Movies come and go on Netflix pretty often and it’s hard to keep track of which ones are coming and which ones are going. Now, Netflix only tells you when things are going to expire like a week before they do, and the only way to find out is to click the title and see if it has “available until…” underneath it. But who is going to go through all their instant queue titles on a regular basis, especially when it is filled with 100+ titles you’ll probably never even get around to watching, am I right? Thankfully, there are some websites out there where people will report what movies they’ve seen expiration dates on, and then they will compile a nice, comprehensive list. But often times, especially at the end of a month, that list is huge. So, here’s just a few of the movies I think are worth watching (if you ever have the time) before they expire at the end of this month.
All of these movies are expiring at 11:59 PM on May 31st.
Director: Charles Crichton
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Tom Georgeson
Two Americans, the con artist and seductress, Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis), and Otto (Kevin Kline), the self-proclaimed intellectual, team up in London for a jewel heist with two Brits, George (Tom Georgeson), and stuttering, animal-loving Ken (Michael Palin). After the jewels are stolen, Wanda and Otto anonymously turn George in to the police in hopes they will be able to steal the jewels for themselves. However, George has moved them from the safe and remains the only person who knows their location. This sends Wanda and Otto on a conning, comedic trek to find the jewels. This journey entails Wanda seducing a lawyer named Archie (John Cleese), Otto consistently cussing people out and swallowing a whole tank of live fish, and Ken failing several times to kill an old woman, the only witness to George’s crime. This movie is a well-made comedy which exaggerates crime movie stereotypes. Everyone is in it for themselves, and they don’t think twice about double-crossing each other. It has a funny, talented cast. Overall, this movie is a good time and an easy watch.
Director: Sergio Leone
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch, Gian Maria Volonté, Wolfgang Lukschy
Clint Eastwood plays an anonymous wanderer who is skilled with a gun. He enters a small town on the Mexican border and finds out that there are two head families at war with each other, the Rojo’s and the Baxters. He decides to play both groups against each other in attempts to try to make money out of them both. In the meantime, he develops sympathy for a woman named Marisol (Marianne Koch), who was taken hostage by the Rojo’s. In order to try and reunite her with her family, he puts his own life at risk. This film became one of the first widely recognized “spaghetti westerns” to come out of the 1960s. I’ve always loved Clint Eastwood the most in his “man with no name” spaghetti western roles, mostly in Leone’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Although For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly are widely accepted as being better movies, this one shouldn’t be overlooked. Anyone who has enjoyed other work of Leone’s or is a fan of westerns in general should see this. It is a great western classic, in my opinion.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Director: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris
Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is visiting Tokyo because her husband John (Giovanni Ribisi) is a photographer doing work there. She struggles to cope with boredom and insomnia as she doesn’t have much to do but stay in her hotel room and her husband is never there. Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is a washed up actor who is also visiting Tokyo to film some commercials. They end up crossing paths because they are staying in the same hotel. They become close, as two people who are totally bored with their lives might do. This is one of the few films of Sofia Coppola’s that I actually do like, and it was also nominated for a few Oscars including Best Picture. It is a heartfelt story between two people who seem lost in life and who act as guides and refuge for each other in a foreign world. Despite not understanding many of the things around them, they understand each other. They have an endearing and unique relationship that isn’t physical, but emotional in the ways that they can connect with one another doing simple activities. They also end up having some funny experiences due to cultural and language barriers with the Japanese. It’s a pretty enjoyable movie. Plus, who doesn’t love ScarJo and Bill Murray?
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Cast: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans, Kim Hunter, Linda Harrison
A crew of astronauts travel 2,000 years into deep space and land on an unknown planet where apes are the dominant race, and humans are dumb, mute slaves. What is there not to love about this movie? Taylor (Charlton Heston) is a cocky dude, who, at first sight of these primitive humans, thinks he can rule the world until a bunch of apes on horseback whoop his ass and take him captive. If anyone hasn’t seen this movie but has seen the awful 2001 remake of this movie with Mark Wahlberg, then you pretty much have a responsibility to watch this. Now, I love me some Marky Mark any time of the day, but I don’t love me some bad remakes. Plus, if you’re a fan of the new rebooting of the franchise with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and are planning on seeing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes come July 11th, then it doesn’t hurt to see where it all started…well…ended.
The Piano (1993)
Director: Jane Campion
Cast: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin
Ada (Holly Hunter) leaves her home in Scotland with her young daughter (Anna Paquin) and her piano, in order to be married off to a man named Alisdair (Sam Neill) who lives in New Zealand. Ada is mute, as in she wasn’t born that way, she just chooses not to speak. Instead, she expresses herself through music which she plays beautifully through her beloved piano. Alisdair’s friend and neighbor, George (Harvey Keitel), convinces him to let him have the piano and to have Ada give him “lessons.” His meaning of “lessons” really means, “Let me watch you play while I grope you.” It’s an odd movie, and as much as it sounds like it, it’s not as creepy as you would think. It’s actually quite an interesting story, and an emotional film. Holly Hunter won an Oscar for best actress and it was a non-speaking role. She really was amazing in this. Anna Paquin, who is only 11-years-old in this movie, won her first Oscar for it. It’s well worth the watch.
Roman Holiday (1953)
Director: William Wyler
Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) is bored with her sheltered life, so one night she sneaks out onto the streets of Rome and meets Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), an American newsman who sees her as his ticket to make $5,000. He wines and dines her and shows her a good time, all with the intentions of exposing her in an article for money. But then guess what happens? You’ll never guess. He falls for her, obviously. This movie is probably more geared towards women. Being a woman myself, I love this movie. It’s fun and charming. I love Audrey Hepburn, and I love classic rom-coms. So if you like the same things I do, check this one out.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano
The movie takes place over a long period of time. In the beginning, Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a prospector who has accidentally struck oil. Thus begins his obsession and greed in the oil business. A man named Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) eventually visits Daniel and sells him information about his family’s land which he claims has oil lying underneath it. It is at this time when his story intersects with the character who will become his enemy–Paul’s twin brother, Eli the preacher. It goes without saying that Daniel Day-Lewis is basically one of the most talented actors to have ever graced the big screen. Not surprisingly, he also won an Oscar for this role. Paul Dano is also fantastic, in my opinion. You really hate him in this movie, a lot. Between him and Day-Lewis, this movie is overloaded with talent. There really is no “hero” here, as both characters are unlikable in their own ways. Greed really unravels these characters. This movie sticks with you and I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing. It’s more like watching a train wreck, but it’s just too hard to look away.