Coming Friday to theaters is a mind-bending action flick, a kid-friendly comedy, a politically fraught biopic, and a family comedy out of France. As such, our list of correlating Instant Watches is full of action, laughs, and stars galore!
Zack Snyder returns to ass-kicking with this twisted tale of an institutionalized girl who retreats into an alternate reality, where she can become her own savior.
Pack your weekend with action and heroines with these pulse-pounding flicks:
Aliens: Collector’s Edition (1986) This gritty follow-up to Alien centers on Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the badass who inspired many imitators and a two more sequels. While each of the Alien movies is worth a watch, this one scored Weaver an Oscar nod. Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, and Bill Paxton co-star; James Cameron directs.
The Fifth Element (1997) The heroine of Luc Besson’s candy-colored sci-fi adventure isn’t just an interstellar ass-kicker; she’s also the perfect being! Milla Jovovich and Bruce Willis star as an alien and a hack driver who team up to save the world!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Movie (1992) Before Sarah Michelle Gellar, there was Kristy Swanson, who originated the role of the sassy cheerleader/slayer in this cult-adored action comedy. With all its über 90s fashion, this one may feel a little dated, but that’s part of its campy (but undeniably fun) charm. Luke Perry, Donald Sutherland and Paul Ruebens co-star in this action-comedy penned by Joss Whedon.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
In the second film based on the popular children’s book series, wimpy kid Greg has got a secret – and his older brother Rodrick is eager to torment him about it.
Astro Boy (2009) Before he took on Diary 2, director David Bowers helmed this high-flying, family-friendly flick. Certainly offbeat, but surprisingly touching, this animated adventure stars Freddie Highmore as the rocket-footed robot boy; Nathan Lane, Kristen Bell, and Nic Cage co-star.
A Little Princess (1995) Alfonso Cuarón’s first English-language feature, this kid-flick centers on a creative young girl who goes from student to slave at a posh boarding school when word comes that her father has died. This little princess perseveres, using her stories and imagination to get her hopes up and entertain her fellow boarders. The story is great for kids, but with Cuarón’s lush and whimsical visuals, Princess is a joy for grown-ups too.
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988) Based on a popular children’s book, Pippi follows the redheaded pig-tailed mischief-maker and her monkey and talking horse on a series of kid-friendly misadventures.
Julian Schnabel’s follow-up to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, this biographical drama reveals the story of Hind Husseini (Hiam Abbass), a Palestinian woman who founded an orphanage to house refugees of the Arab-Israeli War. Frieda Pinto stars as the title character, who is drawn into a world of conflict when she falls for a charismatic political activist.
Palestinian film star Hiam Abbass has appeared in a number of memorable movies, and you can fill your weekend with some daring dramas, pairing Miral with any of the following:
Paradise Now (2005) This crime drama, which centers on two childhood friends who are recruited to for suicide bombings in Tel Aviv, earned an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Film. Abbass co-stars as one of the boys’ mother.
Amreeka (2009) In this American-produced drama, Abbass plays a Palestinian wife and mother living happily in small town Illinois who invites her sister and nephew to join her household. While the new arrivals struggle to adapt, tension rises as their American-born neighbors, reeling from the threat of terrorism and the war in Iraq, prove hostile and hateful to these Arab-Americans. It’s a stirring yet understated narrative. Alia Shawkat co-stars.
Lemon Tree (2008) In this politically driven drama, Abbass plays a Palestinian widow, who defies Israeli security forces that want to tear down her lemon grove to provide better protection to an Israeli defense minister. This fight-the-system story has drawn notice and accolades worldwide.
This lithe comedy focuses on the class conflict that arises when a posh lady of leisure takes over her husband’s umbrella factory and faces off against a Marxist union boss – who happens to be an old lover of hers. The latest from François Ozon features a bevy of French film stars including Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, and Jérémie Renier.
Swimming Pool (2003) Arguably the most popular of Ozon’s films, this mind-bending tale is soaked with sex and intrigue. Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier co-star as a writer anxious to pen a new novel and the nubile young woman who goes from distraction to inspiration.
Priceless (2006) For a double-dose of French-flavored funny, pair Potiche with this racy rom-com, which features Audrey Tautou and Gad Elmaleh as professional girlfriend and the hotel bartender that falls for her after a night of passion and mistaken identities.
La Cage aux Folles (1979) In this campy French offering, sparks fly when a pair of dads, transvestite-nightclub owner (Ugo Tognazzi) and his drag-queen star attraction (Michel Serrault), try to impress their son’s ultra conservative in-laws-to-be by hiding any sign of their gay identities. Based on the cheeky French play, this zany family comedy earned three Oscar nods and was the inspiration for the American re-vamp The Birdcage.
Can you think of a connection/suggestion we missed? Share them in comments.