Here are some (not all) movies that were recently added to instant streaming as of June 1st. You should totally add these to your instant queue if you never saw them.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Cast: Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Harrison Ford, Dennis Hopper
Genre: War Drama
During the height of the Vietnam War, U.S. Army Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent on a mission to Cambodia to assassinate Colonel Walter Kurtz (Marlon Brando) who has gone rogue, setting himself up as a commander of a local tribe. The acclaimed director of The Godfather trilogy made a war movie that includes a lot of really talented actors. It is a human story more so than a war story, and it shows the effects of war on the human mind. This movie is a classic, despite the fact that people either love it or hate it. I, however, love it. Also, if you’re feeling really movie motivated, or just have a lot of free time, you can watch Apocalypse Now Redux (also on streaming), which is an extra 49 minutes of scenes.
Annie Hall (1977)
Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Alvy the comedian (Woody Allen) falls in love with Annie (Diane Keaton) in 1970’s New York. It’s a very simple story, following their relationship starting from the time they first meet. Woody Allen plays his favorite kind of character, the neurotic New Yorker. Diane Keaton plays a ditzy, quirky girl you can’t help but love. This movie actually won quite a few Oscars, including Best Actress for Diane Keaton, Best Director and Best Screenplay for Woody Allen, as well as Best Picture. In my opinion, this is Woody Allen’s best.
Director: Brian De Palma
Cast: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta
A movie based on the Stephen King book of the same name. Carrie (Sissy Spacek), a young girl who possesses telekinetic powers, lives a solitary life with her religious fanatic mother (Piper Laurie). She struggles to fit in at her high school, and a bad prank played on her at prom unleashes all sorts of hell. This is a classic horror film. I don’t know too many people who haven’t seen it, or at least know the story, but for some reason I just feel like it’s a must-see for pretty much everyone. Also, it is loads better than the stupid remake that came out last year, even though I do love Chloë Grace Moretz and think she’s a total badass. Sissy Spacek just pulls off a better performance and Piper Laurie terrifies me.
Iron Monkey (1993)
Director: Woo-ping Yuen
Cast: Donnie Yen, Rongguang Yu, Jean Wang, Sze-Man Tsang
Genre: Action/Martial Arts
Dr. Yang (Rongguang Yu) secretly poses as the Iron Monkey, a thief and skilled martial artist who steals from corrupt officials and gives to the poor, kind of like “Robin Hood.” He crosses paths with a traveling physician (Donnie Yen), who is forced by the governor to find the Iron Monkey and kill him. This movie may not be for everyone, but I’d recommend it to anyone who likes action and martial arts films. I love martial arts movies, and I am a huge Donnie Yen fan, who some people may have seen in the more recent Ip Man movies. He is so good at what he does. Despite the fact that I’m not really a huge fan of “wire fu,” I overlook it when it is used well enough and the movie is actually good. This movie may not be my favorite kung fu film, but it’s still fun to watch.
Lady Vengeance (2005)
Director: Park Chan-wook
Cast: Lee Yeong-ae, Choi Min-Sik, Kwon Yea-young
Lee Geum-ja (Lee Yeong-gae) is released from prison after serving a 13 year sentence for a crime she did not commit, the murder of a young boy. After being released, she seeks revenge on the real murderer, Mr. Baek (Choi Min-sik). I love Korean cinema. Some of their stuff is ruthless and the endings aren’t always happy. A lot of the popular Korean movies on Netflix streaming are revenge flicks, which I love. But even their other movies have a lot of great story and heart to them. This one, however, is a revenge flick. It is included in what is usually considered the “Revenge Trilogy” of Park Chan-wook, although none of the three films are connected in story, they just share the same theme–Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance (all on Netlix streaming right now). Which brings me to my next suggestion…
Director: Park Chan-wook
Cast: Choi Min-sik, Yu Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jeong
Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is imprisoned for 15 years in a cell that resembles a motel room. He is eventually released by his captor and sent on a path to find out who did this to him. Along this path, he meets a young woman who is a sushi chef, and he becomes romantically involved with her. This movie might actually be in my top 10 favorites, although making a top 10 of all time is actually incredibly difficult, but I would at least consider this one being on that list. This movie is just brutal through and through. It’s not really a “feel-good” vengeance type movie, it’s more like a feel really bad about everything type movie, but only because it has such an impact. It’s brilliantly made. The main actor, Choi Min-sik, is incredibly talented. He actually eats a live octopus in this movie. It’s disgusting. I absolutely love it. Spike Lee’s remake was an insult to this movie. It’s terrible, don’t watch it. Watch this instead.
Side Note: I’m not going to be talking much about TV shows on this blog, but the Netflix original Orange is the New Black Season 2 comes out on streaming on June 6th. Great show. Can’t wait.