Friday, March 06, 2009

Netflix New Watch Now Picks for the Week - Episode 8

Friday has arrived again which means it's time for the GeekTonic "Netflix Watch Now Movies Worth Watching" feature.
If you're looking for some inexpensive entertainment, Netflix's iconmovie streaming service is a great place to start.  All you need is at least a one-out-at-a-time Netflix subscription and a Netflix Watch Nowicon Playback device or compatible browser.  Each Friday, I'll be highlighting a selection of newly added Netflix Watch-Now titles you can check out - I'll try to screen out the worst of the bunch & just leave the better quality ones or at minimum some of the "broader appeal" titles.
(Disclaimer:  Not all of these will appeal to everyone - of course) 

Altered States

Harvard scientist Eddie Jessup's (William Hurt) mind-altering experiments on himself, involving a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber, get out of control when his handiwork shuttles him back and forth on the evolutionary spectrum -- from human to ape-man. Equal parts sci-fi actioner, 1960s psychedelic trip and farce, the film was based on a Paddy Chayefsky novel and received Oscar nominations for music and sound. Blair Brown co-stars.

Micki and Maude

TV reporter Rob Salinger (Dudley Moore) is so lucky he's about to become a father ... to babies born to two different women. With his marriage to lawyer Micki (Ann Reinking) unraveling due to their hectic careers, Rob starts up a dalliance with Maude (Amy Irving), a cellist. When Maude announces she's pregnant, Rob decides to divorce Micki; but when she returns from a trip and says she, too, is expecting, he tries to juggle both relationships.


A mischievous French schoolgirl named Madeline (Hatty Jones) tries to save her boarding school from the real estate market, but finds it difficult to convince the building's owner (Nigel Hawthorne) not to sell. A straight-laced schoolmistress (Frances McDormand) tries her best to keep Madeline -- who uses her smarts to discourage prospective buyers -- out of trouble. Based on the popular children's books by Ludwig Bemelmans.

St. Elmo's Fire

Best friends and recent Georgetown grads Jules (Demi Moore), Billy (Rob Lowe), Wendy (Mare Winningham), Alex (Judd Nelson), Leslie (Ally Sheedy) and Kevin (Andrew McCarthy) struggle with the newfound responsibilities of life in the real world in this classic Brat Pack drama from director Joel Schumacher. The group copes with drug addiction, infidelity, unrequited love and ennui while they frequent their favorite college bar, St. Elmo's Fire.

As Good as It Gets

When acerbic, reclusive and obsessive-compulsive author Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) lets stressed-out single mom and waitress Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt) and gay neighbor Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear) and his dog into his life, profound changes await them all in this touching dramedy. Nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay, the film won Oscars for Nicholson's and Hunt's heartfelt performances.

Twilight Zone: The Movie

Based on Rod Serling's hit TV series, this anthology features four tales of fantasy and horror. A bigot (Vic Morrow) experiences prejudice; a man (Scatman Crothers) with special powers helps the elderly regain their youth; a woman (Kathleen Quinlan) discovers a town controlled by an odd child; and a passenger (John Lithgow) sees something horrifying on the wing of his plane. John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller direct.

The Red Badge of Courage

John Huston's classic film adaptation of the 1895 Stephen Crane novel, set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, ponders the feelings of anxiety and finally outright fear in a boy preparing for battle. Henry (Audie Murphy) begins losing his illusions of heroism during his first skirmish, and after witnessing his friend's death and receiving an accidental wound from a retreating soldier, he comes to terms with the realities of warfare.
Get Carter

When his brother is killed in an accident, cold-blooded gun for hire Jack Carter (Sylvester Stallone) returns home to make peace with his past. But when evidence of foul play surfaces, Carter's mission becomes one of retribution rather than redemption. Miranda Richardson, Rachel Leigh Cook, Mickey Rourke and Michael Caine (who starred in the original production) lead the supporting cast in this remake of the classic 1971 crime thriller.
A Farewell to Arms

Adapted from Ernest Hemingway's World War I novel, this drama centers on American soldier Lt. Frederick Henry (Rock Hudson). While serving in the Italian Army, Henry has an affair with nurse Catherine Barkley (Jennifer Jones), and she becomes pregnant. The two lose touch, and Catherine is certain Henry's moved on to greener pastures. But he manages to track her down in Switzerland and arrives at her hospital bedside to find her clinging to life.

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd

This wacky prequel to the 1994 blockbuster goes back to the lame-brained title characters' days as classmates at a Rhode Island high school, where the unprincipled principal (Eugene Levy) puts the pair in remedial courses as part of a scheme to fleece the school. Derek Richardson and Eric Christian Olsen star as the cretinous duo, with Mimi Rogers, Cheri Oteri and Luis Guzmán along for the wild ride.
The Drowning Pool

Private eye Lew Harper is called away from his Southern California haunt to the Louisiana bayous on what he thinks is a standard blackmail case. He arrives to find it involves an old flame (Joanne Woodward) and her sex-crazed daughter (Melanie Griffith). Suddenly, things are not as they first appeared. Paul Newman reprises his role from Harper as a "new kind" of private detective, a character taken from Ross Macdonald's hard-boiled crime novels.
Pride and Prejudice
With Laurence Olivier playing the smoldering Mr. Darcy and Greer Garson portraying the strong-willed eldest Bennet daughter intent on landing him, the sparks fly in this lively adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel. Maureen O'Sullivan, Ann Rutherford, Heather Angel and Marsha Hunt play the other four Bennet sisters -- all of whom their status-conscious mother (Mary Boland) is eager to marry off in this Oscar-winning comedy.
Get Carter
After learning that his brother has died under mysterious circumstances, London gangster Jack Carter (Michael Caine) heads to his hometown of Newcastle, England, in search of revenge. Once there, Carter tangles with the local mob boss, a porn star and various other colorful local characters. Directed by Mike Hodges (Croupier, Flash Gordon), this classic action-thriller depicts a grim and brutal world.

The Animatrix

Straight from the creators of the groundbreaking Matrix trilogy, this collection of short animated films from the world's leading anime directors fuses computer graphics and Japanese anime to provide the background of the Matrix universe and the conflict between man and machines. The shorts include Final Flight of the Osiris, The Second Renaissance, Kid's Story, Program, World Record, Beyond, A Detective Story and Matriculated.

With Fred playing a psychoanalyst and Ginger as his besotted patient, this Astaire-Rogers vehicle is as much screwball comedy as it is musical. When patient falls in love with doctor, that doctor -- who's best friends with said patient's fiancé -- hypnotizes the patient to convince her otherwise. Much silliness and a smattering of dance numbers ensue (including one set to Irving Berlin's Oscar-nominated "Change Partners and Dance with Me").
The Magnificent Seven

Fed up with being brutalized and impoverished because of outlaw raids led by a merciless brigand (Eli Wallach), the besieged citizens of a small Mexican town hire seven American gunslingers to stave off the marauders once and for all. Badass Yul Brynner heads the band of mercenaries, which includes Hollywood luminaries Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Robert Vaughn. Elmer Bernstein penned the film's unforgettable score.
Blue Streak

Jewel thief Miles Logan (Martin Lawrence) returns to his hiding place after a jail stint -- only to find that his booty is buried under a newly constructed Los Angeles police station. Posing as a cop in order to get the loot, Logan is assigned a rookie partner (Luke Wilson, a perfect foil for Lawrence's comic antics) who could be a huge liability. Director Les Mayfield serves up this fresh, fast-paced twist on the buddy-cop formula.

The Story of Qiu Ju

Gong Li delivers a superbly nuanced performance as the titular heroine in director Yimou Zhang's droll take on the absurdities of bureaucratic impotency. Set in a remote Chinese province, the film follows pregnant peasant Qui Ju on her resolute quest for justice after the village elder kicks her husband in the family jewels. Merely seeking an apology from the stubborn chief, Qui Ju soon gets caught in the cogs of an exasperating legal system.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Wally (Richard Pryor) is blind; Dave (Gene Wilder) is deaf. When a man is murdered outside the newsstand where they work, the police collar these two unlikely buddies as the main suspects. Wally and Dave are sprung from jail by Kirgo (Kevin Spacey) and Eve (Joan Severance), two criminals posing as lawyers who certainly have something other than their clients' best interests in mind. Arthur Hiller directs this lighthearted comedy.

For Keeps

Molly Ringwald heads the cast as Darcy Elliot, an ambitious teen with big plans for college and a career in journalism -- until she ends up pregnant in this modern morality tale from director John G. Avildsen. Opting to keep the baby, Darcy and her boyfriend (Randall Batinkoff) marry, but will a host of pressures -- including school, parenthood and a stack of bills -- break up the young family? Miriam Flynn plays Darcy's intrusive mother.
A Few Good Men

When cocky military lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and his co-counsel, Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore), are assigned to a murder case, they uncover a hazing ritual that could implicate high-ranking officials such as shady Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson). Director Rob Reiner's probing drama earned four Oscar nominations, and Nicholson's line, "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!" became a '90s catchphrase.

La Femme Nikita

Internationally acclaimed director Luc Besson delivers the action-packed story of Nikita (Anne Parillaud), a ruthless street junkie whose killer instincts could make her the perfect weapon. Recruited against her will into a secret government organization, Nikita is broken and transformed into a sexy, sophisticated "lethal weapon." Later remade in the United States as Point of No Return, starring Bridget Fonda.

Hope and Glory

This Oscar-nominated film set in London depicts World War II as experienced by 7-year-old Billy (Sebastian Rice Edwards). Wartime thrills the imaginative Billy, whose supportive mother (Sarah Miles) tries to keep the family strong as the bombs increase. Although Billy's sister (Sammi Davis) suffers heartbreak and the family home is wrecked, director John Boorman's dramedy manages to limelight the bemusing aspects of everyday life during wartime.

A River Runs Through It

Director Robert Redford narrates this nostalgically American true story of two Montana brothers whose fly-fishing symbolizes their lives. The older brother (Craig Sheffer) makes plans and works hard, while the younger (Brad Pitt) does as he pleases and follows his gut; both struggle to live up to their father's high standards in fishing and morals. This character drama clinched an Oscar for Best Cinematography and two other Academy nominations.
From Here to Eternity
The date which lives in infamy lives on in this gripping adaptation of James Jones' novel about Army life in Hawaii in the idyllic days just before December 7, 1941. Eight Oscars include Best Picture, Screenplay, Supporting Actress (Donna Reed) and Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra). Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr rolling around in the waves and sand ranks as one of the hottest love scenes in screen history.

A Soldier's Story

Racial tensions flare in this gripping drama set in Louisiana at the end of World War II. When Army attorney Capt. Davenport (Howard E. Rollins Jr.) is sent to Fort Neal to investigate the murder of a black sergeant, he faces a mystery much more complex than he'd imagined. Also starring Adolph Caesar and directed by Norman Jewison from Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the film was nominated for three Academy Awards.

Wild Things

When guidance counselor Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) rejects the advances of teen-socialite Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards), she accuses him of rape. In short order Sam's suspended by the school, rejected by the country club, and fighting to get his life back. Bill Murray plays an unscrupulous lawyer; Theresa Russell plays Kelly's mom; and Neve Campbell is perfect as a disturbed teen in a tale that leaves viewers guessing until the bitter end.

The Deep End of the Ocean

Michelle Pfeiffer is ferocious in the role of a desperate mother whose 3-year-old son disappears during her high school reunion. Nine years later, by chance, he turns up in the town in which the family has just relocated. Based on Jacquelyn Mitchard's best-selling novel (an Oprah book club selection), the movie effectively presents the troubling dynamics that exist between family members who've suffered such an unsettling loss.

Family Business

Looking to net a cool million by pinching some biological research vials from a lab, Adam McMullen (Matthew Broderick) recruits his grandfather, Jessie (Sean Connery) -- an unabashed lifelong criminal -- to help with the high-stakes heist. Meanwhile, Adam's father (Dustin Hoffman), once a chip off the old block, wants no part of the scheme but soon finds himself pulled back into Jessie's world to keep an eye on Adam in this comic caper.
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

The fisherman with a hook is back in director Danny Cannon's chilling sequel. Unfinished business with coed Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) brings the murderer to the Bahamas to terrorize her and her friends, Karla (Brandy Norwood), Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer) and Will (Matthew Settle), during a vacation. Can Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze Jr.), who survived a bloody attack alongside Julie two summers ago, get to the island in time to save everyone?
Someone to Watch Over Me
In this brooding thriller directed by Ridley Scott, the life of wealthy socialite Claire Gregory (Mimi Rogers) becomes endangered after she witnesses a mob murder. Happily married New York City cop Mike Keegan (Tom Berenger) is assigned to protect Claire and takes up residence in her home while she waits to testify. When a romance develops between the mismatched pair, Mike's marriage to Ellie (Lorraine Bracco) is threatened.
Pork Chop Hill

Based on an ex-soldier's eyewitness essays, this epic film harshly and realistically depicts one of the Korean conflict's bloodiest and most famous battles. With peace negotiations being conducted nearby, Lt. Joe Clemons (Gregory Peck) and his men must take Pork Chop Hill to illustrate America's resolve. The topnotch cast includes Robert Blake, Rip Torn, Martin Landau, George Peppard, Gavin MacLeod and Harry Dean Stanton.

Immediate Family

The Spectors are successful, live in a beautiful home and are still in love. But all Michael (James Woods) and Linda (Glenn Close) want is a baby. Faced with fertility problems, they decide to help pregnant Lucy (Mary Stuart Masterson) and her boyfriend, Sam (Kevin Dillon), a teenage couple completely unprepared for parenthood. The plan is for the Spectors to adopt the baby when Lucy gives birth … but the situation isn't quite that simple.

Les Miserables

During World War II, illiterate Henri Fortin (Jean-Paul Belmondo) helps Jewish lawyer André Ziman (Michel Boujenah) and his family flee to Switzerland. Along the way, Ziman reads from Les Misérables, and Fortin begins to see himself as the book's hero, Jean Valjean. Victor Hugo's classic novel served as the inspiration for director Claude Lelouch's epic film, winner of the 1996 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Noises Off!

Theater director Lloyd Fellowes (Michael Caine) is told he must bring a British hit play to the American stage with a cast including a feature actor (John Ritter), a washed-up star (Carol Burnett), a vacant leading man (Christopher Reeve), a blond bombshell (Nicollette Sheridan) and a besotted character actor (Denholm Elliott). It seems like a smash hit … until the backstage drama threatens to eclipse what's happening in front of the curtain.


Emma Bolger shines in the title role of this British retelling of the classic children's tale about a high-spirited orphan sent to live with her crusty grandpa (Max von Sydow) in the idyllic Swiss Alps. But no sooner has Heidi settled in and begun to melt her grandfather's icy heart than she's whisked away to be a companion to a crippled girl (Jessica Claridge). The supporting cast includes Geraldine Chaplin as the aptly named Miss Rottenmeier.

The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

Get ready for some big laughs: America's favorite portly professor, Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy), is back … and getting married to teaching colleague Denise Gaines (Janet Jackson). Unfortunately, destructive doppelganger Buddy Love is back, too. And he's after a revolutionary youth serum the professor has squirreled away in the family home, guarded by the entire Klump clan. Question is, has Buddy met his match?

The Governess

Rosina (Minnie Driver), a young Jewish woman in 1840s England, must find a job after her father dies. Hired as a governess by the Cavendish family, she travels to their Scottish estate, where she quickly becomes involved in an intense affair with Mr. Cavendish (Tom Wilkinson). Sandra Goldbacher directs this moving portrait of consuming love that centers on a religious and emotional struggle against propriety.

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

When Boris (Jason Alexander), Natasha (Rene Russo) and Fearless Leader (Robert De Niro) take over numerous television networks with the goal of hypnotizing American viewers, young FBI investigator Karen Sympathy (Piper Perabo) tries to stop them with the help of sharp-tongued Rocky and dim-witted Bullwinkle. John Goodman, Carl Reiner, Randy Quaid, David Alan Grier, Janeane Garofalo and Billy Crystal co-star in this mixed live action-animated comedy.

Forever Young

In 1939, the love of Daniel's (Mel Gibson) life, Helen (Isabel Glasser), falls comatose after an accident. Grief-stricken, he agrees to be frozen alive in scientist Harry's (George Wendt) cryogenics experiment in the hopes that when he's thawed, Helen will be recovered. Some 50 years later, two kids revive Daniel, leaving him to cope with society's developments -- and having to find Harry and Helen. Jamie Lee Curtis co-stars.

Never Back Down

When a quick-tempered teenager (Sean Faris) moves to a new town and faces the challenges of attending a new high school, he seeks solace in an underground fight club, where he's taken under the wing of a mixed martial arts expert. Employing nonstop tension, inspiring training sequences, gripping fight scenes and a pulsing soundtrack, this film will amp up martial arts practitioners and enthusiasts alike.

First Kid

Sinbad stars as wild and amusing Secret Service agent Sam Simms, who is assigned to guard Luke (Brock Pierce), the bratty 13-year-old son of the president of the United States (James Naughton). Things go well until the two must foil an assassination plot against Luke's father. Zachery Ty Bryan, Lisa Eichhorn, Blake Boyd, Erin Williby and Timothy Busfield co-star in this lovable comedy. David M. Evans directs.

Dawn of the Dead

Based on the George Romero 1979 gore classic, this remake takes place as the United States is overrun (after a plague) by millions of corpses who walk the earth as cannibalistic zombies. A small group of survivors, including a nurse (Sarah Polley) and a police officer (Ving Rhames), try to find shelter within a massive shopping mall. But the zombies have a kind of sense memory and start arriving -- in droves -- for a shopping spree.


When a freighter is viciously attacked in the Pacific Ocean, a team of experts -- including biologist Niko Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick) and scientists Elsie Chapman (Vicki Lewis) and Mendel Craven (Malcolm Danare) -- concludes that an oversized reptile is the culprit. Before long, the giant lizard is loose in Manhattan, destroying everything within its reach. The team chases the monster to Madison Square Garden, where a brutal battle ensues.

Other New Netflix Streaming Movies for this week:

That's it for this week.  Let us know in the comments if you loved or hated any of these.
Remember, you can now subscribe to the GeekTonic Netflix Watch Now Movie Recommendations RSS Feed