FlixWorthy Parties With A Shotgun-Wielding Hobo

By David Wharton 3 years ago discussion comments
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Welcome back to FlixWorthy, your guide to Netflix streaming! Yet again we're bringing you a handful of new or notable selections from Netflix's Instant Watch 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.


Hobo with a Shotgun
(2011, Not Rated, 86 min., HD)

The whole grindhouse renaissance has been sort of a strange phenomenon when you think about it. Filmmakers who fell in love with shitty to semi-shitty moves in their youth are making new movies in the same style, intentionally imitating the piss-poor budgets, paper-thin characters, and ridiculously over-the-top violence that had relegated the genre to a historical footnote in the first place. Then again, where else can you watch Danny Trejo rappel down the side of a building using a guy's intestines? (Aside from Danny Trejo's house parties, where I presume this sort of thing happens all the time.) And so now, the new-wave grinders have reached perhaps their most distilled essence and brought to us the simple story of an angry hobo who kills bad people with a shotgun. Because, well, why not? Even better, the Hobo is played by Rutger Hauer, so bonus points if you watch the movie imagining that he's actually a time-lost version of Roy Batty who got more life, fell through a wormhole, then went senile when his positronic matrix began to malfunction and became a violent homeless man. He's seen things you people wouldn't believe. And shot them in the face.

Double-Feature It With:

Pulp Fiction
(1994, Rated R, 154 min., HD)

If Grindhouse were streaming, that would be the ideal double (triple) feature, since that's where Hobo with a Shotgun originated in a roundabout way, having won Rodriguez's South by Southwest trailers contest. So we'll take it back a few steps, to the movie that made Quentin Tarantino a household name, and without which I almost certainly would not be writing about a movie called Hobo with a Shotgun right now.



Tangled
(2010, Rated PG, 100 min.)

Feel free to follow up your grindhouse excursion with Tangled if you are curious as to how it would flow and/or are chemically altered. At any rate, we now move on to Disney's recent tongue-in-cheek spin on the Rapunzel legend, Tangled. A movie that looked imminently forgettable in the trailers, but which went on to apparently prove me wrong, if the reviews are to be believed. (And why wouldn't you believe them? Katey and Jessica have honest faces.) Tangled casts Chuck's Zachary Levi as a dashing bandit who discovers the infamous tower, and the impressively coifed girl within, and decides to help Rapunzel foil her cronish captor and escape. Naturally, there will be banter, there will be annoyance with each other that will soon blossom into romance, and possibly there will be a musical number. Honestly, I don't know because I haven't seen it. But I will now, because it's on Netflix. Now if only this partnership between Starz and Netflix would actually give us these new-ish releases in freakin' HD...

Double-Feature It With:

The Princess and the Frog
(2009, Rated G, 97 min.)

Another well-reviewed recent Disney outing that proves that not everything of quality from their studios these days has to come stamped with "Pixar." (And that's ignoring the fact that Cars 2 may have thrown that theory out altogether.) Besides, how many animated movies have you seen set in New Orleans? Or in the Jazz age, for that matter?




Hunter Prey
(2010, Not Rated, 88 min., HD)

You can read my full review of the Hunter Prey DVD right here, but here's the short version: a starship crashes on a barren world, in the process freeing a dangerous prisoner. The three surviving crew members must hunt the prisoner across the alien desert, with the stakes being no less than the survival of their entire species. Hunter Prey was directed and co-written by Sandy Collora, whose stylish Batman short film, Batman: Dead End, set tongues a-wagging back in 2003. I won't lie: Hunter Prey is not a great movie. But it is a good movie, and it earns extra points for the sheer amount of passion on display. The entire production is a tribute to the look and feel of the classic SF movies of the '70s and '80s, and while Hunter Prey never ascends to those heights, it's definitely worth a viewing. If nothing else, it's an impressive demonstration of what can be accomplished these days with a relatively paltry budget (an estimated $425K according to IMDb).

Double-Feature It With:

Oblivion
(1994, Rated PG-13, 93 min.)

Every once in a while I have to recommend something not because it's good, but because it's such a train wreck that it simply demands to be seen. Such is the case with Oblivion, a flick that beat Cowboys and Aliens to the whole cowboys & aliens thing by a good decade and a half. And that's just about the only bragging point Oblivion has to hold over anybody. Here's a good test to see if Oblivion is for you: Does this trailer make you groan with laughter, or just groan? It's also worth mentioning that Oblivion features George Takei's greatest performance ever, as demonstrated at the 45-second mark above.



Masters of Science Fiction
(2007, Not Rated, Six episodes)

A friend and I were talking recently about how anthology series are almost always a hit-or-miss affair, and that's certainly true of the ill-fated Masters of Science Fiction series. Created by the same folks who brought us the equally uneven Masters of Horror, MoSF serves up adaptations of short stories by some of SF literature's brightest talents. Only four of the six episodes actually aired on ABC back in 2007, but now they're all available for your perusal. The end result...well, it depends on the episode, but there's certainly no faulting the source material. The show adapts, in order: John Kessel's "A Clean Escape," Howard Fast's "The Awakening," Robert Heinlein's "Jerry Was a Man," Harlan Ellison's "The Discarded," Walter Mosley's "Little Brother," and Robert Sheckley's "Watchbird." If you're not familiar with the stories, just know that over the course of six episodes the show will explore everything from a man who can only remember the previous 40 minutes of his life to a starship full of society's cast-offs.

Double-Feature It With:

Fear Itself
(2008, TV-14, 13 episodes, HD)

If you prefer your anthological narratives a bit more spooky and less spaceship-y, Netflix also has the full run of this series that ran during the summer of 2008. Talents involved include directors Breck Eisner (The Crazies), Brad Anderson (Session 9), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), Darren Lynn Bousman (the Saw films), and more.








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