Last month we brought you the August Explosion of new titles on Netflix Instant Watch. But then they went and added another big batch of titles over the holiday weekend. Looks like many of them were old school Paramount titles, with a few other highlights tossed in. Here's a selection of 30 films we deem highly and instantly watchable...
9 to 5 -- Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Jane Fonda get dark 'n' silly in this 1980 work-time farce that has lots of laughs, plus Dabney Coleman as "a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" who is so much fun to hate.
The African Queen -- Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn in one of the coolest adventure classics of all time. Doubly recommended for young people who think they dislike black-and-white films.
Barbarella -- Jane Fonda stars in Roger Vadim's 1968 adaptation of the sexy Jean Claude Forest space comic. Highly dated but still fun.
Beverly Hills Cop -- Proof to young people that Eddie Murphy was once hilarious. Truly hilarious. This is one of his best star vehicles. (Avoid the sequels.)
The Burrowers -- Not many movies can combine horror and Western into a worthy whole. This 2008 JT Petty indie does a fine job of it.
Clue -- There's a reason so many people still love this 1985 ensemble farce, and it's not because we like the board game. Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull... need I go on? There are several others.
Clueless -- What could have been just another forgettable piece of teenage fluff is salvaged by smart source material, a clever director, and a lovely lead performance by Alicia Silverstone. Paul Rudd and Dan Hedaya add some great moments, as does the late Brittany Murphy.
Coming to America -- Another example of how damn funny Eddie Murphy can be when working with clever writers and smart comedy directors. John Landis keeps this light-but-raunchy romantic farce moving, and there are tons of "quotable" comedy moments.
The Conversation -- Coppola made this film between The Godfather and The Godfather Part 2. Some say The Conversation is the best film of the three. I don't know if I'd go that far, but this paranoid thriller is truly something special. Easily one of Gene Hackman's finest performances, as well, and that's saying something.
Days of Heaven -- Want to know why Terrence Malick is a near-mythical creature among certain film fanatics? Watch this 1978 masterpiece. (Or his Badlands, from 1973.)
Dog Day Afternoon -- Lumet. Pacino. Cazale. One of the most bizarrely entertaining bank heists you'll ever see. And based on ACTUAL true events. You can go look it up.
The Doors -- If you know nothing about the Doors, this 1991 Oliver Stone feature will get you going. Val Kilmer is pretty damn amazing. If you already know a lot about the Doors, this is still a pretty wacky flick.
The Eiger Sanction -- Long before he started picking on chairs, Clint Eastwood tackled a mountain in this cool 1975 adventure movie.
Explorers -- Some smart kids (Ethan Hawke and the late River Phoenix) figure out how to travel into space in this funny and nostalgic Joe Dante comedy from 1985.
Face/Off -- Super-flashy action nonsense from John Woo. Worth seeing just for Travolta/Cage, easily, but there's lots of weirdly funny bits and tons of lunatic action.
Haywire -- Very recent Soderbergh flick is an affectionate throwback to '70s chase flicks, but it also has a strong supporting cast and an appealing lead in Gina Carano.
Highlander -- Adorable action/sci-fi/fantasy nonsense that claimed there could be only one. Except for the outrageously bad sequels. And the TV series. And probably a new remake. (Bonus points for the Queen score and when Connery describes haggis!)
King Kong (1976) -- I know several people of my approximate age who adore this DeLaurentis/Guillermen adaptation, but I am not one of them. Aside from some juicily broad performances from Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin and Jessica Lange, I don't see much that's worth savoring. Still, if you've seen the original and the Peter Jackson version, you may as well complete the trifecta.
Mean Girls -- Like the aforementioned Clueless, here's another "teen girl" comedy that actually speak to a lot of people. Bolstered by a canny script by Tina Fey and a truly strong performance by Lindsay Lohan, this one simply holds up well.
Network -- When you're talking about cinematic satire, there is Dr. Strangelove, there is M*A*S*H and there is Network. Of course there are others, but I'm talking about classic social satire that educates and illuminates while it entertains. Network is more timely today than it was in the 1970s. That alone is pretty amazing.
Night of the Hunter -- The only film directed by character actor Charles Laughton, but it's still remembered as one of the most chilling old school thrillers ever made. And it is!
North Dallas Forty -- There aren't too many good films about American football, but here's one. Reportedly based on what went on behind the scenes of the Cowboys of the early '70s, this raunchy comedy features some great work by Nick Nolte and Charles Durning.
The Omen -- Of the hundreds of films that were plainly "inspired" by the success of The Exoricst, this nifty little 1976 chiller is probably the best. Feature debut of Richard Donner, the flick almost plays like an unofficial sequel to Rosemary's Baby. Bonus: the sequels aren't bad, but the remake sort of is.
Pootie Tang -- Weirdly hilarious. And you may have forgotten that this flick was cowritten and directed by Louis CK.
Serpico -- Fantastic truth-based cop story about one honest guy stuck in a web of underhanded crimes... from fellow cops!
Soapdish -- Robert Downey Jr., Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Whoopi Goldberg and Cathy Moriarty all get a few scenes to steal in this broad but very funny parody of daytime soap operas.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut -- The rare TV-to-movie movie that isn't just a knockoff or a rip-off. As funny as the series' best episodes, the movie also boasts some great music and a plot that actually "fits" into a movie-sized frame. Foul-mouthed, hilarious stuff.
Sunset Blvd. -- Just watch it. Trust me. If you love movies, you need to see this movie.
Team America: World Police -- I can't believe this movie even got made. I mean that as a compliment. Brazen socio-political satire mixed with a punch in the chops to Hollywood. Unique, bizarre, funny. Again, also great songs.
The Thing -- Forget that prequel from last year. This 1982 John Carpenter classic still holds up as an intense, suspenseful and wonderfully gory campfire story.