Great Films Leaving Netflix This Week

Tomorrow, on August 1st, 2014, over seventy films are leaving the Netflix database. We won’t bore you with all the titles you never would have watched anyway. Instead, here is a short list of films you should see. They are worth your while whether you have heard of them as classics, or overlooked them due to a lack of information. Here goes. Watch ’em quick.

Films Leaving Netflix

Headhunters

An expert art thief working as a headhunter at a major corporation, steals an invaluable painting belonging to another kind of headhunter, a mercenary. What starts out as a professional job, well executed by a familiar expert, turns into a riotous, disturbing fight for survival. The film will surprise you in how far it is willing to go to provide its characters with ultimate pain and discomfort.

Harry Dalian, BravehartIf you haven’t seen this film yet, you should. It’s not surprising that many people have not heard of it. The film came out of Norway by director Morten Tyldum and was only released in a few Art House theaters in major US cities, like the Sunshine Landmark Cinema in the SOHO area of New York City. Regardless of its limited release, the film is a superb and surprising action thriller.

Braveheart

The classic film about Scottish hero William Wallace, directed and starred in by Mel Gibson. Most likely you’ve seen the film, which is an utter classic and perhaps a basis for many films coming after it- Gladiator, The Patriot…

If you need a good bit of inspiration, get to the speech William Wallace delivers rallying his troops into battle.

Donnie Brasco

A Johnny Depp, Al Pacino team up to recreate the story of undercover mafia cop Donnie Brasco. The film contains some memorable scenes including the awkward gift of a lion, and feeding it endless cheeseburgers. More than anything, Donnie Brasco allows the audience to see a performance by Johnny Depp which does not capitalize on the “weird factor”, and is not balls to the wall space cadet inspired. Instead, Depp plays this one cool, and is a rare glimpse into what the actor can due when not under the spell of Tim Burton.

Films Arriving to Netflix (August 1st)Harry Dalian, Chocolat

Chocolat

A classic tale of love, lust, and connection all inspired by a little chocolate.

Buffalo Soldiers

Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris play US soldiers participating in criminal activity at their post in West Germany before the wall falls in 1990.

Top 10 Movies Of All Time

Based on a selection of voting entries from IMDB’s Top 250, and determined by an equation weighting the average rating of the movie, the number of votes for the movie (volume), minimum number of votes to be included in the list, and the mean rating number across the whole number of entries analyzed. The equation used is:  (WR) = (V / (V + M)) * R + (M / (V + M)) * C

Top 5 Movies of All Time

1: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Based on the 1982 novella by Steven King, “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” in his collection “Different Seasons”, The Shawshank Redemption is the greatly loved adaptation that Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, and Bob Gunton turned into a stand alone piece to be remembered by generations hereafter. Director Frank Darabont, who directed The Green Mile five years later, added a voice to this film that made this story of believe, persistance, brotherhood, and smarts, a truly unforgettable film.

2: The Godfather (1972)Harry Dalian, The Godfather

Francis Ford Coppola’s notorious film could stand alone as the archetypical crime, mafia movie. The film became initially recognized for its steps away from Hollywood, which including a graceful, gentlemanly approach to crime and violence, and some never before seen on such a wide scale mood lighting by recently deceased Director of Photography Gordon Willis. There is no question that the film is fantastic, while its renown seems built on acclaim compounded over years,

3: The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Coming in right behind the original, The Godfather: Part II chronicles the Don’s war hero son Michael Corleone’s journey further into a life embracing death and darkness as he expands his father’s crime empire farther to Las Vegas and Cuba. The film continues the original’s civil demeanor toward crime and violence, and eloquently extends the charm and thrill of the first. In many lists, Part II is accredited as the best of the two.

4: The Dark Knight (2008)The Dark Knight Movie Poster, Harry Dalian

The Dark Knight showed darkness to audiences in a psychological and cinematic way audiences have never seen before. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker was seductive and psychological, captivating to the point where audiences could not take their eyes off of him, no matter how contorted his mind, or disturbing his actions. Another benefit of Christopher Nolan’s second film in the trilogy is a wonderful script and moral quandaries for each character, including the competing philosophies of Batman, The Joker, and Harvey Dent.

5: Pulp Fiction (1994)

Just as Harvey Weinstein had found success creating his filmmaking empire bringing “independent” type films to Hollywood, stuff the studio system would have never touched, Quentin Tarantino came around. With his second big film after Reservoir Dogs, this smash hit won the De Palma Award and was picked up for distribution with a binding contract with the Weinstein’s company, Miramax. Pulp Fiction will be a cult and mainstream favorite for as long as we are there to watch.

Neighbors Movie Review

Seth Rogen Movie Neighbors

Neighbors – Frat vs. Family

Bill Wine Neighbors Movie Review

According to a review written by Bill Wine, the upcoming film Neighbors by director Nicholas Stoller (of Get Him to the Greek and Fun with Dick and Jane), starring Seth Rogen and Zack Efron, is just a little too similar to the fraternity parties. The film seems as though it could truly be an enduring success—it’s loud, energetic, chaotic and, most importantly, though it might in actuality be a lot less fun than it sounds.

Neighbors Movie Plot

The plot of Neighbors is rather simple: the film sets up a revenge scenario that continually escalates until it goes beyond control. Battle commences between Teddy Sanders—played by Zac Efron as the president of the Delta Psy Kappa fraternity, and a local family, the Radnors who are played by Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne. The Radnors are the quiet family next door just settling into the suburbs to raise their first child.  The Radnors introduce themselves and establish a disclaimer that their own party days are not so far in the past; they assure Sanders they will not begrudge him his good time.

Neighbors Movie Tone

Their tone changes at the first all night party that results in no sleep for them or their infant.  The cops are called and war quickly starts and escalates steadily forward.  From there, battles continually erupt; no prank is too cruel or crude.

While Wine says that a paper-thin plot is to be expected in this genre, that doesn’t mean the characters must be as well.  The actions and measures taken by the characters in the increasingly ridiculous pranks leads the film to feel as if the characters are in some form of an alternative universe, where characters serve to nothing other than fulfill tropes and generic movie roles instead of portraying three dimensional, relatable human beings.

Neighbors Movie Script

The script, constructed by Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, is also an issue for Wine, who declares it definitively raunchy, relying far too much on slapstick humor and gross-out gags to be considered a feature.  While these components may succeed in the likes of The Three Stooges and Tom and Jerry, it isn’t fit the bill for a Hollywood Blockbuster.  Instead, Wine believes it will be most suited as background noise, residing on the television screens at fraternity parties in a cruel sense of irony and sense of disappointment.

Themes in The Big Lebowski

The Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski is no doubt a cult favorite and generally a stellar film that will go down Harry Dalian, The Big Lewbowskiin history as one of the most memorable and unique. One of its greatest pleasures is that The Big Lebowski is one of those films you can watch over and over again because you love it, and at the same time, it is one of those films you can, and should, watch over and over again to pick up on more subtle themes and “easter eggs”.

If you’re one of the ones who’s watched it over and over again, excellent. Check out this list and let me know what you think. If you’re not, here are a few themes in The Big Lebowski you might have missed:

Castration as a ThemeHarry Dalian, Scissors Big Lebowski

Throughout the film you’ll realize that the male characters the story follows are not the impressive or enviable protagonists one would normally encounter in a hollywood film. The men in the film are portrayed as incompetent and even physically disabled. In contrast, the female characters were written to be more powerful than the men, or out of their control, in the case of bunny.

Imagery that illustrates the theme of castration in The Big Lebowski can be found in multiple places. When we first meet Maude Lebowski, the dude enters her studio, and before we see her hoisted up to the ceiling “painting” from above, held up by two men with pulleys, we see a giant painting of scissors. The introduction to scissors as an image of castration is here, and also recurs in Lebowski’s drea sequence when he is chased by a man with giant scissors. The three thugs after Lebowski also threaten to castrate him (humorously) if he doesn’t comply with their plan.

Ringing Phone

Throughout the film, The Dude’s phone is almost constantly ringing. What you’ll notice, though, is that he doesn’t answer it. The dude, perhaps, knows he’ll learn whatever it is eventually, and this is shown when the police are at his house and Maude calls him, “I am the one who took your rug”.

Tumbleweed and BowlingHarry Dalian, Tumbleweed

There’s no secret that tumbleweed makes an appearance, as it is the image that guides us into the film: we follow a blowing tumbleweed across the dessert finally toward a large reveal of the extensively lit city of Los Angeles. Remember, though, that Lebowski is essentially of the same character of the tumbleweed: without aim, just rolling with the wind wherever it takes him.

When Lebowski and his Bowling team discuss going to “roll”, their big obsession with bowling may pay homage and draw comparison to the life of a tumbleweed.