Happy Sunday MMT Fam! I haven’t been as active attending press screenings in recent weeks, due to a workshop I’ve enrolled, however I have been able to catch a few great movies and documentaries on Netflix during the weekends and decided to share under a new “Netflix Picks” category!
My first pick for this month is a documentary – that literally made my jaws drop – entitled The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne. This doc follows octogenarian Doris Payne, described as one of the most notorious jewel thieves of all-time, as she faces theft charges and a possible prison term. Yes, you read that right – octogenarian, like “in her 80’s!” Ms. Payne has made her living as an international jewel thief for over five decades, and possesses absolutely no regrets about any of it! I recommend that anyone who has interest in the areas of criminal behavior and/or psychology check this one out asap – and it is a perfect fit for fellow Criminal Minds fans as Ms. Payne is a classic study in psychopathic behavior.
This documentary is also an interesting study in social norms – particularly regarding class and race, as it was interesting to see Ms. Payne, an elderly African-American woman, describe how her affinity towards stealing developed and how cultural perceptions played a role in her success at it. I’d dare to draw parallels, for my movie and history buffs, to Frank Lucas’s story – yes, the one developed into the film “American Gangster” featuring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. You can get additional information about “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne” at the official website here.
The next selection is another documentary called 25 to Life, which has been on my to watch list for some time – as it was the only ARRAY (formerly AFFRM) film released that I had not seen. Now why I chose to watch both these films back-to-back is beyond my logical/reasoning half, but the emotional half was done by the time this doc ended!
“25 to Life” tells the story of William Brawner – a young man who kept his HIV status a secret for over 25 years, even from sex partners (many of whom he slept with unprotected). The viewer listens while this harrowing tale unfolds through interviews with family, friends, ex-partners, and his current wife – and surveillance of Brawner’s interactions with the aforementioned and more. Director Mike Brown weaves a remarkable story of tragedy, accountability, redemption and hope while displaying as fair-handed an account of a very sensitive topic as he could have possibly shown. Additional details about this film and HIV/AIDS action center information is available at the official website here.
My final pick for this post is one of my all-time faves – and a throwback from my childhood that I was absolutely giddy to find on the streaming site. I lucked up and found The Five Venoms, a.k.a. The Five Deadly Venoms, and promptly turned into my five-to-nine-year-old self – who spent her Saturdays viewing “Soul Train” and (following on alternate weekends) “Creature Double Feature” and “Kung Fu Theater!”
To me “Super Ninjas” and “The Five Venoms” were everything when they played on Kung Fu Theater! Come on fellow cult classic lovers, you should be able to feel me on this one, LOL! Which venom were you when you played outside? I was Centipede – yes, I know he was a bad guy but I loved that character!
“The Five Venoms” follows a martial arts student who has been instructed by his dying teacher to locate five of the teacher’s former pupils. All five are equipped with deadly skills – hence each being named after a venomous creäture (Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard, & Toad) – that the teacher fears might be used for evil purposes. To make things more difficult for the sixth student, the teacher does not know the students’ identities (they all wore masks under his training), and some of the students don’t know the identities of the others – and by the way, the student must pair up with at least one of the venom clan (as his skills can’t compete solo) to halt any nefarious plans that may be underway.
So for those not into martial arts films, especially those from the 70’s (this was made in 1978), it will not be your cup of tea. But for those of us who are nostalgic, can suspend disbelief and/or love the camp that comes with these types of films, IT’S ON and it’s on Netflix! LOL 🙂 You can check out an old trailer for the film below! Oh, and the version on Netflix has subtitles, so be prepared!
Alright family, I promise to be more diligent in the next few months, since a bunch of films that I’ve promoted throughout the year here and our FB site are being released in November and December – including Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2, Creed, Concussion, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens just to name a few!
Let me know if you check out any of my recommendations and leave a comment or two to tell me what films you’ve enjoyed on the streaming site. I just may invite you to elaborate and share your thoughts in a post!
Until next thought family, Thomasena
I always wanted to be Toad when playing outside after five deadly venoms would air on Black Belt Theater. Snake was my backup. I actually saw it first at the Eric Terminal movie theater at 69th st. Fought with my friends as those characters the entire way home on the EL. Luckily that theater let kids in to R rated movies without adult supervision. That movie we extremely popular nationwide.
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Love that Ade, thanks so much for sharing!