More Director’s Cuts – Apocalypse Now, The Act of Killing, Iron Sky

While Netflix only had Nightbreed out of the various director’s cuts I talked about, they do have a number of others available.

Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now (1979) – Rated R

During the Vietnam War, Capt. Willard is sent to Cambodia on a top-secret mission to terminate Col. Kurtz, who’s gone completely insane.”

Apocalypse Now Redux (2001) – Rated R

Obviously Francis Ford Coppola’s other masterpiece should be seen on a big screen but, barring that, stick to the two and a half hour original. The Redux at three hours and fifteen minutes is still powerful but feels a little bloated.

The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing (2012) – Not rated

A 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature, this film follows two former Indonesian death squad leaders as they reenact war atrocities.”

The Act of Killing: The Director’s Cut (2012) – Not rated

The director’s cut is more than half an hour longer. I found the original to be a very brutal (yet riveting) sit through and another half hour might put me over the top so I’ll pass but fans of the original may like the additional footage.

Iron Sky

Iron Sky (2012) – Rated R

The Nazis retreated to the Moon in 1945, but after they’re discovered by an American shuttle in 2018, they relaunch their plans to invade Earth.”

Iron Sky: Director’s Cut (2012) – Not Rated

I have no idea why this quirky 2012 movie got a director’s cut. While it is eighteen minutes longer, it is not appreciably different from the original. I did not feel the extra running time added anything important. Iron Sky was a great concept that made for an entertaining, though not especially memorable, film. There is a sequel in development: Iron Sky: The Coming Race

 

 

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 7/22/14

A fair number of documentaries and a smattering of other items

Action: Dead in Tombstone

Comedy: Authors Anonymous

The Act of Killing

Documentary: The Act of Killing: Director’s Cut (37 minutes longer), Downloaded, Particle Fever, Sounding the Alarm: Battling the Autism Epidemic, War Don Don, Weekend of a Champion, The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack, Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats

Drama: McCanick

Family: Animal ABC’s, An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars

Riley Rewind

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Riley Rewind

Foreign: Andaz Apna Apna, The Last Days, Special 26, Bethlehem

Manhunter

Horror: Manhunter, Patrick: Evil Awakens

Television: Forensic Files, Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, Inside: Lego, TEDTalks: Body by Design, Unsealed: Conspiracy Files, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, and new episodes of Hell on Wheels and Baby Daddy

Thriller: Gun Hill

The Act of Killing Danland at the Nightmare Factory

Danland, The Act of Killing, and Nightmare Factory are currently available on instant Netflix

Danland

Danland (2012) – Not rated

Dan Lear has become famous for creating amateur porn films that swap flashiness for rough, unimaginative sex. This documentary examines Lear’s psychology and what prompted him to leave his white-collar lifestyle for a far more unorthodox profession.”

One Line Review: A shudder-worthy peek inside the life of an amateur pornographer.

I find it hard to recommend this movie but it is a fascinating look at lower level players in the porn industry. The first third sets up the premise and shows Dan in his element, making ‘amateur’ porn. It rankles because you see that Dan is really not a sympathetic character and not particularly interesting. The actors and actresses in his film are not very attractive and most of the filming occurs on dirty mattresses and furniture in a rundown house. Be prepared to shudder at some of the scenes being filmed.

The second act turns that around a bit as they show what a sad life Dan has, especially once he breaks up with his girlfriend. His life just spirals down from there. The best scenes are at the Adult Video awards in Vegas where Dan, a natural salesman, clearly feels that he is important but no one wants to give him the time of day.

I will say that the ending is brilliant but definitely be aware that this film will leave you disgusted, depressed, or both.

Nightmare Factory

Nightmare Factory (2011) – Not rated

Using the career of makeup effects guru Greg Nicotero as a case study, this documentary gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the crucial role Hollywood makeup departments play in bringing horror movies to life on the silver screen.

Obviously I am biased because my daughter is a makeup artist and she has worked on a horror film (Mister White) but I found Nightmare Factory to be an excellent documentary about horror makeup. It primarily focuses on Greg Nicotero and KNB Effects but covers plenty of other ground as well.

If you love horror movies as I do, I highly recommend this behind-the-scenes look at many of KNB’s fabulous creations.

The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing (2012) – Not rated

A 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature, this film follows two former death squad leaders as they reenact atrocities they committed during a bloody era in Indonesia when more than a million people were slaughtered.

I was rather disappointed that the Academy gave the Documentary award to the feel good 20 Feet from Stardom rather than this brilliant concept film, The Act of Killing. The former death squad leaders not only fully acknowledge the awful things they did but reenact them for the camera in some rather startling, surreal ways. This film will open your eyes to how real evil operates and thinks.

I should not have been surprised though as last year there were four extremely depressing/hard to get through documentaries nominated and the winner was the lone feel good film, Searching for Sugarman.

 

The Oscar Nominated Documentaries for 2013

The Academy Award nominees have now been announced. Obviously none of the big ones are on Netflix yet but the documentary category has always been a good one for Netflix. Three of the five nominees are currently available and a fourth, The Square, will be streaming tomorrow. Only 20 Feet from Stardom is currently unavailable.

The Square (2014) – Not rated

As the Egyptian Revolution unfolds, this acclaimed, eyewitness documentary immerses the viewer in the intense emotional drama of young people on the streets of Cairo claiming their rights and creating a society of conscience. As two governments topple, the personal stories of the freedom fighters unfold in an inspiring tribute to the power of citizenship.

The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing (2012) – Not rated

This unique documentary recalls the bloody era in Indonesia when pro-government death squads slaughtered more than a million suspected Communists. Now in positions of power, two ex-squad leaders gleefully reenact their atrocities for the filmmakers.”

Cutie and the Boxer

Cutie and the Boxer (2013) – Rated R

Explore the work and marriage of Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, who took America’s art scene by storm after leaving Japan for New York. Each has created their own unique space, both in style … and in their 40-year relationship.

Dirty Wars

Dirty Wars (2013) – Not rated

Exploring America’s covert operations in the war on terror, investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill takes viewers on a revealing journey through drone strikes, night raids, kill lists that include U.S. citizens and secret government-condoned torture.