Tag: Netflix

Netflix Pick of the Week: ‘Amreeka’

Amreeka (2009)
Director: Cherian Dabis
Starring: Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Alia Shawkat
96 mins.

By Josh Perrault

Cherien Dabis’ directorial debut film, ‘Amreeka,’ is a film centered around a Palestinian American family during post-9/11 Chicago. When Muna Furah (Nisreen Faour) is rewarded an American green card through the lottery, her and her son Fadi (Melkar Muallem) move to America from Bethlehem to live with Muna’s sister Raghda Halaby (Hiam Abbass) and her husband Nabeel (Yussuf Abu-Warda) and their three children in Chicago. While Fadi attends American school and Muna looks for work in a U.S. bank that is equivalent to her work back home, unfortunately her job search is unsuccessful and finds work serving burgers at a White Castle only earning minimum wage. All the while, Fadi is attending school and experiencing the difficulties of racism and violence during this post-9/11 and Iraq war American environment. Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) stars in this feel-good comedy with a mix of stealth political attributes that confronts the issues of ethnic tension in the world today.



Netflix Instant Pick: ‘An American Werewolf in London’

An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Written & Directed by John Landis
97 mins.

By Tim Lucia

The cult classic An American Werewolf in London is a must-see for fans of old school horror, comedy, and creature features.  Veteran comedy director John Landis (The Blues Brothers, Animal House, Trading Places, Coming to America) helms this classic ‘scary’ film (it wouldn’t be scary at all to today’s younger generations), mixing in humor and romance.  David Kessler (David Naughton) and his buddy Jack (Griffin Dunne) are traveling through northern England when the stumble into a small town pub called ‘The Slaughtered Lamb’.  In a hilarious scene, they are greeted with abrasive hostility by the mysterious locals.  On their way out, they are attacked by a werewolf, ‘killing’ Jack and landing David in the hospital.  David is taken care of by a beautiful nurse, Alex (Jenny Agutter), who eventually brings him back to her flat in London.  Upon the next full moon — well, you can guess what happens.  Legendary make-up artist Rick Baker provides some jaw-dropping and hilarious make-up for the ‘undead’.  Werewolf is a fun, campy film, and the violence seen is very tame by todays standards.

Netflix Instant Pick: ‘Tell No One’

Tell No One (2006)
Directed by Guillaume Canet
In French with English subtitles
131 mins.

By Tim Lucia

Based on an American novel, Tell No One is a French thriller about the past and the present; murder and deception.  The protagonist is Dr. Alexander Beck (Francois Cluzet) whose wife is thought to be killed in the opening minutes.  Eight years later, Beck is still miserable.  He then receives an email with a video of his wife, who is very much alive.  Meanwhile at the old crime site, two more bodies are uncovered.  Beck is again the prime suspect, as he was with his wife’s murder.  He is then forced to go on the run in a race against time to find his wife and uncover the mystery, villains and police both hot on his tail.  Hollywood insists on remaking every good foreign thriller, and I’m sad to report that this one is next in line.  Ben Affleck is on board to direct after he finishes his current project.  Tell No One is a taut, suspenseful thriller.  Watch the original now on Netflix instant, before it’s remade.

Netflix Instant Pick – “Monsters”

By Josh Perrualt

Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear and grow. In an effort to stem the destruction that resulted, half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain the massive creatures… Garreth Edwards’ feature film debut, Monsters, is story about a journalist, Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy), who is hired by his boss to assist his daughter, Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able), through the infected zone in Mexico to the US border. Though Andrew has no interest in chaperoning Samantha across the border, their relationship begins to grow into something more as they boat, walk, and drive through the infected zone to safety.

Netflix Instant Pick of the Week

Mother (2009)
Directed by Joon-ho Bong
In Korean with English subtitles
129 mins.

By Tim Lucia

Director Joon-ho Bong’s previous films include The Host and Memories of Murder, and he has hit a home run with his latest film, Mother.  The narrative revolves around a mentally challenged young man and his protective mother.  After a murder rocks the town, the alibi-free boy becomes the main suspect.  When the legal system fails him, the mother sets out to prove her son’s innocence, desperately taking drastic measures to do so.  Bong and his co-writer Eun-kyo Park have crafted an excellent, well-layered story, rich with character development, conflicts, and social commentary.  This cinematography was incredible, as is the case with most Korean films.  Heavy and dark, but not over-violent, Mother is an outstanding, powerful film, a must-see for lovers of International cinema.  Even a general movie fan could enjoy it, especially fans of crime and mystery films.