June 5, 2009

One Friday on Netflix

One Day in September - Tag im September, Ein (1999) R

In 1972, eight Palestinian terrorists interrupted the Munich Olympics by taking 11 Israeli athletes hostage. Besides footage taken at the time, we see interviews with surviving terrorist Jamal Al Gashey and various officials detailing how the German police, lacking an antiterrorist squad and turning down help from the Israelis, botched the rescue operation. Michael Douglas narrates this fascinating documentary.

Two Days in April (2006) NR

Four pro-bound college football players go for gridiron glory in this behind-the-scenes look at the NFL draft. Follow the intense training and all the nerve-wracking emotions that accompany the four young men on their journey to draft day, when their million-dollar dreams are intercepted by reality. Peeking into the secretive, fiercely competitive, often brutal process of creating NFL players, this documentary hits as hard as the athletes it depicts.

Two Days in October: American Experience (2005) NR

In October 1967, a U.S. regiment walked into a Vietcong ambush that killed 61 soldiers -- and raised doubts about whether the war was winnable. Meanwhile, University of Wisconsin students were protesting the presence of Dow Chemical recruiters on campus; the demonstration soon spun out of control, marking the first time a protest became violent. Told by those who took part in the events, the film offers a window into a defining American moment.

A Few Days in September - Quelques jours en septembre (2006) NR

On Sept. 1, 2001, 10 days before the events that shook the world, CIA agent Elliott (Nick Nolte) disappears. With the help of Elliott's son David (Tom Riley), French agent Irène Montano (Juliette Binoche) scours Venice and Paris to find him, with a bizarre, poetry-reading assassin (John Turturro) on their trail. The clock ticks toward the fateful day, as the information Elliott holds threatens to keep him hidden permanently.

Four Days in July(1985) NR

Indie director Mike Leigh chronicles two Belfast couples who exist on opposite sides of a fissure that defines nearly everything in the lives of the people of Northern Ireland. Catholics Collette (Brid Brennan) and Eugene (Des McAleer) and Protestants Lorraine (Paula Hamilton) and Billy (Charles Lawson) prepare for the births of their firstborn in this 1985 character study, which Leigh infuses with his signature offbeat humor.

Four Days in September - O Que É Isso, Companheiro? (1997) R

Based on a true story, this is the moving account of the September, 1969, kidnapping of the American ambassador to Brazil (played by Alan Arkin). A group of young idealists plans the terrorist act -- their only perceived means of voicing their dreams and visions in a military regime. The film delves candidly into their lives and emotions as they begin to question both the depth of their allegiance to the group and the motives of their comrades.

Gumball 3000: 6 Days in May(2004) NR

Some of the most amazing cars ever built race across Spain and head south into Africa in the 6th Annual Gumball 3000 Rally. This film captures the 2004 race, which featured Ferrari Enzos, Hummers, Caterhams, Aston Martins and other rare autos driven by an eccentric mix of skateboard pros, supermodels, Saudi royals and billionaires. The thrills abound as racers evade the law to be the first to cross the finish line at the Cannes Film Festival.

Six Days in June
Six Days
(2007) NR

Using battle footage, interviews with the protagonists, re-creations and recently declassified archives, this PBS presentation tells the story of the six days in June 1967 that forever changed the face of the Middle East. Shot on location in Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Moscow and Washington, the tightly edited film also documents the days leading up to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the evolution of the region in its aftermath.

Seven Days in May(1964) NR

Military aide Kirk Douglas stumbles across a plot by his boss (Burt Lancaster) to overthrow the U.S. president (Fredric March), who has just negotiated a controversial peace treaty. Douglas' dilemma: Follow orders and remain silent, or betray his boss. Director John Frankenheimer demonstrates the same mastery that made The Manchurian Candidate a classic, and Lancaster gives an effective performance in an unsympathetic role.

7 Days in September
(2004) NR

With help from almost 30 filmmakers, director Steven Rosenbaum turns the tragic events of September 11, 2001 -- the memories of which are forever jarred in our psyches -- into a moving portrait of emotion, loss and even kindness. Although the film uses footage of the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center and the resulting catastrophic loss, it also hones in on New York City's tremendous ability to rebuild, through will and compassion.

Speaking of months and Netflix... if you made it this far, and you aren't a Netflix member yet, here's a free 1-month trial offer. Normally the trial period is just two weeks, but this is the RoBeast Bonus. The offer expires on June 15th. Fuck those zealots over at Blockbuster and sign up. If you are already a Netflix nerd like me, add me as a friend and spy on my dirty viewing habits.

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