Hidden Netflix Gems: Glengarry Glen Ross

It’s Saturday night and you need something to watch. Never fear, Hidden Netflix Gems is a weekly feature designed to help you decide just what it should be, and all without having to scroll through endless pages of crap or even leave the house. Each choice will be available for streaming on Netflix Instant, and the link below will take you to its page on the site. Look for a new suggestion here every Saturday. 

This week’s Hidden Netflix Gem: “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992)

“Glengarry Glen Ross” is David Mamet’s film adaptation of his 1984 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play of the same name. The star-studded drama depicts two desperate days in the lives of four Chicago real estate salesmen after Blake, a corporate trainer sent by the downtown office (played by Alec Baldwin in one of the best single-scene performances of all-time), announces that in a week all but the best two salesmen will be fired. The film is named after two of the properties the salesmen attempt to unload, Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms.

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Hidden Netflix Gems: The Baader Meinhof Complex

It’s Saturday night and you need something to watch. Never fear, Hidden Netflix Gems is a weekly feature designed to help you decide just what it should be, and all without having to scroll through endless pages of crap or even leave the house. Each choice will be available for streaming on Netflix Instant, and the link below will take you to its page on the site. Look for a new suggestion here every Saturday. 

This week’s Hidden Netflix Gem: “The Baader Meinhof Complex” (2008)

Rebels? Radicals? Criminals? Heroes? Martyrs? Murderers? Victims? Villains? Icons? 

“The Baader Meinhof Complex” is a 2008 film detailing the early history of a West German far-left extremist group who named themselves the Red Army Faction. To the public however, the group was generally known as the “Baader Meinhof Gang.” The nickname was a media invention centered around two of the group’s foremost members: ringleader Andreas Baader and former journalist Ulrike Meinhof. Both the film and the 1985 non-fiction book by Stefan Aust on which it is based altered the label to include the word “Complex” because they focus not just on the gang itself but on the tangled labyrinth that was the collective German psyche just 20 years after the death of Adolf Hitler—a volatile environment that was as instrumental in the eventual creation of the group as its members themselves.

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Hidden Netflix Gems: Once Upon a Time in the West

It’s Saturday night and you need something to watch. Never fear, Hidden Netflix Gems is a weekly feature designed to help you decide just what it should be, and all without having to scroll through endless pages of crap or even leave the house. Each choice will be available for streaming on Netflix Instant, and the link below will take you to its page on the site. Look for a new suggestion here every Saturday. 

This week’s Hidden Netflix Gem: “Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968)

It’s 2012, so it wouldn’t be all that surprising to discover a majority of young people have not heard of Italian film director, producer, and screenwriter Sergio Leone. After all, the man died 23 years ago in 1989. However, you’d likely be hard pressed to find someone in that demographic who hasn’t seen, or at the very least heard of the man’s work.

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Hidden Netflix Gems: Drugstore Cowboy

It’s Saturday night and you need something to watch. Never fear, Hidden Netflix Gems is a weekly feature designed to help you decide just what it should be, and all without having to scroll through endless pages of crap or even leave the house. Each choice will be available for streaming on Netflix Instant, and the link below will take you to its page on the site. Look for a new suggestion here every Saturday. 

This week’s Hidden Netflix Gem: “Drugstore Cowboy” (1989)

“Drugstore Cowboy” became director Gus Van Sant’s breakthrough film following its release in 1989. The film was critically acclaimed, ending up on both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s lists of the top ten films of the year. Today, its rating stands at 100 percent on the Tomatometer. Of course, aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes can be inaccurate for older films, but in this instance the site takes 27 reviews into account. Van Sant went on to receive Academy Award nominations for Best Director for his work on “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and “Milk” (2008).

But back to “Drugstore Cowboy.” The film stars Matt Dillon as Bob Hughes, the leader of a gang of drug addicts travelling the Pacific Northwest in the early 1970s and doing just about anything to get a fix (generally of pharmaceutical opiates, for reasons that will become clear in a moment). Bob’s crew is made up of his wife, Dianne, who’s played by Kelly Lynch, his partner Rick (James Le Gros), and Rick’s new girlfriend, Nadine, who’s played by a 19 year-old Heather Graham. The cast also includes James Remar as Gentry, a police officer whose relationship with Bob is somewhat reminiscent of Ricky and Julian’s interactions with Park Supervisor Jim Lahey in “Trailer Park Boys” (which you know about if you’ve been keeping up with my “Hidden Netflix Gems“). And I can’t not mention that one of the film’s best scenes comes from a cameo by prominent author (and junkie) William S. Burroughs as Tom, a man who’s “shot a million dollars in his arm.” Oh, and who just so happens to be a priest.

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Hidden Netflix Gems: ‘Oldboy’

It’s Saturday night and you need something to watch. Never fear, Hidden Netflix Gems is a new weekly feature designed to help you decide just what it should be, and all without having to scroll through endless pages of crap or even leave the house. Each choice will be available for streaming on Netflix Instant, and the link below will take you to its page on the site. Look for a new suggestion here every Saturday. 

This week’s Hidden Netflix Gem: “Oldboy” (2003)

Here in the States, it’s entirely likely you haven’t seen or even heard about the 2003  film “Oldboy.” If that’s the case, you’ve been missing out on what’s generally considered one of the greatest films of all time. Directed by Park Chan-wook, one of South Korea’s most popular and critically acclaimed filmmakers, “Oldboy” won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, it’s been certified fresh with an 81 percent rating on the Tomatometer, and with its 8.4 rating on IMDb, the film sits at 87th on the site’s Top 250 movies of all-time. As a result, Spike Lee is set to direct an American remake and subsequently ruin an awesome film which deserves all the acclaim that’s been heaped upon it.

When “Oldboy” begins, its main character, Oh Dae-su (played by Choi Min-sik), is more than a bit too drunk on his daughter’s birthday. Dae-su is kidnapped and locked in a hotel room for 15 years, never knowing the identity nor the motives of his captors. Fed nothing but fried dumplings, a television is his only contact with the outside world. It is through his TV screen that Dae-su learns that his wife has been murdered and he has been made to look like the culprit. As he slowly loses grip on his sanity, Dae-su spends his days honing his fighting skills, waiting to be released and obsessing over the vengeance he plans to take on those who imprisoned him. Then, one day, completely without explanation, Dae-su is released. A beggar hands him a cell phone and a wallet filled with money, the phone rings, and the voice on the other end challenges him to uncover the reasons behind his imprisonment. Dae-su embarks on a quest for vengeance, finding himself caught in a web of conspiracy and violence, and perhaps more surprisingly, he finds himself in love.

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