By Ben Bowers
on 10.15.08

Around The World In Five Movies

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GP.FEATURE.gifHollywood isn’t the only place where great movies are made. So to broaden your Netflix horizon we put together some of the best manly foreign films out there. Our apologies though if adding them mean’s waiting just a little bit longer for Sex and the City to arrive in the mail. Of course, feel free to email Patrick if you’re dying to know how it was.

Our selections after the jump.

City of God (Brazil)

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Be prepared for shock in this amazing tale, which follows the life of a young boy named Rocket as he negotiates survival in the notorious western slums of Rio de Janeiro between 1960 & 1980. Based on a true story, Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s gripping direction of actors recruited from the slum itself will leave you questioning those moments you thought you had it hard as a kid. Trust us.

Seen it and want more? Check out 2006 TV series City of Men.

Add City of God To Netflix

The Protector (Thailand)

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For those you who aren’t already acquainted with the jaw dropping Muy Thai stunts of Thailand’s superstar Tony Jaa, here’s a word of advice. Never steal his elephant.

That is unless you wish to share the same fate of the entire Australo-Thai mafia in this resplendent over-the-top tale of revenge and love between man and his pachyderm.

Scenes such as the 4 1/2 minute restaurant stair battle shot in one outrageously complex continuous-take are guaranteed to impress and have you stammering “how does he do it?” The battle’s so good, we’ve embedded a You Tube video of it. So keep your remote close at hand for all those double take moments.

Want to see more of his moves? Check out Jaa’s first big break film: Ong-Bak – The Thai Warrior

Add The Protector to Netflix

[Those of you reading this in email will have to hit up the actual post to view the video below.]

Battle Royal (Japan)

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What if a random middle school class was taken to an island with one purpose in mind – to participate in a government sponsored survival of the fittest death match until only one child was left alive? What if they made a movie about it? Enter the Japanese blockbuster made in 2000, Batoru Rowaiaru (Battle Royal). Though it never won points for the quality of its writing, or received accolades for its acting, the film is a rather entertaining exercise in shock value and seeing what’s possible with when you have a twisted idea and plenty of money to bring it to life.

Wonder if the story goes further? Check out the sequel: Battle Royale 2 Revenge Uncut SE.

Add Battle Royale to Netflix

Das Boot (Germany)

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War is hell. Especially inside a submarine. Now after almost 30 years of existence the nail biting claustrophobic hysteria of this film, which follows a lone German u-boat crew scrapping for survival, is still just as palpable. Having loud men screaming in German sure helps too.

Though we recommend the version shown in theaters, see it in its made for German TV form with the original Das Boot – The Original Uncut Version.

Add Das Boot to Netflix

Night Watch & Day Watch (Russia)

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Ok so we know the title says 5, but really you can’t mention one of these films without the other. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), both films follow the character of Anton Gorodetsky as he struggles with his role as a vampire hunter and savior of the world. Interestingly enough, nightwatch was one of the first blockbusters made after the collaspe of the USSR and was produced by a government owned channel for a miniscule $4.2 million. It was also the highest grossing Russian release ever, making more money in Russia than even Lord of the Rings.

Not peaked yet? Watching both Night Watch and Day Watch (Unrated) will also prepare you for the conclusion of the trilogy Twilight Watch, scheduled for release in 2009.

Add Night Watch and Day Watch to Netflix

ADVENTURE IS ONE CLICK AWAY

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