Colin’s Netflix Picks

Yesterday Jim brought you his Seven Hidden Gems on Netflix Instant so today I come back at you with seven picks of my own. I tried to dig deep and scrounge up a selection of films (and like Jim one TV show) that you might have bypassed while perusing and filling up your instant queue. So don’t be a dick and watch everything on this list.

The Works of Jean Pierre Melville

Army of Shadows
Dirty Money
Le Cercle Rouge
Los Doulos
Bob Le Flambeur

Most of Melville filmography is up on instant (unfortunately my favorite film of his, Le Samourai is not, but oh well) and if you have never heard of this French director and do not have an aversion to subtitles you need to check out his films as soon as possible as he may be the greatest crime director to ever live. Seriously Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction probably could not exist with out Melville’s influence.

The best film up on instant is his World War II set French Resistance film, Army of Shadows.

Why Should I Watch?: There’s such a great calm in all of his films, and a certain sort of acceptance that all of his characters carry with them. They all know what they’re doing, and accept the consequences of the lives they are living so that when things end there is no distress and no regret. Powerful stuff.

Street Law (dir. Enzo G. Castellari 1974)


What?: A mid-70s Death Wish-esque Italian action film starring Franco Nero, who proceeds to take the law into his own hands and kill the bank robbers who took him hostage.

Why Should I Watch?: Lots of reasons. Franco Nero is awesome. 1970s Italian films always have kick ass electric guitar soundtracks. This was directed by the guy who directed the original Inglorious Bastards which Tarantino took the title of his film from. But most of all it’s just plain loony. There is no real personal motive for Nero’s bourgeois character to get revenge to the extent that he does except that they offended his delicate Italian masculinity. Nero spends most of the running getting beat up and emasculated before he mans up and kills tons of people. It’s a fun movie and you all should be watching more Italian films from the 70s. No subtitles either so you get to listen to everyone have an American accent save for Nero who dubbed his own voice in his thick Italian accent.

The OSS 117 Films: Cairo Nest of Spys & Lost in Rio (dir. Michel Hazanavicius 2006 & 2009)

What?: Last weekend The Artist swept the oscars, garnering Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture awards. While The Artist was a fine film, it was far the best of the year and it wasn’t even as good as the last two films star Jean DuJardin and director Michel Hazanavicius made together which would be this pair of Sean Connery-era Bond film pastiches.

Why Should I Watch?: Because they’re hilarious! Especially if you’re a big fan of the early Sean Connery Bond films. Hazanavicius nails the look and pacing of 1960’s spy films and DuJardin’s take on the secret agent is Connery turned up to 11, enhancing the latent misogyny, racism, ethnocentrism and homo-eroticism lay dormant underneath the surface of Bond. It’s amazing and the women are gorgeous.

Shout At The Devil (dir. Peter Hunt 1976)


What?: Speaking of Bond, this 1976 action-adventure epic was directed by Peter Hunt who directed the best James Bond film ever, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and stars Roger Moore who dominated the character of James Bond during the 70s and 80s. This film pairs Roger up with Lee Marvin in Colonial German Africa right before the star of World War I. This is an incredibly old fashioned romance adventure epic that they just don’t seem to make anymore.

Why Should I Watch?: It stars Roger Moore and Lee Marvin! They’re a pair of rapscallion ruffian buddies! They fight Germans! Roger Moore is a charming gent and Lee Marvin is a curmudgeonly bastard and they get up to hijinks! What more do you want?

The Edge (dir. Lee Tamahori 1997)

What?: Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin fight a bear after their plane crashes in Alaska.

Why Should I Watch It?: Because it was written by David Mamet so it features a lot of great dialogue and lots of introspection on what it means to be a man. I joke that it’s about Alec and Tony fighting a bear, but much like Joe Carnahan’s recent (amazing) film The Grey which features Liam Neeson fighting wolves, it’s about much more than then might fighting wild beasts. Check it out and see for yourself. It’s the kind of film Hemmingway would be proud of.

American Gigolo (dir. Paul Schrader 1980)

What?: In many ways Paul Schrader’s 1980 film announces and defines the coming decade. Richard Gere plays a high end male prostitute who lacks any real deep connections with people and finds himself in a tangled web of blackmail, murder and sex.

Why Should I Watch?: Nobody digs into the deep, dark sexual underbelly of human existence like Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver, writer-director of Hardcore and Auto-Focus) and Richard Gere gives a really great performance here as Julian, incredibly handsome and emotionally vacant. It also features a score written by Blondie and Giorgio Moroder and Bill Duke gives a killer performance and he has hair!

This would make a great double feature with the recent Steve McQueen directed, Michael Fassbender starring film Shame.

Larry Sanders Show


What?: Garry Shandling, Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor star in this HBO sitcom set at the behind the scenes of a late night talk show.

Why Should I Watch It?: Hey now! Do you like funny sitcoms like Seinfeld and Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation? Yes? Then you’ll love this. All of the characters are loveable assholes it features a lot of great cameos by lots of different movie stars and musicians, like List Off favorite Warren Zevon. It’s a complete series too with a great, conclusive finale and the dynamics between the characters are really stellar with Shandling, Torn and Tambor essentially forming a sitcom trio version of Captain Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy.

Get Watching!


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Categories: Film

Author:Colin Holmes

I love movies. I love watching them and I love writing about them. My taste ranges from Jean Pierre Melville to Jean Claude Van Damme and everything in between as long as it isn’t mediocre. I’ll take a crazy failure of a movie over a middle of the road one any day. I'm an American currently living abroad in Oz and am relishing how my accent makes me sound like a cowboy to everyone I meet here.

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