By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
Hulu today (May 1) added 56 new movies to its subscription Video on Demand service. Here are the four you don’t want to miss, in my humble opinion:
* Best In Show, director/writer/star Christopher Guest’s satirical tour de force based on the annual Westminster Dog Show in New York. The 2000 film stars some of our generation’s funniest improv performers including Guest, Eugene Levy, Katherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, Parker Posey, Michael McKean, Jane Lynch and Jennifer Coolidge. This might be Guest’s best in show which saying something when you’re talking about the mockumentary maker of Waiting For Guffman and A Mighty Wind.
* Boogie Nights, director Paul Thomas Anderson’s inventive 1997 take on the 1970s adult film industry starring Mark Wahlberg as the cut out for legendary adult performer John Holmes. However, PTA’s film is far more than a chronicle of the SoCal porn world from decades ago. It’s a thrilling and sometimes tragic look at a collection of lost souls who yearn for acceptance and recognition. whether they are shedding clothes for cash or slinging stereos in the Valley.
The impressive cast also includes Burt Reynolds as adult film director Jack Horner, Julianne Moore as the drug riddled actress, Amber Waves, William H. Macy as put-upon production member Little Bill, Heather Graham as the ingenue Roller Girl and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the lovesick crew flunkie, Scotty J.
Boogie Night is a great movie and one that announced to the world that Paul Thomas Anderson is cinema’s next great auteur.
* Beetlejuice, director Tim Burton’s 1988 wild, inventive and crazy comedy starring Michael Keaton as a ghost hired by the former (and formerly alive) residents of a house to scare away the new residents. Only Burton (and Keaton, or perhaps Johnny Depp) could have pulled this farce off but it’s a brilliant, hysterical and taut 92 minutes. The great ensemble cast includes Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Winona Ryder and Dick Cavett (!).
* Speed, the sensational 1994 drama starring Keanu Reeves as a LA cop who must save a busload of people from a bomb planted by a deliciously evil Dennis Hopper. Sandra Bullock plays a passenger who hesitantly takes the wheel (and Keanu’s heart) when the bus driver is shot. Pop quiz, hotshot. Are you going to watch it?
Honorable mentions go to The Book of Eli with Denzel Washington; Identity with John Cusack and Ray Liotta; Once Upon a Time In America; and the four Hunger Games films.
Here is the complete list of new movies added today to Hulu:
Best in Show
Billionaire Boys Club
Bless Me Ultima
Bobby Jones: Stroke Of Genius
The Book Of Eli
Clash Of The Titans
The Darkest Hour
Eat Pray Love
The First Monday In May
The Haunting in Connecticut
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
The Joy Luck Club
Last Action Hero
The Last Exorcism
The Little Things
Meet the Spartans
Once Upon a Time in America
Out of the Furnace
Pokemon Detective Pikachu
The Power Of One
Speed 2: Cruise Control
Stan & Ollie
Stuck On You
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— Phillip Swann