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You’re Gonna Love It In Instant: Gleaming the Kube

March 7, 2011

One of the complaints I often hear regarding the selections available for streaming is the new release pickings are slim. This strikes me as more of an indictment of the observer rather than an nuanced analysis of Netflix’s supposed flaws. Netflix, which does not pay me to pimp it, provides what retail video chains long ago abandoned: cultivating a deep and often completest catalog of an actor, writer or director. While one might not find the latest releases – if they were so “hot” why didn’t you take your ass to the theater and see it while you had a chance – the selections offered in the VAST streaming library are fantastic. Case in point: Netflix’s tireless commitment to keeping itself freshly stocked with the films of Stanley Kubrick. I can’t recall the last time I could rent a Kubrick film – other than Eyes Wide Shut (which is currently available for streaming) – from a Blockbuster.

Full Metal Jacket (1987) Kubrick’s Vietnam War exploration came during era with a glut of similarly themed films, most notably the vastly overrated (and starring Charlie Sheen) Platoon, and De Palma’s uneven, but visually arresting Casualties of War. Matthew Modine stars in one of his last truly great roles as Private “Joker” in this searing and less glamorized glimpse into this polarizing war. Also stars: Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Baldwin, Dorian Harewood and a brilliantly cast Arliss Howard in one of my favorite roles of his (besides the bastard he played in the second Jurassic Park film).

Color Me Kubrick (2005) Hilarious little seen gem starring John Malkovich portraying the real life two bit con artist Alan Conway who dupes a surprising number of folks into believe he is fact, Stanley Kubrick. Malkovich is amazing.

The Killer’s Kiss (1955) With only a scant 67 minute running time, Kubrick manages to squeeze in more pathos, wit, and sharply drawn characterizations than most of his later work – including Dr. Strangelove. Similar in tone to his works such as Lolita and to a lesser degree Barry Lyndon, this noirish thriller was Kubrick working overtime. He wrote, produced, directed, edited and I think did the craft services spread as well.

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  1. Ben

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