SLIP/flix – highlighting the best picks
This August has some awesome new releases on Netflix. Highlighted below are the best from recent movies, some older greats, some cult classics, and a couple of new series.
The following selection are available on the Canadian version of Netflix and should also be available in other countries. Let me know if this list is missing your favourite.
Without further ado… let’s dig in.
The Oscar winner breaks the mold with its unusual cinematography and gimmick casting. Most of you have heard of this Michael Keaton comedy / drama hybrid by now. It’s well-worth the watch, especially for film nerds interested in experimental techniques.
Curious about some nerdy deconstruction trying to figure out what’s really going on – and that ending?! Check out my earlier review.
Tom Hardy stars in this adult thriller. Void of any real action, this character study is incredibly intense all the same. Bold film-making aims its focus on Hardy in the car for the entire duration. It’s almost like a play. This one is more for fans of indie cinema, than MAD MAX fans.
Kristen Stewart delivers an amazing performance as a soldier charged with supervising detainees in a Guantanamo Bay type prison. She unwillingly develops a relationship with an inmate/detainee. Stellar film-making and subtle performances from both of our leads creates a totally captivating drama. A surprise hit.
Hungry for more? Check out my review.
While I haven’t seen this Oscar winning drama yet, I’m most curious to see Julianne Moore’s emotional performance. You’ll have to be in the right mood for this one as it deals with the depressing topic of Alzheimer’s disease. This pick is one for the cinephiles out there.
A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
This compelling crime thriller stars Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. A rich period setting and beautiful photography frame these impressive performances. For fans of indie cinema.
A rich and complex examination of morals. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this incredibly intense thriller about a kidnapped child, a tortured cop, and secret antagonists. This is one of those dramas that you’ll debate ethics about. Great performances and amazing direction. For indie film fans.
Chris Rock directs this Woody Allen-like comedy co-starring Rosario Dawson and an impressive cast of comedians. Keep your eyes peeled for some truly amazing cameos. The story follows a comedic actor who wants to be taken seriously. A reporter interviews him over the course of a day leading Rock to re-examine his life.
Check out my earlier review.
WE’RE THE MILLERS
This silly comedy delivers a ton of laughs. Jason Sudekis leads the way alongside Jennifer Anniston in this road trip adventure to get drugs across the border. To avoid suspicion, Sudekis assembles a fake family for a cover story. Predictable, but lots of fun. A good movie to turn your brain off to.
Hugh Grant stars in this romantic comedy, emphasis on the comedy. He plays a cynical screenwriter turned professor. He revises his life after meeting Marisa Tomei, one of his students. The supporting cast is full of great actors too, from fellow teachers to his students. This was an enjoyable so-called “chick flick.”
Curious to know more? Check out my review.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
One of the greatest movies of all time, with one of the greatest characters ever to hit the silver screen. Gregory Peck stars in this drama as a widowed lawyer raising his children. He teaches them invaluable lessons about race relations in a twisted South of decades past. Do not let this classic slip/through the cracks.
Carice Van Houten (Melisandre from GAME OF THRONES) stars a Jewish spy for the Dutch Resistance during Nazi wartime Germany. She must use her skills of seduction to infiltrate the SS. Paul Verhoven (BASIC INSTINCT, STARSHIP TROOPERS, TOTAL RECALL) directs, ensuring unrelenting brutality, intense espionage, and super sexy allure. For fans of cinema, it’s not as shlocky as it may sound. I was really impressed by this fantastic movie.
This is a case of don’t judge a book by its cover.
HOUSE OF THE FLYING DAGGERS
This is one of the most beautiful action movies ever. I’d compare the blend of romance, cinematography, character, drama, and action to something like CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. The direction is a real highlight too though. Every scene looks so amazing. For fans of art-house action.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3
This sequel totally cleansed the palette of the foul taste left behind from MI2. JJ Abrams helms this action thriller. Gone are the over-the-top fun and zany moments. This one is focused on a dark and serious story, with emotional character development. Tom Cruise leads the way again, this time up against a formidable antagonist in Philip Seymour Hoffman. Keri Russell steals the show with her role as Cruise’s protege. A worthy entry in the franchise, and possibly the best.
A silly R-rated road trip comedy with sci-fi nerds on their way to Area 51. The nerds are SHAUN OF THE DEAD co-stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The foul-mouthed alien is voiced by Seth Rogen. This unlikely trio runs from one ridiculous scenario to the next in this hilarious adventure. Watch out for Kristen Wiig in a scene-stealing role.
COMING TO AMERICA
One of Eddie Murphy’s funnier comedies. He plays an African prince who travels to the USA. This hilarious 80s movie has tons of R-rated jokes. This is definitely not one of Murphy’s family affairs. It could be the last best comedy he made. For those of you who haven’t experienced Murphy from decades ago, check this out on Netflix. I bet you’ll be surprised.
Denzel Washington stars in this submarine thriller, butting heads against Gene Hackman. Full of intense moments and some great acting moments, this Tony Scott flick is well worth-watching. Rumour has it that Quentin Tarantino did an un-credited rewrite on this one. Apparently, he’s responsible for the Silver Surfer dialogue. I can dig that.
ALL THE RIGHT MOVES
Here is one of those movies that made Tom Cruise famous. This football drama is your typical 80s fare, from what I remember. There’s also some romance here. I definitely remember a certain scene with Lea Thompson (BACK TO THE FUTURE, HOWARD THE DUCK, RED DAWN). Worth watching if you’re curious about the 80s and the birth of an acting superstar.
HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK
Angela Bassett stars in this boyfriend revenge flick. This cult classic played to a hungry demographic back in the day, proving that the audience would show up for more movies like this. Taye Diggs made a memorable debut, with women swooning all over him. This romantic comedy drama hybrid proved that romance was still alive in older single woman, paving the way for a series like SEX IN THE CITY.
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: SEASON 2
The first season was surprisingly good. It was cool to see it deviate from the feature film’s storyline. Old fans have something new to enjoy here. Most importantly, this series maintains the b-movie / Grindhouse fun of the original bank robbers vs vampires film directed by Robert Rodriguez (DESPERADO, PLANET TERROR) and written by Quentin Tarantino. The second season should be just as fun for horror fans.
NARCOS: SEASON 1
Netflix has a new crime drama about Columbian gangster / drug kingpin, Carlos Escobar. The streaming service is developing quite a solid reputation with its dramatic series. That alone makes this worth checking out. This series will involved crime, gangs, drugs, and the agencies that enforce the law.
Roger Ebert’s touching documentary about his life and love of cinema. I balled my eyes out a few times here. I grew up with SISKEL & EBERT. Nothing beats their back and forth analysis on films. Both of these legendary critics died too young due to illness. It’s worth remembering this cinephile’s life. It’s not as depressing as it sounds.
Youngsters find out about this influential movie critic with this amazing documentary.
What do you think?
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