New to Netflix: March 2013

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Netflix’s new offerings for March don’t include any major new releases.  Instead we’re treated to some several smaller independent releases, a varied assortment of stand-up comedy shows, and the first season of the continuation of an iconic show.  Catalog releases include a masked Mexican hero, a killer tooth fairy, a giant killer snake, a wannabe pilot nicknamed ‘Mayo’, and a ghastly ghost film with ties to Jell-O.

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New Releases

Friends with Kids – Two platonic friends decide to have a child together to avoid the stress that kids have on romantic relationships.  Stars director/writer Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Kristin Wiig, and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning – Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren return to star in the third sequel in the Universal Soldier franchise.  There’s a lot of action… the plot is a secondary concern right?
Nature Calls – Patton Oswalt and Johnny Knoxville are competing brothers who drag a Scout Troop on a camp out into their sibling squabble.  Holds the distinction of being Patrice O’Neal’s final film appearance.
Dallas: Season One – TNT’s continuation of the original show that revolves around the Ewings and their complicated personal and business lives.  Season Two premieres on TNT on March 11th.
OtherLouis C.K.: Live at the Beacon TheaterAziz Ansari: Dangerously DeliciousBrian Posehn: The FartistLewis Black: In God We Trust, Jay and Silent Bob Go Down Under

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Action

The Mask of Zorro – Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins star in this surprisingly entertaining film directed by Goldeneye & Casino Royale director Martin Campbell.  This film is partially responsible for putting Catherine Zeta-Jones on the map with American audiences.  The dreadful sequel is thankfully not available on Netflix Streaming.
The Substitute – Tom Berenger stars as a mercenary turned substitute teacher trying to root out the drug trade in a gang filled high school.  Marc Anthony (JLo’s ex) co-stars as one of the film’s primary villains.  Be on the look out for some not so subtle racism.
Other:  The Man From Snowy River

Sci-fi/Horror

976-Evil 2 –  An evil telephone line endows a teacher with special powers and they begin killing callers of a ‘horrorscope’ hotline.
Anaconda –  Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, and Jon Voight must fight a giant man eating Anaconda deep in the rain forest.  Imagine Jaws with a big snake, lots of bad CGI, and Owen Wilson as somebodies dinner.
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever –  Direct-to-video sequel to Eli Roth’s low budget horror film about a group of friends that contract a flesh eating disease.  Here the disease spreads to a high school prom filled with horny teens who proceed to have their skin eaten from their flesh.  Ti West who would garner fame for The Innkeepers and a segment in V/H/S directs.
Manhunter –  Michael Mann’s adaptation of Red Dragon by Thomas Harris wasn’t well received in 1986 and has largely been forgotten in the wake of The Silence of the Lambs.  It’s a bit unfortunate because Manhunter is actually an interestingly done film especially when you look back on it twenty-five years after its release.  CSI’s William Peterson plays Will Graham, the role later played by Edward Norton in 2002′s Red Dragon while the role of Hannibal Lecktor (Lector) is played by Brian Cox.

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Romance

Frankie and Johnny –  Garry Marshall directs Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Hector Elizondo in this romantic drama about a recently released prison inmate who begins working at a diner and takes an interest in one of the waitresses.
Ice Castles –  2010 remake of the 1978 ice skating film about a figure skater that loses her sight but preservers while falling in love.

Comedy

Pretty in Pink –  Molly Ringwald stars in this John Hughes produced ‘Brat Pack’ film about a girl torn between feelings for the sensitive boy in her school and the lovable nerd that worships her.
Popeye – Robert Altman’s adaptation of the classic cartoon stars Robin Williams as Popeye the spinach eating sailor.
8 Heads in a Duffel Bag – Joe Pesci stars as a hitman that finds out that his duffel bag has been switched in the airport.
Other:  The Man with One Red ShoeHiding OutFrom the HipYour, Mine and Ours

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Drama

An Officer and a Gentleman – I’m a complete sucker for this film.  A Navy officer candidate falls in love with a ‘townie’ and faces off against his no nonsense drill instructor.  This is a great film with fantastic performances from both Richard Gere and Louis Gossett Jr.
Black Snake Moan – Samuel L. Jackson tries to save a destructive young woman by chaining her up in his house.
Hustle & Flow – It’s hard out here for a pimp… so I hear.
Big Fish – Tim Burton’s fantasy film about a son trying to learn about his dying father by listening to his outragious stories on his deathbed.  Its all star cast includes Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, and Marion Cotillard.
River’s Edge – When a group of high school friends find out that one of their own has murdered another they all must decide whether to turn him in or cover it up.  Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, Say Anything’s Ione Skye, and Dennis Hopper star.
American Me – Edward James Olmos stars as a Mexican-American gangster that changes his lifestyle after being released from prison and falls in love.
Other: Nicholas NicklebyYanks

So Bad, They’re Good

Ghost Dad – Put on your favorite Cosby sweater, buy some Jell-O and pudding pops, and watch Bill Cosby’s greatest film since Leonard Part 6
Godzilla – Matthew Broderick stars in the 1998 American adaptation of this Japanese icon.  It’s pretty well despised by “real” Godzilla fans as being a soulless Hollywood ripoff.
Toys – Robin Williams stars in this bizarre film about a military general that inherits a toy company and the employees that band together to stop him to save the company.  Harry Potter’s Michael Gambon stars as the crazy general while other roles are filled by LL Cool J, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright, and Jamie Foxx.  This was one of Barry Levinson’s first big bombs… something he would become much more familiar with in later years.

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Leaving

03/10/13 – Middle Men
03/11/13 – Bronson
03/15/13 – Bad Influence, House on Hill Haunted (1959), UHF, New York, I Love You, Slacker, Manhunter

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Written by

Nicholas Herum