Best of Netflix Watch Instantly: Best New Arrivals for May

This is stuff I like pulled from the 'new to watch instantly' promo stream on the Netflix page, excluding films that have made previous Baxblog appearances. Hardly exhaustive, just the ones that jumped out at me.

Kick Ass
Fun Catnip for Nerds comic adaptation. While I do get where Ebert is coming from, I usually roll through these sorts of things with morality disengaged. It's a glossy, fun adaptation that doesn't invite or reward close inspection.

Last Man Standing
Yojimbo with tommy guns. Walter Hill is an underrated director, and while this isn't one of his great movies it is a rock solid action picture. Bruce Willis is perfect as the heroic cipher at the center of the action, and Ry Cooder provides one of my all-time favorite film scores.

A tremendously ridiculous (Sean Connery as a katana-weilding Spaniard?) & tremendously entertaining exploitation film that takes itself just seriously enough to make everything work. Clancy Brown is note perfect as the heavy and Christopher Lambert's collection of exotic mannerisms was never this effective again.

The Conversation
Overlooked and underrated, a Coppola film that got lost in the mammoth operatic success of the two Godfather films. A 70's classic, delivering hushed paranoia and disequilibrium powered by some of the best acting of Gene Hackman's career.

The Italian Job
Prime Michael Caine in a clockwork caper film? Sign me up, please!
Haven't seen the remake, but it would be hard pressed to top this precisely calibrated original.

The Producers
One of the great screen comedies of all time, with two of the great comedic performances of all time. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder are both absolutely unimpeachable here. It's too bad Wilder and Brooks didn't team up more often. Blazing Saddles, Producers, Young Frankenstein...neither of them did anything seperately that tops what they did together.

The Bride of Frankenstein
The greatest sequel of all time? I wouldn't argue. James Whale's baroque, twisted masterpiece, a gorgeous construction where the whole is greater than the sum of its spectacular parts.

Dead Alive
Before Peter Jackson went 'legit' with Heavenly Creatures and way before he ascended to the nerd Godhead of the LotR trilogy he was a purveyor of the quirky, bizzare and grotesque. And it doesn't get any weirder than this zombie epic*, featuring a kung-fu priest kicking undead ass in a graveyard and a lawnmower massacre that has to be seen to be believed- the US release relegated the footage to black-and-white, refusing to rate it without the change.

Classic exploitation, driven by a fantastic script & superior casting. Fred Ward & Kevin Bacon are just great, and Reba McEntire nearly steals the show as a well prepared survivalist. Scary, funny, violent, engaging- the kind of monster movie they don't seem to make any more.

* Okay, Meet the Feebles is weirder...you got me there.

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