By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
Amazon over the weekend added 66 new movies to its Prime lineup. Here are the five best, in my humble opinion. (Offer your opinions in the Comments section at the bottom of the article.)
* American Gigolo, the 1980 drama from director/writer Paul Schrader stars Richard Gere as a high-class male escort who gets entangled in a murder mystery while serving the wealthy women of Beverly Hills. The film, which features the lush synthesizer music of Giorgio Moroder, and a driving, balls to the wall opening tune from Blondie (Call Me), does more to announce the beginning of the hedonistic 80s than any other piece of art. American Gigolo also made Gere a star and showed the cinema world that Schrader was more than a writer of great films such as Taxi Driver.
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* The Big Lebowski, the 1998 cult comedy from the Coen Bros. features an iconic Los Angeles slacker (Jeff Bridges) named ‘The Dude’ who accidentally becomes the focus of a murder investigation. Only Joel and Ethan Coen could take this farfetched plot and turn it into a cultural mainstay and masterpiece that resonates with multiple generations. The flawless supporting cast includes John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, David Huddleston, Julianne Moore, and John Turturro as Jesus, a bowler with a strange fetish for his ball.
Also See: Netflix Just Added 39 New Movies – Here Are the 6 Best!
* The Aviator, the absorbing (if overlong) 2004 drama from director Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio as legendary flyboy and billionaire Howard Hughes. DiCaprio is good as Hughes, but Scorsese is the star here with his stylish flourishes on display in nearly every scene. The impressive supporting cast includes Kate Beckinsale, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, Willen Dafoe, Jude Law, John C. Reilly and Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn.
* Face/Off, the 1997 drama from director John Woo stars John Travolta and Nic Cage as an FBI agent and master criminal (respectively) who switch faces and identities while engaging in a cat-and-mouse chase. Only Woo, Travolta and Cage could pull this off but it’s a rockin’ 133 minutes of action, over-the-top acting, and humor.
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* Ray, the 2004 biofilm directed by Taylor Hackford chronicles the life story of the late and great blind singer, Ray Charles, starring Jamie Foxx in the performance of a lifetime. Foxx’s exceptional (and still underrated) talents are on full display and Hackford does a masterful job of showing the singer’s full life, warts and all.
Here is the complete list of movies just added to Amazon Prime:
American Gigolo (1980)
At the Gate of the Ghost (2013)
Bend It Like Beckham (2003)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)
Couples Retreat (2009)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001)
Death Wish 2 (1982)
Death Wish 3 (1985)
Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)
Dirty Pretty Things (2003)
Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
Fighting with My Family (2019)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (2012)
Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011)
Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise (2015)
Jesse Stone: No Remorse (2010)
Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009)
Jet Li’s Fearless (2006)
Jumping the Broom (2011)
Keeping the Faith (2000)
Liar Liar (1997)
Life of Pi (2012)
Mary and The Witch’s Flower (2017)
Max Payne (2008)
Moonlight and Valentino (1995)
Morning Glory (2010)
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Ong Bak (2005)
Racing with the Moon (1984)
School Ties (1992)
Shanghai Knights (2003)
Shanghai Noon (2000)
Shrek Forever After (2010)
Small Soldiers (1998)
Soul Surfer (2011)
Staying Alive (1983)
Tales From the Darkside: The Movie (1990)
Terminator Genisys (2015)
The Aviator (2004)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Descendants (2011)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
The Longest Yard (1974)
The Mechanic (2011)
The Medallion (2003)
The Sisters Brothers (2018)
The Two Faces of January (2014)
The Young Messiah (2016)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2012)
To the Wonder (2012)
Top Gun (1986)
Vanilla Sky (2001)
We’re No Angels (1989)
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
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— Phillip Swann
How could you not mention Fast Times and Ridgemont High? The soundtrack of my youth. LOL