Friday, December 5, 2008

The Hulu Top Twenty

Here are the 20 most popular movies on Hulu this week.

1. Gattaca
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: This 1997 Jude Law/Ethan Hawke vehicle is a true sci-fi film. It gives us a complete and compelling portrait of a dystopian future in which an intrusive government controls the very genes of its citizens. The romance between Hawke and Uma Thurman is just prevalent enough to give it an appealing, soft edge.

2. Air Force One
Last Week's Ranking: 12
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman star in this pre-9/11 actioner about the hijacking of an airplane by enemies of the United States. In this case, the airplane in question has the President (Ford) aboard, and the evil country is Kazakhstan. Where's Borat when you need him? At any rate, the critics ate this one up. It rockets up to 2nd place during it's first full week on Hulu.

3. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: In the style of "Snatch," this 1999 caper movie is unabashedly British, starring Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones among others. The frenetic story involves four friends who dabble in a high stakes card game and thereby get in trouble with a local mob boss.

4. My Best Friend's Wedding
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: Julia Roberts at the peak of her career, this romantic comedy has found a spot in the DVD case of about half of all Americans (the female half, of course). Also features Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett, and Dermot Mulroney, among others.

Last Week's Ranking: 9
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: Flyfishing as therapy. This acclaimed Robert Redford-directed movie was a key stepping stone for Brad Pitt on his path to A-list stardom. A tearjerking drama about two brothers and their father trying to coexist in the face of issues. Also, don't miss 10 year old Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

6. In Her Shoes
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette star in this novel adaptation that sounds like a complete and total crapfest-- one sister is successful at work but has no social life, while the other is a popular girl with no career. What could possibly happen when these two worlds collide? So, it sounds terrible, but, surprisingly, it is not. Critics actually liked it, crediting an above-average script and some great, nuanced performances by Diaz, Collette, and Shirley MacLaine, whom they reportedly raised from the dead to perform as a kindly grandmother.

7. The Professional
Last Week's Ranking: 8
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: Natalie Portman debuts her acting chops alongside a career-best performance by Jean Reno. One of the few quality Hulu offerings that is ranking consistently among the most popular.

8. The Fifth Element
Last Week's Ranking: Not on list
Weeks on List: 1 (5)
Notes: Bruce Willis is a cab the future! Kind of. He and Milla Jovovich tear it up in the pure action adventure that keeps drawing in the Hulu viewers. After a brief hiatus, it reappears this week in the #8 spot.

9. Basic Instinct
Last Week's Ranking: 5
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: Sixteen years on, Sharon Stone's hoohoo is still drawing eyeballs in massive numbers. I hope she has that thing insured! At any rate, this is starting to show some serious staying power on the list.

10. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Last Week's Ranking: 19
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: A 1970 feature directed by Billy Wilder, this is a true comedic classic, earning rave reviews from critics both then and now. Robert Stephens stars as Sherlock. Also features Christopher Lee as brother Mycroft Holmes. Climbs in the rankings during its first full week on the list.

Last Week's Ranking: 1
Weeks on List: 3
Notes: "There's no crying in baseball!" This much-beloved girlie baseball movie features an oddball ensemble cast including Madonna, Rosie O Donnell, Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, David Strathairn, Jon Lovitz, Bill Pullman, and Lori Petty. It's rare that so many disparate actors can be brought together to great effect, but that's exactly what Penny Marshall accomplished here.

Last Week's Ranking: 6
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: Jim Carrey goofs it up in a decent comedy that puts all of his face-stretching talents on display. If you can get through his current offering, "Yes Man," without puking, then this will give you paroxysms of delight.

Last Week's Ranking: 7
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: The strangely charismatic Johnny Knoxville leads his ragtag crew of misfits through a slew of disgusting stunts.

14. Underworld: Evolution
Last Week's Ranking: Not on list
Weeks on List: 1 (5)
Notes: Kate Beckinsale as a goth-boy's wet dream can't save this dark and dreary action flick from the weight of its futuristic vampire world. Reappears on the list after a hiatus, but hurry up and watch! It has an expiration notice that should kick in tomorrow.

15. Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
Last Week's Ranking: 3
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: There must be something I'm not getting about this I-Max documentary featuring fighter pilots. The message board for the movie has a lot of military folks chatting it up, so that may have something to do with it. After weeks near the top of this chart, it looks like this is finally losing some lift.

16. American Virgin
Last Week's Ranking: 15
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: Bob Hoskins and Mena Suvari star in the lowly-regarded 2000 comedy.

Last Week's Ranking: 11
Weeks on List: 5
Notes: Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner teamed up in this stoner flick just before they became breakout stars. With a record-setting 5 weeks on our list, this movie may finally be on its way out.

18. National Lampoon's Spring Break
Last Week's Ranking: 18
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: Can you really call a 53 minute comedy a movie? The boobs of the hour belong to Nikki Ziering.

19. Starship Troopers
Last Week's Ranking: 17
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: Paul Verhoeven's futuristic thrill ride gives us a war between humans and giant space alien bugs. Guess which side Neil Patrick Harris is on?

20. The Russia House
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer star as two British citizens who are pulled into the world of international espionage. Based on a novel by John LeCarre.

Notably Absent:
These movies dropped off the list this week.

The Call of the Wild
Last Week's Ranking: 2
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: This 1972 adaptation of the famous Jack London novel stars Charlton Heston as the good-hearted prospector who must battle the elements and his human rivals in the harsh Yukon setting. Good thing he's got that amazing dog with him!

Last Week's Ranking: 4
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: Long before Sean Astin carried his beloved Mr. Frodo up to the highest peaks of Mordor, he was a working-class footballer trying to escape his roots.

Lawrence of Arabia
Last Week's Ranking: 10
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: The classic, Academy Award-winning 3.5 hour epic showcasing Omar Sharif and Alec Guinness. Hulu tells us that this will only be up until November 30, so you better get it while it's hot.

Last Week's Ranking: 13
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland star in this eerie thriller about a group of med students who dabble in visiting the afterlife by killing and then resuscitating themselves. You can read my full review of it here.

Bring It On
Last Week's Ranking: 14
Weeks on List: 3
Notes: Kirsten Dunst shook these pompoms long before kissing Spider Man in the rain, and this turn as a peppy cheerleader spawned a movie franchise. Eliza Dushku and Jesse Bradford costar as siblings. This has an expiration notice with two days left on it, so get it while the getting's good.

Last Week's Ranking: 20
Weeks on List: 3
Notes: A Mormon sniper and an atheist medic clash as their platoon struggles to survive behind Nazi lines in this 2005 actioner.

Last Week's Ranking: 16
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: Harrison Ford narrates this IMAX nature documentary that takes a sprawling look at the global ecosystem. There is an attempt to tie in to sites that inspired Arthur Conan Doyle's novel "The Lost World," but there's not much on that front. Just 40 minutes.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love Gattaca! That was an awesome addition. Thanks for maintaining this list.