By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
Paramount+ last weekend added 62 new movies to its subscription streaming service. Here are the six best, in my humble opinion. (Feel free to offer your choices in the Comments section below.)
* The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II, arguably the two greatest films ever, not just among those recently added to Paramount+. Director (and co-writer with Mario Puzo) Francis Ford Coppola paints a cinematic masterpiece in each film, chronicling the rise of the Corleone crime family from its early immigrant roots at the turn of the 20th Century to its powerful reign in 1950s and 60s America. The cast is one to die for, pun intended, with Marlon Brando somehow even eclipsing his greatest roles in the 1950s (On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire) as family head Vito Corleone and a here-to-then unknown named Al Pacino as his son, Michael Corleone, who’s corrupted by family loyalties and power. And there’s the supporting crew. James Caan. Robert Duvall. Diane Keaton. John Cazale. Sterling Hayden. Robert DeNiro (!). My goodness, I can talk about these movies all day long. But let me close here by saying that Paramount+ has also added the third in the trilogy, The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corelone, and that’s enough said about that film. (Even geniuses misfire sometimes.)
* 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.
* Fatal Attraction, the 1987 drama from director Adrian Lyne that did more to curb adultery than any 1,000 sermons. Michael Douglas plays an attorney whose life is turned upside down when he has an affair with a disturbed book editor (Glenn Close) who’s never met a rabbit she liked. The film is a taut and juicy depiction of what people will do when emotions are stretched and temptation is dangled. And, by the way, Paramount+ is doing a TV series based on the film, debuting April 30. See this for more details.
* Wall Street, the 1987 Oliver Stone-directed film starring Charlie Sheen as a morally conflicted stockbroker in the go-go 1980s. But the real star of the film is the aforementioned Douglas whose evil financier Gordon Gekko remains one of cinema’s most iconic roles. (‘Greed is good’ became a mantra among some on the Exchange.) And what a year Douglas had in 1987! Wall Street and Fatal Attraction. Not bad.
* 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.
* Lincoln, the Steven Spielberg-directed 2012 bio film starring Daniel Day-Lewis as our 16th president. The movie gets a bit maudlin at times, but it’s a must-see for Day-Lewis’ channeling of the man who guided us during the most critical time in our nation’s history. There may not be a better living actor than DDL and Lincoln is the perfect showcase for his unique talents. Watch this film and you’ll think Lincoln is still alive.
Honorable mentions go to Fight Club, Get Shorty, Ghost World, Mad Max, Married to the Mob and Old School.
Here is the complete list of new movies just added to Paramount+.
As Good As It Get
Basic Instinct 2
Beavis And Butt-Head Do America
Curse Of The Pink Panther
Forbidden City Cop
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
I Got The Hook-Up
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Married to the Mob
Out of Time
Planet of the Apes
Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Revenge Of The Pink Panther
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
Son Of The Pink Panther
Stargate: The Ark of Truth
The Adventures of Tintin
The Godfather (Remastered)
The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (Remastered)
The Godfather, Part II (Remastered)
The Last House on the Left
The Long Goodbye
The Woman in Red
Trail Of The Pink Panther
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Weekend at Bernie’s
Where Hope Grows
Young Sherlock Holmes
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— Phillip Swann