another sign of its quality, Secret Sunshine is presented here by The Criterion Collection.
Sleepwalk With Me
Comedian Mike Birbiglia pulls from his own life to create an unconventional comedy about an aspiring stand-up comic who struggles with commitment issues and a dangerous sleepwalking habit. Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane and Marc Maron co-star.
Behind their jokes, the life of a stand-up can be filled with embarrassment and pain. But somehow all this makes their humor even richer. Explore the ups and downs of three celebrated comedians with these insightful and deeply funny titles.
What I Should Have Said Was Nothing: Tales From My Secret Public Journal (2008) When his therapist told him he should detail his anxieties and past humiliations into a journal, skilled storyteller Mike Birbiglia found a whole new source of inspiration for his self-deprecating sense of humor. In this comedy special, he digs deep into personal stories, and the results are downright hilarious.
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (2011) Following his abrupt dismissal from The Tonight Show, Conan O'Brien took his show—and tale of woe—on the road, creating "The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television" tour. This doc follows him on his trek around the country and reveals the workaholic behind the floppy hair and goofy smile. It's not always a positive portrait, but for all his outbursts and anxieties, O'Brien delivers an exuberant performance for audience after audience, showing what hard work comedy really is.
Louie (2010) Comic's comic Louis C.K. turns the sitcom genre on its head with his autobiographical series set in New York City that blends elements of his life (his stand-up struggles, being a single-father of two girls) with his surly and cerebral sense of humor. From shaming a heckler, to a string of romantic failures, to a ego-swallowing confrontation with reputed rival Dane Cook, C.K. presents a challenging and often shocking comedy series that refuses to offer easy laughs. Seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming.
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