Netflix is perceived to have a more-than-sizable library of selections. While it does not contain many of the more current releases, it does contain plenty of choices that, while obscure, may fascinate many. Here are three recommendations “off the beaten path.”
For the documentarian: “Milius” (2014)
John Milius, a Hollywood screenwriter and director, may not be a household name. Yet, he made the careers of people like George Lucas, Bryan Singer, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This documentary by directors Joey Figueroa (“Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40”) and Zak Knutson (“Get the Gringo”) provides an informative and insightful picture of a man not born in the right time, but nonetheless dedicated to upholding the values he believed in while pursuing his cinematic passions. A self-described zen-anarchist and political conservative, he was both respected and feared by the Hollywood establishment. Covered in the film is his work on such movies as “Apocalypse Now” and “Dirty Harry” as well as his ascension to cult status with “Conan the Barbarian” and “Red Dawn.” Though he is no longer as active as he once was, he did find time to ghostwrite for “The Hunt for Red October” and co-create the HBO series “Rome.”
For the ‘So Bad It’s Good’: “G-Men From Hell” (2000)
Sometimes a movie release is so bad in every aspect that it is actually entertaining. “G-Men from Hell” falls into that category. It is directed by Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew Christopher Coppola (“Deadfall”) and based on a comic book of the same name by Michael Allred. The film follows two corrupt FBI agents, William Forsythe and Tate Donovan, who break out of hell and attempt to solve their own murder — all while staying ahead of the Devil himself, the late Robert Goulet and his minions. Most of the sets look cheap, almost everyone overacts, and the internal-world logic, as well as the logic of the characters, does not make a lot of sense. However, what prevents this story from completely failing is the commitment of the actors to the material and the charm the campiness infuses. If you enjoy B-movies and comic book films, you will definitely be more than satisfied with this romp.
For the conspiracy theorist: “Shooter” (2007)
Political thrillers were all the rage during George W. Bush’s presidency. While many were serious in their tone and excessively critical of the administration’s foreign policy, director Antoine Fuqua’s (“Training Day”) take on this genre was a more unorthodox approach. By exploiting the American left’s view of the War on Terror and the Bush presidency, he turned what could have easily been a Bourne Identity clone into a pulse-pounding action film. Mark Wahlberg makes the most of his role as a U.S. Army sniper looking to clear his name, while Danny Glover and Ned Beatty chew the scenery as the primary villains. Supporting cast members include Kate Mara, Rhona Mitra and Michael Pena.
Follow Collin Chersi on Twitter: @PepperChersi