Netflicked: Netflix Instant, June 28-July 5

Tuesday, 05 July 2011 18:04 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Netflicked: Netflix Instant, June 28-July 5

Netflix's streaming Watch Instantly service is fast becoming America's favorite way to watch movies. The library of available titles is so vast and mutable that you, the avid instant watcher, could no doubt use a guide as you navigate the streaming frontier.

Luckily for you, we'll be here every Tuesday to update you on the latest titles available for instant-watching, as well as bringing attention some gems and even some enjoyable calamities out there in the instantly watchable wilds.


MOVIES

With last year's Rubber, Quentin Dupieux created a smart, perhaps excessively self-aware take on revenge and horror about Robert, a sentient tire that spontaneously acquires psychic powers and puts them to merciless use.  Plus, it contains the one and only Charley Koontz, who you'll recognize as 'Fat Neil' from NBC's Community.

Tomas Alfredson's 2008 Swedish original Let The Right One In has been streaming for a dog's age, but now Matt Reeves' 2010 American remake Let Me In is available instantly as well.  Compare and contrast between the striking first film with the eerily similar and surprisingly strong U.S. version, both of which feature very strong performances from their respective young actors.

Long before Will Smith tried his hand at playing the last man alive, Charlton Heston starred as Robert Neville in The Omega Man, adapted from Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend

Once, my dad spent a few days as a background player in Mrs Doubtfire, in which Robin Williams improbably poses as an elderly British nanny in order to spend time with his kids after a painful divorce.  When the film came out, both the scenes in which my father was to have appeared failed to make the final cut.  True story.

Comedian Bill Hicks was a whirlwind, a vitriol-spewing comedian who didn't simply make jokes about airplanes or driving, but who had a cynical, abrasive perspective delivered with a unique, incendiary style.  A wonderfully incisive, smart comedian, Hicks took aim directly at hypocritical ideologies and formidable edifices.  The documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story provides a good primer on a figure who became all the more influential following his early death.

TELEVISION SERIES

Holy mother of God.  Four out of five Star Trek series are now streaming, mean you have immediate access to twenty seasons of boldly going where no one has gone before and kicking ass on the final frontier.

All three seasons of the original series provide goofy fun that is ambitious and smarter than the production values often allowed.

The Next Generation increases the intellectual value and tones down the goofiness and sexiness of its predecessor.  Check out "The Best of Both Worlds" to see some damn fine

Star Trek: Voyager applies the Lost in Space sort of formula, with a intrepid crew suddenly on the other side of the galaxy and just trying to get home.

Enterprise is a prequel set prior to the original series and marked the point at which Trek ran out of gas until the theatrical reboot in 2009.

Sorry, Deep Space Nine fans, but for some damnable reason the first Trek series to really use extended, multi-episode arcs won't be available until October.  Take solace in the Voyager opening, which includes a cameo from slick Ferengi Quark.

For plenty of littleuns, the Fox Kids animated series X-Men served as an introduction to Marvel's Merry Mutants, and the five-season run offers a full compliment of mutants from Wolverine to Scarlet Witch to Apocalypse.

Similarly, the Fox Kids take on Spider-Man is also a new addition.  From 1994-1997, the adventures of Peter Parker were chronicled in animated form, with some primitive CG-assisted web-slinging, no less.

ON THE WAY OUT

The first filmed outing of Special Agents Mulder and Scully, The X-Files: Fight the Future, expires on Wednesday, July 6th.

Bryan Singer's franchise-starter X-Men is also set to cease streaming on Wednesday, July 6th.

Very Young Girls, an upsetting documentary about underage girls coerced into prostitution in New York, expires on Thursday, July 7th.

DOC OF THE WEEK

A familiar saying declares prostitution to be the oldest profession, but it seems likely that pimping may very well have come first.  If it wasn't first, then pimping surely came about very shortly thereafter.  Between making narrative features like Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell, and The Book of Eli, Allen Hughes and Albert Hughes directed American Pimp, a documentary about an assemblage of street pimps with monikers like Gorgeous Dre, Payroll, Rosebudd, and Fillmore Slim.  It's not a perfect film, and doesn't have the depth you might want from an examination ambitious enough to claim the title American Pimp, but it's certainly well put together.  The pimps themselves happily pontificate – sometimes charming, sometimes casually horrifying – and comments from prostitutes are often crazy insightful, giving a look at the unsavory elements of their respective pimps.

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