This January Netflix Streaming brings a lot of new films including one of the top grossing films of 2011, several new found footage horror films, Danny DeVito protects the environment, some independent releases, and a straight-to-DVD sequel of a Jason Statham ‘classic’. As usual Netflix has added plenty of catalog films to their lineup as well as including one of Schwarzenegger’s best action films, a gang cult classic, Ferris Bueller takes on Burger King’s most famous sandwich, Keyser Söze brings together the usual suspects, Sean Connery defects, and fish people leave the sea to meet the available women of the Northwest.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol- Tom Cruise returns as Agent Hunt in the fourth film of this franchise as he and his IMF team investigate a bombing at the Kremlin. Simon Pegg returns and is joined by series newcomers Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton.
The Devil Inside- More found footage garbage as a young girl investigates her mother’s possession in a Vatican hospital.
The Lorax- Danny DeVito provides the voice of the title character in this computer animated adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic. Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, and Betty White also lend their voices to this environmentally friendly kids film.
V/H/S- While it’s still a found footage horror film at least it tries to be different by also being an anthology. A sequel, called S-VHS is already on the way.
Other New Releases: One For the Money, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Red Lights, Death Race 3: Inferno, and 388 Arletta Avenue
Terminator 2: Judgement Day- There probably aren’t many homes out there that don’t own T2 on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, or Blu-ray but if you are one of those few then Netflix has you covered. *Note: This is the original Theatrical Cut, not one of the many extended cuts.
Four Brothers- John Singleton directs this campy action flick starring Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, André Benjamin, and Tron Legacy’s Garrett Hedlund as four foster brothers out to avenge the murder of their foster Mom.
The Warriors- Sections of New York City is controlled by ‘colorful’ gangs. When the leader of the most power gang is murdered the group known as ‘The Warriors’ is framed for the assassination. To survive they must escape through their rival’s territory with a price on their head.
The Peacemaker- An ‘ER’ era George Clooney and a brunette Nicole Kidman star in this nuclear heist action thriller. This was the first film released by Dreamworks.
The Untouchables- Kevin Costner stars as Elliot Ness, a man tasked with bringing down notorious crime boss Al Capone. Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, and Andy Garcia co-star in one of Brian De Palma’s best films.
Wargames- Before Matthew Broderick took his famous day off he was trying to outsmart the system by being Hollywood’s youngest hacker. Everything is going fine until he starts playing what he thinks is a harmless game of Thermonuclear War and gets more than he bargained for.
Dragonslayer- It may sound weird but Ally McBeal’s Peter MacNicol makes a pretty good wizard and slayor of dragons. This was the first non-Lucasfilm production that Industrial Light and Magic worked on and is a favorite among dragon enthusiasts.
Other 80s Films: Lone Wolf McQuade, The Dogs of War
Rosemary’s Baby- Long before Roman Polanski got himself in hot water by diddling a teenage girl his American debut film was a monstrous success. After moving into a new apartment a young Mia Farrow becomes pregnant with what she thinks is the Devil’s child.
The Usual Suspects- Bryan Singer may have risen to fame with X-Men and X2 but this was the film that put him on the map. Even though it’s quickly approaching twenty years old The Usual Suspects still sports one of the best ensemble casts ever assembled and one of the most memorable twist endings ever filmed.
Switchback- I’ve always had a soft spot for this movie, not sure why. Dennis Quaid, Danny Glover, and Jared Leto star in this bizarre thriller about a rogue FBI agent tracking the man who kidnapped his son.
The Hunt for Red October- If I had to come up with a list of my favorite 50 films of all time this would definitely make the list. When a Soviet submarine commander, played by Sean Connery, plans on defecting to the United States he’ll need all the help he can get from an inexperienced but tenacious CIA analyst played by Alec Baldwin. John McTiernan, who was recently sentenced to prison, directed this as his followup to Die Hard.
World Trade Center- Some may not agree but this was Oliver Stone’s last tolerable film. It’s one of those pictures that you can’t really say you hate even if you wanted to because really… who’s going to say they hate a movie about World Trade Center hereos?
Elizabethtown- I think Cameron Crowe took the critical and financial failure of this project pretty hard considering he wouldn’t direct another film until 2011′s We Bought a Zoo. It may not be on par with Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous (also on my unwritten Top 50 List), or the underrated Vanilla Sky, but it is better than Singles.
Miller’s Crossing- Our second Gabriel Byrne film on this month’s list. Miller’s Crossing tanked at the box office, but over the years it has developed a well deserved cult following after the many successes of the Coen Brothers.
Other Dramatic Films: October Sky, Coach Carter
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles- This would have been a great movie to have streaming back during the holidays but there’s really no wrong time to watch Steve Martin and John Candy go to toe-to-toe. ”You’re messing with the wrong guy!”
Slapshot- It may not be the greatest sports movie ever made, but it may be the greatest hockey movie ever made. Paul Newman stars as an aging coach/player of a losing minor league hockey team who makes a last ditch effort to keep his team from folding by giving the fans what they want… mayhem on the ice.
Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke- Is it hard to believe that this was the 15th highest grossing film of 1978? Definitely a sign of the culture back in the day. This was the first of six Cheech & Chong films, but is the only one available on Netflix Streaming.
So Bad, They’re Good
Slumber Party Massacre- Let me put it to you this way… it takes about 120 seconds for the first bit of nudity, within 10 minutes there’s a group shower scene, around 30 minutes in theirs a group slumber party pajama changing sequence, and there’s a big booby grope shot 43 minutes in. That’s not too shabby for a film that’s only 77 minutes long.
Bad Girls- Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson, Andie MacDowell, and Drew Barrymore star as four prostitutes on the run for murder in the wild west. The movie is a complete farce and the lack of nudity (aside from a bit from Barrymore) is disturbing considering the movie is about four prostitutes.
Battle Beyond the Stars- The Walton’s Richard Thomas stars in this Roger Corman Star Wars ripoff that co-stars The A-Teams George Peppard, A Nightmare on Elm Street’s John Saxon, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E’s Robert Vaughn. Honestly the film is a hoot, there’s even a sassy talking spaceship and a very rapey lizard man.
Humanoids from the Deep- One of my absolute favorite Roger Corman produced films has the inhabitants of a small Northwestern fishing community being preyed upon by… Humanoids from the Deep. Their goal? To mate with human women and kill their husbands and boyfriends. Thrown in for good measure are some overt Native American racism and some well placed social commentary about how we’re harming the environment with our reckless attitudes.