So, what are the setbacks? Surprisingly, there aren’t very many. You will have to endure some commercials here and there, and if you only watch the newest content available, then Crackle likely isn’t the site for you. The limited library primarily consists of oldies culled from Sony’s collection, though it’s peppered with goodies you can stream via the accompanying app available for both iOS and Android. There’s even a dedicated app for PlayStation and Xbox consoles, which further renders the service as a great alternative to legal and illegal streaming sites alike. Conveniently, the smaller library allows for less time choosing and more time watching. So sit back, relax, and get your Crackle on with one of the titles below.
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The zombie craze may be on the downslope, but we all know it will never die, and Shaun of the Dead might just be the best zombie movie of the 21st century. The British comedy takes us on a trip though zombie-infested London, with best friends Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) leading a small group of survivors. Cricket bat in hand, Shaun tries to become a zombie-slaying hero in an effort to prove his love for his fed-up girlfriend. With a staggering 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, Shaun of the Dead lies in the classics of “You haven’t seen that? What? You have to!”
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
A chase for the American dream, Vegas at the height of the counterculture movement, and lots and lots of acid makes for a story so strange that only Hunter S. Thompson could tell it. Thompson’s character in the film, journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp), sets out on a trip to Vegas to cover a desert motorcycle race alongside one Benicio Del Toro, an equally conspicuous latino attorney. Taking advantage of the all expenses paid road trip, Duke rents a red Chevy convertible, gathers a trunk full of LSD — and practically anything that’ll get you high — and hits the California highway at ludicrous speeds. As hallucinations run wild, the story unfurls the highs and lows of a time of free speech, anti-establishment, and civil rights. For Thompson fans and anyone who can appreciate a free-spirited, mind-bending road trip to Vegas, this eccentric comedy is one to take a movie trip with.
“I can be your best friend or your worst enemy,” or so says Ernie “Chip” Douglas, the deranged and manic star of The Cable Guy. One of Judd Apatow’s earliest productions, the dark comedy stars Jim Carrey as Chip and Matthew Broderick as his new friend and victim, Steve Kovacs. The iconic film takes a turn from goofball to black comedy when Steve starts to avoid Chip’s calls, thus igniting a sling of violent, vengeful outbursts from the cable guy. Directed by Ben Stiller, the film also features cameos from the likes of Owen Wilson and Jack Black, which will leave you laughing with the heebie-jeebies.
A huge hit in Britain, this fast talking crime comedy is kind of like Reservoir Dogs meets Pulp Fiction, but with a cockney twist. The story follows Eddy, a rough and tumble East London poker player, who makes a deadly decision and finds himself a half million in debt when he sits across the poker table from wealthy porn lord Harry Lonsdale. The story unfolds as Eddy attempts anything and everything to get the money, including hijacking a drug deal. This brash, cynical comedy evokes glamorized violence through director Guy Ritchie’s random shifts of film speed and rock n’ roll soundtrack. The Washington Post even once described the film as a special weapon unto itself, essentially highlighting the its cockney esprit and the way it peppers its audience with aggressive, sarcastic grapeshot. That’s English for “fun.”
The life of an IRS agent is far from exciting, but for Harold Crick, an unexpected voice flips his mundane world upside down. Harold Crick’s (Will Ferrell) overwhelmingly boring life takes a sharp, somewhat disembodied turn when he starts to hear voices … voices of an author who has written his life with a fatal ending.The ominous voice, who we find out to be author Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), begins narrating Crick’s every action, feeling, and soon announces death by bus. Desperate to change his fate, Harry begins living a life he never thought possible. The thought-stirring comedy weaves a moral-story of life, death and love as Ferrel proves his equally met talent for drama. A 3.5 out of 4 rating from Roger Ebert explains the film as, “such an uncommonly intelligent film does not often get made … which requires us to enter the lives of these specific quiet, sweet, worthy people.”
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One of Robert De Niro’s and Martin Scorsese’s most prominent films, Taxi Driver is revered by many as one of the best films ever made. The neo-noir film is a window into post-Vietnam America though the eyes of disturbed, lonely cabbie Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro). Bickle, a former marine who suffers from chronic insomnia, becomes severely infatuated with political campaign volunteer Betsy (Cybil Shepard). After Betsy rejects him, Travis quickly finds an outlet through intense physical training and vigilante activities stemming from his disgust with a street crime he once witnessed. The film also stars a young Jodi Foster as a prostitute in which Bickle comes to care for. The film won the Academy Award for best picture in ’76 and remains an American classic.
Easy Rider was an iconic film of the late-’60s, one that may have inspired an entire culture. Starring and directed by Peter Fonda, the film tells the story of two bikers who road trip across Southwest America. The issues and tensions facing the counter culture movement come alive as the two hippies set off to New Orleans in time to catch Mardi Gras. Along the way they meet the likes of prostitutes, red necks, and an alcoholic attorney (Jack Nicholson), the latter of whom they eventually persuade to take a puff of the green stuff. It remains the quintessential movie of its era and still retains meaning and enjoyment even today. So, sit back and take a seat on the back of motorcycle ride though America.
In Fat City, two boxers face the dismal reality that shadow their lives. For one, it’s a life filled with perpetual losing, while the other suffers from a past pervaded with regret and broken dreams. It’s the tale of tattered, alcoholic Billy Tully (Stacy Keach) and one Ernie Munger (Jeff Bridges), a budding boxer he meets in the ring. Encouraged by Eddie’s natural talent, Tully attempts a comeback only to be disappointed, thrusting him back into a life of boozing. Ernie faces many lost bouts early in his career as well, and with a child on the way, is forced into a life of marriage and crop picking. Some critics consider Fat City to be renowned director John Houston’s best film, even if it is a bit of a downer.
Harry Brown (Michael Caine) is an elderly British man out to avenge a friend who was ruthlessly murdered at the hands of wayward youngsters. Before that, the lived a quaint life in his London estate and spent most of his time playing chess with his best friend Len (David Bradley). The streets that surround their local pub hangout are crawling with violent gangs, who end up senselessly murdering his aforementioned friend. With little help from the police, Harry decides to take things into his own hands. The plot thickens with twists, turns, and an absurd amount of lurid violence. Caine’s griping performance in the 2009 thriller had some critics drooling over the film, more so than The Dark Knight ever did.
This documentary is about the making of the 1971 film “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” a landmark in the birth of African-American cinema. The main actor and director of Baadasssss, Mario Van Peebles, is the son of the first film’s director Melvin Van Peebles. Peebles Jr. portrays his father in the 2004 film, a man drowning in willpower strong enough to push aside moral integrity and engage in questionable antics, such as writing bad checks and poorly treating his son and cast. Although a commercial failure, the film is an interesting account of a movie that catapulted the Blaxploitation genre and showcased the viability of an African-American audience. The film received many awards and nods for its smart and funny dialogue, too, and was even heralded as the “best film of the year’ from Roger and Ebert.
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No one plays revenge better than the fiery Antonio Banderas in the second film of Robert Rodriguez’s “Mexico” trilogy, Desperado. El Mariachi (Banderas) is a name feared by all who know his story. The first film tragically closes with the death of Mariachi’s lover and a bullet through his hand, essentially setting the stage for an ultra-violent sequel that comes off as a visual dance of artistic bloodshed. The once great musician now uses his guitar case to store a ridiculous amount of firepower for his unstoppable path of hungry revenge. Roger Ebert praised the film upon its debut in ’95, highlighting the interesting camera angle and lighting effects, along with the editing rhythms and the fanciful staging of action scenes.” Watching the fear in Banderas’ eyes and the gorgeous Selma Hayek as his partner in crime will leave you desperate to see the first and third parts of the trilogy.
Don’t think this is just another Asian martial arts film dripping with elegant, prancing fight scenes and flying kung fu battles fought in bamboo trees. No, House of Flying Daggers is a bloody, raw action thriller with a strong storyline about the forbidden love of a blind courtesan fighting in a rebel army and two soldiers of the corrupt Chinese government. It’s set in 859 AD during the decline of the Tang Dynasty, a time of turmoil and unrest that led to the establishment of rebel armies, the largest being the “House of Flying Daggers.” Mei, the daughter of the suspected leader of the rebel army is a target of murder by two government affiliates who fall victim to her beauty and strength. The New York Times called the film a,”stirring, visually glorious tale of historical turmoil and forbidden love.”
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If you haven’t seen Repo Man, you haven’t experienced the best the of what the ’80s has to offer. The cult classic stars Emilo Esteves as Otto Maddox, a wayward punk rocker who just got dumped by his girlfriend and fired from his convenience store job. Penniless and depressed, Maddox lands a gig working for a repossession agent named Bud (Harry Dean Stanton). Maddox soon hears about a car given a $20,000 repo price tag through the grapevine, which he thinks is drug affiliated. With a plan to steal the car, he has no idea what he’s about to find in the trunk. The sci-fi comedy begins with a brilliant opening scene, only to give way to plenty of car chases and a dash of the super natural. It’s one of the best things to come out of the ’80s. Well, aside from Reebok Pumps and shoulder pads.
A film revolving around a group of cat food-obsessed aliens was nominated for four Academy Awards — including best picture — is no doubt an abnormality, but one totally worth two hours of your time. Fast forward 30 years after extraterrestrials landed in South Africa and were placed in a government prison camp called “District 9.” Fearing alien attack, residents demand the aliens be relocated far from town. Clueless bureaucrat Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is tasked with the relocation and makes a confidante in one of the more advanced species, while simultaneously succumbing to an alien virus. It soon becomes aliens versus humans as the aliens begin stashing ammunition in preparation for their return journey home. The film is saturated with stunning special effects and underlying politics reflecting South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation. Critics and audiences loved the film, often praising its imaginative, emotional plot and suspenseful action sequences. It has all the trappings of a classic sci-fi film (and then some).
Director Sam Raimi initially wanted to make a film about Batman, but opted to create his own superhero when he couldn’t secure the rights. Liam Neeson stars as Peyton Westlake in the film, a scientist on the verge of death after being beaten and doused in acid by a ruthless mobster sent to kill him after he ousted a city commissioner’s corrupted past. Once raced to the hospital, Westlake undergoes a surgery which disables his tactile senses but allows him to gain enhanced strength and a superhuman tolerance to pain. With a disfigured face, Westlake assumes a vengeful phantom persona, giving birth to Darkman. The film is said to capture the graphic look and style of superhero comic books with its kinetic rhythm and inventive visual design. Stand aside Batman and Superman, Darkman is the new cult favorite. Originals are way cooler anyway.
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Before half pipes and Tony Hawk, a group of talented skateboarders and rejected stereotypes rode the empty pools of Southern California, epitomizing what it meant to be cool and forever influencing the sport of skateboarding. The waves of Santa Monica essentially gave birth to a host of skateboard pioneers, many of whom competed as the Zephyr skateboard team. A rock n’roll sound track backgrounds this touching documentary that captures what it was like for a group of broken home teenagers growing up in Dogtown in the ’70s. They ultimately reached national acclaim for their innovative tricks, rocking an industry in the process. Dogtown and Z boys has been positively received by critics and audiences alike, with renowned publications such as The New York Times highlighting the way it captures the giddy, rock ‘n’ roll-saturated history of skateboarding in Southern California.
Robert Crumb is an eccentric underground cartoonist who rocked the cartoon world and created some of the industry’s most recognizable characters in all of history. A social outcast in high school, Crumb follows the American artist’s life through marriage, his folk culture cartoons, and his addiction to alcohol. Characters such as Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat are some of his more notable figures, as well as the comic magazine he initially founded (aka Weirdo). Still alive today, Robert Crumb is considered one of the best cartoonists of his generation, and by some, of all time. The documentary holds a solid 89 percent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning it should at least be on your must-see list even if it doesn’t make your top 10.
Having won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2003, there is nothing foggy about the allure and eye opening elements of the politics-heavy Fog of War. The film illustrates the nature of modern warfare, chronicling the life and experiences of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara via recordings and interviews taken during his distinguished career. The documentary will retain your interest until the credits roll, whether you’re more infatuated with WWII, the Cuban Missile Crisis, or Vietnam.
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