When TV’s even lousier than usual and it’s too hot outside to suffer a trip to your favorite locally owned video store Blockbuster Redbox, Netflix’s library of instantly watchable movies and TV shows is there for you. Stream thousands of titles to your computer or video-game console without ever leaving the comfort of your own ass indentation. Classics such as The Seventh Seal, M, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are available, as well as recent films like District 9, but we’ve culled a selection of slightly lesser-known films to keep you busy till the sun goes down.
It Might Get Loud
This music documentary asks the question: What happens when Jimmy Page, the Edge, and Jack White get together for a day to talk about music? The short answer: The Edge looks lost when he doesn’t have his guitar pedals around. But there’s more to it than that. Page rebelled against the simplicity of the early ’60s style of songwriting; the Edge rebelled against the excess of Page; and White rebelled against the sterility of the Edge. Well, maybe not specifically, but you get to see how rock ’n’ roll changes and always comes back to its roots.
The Inglorious Bastards (1978)
No, not the one by Tarantino. This is the original manifestation of the story but with a lower budget and more weirdness. Definitely not as weird as the “Turkish Star Wars” as far as Euro cult classics go, but it’s still somewhat odd. The story is something about a Dirty Dozen-esque group of losers in WWII who fight, steal, and kill their way across Germany. It features blaxploitation star Fred Williamson and a tall Nordic dude named Bo Svenson who was also in his share of crappy/awesome ’70s movies.
Let’s Do it Again
Pure ’70s. Soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield. This is a lighthearted and charming story about a couple of blue-collar workers who try to fix a boxing match to raise money for their poor neighborhood organization. The low-budget, on-location aesthetic counterbalances the optimistic style. Directed by and starring Sidney Poitier, with help from the legendary Bill Cosby, the hilarious Jimmy “Dynamite” Walker, and a cameo performance by world-class boxer and grill spokesman George Foreman.
The King of Kong
On one hand it’s a documentary about the video game Donkey Kong, but on a deeper level it’s a story about how one finds purpose and meaning in life. Seriously. We have two unforgettable characters who battle for the all-time high score on Donkey Kong. The reigning champ is a Machiavellian mastermind with a ridiculous mullet and a flair for psychological manipulation. The up-and-comer is a talented Renaissance man with really low self-esteem. Will Donkey Kong be his life’s redemption? Very well made, and hilarious.
Three Days of the Condor
This is a 1970s political thriller starring Robert Redford as a bookworm who reads novels for the CIA. His job is to search for secret plots and other spy mumbo jumbo. He works in a small anonymous office. Everything is cool until he comes back from lunch and finds everyone dead … and then he becomes the hunted. 9/11 conspiracy types will find fascinating parallels to contemporary issues of oil, the World Trade Center, and “inside jobs”. This really is a prophetic film in some ways, but Redford ensures things never get too heavy. •