47 Reasons To Be Excited About The Netflix/Epix Streaming deal.

Yesterday Netflix billion dollar with Epix went into effect. For those of you who aren’t aware, Netflix is a subscription service that delivers films to its users via dvds and online streaming. The Online Streaming has as of lately been astonishing. You can get a lot of great obscure foreign films and American classics. Everything from “Serpico” to Jaques Tati’s “Playtime”. This new deal sweetens the pack.

What the Epix deal does is opens up a significant chunk of the MGM, Lion’s Gate, and Paramount film libraries for online streaming Literally thousands of films are now literally overnight available at the click of the mouse.  Not all of them are masterpieces, but you have a little bit of everything including almost all of the “Star Trek” and “Friday The 13th” franchises, to holy grails of filmmaking such as “The Godfather” films. For those of you who don’t want to have to weed their way through it, I’ve created a list of what films I think are most compelling. Like all lists, its incredibly subjective, and it will give you a sense of my pretentious and snobby taste:

Links are courtesy of Instantwatch.com

  1. 1492: The Conquest of Paradise


Directed by: Ridley Scott

Stars: Sigourney Weaver

play queue 2:34

I’ve always been curious about this film. I tend to like Ridley Scott movies, and this famous flop looks like it could be fun. Famous for the Vangelis score.

2. Alice’s Resturant


Directed by: Arthur Penn

Stars: James Broderick, Patricia Quinn, Pete Seeger

play queue 1:51

Ever since I found out that there was a film version of the famous Arlo Guthrie song of the same name, I’ve wanted to see this. Arthur Penn is among the most influential directors ever.

3.) All or Nothing


Directed by: Mike Leigh

Stars: Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville

play queue 2:08

Mike Leigh is another filmmaker that I’m grossly underinformed about. Lesley Manville, who is said to be Oscar Worthy in the upcoming “Another Year” stars.

4.)Another Woman

 1988 PG

Directed by: Woody Allen

Stars Gena Rowlands, Gene Hackman, Mia Farrow

play queue 1:21  

I haven’t seen this Woody Allen Movie in Years, but I remember being incredibly compelled by Gena Rowlands, even if the rest of it isn’t that good. It’s in that period between 1987 and 1991 where his films were in decline and incredibly dark.

5.) Avanti! 1972

play queue 2:23

Directed by: Billy Wilder

Stars: Jack Limmon

Possibly the best pairing of director with actor historically ever (see Some Like It Hot and The Apartment if you don’t believe me)

6.) Big Night


Directed by: Campbell Scott & Stanley Tucci

Stars: Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Ian Holm, Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini, Allison Janney

As far as I can tell, this is the only movie where Tony Shalhoub is the marquee star. Isn’t that compelling reason enough to watch this movie? No? How many other movies give you Stanley Tucci AND Ian Holm?

 7.)Blood Simple 1984

Directed by: Joel & Ethan Coen

Stars: Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh, Frances McDormand, John Getz

I have seen this movie once years ago, and it always stuck with me. I feel compelled to watch it again. You cannot go wrong with the Coen Brothers, and my memory has this as being incredibly compelling filmmaking. Having recently rewatched it, I can attest its among the best of the 80s. Note: This goes away from instant watch on October 1, so I’d recommend this one first. (play queue)

8.Blue Velvet 1986

Directed by: David Lynch

Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rosselini, Dennis Hopper

A strangely appropriate double feature with Blood Simple. A dark menacing puzzle of a film. If you’ve not heard of it, its probably not for you. If you have heard of it, go ahead, take on the challenge. You won’t soon forget this. play queue

9.Catch 22


Directed by: Mike Nichols

Stars: Alan Arkin, Martin Sheen, Art Garfunkel 2:01

I really like Alan Arkin. I always have. Mike Nichols is among the greatest directors ever. (play queue)


10. Children of a Lesser God


Directed by: Randa Haines

Stars: William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie


I’ve always liked Marlee Matlin. This was a big deal in the 80s. Strangely, director Randa Haines never again entered into the film consciousness on any considerable level again (play queue)

11. Coming Home

Directed by: Hal Ashby

Stars: Jane Fonda Jon Voight


I hate to admit it, but I haven’t seen nearly enough Jane Fonda Movies. I’ve liked what I’ve seen of Hal Ashby too. (play queue )

12. The Cove

2009 Louie Psihoyos 1:32

This is already one of the most streamed films since it premiered this morning. Who knew so many people wanted to watch dolphins get killed. No seriously though, this is a much watch. It will make you so angry. “Fuck You Dolphin!”- South Park (play queue)


13.The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


Directed by:David Fincher,

Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton 2:46

Admittedly, streaming over the internet is not the ideal way to watch this film. Still,every once in a while, I’ll get the urge to watch a scene from this movie, usually the stuff on the ocean. It’s beautiful, arresting, and engaging: the perfect remedy for a long airport layover. Also, is it just me or is Cate Blanchett amazing in this? (play queue)

14. Dead Man Walking


Directed by: Tim Robbins

Stars: Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon


Fun Fact 1: Susan Sarandon used to be a decent actress capable of amazingly emotional performances. Fun Fact 2: Sean Penn dies at the end. Fun Fact 3: Cameo by a very young Jack Black. (play queue)

15. The Duchess


Directed by: Saul Dibb

Stars: Keira Knightley, Dominic Cooper, Ralph Fiennes, 1:49

This is a really spectacular deconstruction of the modern princess fetish by looking at a compelling historical moment in the oppression of women. Keira Knightley gives what I think is her best performance yet, and the costumes are real eye candy. The most memorable scene to me comes towards the beginning of the film where Keira Knightly’s corset is so tight, that Ralph Feinnes cuts her out of it.  (play queue)

16. Equus


Directed by: Sidney Lumet

Stars: Richard Burton, Joan Plowright

Netflix has done a very good job of curating some of the best films from great directors of the 1970s. Most of Sidney Lumet’s cataloge from this period is now online. I have not read the classic play this was based on, and I still haven’t seen the film. I can attest that Sidney Lumet was one of the most consistantly great filmmakers of the 1970s, so I can’t imagine that I won’t love this film. (play queue)

17. Europa Europa hot 1990

Directed by: Agnieszka Holland

Stars: Solomon Perel

People who don’t usually watch movies, let alone foreign movies, continually tell me what an amazing film this is. (play queue) 1:53

18-20 The Godfather Trilogy

1972, 1974, 1990

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Andy Garcia  Honestly, if you’re a film fan, how can you not be excited about this? You can now watch the Godfather anywhere anytime day or night? This really is the holy grail for film enthusiasts. (play queue ) (play queue) (play queue) 2:50

21. Gods and Monsters


Directed by: Bill Condon

Stars: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave

I watched this years ago on VHS. I remember Ian McKellen being really good and Brendan Fraser being shirtless. McKellen’s performance is something I keep meaning to revisit. (play queue)

22. Hard Eight


Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Stars: John C. Reilly, Philip Baker Hall, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson  

This is often considered the lost Paul Thomas Anderson film, as its difficult to find. I’m quite curious to see how Paltrow holds up in such a strong ensemble. (play queue)

23. Inherit the Wind


Directed by: Daniel Petrie

Stars: Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, Beau Bridges, Piper Laurie2:07

It’s not the original, which is a shame, but based on the cast, it seems like compelling viewing.

24. Iron Man


Directed by: Jon Favreau

Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard

The biggest name on the drop list. I enjoyed this film a lot when it came out in theaters. Like Benjamin Button, this isn’t the ideal way to watch it, but I think this will probably hold up better on home viewing than a lot of super hero movies, simply because there’s enough witty dialogue and character to make it less about the bells and whistles. (play queue)


Joseph Campbell: Sukhavati (play queue) 1:18

Joseph Campbell: The Hero’s Journey (play queue)

Two documentaries about social anthropologist Joseph Campbell. I get in the mood for this every once in a while

27. The Last House on the Left


Directed By: Wes Craven

Another film I’ve never seen. I’m grossly undernourished when it comes to horror films. (play queue)

28. The Masque of the Red Death

Directed by: Roger Corman

Stars: Vincent Price,

A Roger Corman directed adaptation of the Edgar Alan Poe short story. I’m there. Having only seen the Jan Svankmeyer short film adaptation, I’m curious to see what someone could do under the Corman system. (play queue)

29 A Mighty Heart

Directed by: Michael Winterbottom

Stars: Dan Futterman, Angelina Jolie

The secret is, I really enjoy Angelina Jolie when she does something different. Her performance as the widow of assassinated journalist Daniel Pearl is supposed to be very good. Somehow I missed it the first time around. Also stars Dan Futterman (play queue)

30. New York, New York


Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Robert De Nero, Liza Minnelli, Mary Kay Place 2:43

All Scorsese films are required viewing. Except for the documentaries and concert films. Those tend to be awful. This is among the more hard to find of his titles, and its actually more known for its iconic theme song “New York, New York” (play queue)

31. Paint Your Wagon 1969

Directed by: Joshua Logan

Stars: Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Jean Seberg 2:44

Did you know Clint Eastwood was in a Musical? Really? It’s actually a lot of fun and involves Eastwood and Lee Marvin in an inverted polygamous marriage with Jean Seberg. (play queue)



Directed By: Ingmar Bergman

Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, 1:23

I have been meaning to revisit this film for years. It has some of the most enigmatic imagery I’ve ever seen on film, and some of the best. (play queue)

33. Play it Again, Sam


Directed By: Herbert Ross,

Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton 1:25

This was the first true Woody Allen screenplay, and his first pairing with a very young Diane Keaton. It’s always fun to watch this to see the last gasps of comedian Woody Allen before he became filmmaker Woody Allen. (play queue)

34. Repo! The Genetic Opera 2008

Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman

Stars: Alexa Vega, Paris Hilton, Paul Sorvino, Anthony Head, and Sarah Brightman. 1:38

People like cult films. This seems to be the Mellinial Generation’s attempt at a Rocky Horror Picture Show-type musical phenomenon. Plus it has former Andrew Lloyd Weber muse Sara Brightman in it. (play queue)

35. The Road to Hong Kong


Directed by: Norman Panama

Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope

If you’ve never seen one of the Crosby/Hope Road Movies, you’re missing out. Everything that you like and find funny about Family Guy was stolen from these guys. Do yourself a favor and watch this, as it will make you smarter and funnier. (play queue)

36. Runaway Train


Directed by: Andrey Konchalovskiy

Stars: Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay

Voight! (play queue)

37 Salaam Bombay!


Directed by: Mira Nair

I really like Mira Nair as a filmmaker, in theory. Her 2002 film Monsoon Wedding remains in my personal collection of essential viewing of the last decade. I’m just dissapointed her later films had such deminishing returns. This was her first film, and I’m very curious to see how it holds up. (play queue)

38: Son of Rambow

Directed By: Garth Jennings

Stars: Bill Milner and Will Poulter

I love love LOVE this movie. (play queue)

39. Sunday Bloody Sunday 1971

Directed by: John Schlesinger

Glenda Jackson, Murray Head, Peter Finch           

Famous for the first gay kiss in a Hollywood movie. Also famous for starring Glenda Jackson, and Peter Finch and 1980s one hit wonder Murray Head. I’m drawn in by the fact that John Schlesinger directed this, and he’s swell. (play queue) 1:50

40. Thelma & Louise

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Stars: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis

Somehow I’ve never seen this one. I keep meaning to, but I always end up missing it somehow. (play queue)

41. The Thin Red Line 1998

Directed by: Terrence Malick

Stars: Sean Penn, George Clooney, Nick Nolte, Adrien Brody, Terrence Malick

Malick is a genius and a visual master. This was the film for which he was nominated for an Oscar, so I imagine its pretty good. (play queue)

42. Troll 2 1986

Directed By: Claudio Fragasso

Stars: Michael Stephenson, Robert Ormsby  1:34

I recently watched “Best Worst Movie” which tells the story of Troll 2. I’m not a huge fan of bad movies, but this movie seems to bring so many people so much joy, that I kind of want to watch it. (play queue)

43. Ulee’s Gold 1997

Directed by Victor Nunez

Stars: Peter Fonda, Tom Wood, Christine Dunford,

Peter Fonda as an aging Nazi. Sure. Why not? (play queue)

44. Urbania 2000

Directed by: Jon Mathews

Stars: Dan Futterman, Samuel Ball 1:45

I watched this last night, and this is a fucked up movie. It’s incredibly alienating, and I think it pulls a lot of punches, but the third act of this film is devastating. play queue

45. World Trade Center 2006

Directed by: Oliver Stone,

Stars: Nicolas Cage

This is actually quite a good film. It’s constantly in the bargain bin at Wal-mart, but I am surprised whenever I watch it of how intimate it is. Oliver Stone actually made this movie. (play queue)

46. Year of the Dog

Directed by: Mike White

Stars: Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, Peter Sarsgaard, Regina King, John C. Reilly

Mike White is an unnusual writer/director who always makes unexpected characters. I like Molly Shannon. (play queue)

47. Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail 2009

Directed by: Tyler Perry

Come on, don’t tell me I’m the only white guy who has been curious about what the fuss is all about? (play queue)


About Patrick Felton

Patrick Felton is director of the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival

Posted on September 2, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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