“I Am Not Your Negro” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Author James Baldwin’s words on race in America come to fiery life in this documentary, which artfully puts ’60s civil rights struggles hand in hand with Black Lives Matter protests to show how a society in which one man is allowed to subjugate another has a moral sickness that infects both oppressed and oppressor.
Every Tuesday, I pick out five movies that have just become available for streaming on Netflix and recommend them for the Instant Gratification column. The start of a month usually means a whole lot of new movies on Netflix, and the start of August has brought a bevy of strong titles, both relatively recent and classic films.
Pick of the week: “Zodiac” — David Fincher’s exploration of the long, twisty, tortured investigation into the notorious San Francisco killer is a study in obsession, both in the killer’s mania and the dogged determination of detectives and reporters (including a tragic Robert Downey. Jr.) to find him.
Documentary of the week: “Tabloid” — UW grad Errol Morris’ account of a sleazy British tabloid sex scandal involves sadomasochism, kidnapping and cloned puppies. In other words, this isn’t serious “Fog of War” Morris, but a daffy and enjoyable look at some very offbeat characters.
Comedy of the week: “Running Scared” — This 1985 action-comedy gets both half of the hyphen just right, mixing some very funny camaraderie between cops Billy Crystal and the late Gregory Hines with some terrific action scenes, especially a car chase that ends up on the Chicago “L” lines.
Drama of the week: “Flesh and Bone” — This 1993 Texas noir features a fine performance by Dennis Quaid as a man haunted by his serial killer father (a chilling James Caan). The movie also features a breakout performance by a young Gwyneth Paltrow.
007 of the week: “The Living Daylights” — Netflix posted a bunch of Bond movies last week, so after certified classics like “Goldfinger” and “From Russia With Love,” may I suggest Timothy Dalton’s first outing as 007. The 1987 film features great action and a mostly believable plot, and Dalton’s simmering 007 points the way to to wear Daniel Craig would go decades later.