5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want To Check Out (7/25/14)

5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want To Check Out (7/25/14)

As usual…. To reiterate a suggestion I previously made, if you’re a filmmaker/producer/distributor reading this, and your film is streaming on Netflix, please let me know. Netflix unfortunately doesn’t have what I feel should be a more efficient search/sort method, and it can be quite a chore trying to find something worth watching. So, help me out if you can.

The same goes for non-filmmakers. If you stumble across any titles that you think should be featured in this weekly series, let me know!

But as usual… These aren’t necessarily recommendations. Consider the list more of an FYI – films and TV shows we’ve talked about on this site, at one time or another, that are now streaming on Netflix, that you might want to check out for yourselves.

Without further ado, here is this week’s list of 5:

1 – Last night, Thursday, July 24, BET Networks re-aired the original movie, “Gun Hill,” staring Larenz Tate, and directed by Reggie “Rock” Bythewood (“Biker Boyz”).

In the film, Tate portrays twin brothers, Trane and Bird, on opposite sides of the law: Trane, a cop, and Bird, a con. On one fateful night in New York City, Trane is killed. Bird assumes his identity and begins his own search for redemption. 

The film also features Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michael Aronov, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Tawny Cypress and Aisha Hinds.

Consider it a potential backdoor pilot, as “Being Mary Jane” was for the network; Essentially, an audience “test’ to determine whether to order it to series. So one can assume that if overall ratings are strong – including the premiere and the re-broadcast – (we haven’t seen the numbers yet), and BET brass is convinced there’s sufficiently enough interest in it as a series, then, like “Being Mary Jane,” it’ll become a series. This would explain the film’s abrupt ending, leaving many wondering whether there would be a part 2. It was likely meant to be a cliffhanger, leaving you anticipating  what might be to come, in the form of a series.

The film is now streaming on Netflix, so if you missed either broadcast, and you have a Netflix account, you can check it out over the weekend.

2. Currently, there are a total of 3 Ousmane Sembène films streaming on Netlfix, but I’ll include them all here as 1 selection: his seminal 1966 drama, “Black Girl” (“La Noire de,” or as I like to call it, “The Help,” before “The Help”), and 2 comedies that skewer post-colonial Senegalese bureaucracy: “Mandabi” (1968), and “Xala” (1975).

I was actually pleasantly surprised to find all 3 streaming on Netflix. You won’t find much there in terms of African cinema from the time period these were made. So I strongly encourage you to see them before they disappear. Netflix streaming titles usually come with an expiration date.

Here’s a look at “Black Girl”:

3. “Our Song” (2000) – With “Scandal” season 4 scheduled to kick off this fall, why not check out Kerry Washington’s very first feature film – “Our Song.”

She was just 23 years old, but she gives a really good performance. So check it out, if only to see early Kerry Washington at work.

The film was directed by Jim McKay. You’ll watch it and, like some, you likely wouldn’t believe that this was a film directed by a white filmmaker. It focuses on the bond between 3 high school girls (a black American, a black Latino, and a Latino American), and the choices the girls face once their school closes down, because of the need for asbestos removal.

The naturalistic performances make the film.

Here’s a trailer:

4 – Magnolia Pictures’ genre arm Magnet Releasing released Noel Clarke’s horror sci-fi film “Storage 24,” in the USA,last year – the first Noel Clarke-branded film to get a theatrical release in North America.

It got lots of coverage on S&A.

A quick recap; its synopsis reads:

London is in chaos. A military cargo plane has crashed leaving its highly classified contents strewn across the city. Completely unaware London is in lockdown, Charlie and Shelley accompanied by best friends Mark and Nikki are at Storage 24 dividing up their possessions after a recent break up. Suddenly, the power goes off. Trapped in a dark maze of endless corridors, a mystery predator is hunting them one by one. In a place designed to keep things in, how do you get out?

Clarke, who co-wrote the screenplay, stars in the film; he plays Charlie.

Rounding out the starring cast are Antonia Campbell-Hughes as Shelley, Colin O’Donoghue as Mark, and Laura Haddock as Nikki.

Magnolia/Magnet released “Storage 24” in a limited theatrical release early last year. If it didn’t play at a theater near you, or you just missed it, now you can check out on Netflix.

Here’s the US release red-band trailer from Magnet:

5 – It premiered as part of PBS’ 2013 fall primetime line-up, and, if you didn’t watch it, now you can do so, thanks to Netflix.

From Henry Louis Gates Jr., it’s a multi-part docu-series titled “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.”

In 2012, Gates launched a weekly black history series on TheRoot.com, highlighting the varied experiences of African Americans, going back the Transatlantic slave trade. That online print column was part of a run-up to this 6-part PBS series, which filmed in 2012.

Written and presented by Gates, the 6-hour series is the first documentary film to air, since 1968, to chronicle what the network called “the full sweep of African American history” – from the origins of slavery on the African continent, through more than 4 centuries of remarkable historic events, up to the present day – as America has a black president, yet remains a nation divided by race.

Check out a preview trailer below.

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Comments

Ar

Gun hill was a great movie..I need to know if it’s a part 2

Dana Gentes

interesting documentary THE LOVING STORY

Evon Ife

Thank you for the great recommendation. Our Song has made it to my love list. The realism of this film makes it a home run. Anna Simpson, Melissa Martinez and Kerry Washington's performances seemed to dance in one harmonious sister circle before an audience unknown to them. The film ended with me not only caring about the fictional characters, but also the talented actresses who played them so well. As a point of info, Anne Simpson, who played Joycelyn, was actually a new mom at the start of filming. Fresh faced and 16 with a baby she rocked the screen.

Lea

Our Song has streamed for over a year now..

AC

Gun Hill was ok. Lorenz has aged well, and apparently picked up some martial arts classes along the way.

Ol' Skool

"Skippy realized he was one of "those people" and that pissed him off"

Well, its been over a year since S&A highlighted the Skip Gates PBS special. The seven or more posts only recieved about 20 comments – total. However, of special note, S&A's Sergio was in full form. Check it out:

"And I didn't see the show but I read where Skippy went into rapturous delight when he realized he has caucasian DNA". ~ Blutopaz

"Yeah right, the one where he was delirious with glee that he was 67% Irish. If that's the case, then call me Bill O'Reilly. [ Like Really] Like W.E.B. DuBois used to claim he was mainly fFrench and Dutch. PLezzzzz, I can't with these kneegrows like Skippy, Blockhead Tavis, Grinning Gargoyle Cornell and now Lipsy Melissa. I can't take them. Of course Skippy was pissed off that he got arrested [when he realized] he was one of "those people"… "

*LOL*… that Sergio kills me. But my girl Savanah Morgan said this is a must see… so its on my plate. But 6 hours?

Anyway, that rubbery looking monster in Noel Clarks' flick makes that a no-go.

dee

The only movie that I saw was Black Girl…which was a very good movie.
Will try to check out the rest

Mike

I will be watching all of this. I think it is so fascinating to watch what our ancestors endured.

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