As we enter the third week of May it looks like Netflix is coasting a bit on some jam packed previous weeks. Follow the links to check out the first week and second week of May as we look at the best of what you have in store to keep you couch-bound in the week ahead. Read on to find out about some great cult classic movies to queue up, a new television series spin-off of a certain Jason Statham franchise, an underrated new movie from the minds behind Coraline and ParaNormal and the Netflix streaming debut of Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece.
First, lets take a look at some titles that popped up over the past week that may have slipped through the cracks of your queue...
REC 4: Apocalypse
The newest entry in the Spanish zombie horror picks up where the fantastic first two entries in the series left off - with our trapped television reporter Angela being rescued from that ground zero tenement building of zombie horrors. It largely ignores the comedy-horror detour of REC 3: Genesis as well as the stale found-footage conceit that the original REC helped make famous. For fans of well-done zombie movies, this should be taken as good news. For the first time the original creators of the REC series are allowed to make a straight forward horror movie without being limited by the handheld cameras and trying to make everything found-footage-y. This time the claustrophobic setting is aboard a creepy ship where Angela finds herself being experimented on and has to find a way out. REC 4 is a fun and super gory entry in one of the better horror series out there.
Jet Li Double Feature: The Enforcer & Fist of Legend!
Two great Jet Li movies from the height of his powers in the 1990's have recently popped up on Netflix. 1994's Fist of Legend finds Jet Li in the company of two of legends of kung-fu cinema in director Gordon Chan and the legendary kung-fu coordinator Yuen Woo-ping. This is the movie that got Yuen Woo-ping his gig on The Matrix and it's not hard to understand why the Wachowski's were so impressed. 1995's The Enforcer is one of Jet Li's modern-set movies where he plays a Hong Kong cop - the movie is more John Woo inspired than his more well-known period kung-fu pictures like Fist of Legend and One Upon a Time in China. But The Enforcer has future Transporter director, and great action choreographer in his own right, Corey Yuen behind the camera and has more than its fair share of badass moments.
John Woo's The Killer
Yes, there is a theme running through this week's Netflix picks. 1989's The Killer is the movie that cemented director John Woo as the most influential titans of 1990's action movies and actor Chow Yun-fat as China's version of Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis all in one. This movie is the violent, gun-slinging opera that started it all. It was one of the first big Chinese bullet ballets to break through to western audiences thanks to the promotion it got from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. It's a movie very much of its time but The Killer is still a masterpiece in the "code of honor" gangster genre.
"You know somethin', Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece." The final line of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is a bold statement but there's no denying that the movie ranks pretty high in Tarantino's filmography. All of the writer/director's favorite trademarks are here: the snappy dialog, the chapter separations, the ultra-violence, the amazing performances and the killer soundtrack - and it all comes together even better than they usually do here. Christoph Waltz is the one giving his career defining performance and the revisionist history going on with the Basterds and the power of cinema taking down the Third Reich makes for a helluva shot in the arm to your standard WWII picture. And let's not forget the amazing scene at that basement bar that put Michael Fassbender on the movie map and is worth rewatching this movie all on its own. Inglourious Basterds is available to stream on Netflix on May 22.
Transporter: The Series
TNT has been airing episodes of this unlikely French-Canadian series that follows the further adventures of wheel-man and gun for hire Frank Martin. Chris Vance steps into the role made famous by Jason Statham to carry on the globe trotting missions that see the man transporting highly dangerous items from drugs and organs, to stolen goods and priceless objects. Many car chases and drop kicks ensue as the series does some work to flesh out the man behind the wheel and sheds some light on how he ends up getting these insane jobs to begin with. You could do worse for some rainy-day viewing - Transporter: The Series sees its first season dropping on May 22nd.
The amazing production company Laika has been keeping stop-motion animation alive in feature films with three movies now. The first was the incredible adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline which was followed by the surprisingly good ParaNorman. Most recently there was The Boxtrolls, based on the British fantasy book Here Be Monsters! The Boxtrolls did ok upon its release last year but not nearly as well as it should have. (Personally, I think they should have kept the Here Be Monsters! title.) If you're looking for an amzing animated movie with a great cast of voice talent that includes Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, don't miss out on The Boxtrolls.