New Releases for the month of December are a little light; there isn’t a high profile film that is going to attract a lot attention, but there is a lovely family film and three films that could interest a lot of adults. On the catalog title front things are little more interesting; if you love ‘bad’ 80s action, horror, talkative or ‘actiony’ dramas, or one of TV’s most shockingly funny shows there might be a lot things to watch while you try to ignore your family during the holidays. If there are a lot of kids in your household the first waive of Disney animated films to be added to Netflix may keep them busy while you try to get a few minutes of peace.
Young Adult- This is a hard watch, but it’s worth it for the performances alone. Both Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt go above and beyond in a film that takes awkwardness to a whole new level (Review Here).
Hugo- If I had to list the most beautifully shot films of 2011 Hugo would be on that list. If you consider yourself a film buff than you should definitely check it out.
Take This Waltz- Sarah Polly continues to work more behind the camera than in front of it these days. To most internet perverts this film is more well known for the full frontal shower scene featuring Michelle Willams and Sarah Silverman than anything else at this point.
The King’s Speech- This Best Picture Winner at the 2011 Academy Awards isn’t exactly a new release anymore but it is new to Netflix and is worth mentioning since it is a very good film.
Red Dawn- When the Soviets invade the United States a group of Colorado teens take it upon themselves to start a guerrilla war. This is in my favorite guilty pleasure movies of all time and I’m constantly surprised when I meet someone that hasn’t seen it. Before you go see the remake, see the original.
Commando- Speaking of favorite guilty pleasure movies Commando is right up there with Red Dawn. What’s not to love about this movie? Schwarzenegger pets a deer, has Alyssa Milano as a daughter, has some of the greatest pun lines of action movie history, and wipes out an entire army single handed.
The Presidio- Mark Harmon and Sean Connery star in this buddy cop murder mystery in San Francisco. If you think that sounds odd wait till you find out that Connery’s daughter is played by Meg Ryan… I guess I ruined that for you.
The Octagon- Chuck Norris must take on a training camp of terrorist in… The Octagon. If you think it sounds simplistic… it is.
Scream- Scream is back again (for about the hundredth time). It always seems to find its way back to Netflix after Halloween instead of during it.
Jeepers Creepers- Creepy and scary… not so much because of what is on the screen, but because it was written and directed by convicted pedophile Victor Salva.
Identity- An engaging secluded hotel ‘who done it’ with a large ensemble cast featuring John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, Jake Busey, and more. Quite a few of the up and coming stars you’ll see never quite made it to the next level of stardom.
The Last of the Mohicans- It may bare little resemblance to the James Fenimore novel, but Daniel Day Lewis’ performance is engaging and the film looks absolutely stunning. There aren’t too many films about this period of American history so it is also rather unique.
Sexy Beast- Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, and Ian McShane star in this comedic thriller about a retired safe cracker called back for one last job. The movie is entertaining, but the it’s the performance by Ben Kingsley that is unforgettable.
Flashdance- One the most awkward movies to re-watch as an adult when you know that a man with a wig body doubled Jessica Beals.
Vanilla Sky- Many accused this remake of Open Your Eyes of being unnecessary and convoluted, I disagree. I enjoyed all the performances including Tom Cruise’s (one of his last before going crazy) and thought the direction of Cameron Crowe was probably his most skilled.
Nobody’s Fool- Nobody’s Fool isn’t underrated (quite the contrary), but it seems like it’s almost forgotten. Paul Newman gives a brilliant performance and surrounds himself with other strong actors and actresses such as Bruce Willis, Jessica Tandy (her final role), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dylan Walsh, and the bare breasted Melanie Griffith.
Dumbo- It might only be 64 mintues long (remember when kid’s movies weren’t two hours long) but Dumbo remains a popular Disney classic seventy plus years after its release.
Alice in Wonderland- Not the Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, but the 1951 animated feature.
The Aristocats- The 1970s weren’t exactly kind as evidenced by this movie about jazzy cats.
The Fox and the Hound- Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, and America’s sweetheart Corey Feldman lend their voice talents to another Disney misstep of the 70s and 80s.
The Great Mouse Detective- The 80s weren’t much kinder than the 70s in this somewhat forgettable Sherlock Holmes story starring mice.
The Rescuers Down Under- Followup to 1983′s The Rescuers (which is not available on Netflix Streaming). Despite its poor box office numbers the movie itself is very decent.
A Nightmare Before Christmas- The first of two stop motion animation titles made available by Disney. Produced by Tim Burton this film is both a Halloween and Christmas favorite.
James and the Giant Peach- Roald Dahl’s classic story was adapted for the screen in 1996. It features beautiful stop motion animation and a talented voice cast including Richard Dreyfuss, Jane Leeves, Susan Sarandon, and David Thewlis.
Pocahontas- Not exactly classic in my opinion and we don’t get to hear Mel Gibson’s thoughts on Native Americans.
The Muppet Movie- It’s not animated, but there’s no where else to put it and Disney now owns it.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Seasons 1-7)- It’s easily the most crass live action show on TV (looking at you South Park) and even though it’s not hard to find re-runs on numerous channels these days if you watch it on Netflix the episodes aren’t edited anymore than they are on FX. The show was just added to the streaming lineup on December 9th (the day of this posting) and I’ve already watched six episodes and laughed myself nearly to tears twice.
Transformers Prime Season 2- It’s not near and dear to my heart like the original show (which is also available for streaming), but Prime is a well written, surprisingly violent, and dark series that has worked its way into my regular viewing lineup on The Hub.
The “You two muthafuckas need Jesus” Movie of the Month?
Bad Boys II- I wasn’t really sure where to put Bad Boys II in this article. It’s beyond dumb and exists in a world that only Michael Bay could possibly consider reality. There’s something appealing about it in a ‘turn your brain off and enjoy’ kind of way.