Much like the newspapers you’ve been reading over the past week, a good pair of socks, and various elected officials in government, everything needs to be cycled out for a fresh one in due time. The Netflix library is no exception to this law of nature, and we’ve got a list of 8 films you’re going to want to view before time runs out. November 1st is your deadline for the following primo picks, so watch ‘em if you’ve got ‘em:
FargoWhile this Coen Bros classic has been making a splash with the FX series it inspired, it’s always good to return to the original and remember just why Fargo is so special to begin with. Where else are you going to find a comedy this absurd involving kidnapping, extortion, and woodchippers? And no offense to the stellar cast of either season, but when you’ve got William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, and Steve Buscemi in the same film – it’s got to be worth a watch. Come for the intrigue, stay for the accents.
The Blues BrothersThe Blues Brothers is one of those lightning in a bottle films that comes along every so often, just to prove that musicals aren’t dead – they just need the right hands. With John Landis directing, and the winning team of Dan Aykroid and John Belushi traveling across Illinois on a mission from God, this film is the epitome of SNL movies gone right. Though, be honest, you don’t watch The Blues Brothers for the plot; you watch it for the music. If that’s the case, imagine "Shake A Tail Feather," "Give Me Some Lovin’," and "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" blaring out of your speakers, inviting you to dance like no one is watching.
RudyEvery football season, there’s that one team. The team that rises from underdog to top tier, glimpsing victory closer than ever before. It’s moments like those that you need a hero, and it’s moments like those that remind you of Rudy. Based on the true story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, the film chronicles his hard scrabble path to fulfilling his dream of playing for Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish football program. Even the toughest son of a bitch has been known to cry while watching this movie, and if you don’t shed at least a tear by the finale, then you might qualify for Grinch status.
Three KingsWar may be hell, but trying to get rich during a war – courtesy of your enemy’s gold reserves – is even tougher. Three Kings is one of the deepest cuts of David O. Russell’s career. While 1999 was far from his current era of consistent prestige season results, Three Kings remains one of the director’s sharpest pictures to date. It could be the witty screenplay he wrote, or it could be the winning trio of George Clooney, Ice Cube, and Mark Wahlberg being on deck in the cast – there are a number of factors you could attribute the film’s success to. Whatever element you choose to focus on, all roads lead to the fact that Three Kings is a movie well worth your time.
Stand By MeIf you thought growing up was hard in the real world, try doing it in a Stephen King story. Based on his novella, The Body, Stand By Me is the classic tale of four boys who go on a journey to find a dead body. Throughout said journey, they encounter obstacles – both natural and man-made, and they ultimately learn more than they ever knew about each other, and themselves. Rob Reiner directed this flick in the prime of his career, and the film was not only cheered upon its first release, but it continues to be an enduring work of art to this day. With Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, and River Phoenix portraying the boys at the heart of this mess, you can definitely see why.
ScreamWhat’s your favorite scary movie? Odds are, it just might be Scream, as Wes Craven’s post-modern slasher film still has quite a following, despite being defunct for 4 years now. You can debate the merits of the three sequels as much as you want, but the appeal to Sidney Prescott’s first dance with death is just as undeniable as the effects that Craven’s film had on the film industry. The moment Ghostface’s reign of terror began, horror and comedy would never be the same. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool fan, or a new-comer from the MTV Series who wants to see how it should be done, Scream should be one of your first movie choices to celebrate Halloween in style.
SawBefore the franchise devolved into the inspiration for countless "torture porn" imitators, Saw was the dawn of the second independent revolution for horror films. With James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s tightly crafted talents spinning a web of shocks and surprises, it’s easy to overlook the dodgy American accents of either of the film’s leads. Most importantly, Saw is a film that manages to legitimately pull the rug from under its closely watching audience, making them beg for more information to pull together the legacy of Jigsaw. Do yourself a favor and limit yourself to the first 4 films, starting with this modern classic.
CleopatraFor as much as we hear about big budget flops falling on their faces, we often forget that sometimes those flops produce a film so big that you can’t ignore it. Cleopatra is one of those films, as the grandeur and scope of the film’s inflated budget can at least be seen on the screen at all times. As legendary as the film’s pitfalls were, the triumphs the film managed to secure as far as casting outweigh the negatives. Above all, this is peak Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, with the film marking the beginning of their legendarily tempestuous love affair – and you can see the chemistry in the finished product. It’s a film for all ages, as Cleopatra proves that while you might bomb in the short term, the long term can prove to be sweeter than anything else.