With the likes of Netflix and other streaming services now available in South Africa, there’s no shortage of great movies to enjoy. However, it can be slightly overwhelming with the selection out there, so we’ve highlighted 5 hidden gems that you need should catch-up on if you haven’t already!
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
There’s no denying the Coen brothers’ eccentric gift for story-telling. Trying to classify any of their movies into a genre is a serious headache, because all of them are very uniquely textured. Fans of No Country for Old Men or True Grit will immediately recognise the Coen brothers’ touch with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, but the structure of this particular project is quite unusual. It’s an anthology of six short stories all based during the post-Civil War period in the Old West, with a variety of tones and moods playing across the six films. It’s not exactly going to be straight-forward watching, but it will be quite a unique experience.
A lot has been said about Annihilation; it was widely acclaimed as an excellent sci-fi thriller that combines terror and taut suspense effectively, but somehow, it seems like a ton of people still haven’t seen the eerie Netflix original. The story is clever and well-told, but one of the criticisms (which may be a positive in the eyes of some) is the interwoven symbolism scattered throughout the movie that uses the backdrop of the sci-fi story as an exploration of the complex relationship between the protagonist Lena (Natalie Portman) and her husband Kane (Oscar Isaac). Either way you want to analyse the movie – whether a creepy horror or psychosocial relationship deconstruction – Annihilation is an interesting and unique watch, whatever its faults may be.
Batman mashed up with a feudal Japanese anime style? Sounds weird – but actually ends up kicking serious ass. We’ve seen a lot of re-works of traditional Batman stories, so if you’re over the stale and conventional comic-book arcs, Batman: Ninja’s intriguing art style and equally compelling storyline will surely satisfy your need for a bit more invention in your Dark Knight fix. The plot starts off with Batman battling the Joker, and by some mysterious force, he’s transported to a feudal Japan where the Joker is effectively an untouchable ruler. He’s going to have to use every ounce of his ability and count on his team to not only defeat the Joker, but also to find his way back to the present day.
Kubo and the Two Strings
Need some anime-styled fantasy adventure to lift your spirits? Then you’ve found the right movie to scratch that itch. Kubo is a young boy whose tranquil world is turned upside down when his unique magical gifts summon a spirit from his past that will exact a prophesied vendetta. With his buddies Monkey (voiced by Charlize Theron) and Beetle (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), he has to battle gods, monsters, and the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) to save his family and discover the mystery of his legendary father – the most famous samurai to have lived. Laughs, adventure, and magical fantasy combine for a truly great ride.
The Christmas Chronicles
A Christmas movie that will deck your halls and make you jolly is mandatory for this list – and who doesn’t want to see Kurt Russell pull off a kick-ass Santa Claus? The Christmas Chronicles follows Russell’s St. Nick on the night before Christmas, where he thinks his evening is going to go off without a hitch – but is instead interrupted by the shenanigans of a brother and sister who crash his sleigh. Now the pair have to pull an all-nighter and help Santa out to make sure their goofing around didn’t just ruin everyone’s holidays.
Which movies on Netflix would you recommend? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA and commenting below.
Do you love Netflix? Check out Hisense’s range of TVs featuring the Netflix app.