Sadly, this is my last streaming-movie column for TechHive. So rather than going out with a batch of new releases that will be quickly forgotten, I thought I'd share a batch of my all-time favorite films that are available for streaming: Classics of all stripes, for people who really love movies.
When I was a kid, we imagined that there would be a day in which, rather than going to the video store, you could just push a button and a movie would play right on your TV. Those days are here. What comes next is anyone's guess, but here's hoping there will always be good movies to watch.
Cinema Paradiso (Netflix)
Giuseppe Tornatore's beautiful Cinema Paradiso (1988) plays the heartstrings a bit heavily, but it's nearly impossible to resist, especially if you love movies with all your heart. A film director, Salvatore Di Vita, flashes back to his childhood spent at the title movie theater, his friendship with the old projectionist there, and his first love with a local girl. So many scenes will stick with you forever, such as Salvatore racing back and forth between two cinemas on his bicycle, carrying the shared reels of a single film print. But nothing hits quite like the movie's masterstroke: the discovery of all the excised kissing scenes, stolen by the priest for the "betterment" of his flock, edited together in one passionate reel.
Hailing from Italy, the movie is still one of the all-time highest-grossing foreign-language films in the United States, and it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Ennio Morricone provided the gorgeous musical score. Netflix offers the 124-minute cut, which, in its own way, is even more enjoyable (and less dark) than the full-length 174-minute director's cut.
Monkey Business (Netflix)
Howard Hawks was one of the greatest of all Hollywood directors, somehow managing to make personal movies, but still seamlessly integrating into the system; his films were even successful at the box office. He made films in all different genres, with different kinds of stars (John Wayne, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and others). He offered plucky roles to many actresses and concentrated on themes of friendship, honor, and professionalism.
Monkey Business (1952) was his fifth and final film with Cary Grant, and it also helped to introduce a young Marilyn Monroe to the public. Grant plays scientist Dr. Barnaby Fulton, who invents a youth serum; both he and his wife (Ginger Rogers) inadvertently drink the elixir when a lab monkey dumps it in the water cooler. The pacing here is a little more lax than in Hawks' more frantic comedies, but it still manages to pack in a strong combination of one-liners, slapstick, and thoughtful commentary.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.