Netflix Top Picks: Leslie Nielsen Edition

With so much content on Netflix Instant it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the shuffle, and with Netflix streaming now accounting for the majority of all American internet traffic, someone needs to start sorting this all out. Welcome to Netflix Top Picks, where I will select two items from the Netflix Instant service you just have to add to your queue.  This edition features one of the most memorable and beloved comedic actors of the late 20th century, i.e. the 80’s and 90’s; Leslie Nielsen.


Title: Airplane!
Type: Movie
Genre: Comedies, Cult Comedies, Satires
Rating: PG
Run Time: 87 minutes
Released: 1980
Directed By: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Starring: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen, Peter Graves, Robert Stack, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lorna Patterson, Stephen Stucker, Ethel Merman, Jimmie Walker, Al White, Barbara Billingsley, Rossie Harris, David Leisure, Michelle Stacy, Jill Whelan
Synopsis: In this joke-a-second parody of disaster movies, traumatized former combat pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) is forced to land a passenger plane when food poisoning strikes the crew and there’s no one else on board who can do the job. In some clever casting, leading dramatic actors Peter Graves, Robert Stack and Leslie Nielsen never betray that they’re in on the joke. Multiple viewings are required to catch every gag.
My Analysis: This may seem hard to believe, but there was a time where satire movies were actually more popular and long lasting than the movies they lampooned, and often themselves became victims of parody in the years to come.  Airplane! is a classic comedy in the same style as the more recent Scary Movie, which makes this sentence the only time the word “classic” and the film “Scary Movie” have ever and will ever be mentioned in the same sentence. Surely, you must watch this film.



Title: Spy Hard
Type: Movie
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedies, Action Comedies, Spy Action & Adventure, Satires
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 81
Released: 1996
Directed By: Rick Friedberg
Starring: Leslie Nielsen, Nicollette Sheridan, Andy Griffith, Barry Bostwick, Marcia Gay Harden, Charles Durning, John Ales, Elya Baskin, Mason Gamble, Carlos Lauchu, Stephanie Romanov, Joyce Brothers, Ray Charles, Hulk Hogan, Roger Clinton, Robert Culp, Fabio, Robert Guillaume, Pat Morita, Alexandra Paul, Mr. T, Alex Trebek, Downtown Julie Brown, Weird Al Yankovic
Synopsis: Leslie Nielsen stars in this spoof as bumbling secret agent Dick Steele, who’s summoned out of retirement to stop mastermind Gen. Rancor from destroying the planet. At his side is KGB agent Veronique Ukrinsky, whose father is in Rancor’s clutches.

My Analysis: Admittedly I had planned to feature Nielsen’s classic “Naked Gun” here but unfortunately that has been taken down from the Instant service at the time of my writing this.  Spy Hard is still a notable, and often overlooked selection from Leslie Nielsen’s filmography though.  While it may not have the same staying power of Airplane! or The Naked Gun, Spy Hard spoofs plenty of 90’s pop-culture and manages to actually bring about a few laughs along the way.  Weird Al also sings the theme song in this Bond spoof, so there’s that. If you grew up in the 90’s you’ll likely enjoy this one for what it is.


Ok, so we have to admit, not everything is a “top pick” on Netflix Instant.  Sometimes this is obvious, other times not so much.  Whatever the case, What Not To Watch is a segment within a segment that will try to influence you from avoiding something genuinely unpleasant.  In other words, this just isn’t worth the bandwidth.


Title: The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
Type: Movie
Genre: Action & Adventure, Action Thrillers, Crime Action & Adventure
Rating: NR
Run Time: 117 minutes
Released: 2009
Directed By: Troy Duffy
Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly, Clifton Collins Jr., Julie Benz, Bob Marley, Brian Mahoney, David Ferry, Peter Fonda, Judd Nelson

Synopsis: Skillfully framed by an unknown enemy for the murder of a priest, wanted vigilantes the MacManus brothers — Murphy and Connor — must come out of hiding on a sheep farm in Ireland to fight for justice in Boston.
My Analysis: So you are responsible for directing a box office flop turned cult-favorite DVD hit.  Fans are clamoring for a sequel, and you promise to give it to them.  Then several years later, multiple scripts, constant cast dropouts, recasting and a studio or two later you finally do it. Then it manages to defy physics by both sucking and blowing at the same time.  Now, perhaps it is somewhat unfair to be so harsh, ultimately fans would of likely been disappointed with whatever Duffy managed to put together after so much anticipation, but the plot, dialogue and all around quality of the film suffers greatly the long production period and where the first one was a subtle type of campy, The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (which is an incredibly dumb title by the way) is often just campy for the sake of being campy.   The result is a movie with all the right pieces that just never seems to put itself together properly; like a Lego set without the instructions… or the lights on.


Due to Netflix constantly updating and changing the content on their service we cannot guarantee that the content listed in this article will be available for any particular length of time, nor can we guarantee it is available in all regions.  We do make a genuine effort though to never include any item that Netflix has marked with a limited availability.


About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.