‘Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2’
Quentin Tarantino is in a dark place right now, even for a guy synonymous with ultra-violence and naughty language. If the wildly cynical “The Hateful Eight” was too rich for your blood, you can journey back to a nicer time — or at least when he made a two-part, four-hour extravaganza of vengeance, coated in geysers of blood. Tarantino might have wanted viewers to watch Uma Thurman plow through untold minions and bosses on the big screen, but it goes perfectly with our brave new binge-watching world. Too bad the stitched together, reworked cut — even longer and with a slightly different structure — has never materialized on home video. You still have to leave the house to see it, on the off-chance some rep theater has booked it.
‘Mission: Impossible III’
Ain’t that so Netflix? The one “Mission: Impossible” entry they own is one of the lesser ones. J.J. Abrams’ stab is still perfectly watchable, and boasts no less than Philip Seymour Hoffman as the maniacal baddie with a silly plan for world domination or whatever. There’s a good bridge bombing plus some elaborate ruses that, unlike the rest of the film series, actually feel like the “M:I” show. But wouldn’t you rather watch Brian De Palma’s whirligig first entry, with a real master cracking out some crackerjack set pieces? For that you’ll have to head over to Amazon Prime.
A rom-com featuring an offensive Asian stereotype and made by a noted right-winger — why is this a classic again? Oh yeah, because of the rest of it. John Hughes’ first teen movie emerged at the height of the slasher genre when the young and pretty were mostly on screens to be hacked up. It was a breath of fresh air — a movie that really understood teens, and even had some formal chops to boot. And unlike “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” it doesn’t feature a hero who — as critic David Denby noted, with frightening prescience, back in 1986 — comes off like a young George W. Bush.