New April Netflix Offerings

Another month, another slew of catalog titles on streaming Netflix

Death Wish

Action & Adventure: Ambush at Dark Canyon, Bad Company, Braveheart, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Death Wish, Death Wish 2, Death Wish 3, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, No Holds Barred, Point Blank (1998), The River’s Edge

Classic: The Bells of St. Mary’s, Cheaper by the Dozen, For a Few Dollars More, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Graduate, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, Jane Eyre (1944), Les Miserables (1935), Man Hunt, The Odd Couple, The Robe, There’s No Business Like Show Business

Comedy: Act Like You Love Me, Amanda, Ass Backwards, Barton Fink, Bending the Rules, Click, Comic Book Villains, Coneheads, Going Ape!, Lars and the Real Girl, A League of Their Own, The Man with One Red Shoe, Mean Girls, The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, Pumpkin, The Queens of Comedy, Scary Movie 3, Sommore: Chandelier Status, Spanglish, Steel Magnolias (2012), Stuart Saves His Family, Women Who Kill

Documentary: After Porn Ends, Berkeley in the Sixties, Commune, Craigslist Joe, Decoding Deepak, A Fierce Green Fire, The Goebbels Experiment, The Heart of the Game, Jake Blauvelt: Naturally, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Mortified Nation, Moto 5, NotBad, Orgasm Inc., Shenandoah, This Ain’t California

Drama: Ali, Amistad, The Brooke Ellison Story, The English Patient, E.T.X.R., In the Hive, Inside Out, Inventing the Abbotts, A Man Called Peter, My Bodyguard, No Way Home, Now is Good, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Rocky 1-5, Roger Dodger, Secret Things, Sense and Sensibility, Strangers in Good Company, The Thomas Crown Affair, Titanic, The Turning Point, The Yards

Faith: The UnderShepherd

Family: Jumanji, The Little Prince (1974), The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Princess Twins of Legendale, Baby Genius: Mozart and Friends, Baby Genius: Animal Adventures, Baby Genius: Favorite Children’s Songs, Baby Genius: Favorite Nursery Rhymes, Baby Genius: A Trip to the San Francisco Zoo

The Terminator

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dragonslayer, The Fifth Element, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Running Man, The Terminator

Foreign: Alice, Amores Perros, The Black Tulip, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Midnight F.M., That Splendid November

Frankenstein's Army

Horror: Axed, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, Frankenstein’s Army, Germ Z, The Legend of Hell House, My Bloody Valentine (1981), Stephen King’s Thinner, Survival of the Dead, Tentacles

Television: The Great Train Robbery, Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot, The Hive, House M.D., The Inexplicable Universe with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Last Tango in Halifax, League of Super Evil, Mumfie, The Paradise, The Player: Secrets of a Vegas Whale, Royal Pains, The Wotwots,The Writers’ Room, and a new season of Bob’s Burgers

Thriller: Angel Heart, Chinatown, Murder at the Presidio

The Great Train Robbery – Trains = Money week

The Great Train Robbery (1978) – Rated PG

Victorian rogue Edward Pierce (Sean Connery) crafts an ambitious plan to stage England’s first hold-up of a moving train. To get to the 25,000 pounds of gold bars on board — which are well-guarded by a complex key system — Pierce enlists a bedmate (Lesley Anne Down), a safecracker (Donald Sutherland) and a tough guy (Wayne Sleep). Director Michael Crichton adapted the script from his novel by the same name, which is based on actual events.

“Now, on the matter of motive, we ask you: Why did you conceive, plan and execute this dastardly and scandalous crime?” – “I wanted the money.”

In addition to directing, Michael Crichton wrote the screenplay based on his own novel. He has a fine eye for detail without bogging things down. The film feels fun and Geoffrey Unsworth’s Victorian cinematography is gorgeous. This film is dedicated to Unsworth’s memory.

Sean Connery is delightful (and clearly having fun) as Edward Pierce. Yes he really does run on top of the train while it is moving at 40-50 mph. Lesley-Anne Downe is quite good as Miriam, his love interest and accomplice.

Donald Sutherland gets to play his normal delightfully goofy 70s self, the robber Agar – thankfully reined in just a bit by Crichton. Wayne Sleep plays the fourth robber, Clean Willy and was a member of the Royal Ballet Company.

This is first and foremost a caper film and follows the standard tropes associated with that subgenre, even though it takes place in the mid-19th century. Crichton delights in both the details and language of the 19th century criminal underclass. You can learn quite a bit simply by paying attention to this film and yet it doesn’t come off as preachy. Crichton also manages to throw in a wonderful double entendre conversation for Connery and a fun ending to bring the film together.

People Watch: This was the last film of Hammer regular Andre Morell. He plays the Judge.