Charlize Theron, Daryl Hannah, Pam Grier, Summer Glau and Lori Petty could destroy you. Pay homage to the women who kick all sorts of ass with these cinematic rumbles now available on Netflix Instant.
Don’t mess aroun’ with Foxy Brown. If you’ve never actually seen writer-director Jack Hill’s be-all, end-all blaxploitation classic — and many of you probably haven’t — then now’s your chance. The world trembles at Pam Grier‘s feet as she infiltrates a prostitution ring to get sweet badass revenge on the scumbags who murdered her government agent boyfriend. Foxy Brown goes all the way and keeps going — Foxy severing a guy’s junk and putting it in a pickle jar is actually one of the movie’s tamer flourishes. The film is endlessly quotable, too, though we’re especially fond of Foxy smashing a barstool over the head of a woman who warned her that she has a black belt in karate. “And my black belt’s in barstools!” She’s a whole lotta woman.
Ridley Scott‘s been poking, prodding and revising his sci-fi masterpiece for so long it’s easy to forget that the original theatrical cut had some pretty silly film noir voiceover (as well a “happy ending” shot using leftover footage from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining). The theatrical cut, which is currently the only version of Blade Runner available on Netflix Instant, is worth revisiting, if only because you’re probably completely unfamiliar with it at this point, what with the “Director’s Cut” and “Final Cut” now considered to be the only “legitimate” versions of the film. True, the theatrical cut is a bit clunky, though you still get Daryl Hannah freaking the hell out and choking Harrison Ford with her legs before she freaks out even more after he shoots her. That scene still freaks us out.
The live-action adaptation of Aeon Flux manages to make even less sense than the original animated shorts, and those didn’t have any spoken dialogue. However, the world of Aeon Flux doesn’t really need “sense” — all you need to know is that we’re in some sort of dystopian future run by some corrupt government and Charlize Theron is going to beat the crap out of everyone. Charlize isn’t exactly who we had in mind when it came time to turn the tall, wirey, impossibly skinny Aeon into a living, breathing creature, but so what? She looks great, and so does the scenery, and evil dudes in black uniforms and helmets get their teeth smashed in. You also get mutants who have hands where their feet should be, the sight of which might actually make you feel pretty uncomfortable.
We sometimes feel that Joss Whedon might need to start hanging out with people his own age if he’s ever going to actually, you know, grow as an artist. But he’s a master at the delightful quip or sarcastic one-liner (whether it’s appropriate to the particular situation or not)… and he sure has a knack for casting the lovely young ladies. Serenity, Whedon’s follow-up to his space western series, Firely, is good stuff, and Summer Glau makes it even better with her sexy performance as the mysterious River Tam, a woman who doesn’t have much to say but sure knows how to bend and twist her body into all sorts of physics-defying positions as she kicks and slams her enemies into a world o’ hurt. She’s also something of a psychic genius — bonus!
If the producers had held off on making it for another ten years or so, Tank Girl might’ve gotten the Scott Pilgrim treatment with a decent budget, a skilled and hungry director and maybe even a healthy helping of celebrity cameos. But if you were a comic book movie back in 1995, especially one based on a fringe comic (Judge Dredd, anyone?), you had to take what you could get. With that in mind, it’s something of a miracle that Tank Girl even exists, and even more of a miracle that this cheeky post-apocalyptic silliness isn’t a complete disaster. Lori Petty‘s spunky, punky performance in the title role goes a long way, and you even get Naomi Watts as her hottie nerdy sidekick, Jet Girl — and any movie that features Ice-T as a kangaroo creature and Malcolm McDowell as a villain who gets his face replaced by a digital screen definitely deserves points for… well, for having Ice-T as a kangaroo creature and Malcolm McDowell as a villain who gets his face replaced by a digital screen.
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