New November Netflix Streaming, 2 of 2

Redeemer

Action & Adventure: The Newton Boys, Redeemer

Anime: The Seven Deadly Sins

Saturday Night Fever

Classic: Saturday Night Fever

Comedy: Stewart Lee: 41st Best Stand-Up Ever

Documentary: Ninja Shadow Warriors, The Real Beauty and the Beast, Samurai Headhunters, The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz, Silenced, SlingShot, The Thread, Treblinka: Hitler’s Killing Machine, Turf War: Lions and Hippos, Twinsters, Venom Islands, World War II Spy School, If You Build It, Nowitzki: The Perfect Shot

Rain Man

Drama: The Pardon, Rain Man, Starlet, Cruel & Unusual

Family: Open Season 2, Open Season 3, The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, assorted Thomas & Friends Christmas specials

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Robot Overlords

Foreign: The Maneater, Wolf Warrior

Horror: Stephen King’s Thinner, Kristy

Television: Pasion de Gavilanes, Psychic Investigators, Secrets of the Third Reich, Secrets: Golden Raft of El Dorado, Speed Kills, Still Game, Top Boy, Truly Strange, Woody Allen: A Documentary, Worst Year of My Life Again, Popples, and new episodes of Urban Legends, The 100, and Dreamland

Thriller: Return to Sender

New November Netflix Streaming, 1 of 2

Well, I’m back from a much-needed vacation to post a belated report of November’s catalog titles.

Action and Adventure: 11 Blocks, Leon the Professional, Men in Black II, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Enemy Below

Classic: Desk Set, The Enemy Below, Harry and Tonto

Comedy: Addams Family Values, Can’t Hardly Wait, Full Frontal, Half Baked, Major League

Documentary: America’s Secret D-Day Disaster, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, Black Mamba: Kiss of Death, Black Wings, Blondie’s New York, Bombs Bullets and Fraud, The Day Kennedy Died, Death Beach, Everybody Street, The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, Hip Hop: The Furious Force of Rhymes, Hitler’s Riches, Hunt for the Super Predator, I Touched All Your Stuff, Journey to the Safest Place on Earth, Last Days in Vietnam, Leopard Fight Club, Malaysia 370: The Plane That Vanished, Mandela My Dad and Me, Moving Art: Waterfalls, Moving Art: Underwater

Drama: A Christmas Kiss, The Devil’s Advocate, Doomsdays, Five Star, The Last Time You Had Fun, Magic City Memoirs

Family: Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure, Bob the Builder’s White Christmas, Hercules Saves Christmas

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Impostor

Foreign: Bang Bang!

Harbinger Down

Horror: Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh, Harbinger Down, The Haunting, The Legend of Hell House

Television: Apocalypse: The Second World War, Black Books, China’s Forbidden City, Civil War 360, The Da Vinci Detective, David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates, Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Laid, Little Lunch, Midsomer Murders

Angel Heart

Thriller: Angel Heart, Gothika

Last of the Streaming Releases for October 2015

A touch of horror just in time for Halloween but I think I’ll pass on Human Centipede 3, thank you just the same.

Action & Adventure: The Gunman

Manson Family Vacation

Comedy: Manson Family Vacation

Documentary: Seeds of Time, The Great Museum, Famous Nathan

Drama: August: Osage County, Sunset Edge, 1001 Grams

Family: Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection, Trick or Treaters

Foreign: Hum Saath-Saath Hain, Jack Strong, A Borrowed Identity, Tu Dors Nicole, Gueros

Let Us Prey

Horror: Let Us Prey, The Human Centipede 3: The Final Sequence (one can only hope)

Hemlock Grove

Television: The Principal and new episodes of Hemlock Grove and Chasing Life

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 10/20/15

Obviously the big news this week is Beasts of No Nation – a film boycotted by the major theater chains (Regal, AMC, etc.) because of its simultaneous release on Netflix. In spite of this, Beasts of No Nation is garnering quite a few good reviews, although it’s a hard watch.

Comedy: Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers, Katt Williams: American Hustle, Katt Williams: The Pimp Chronicles

Documentary: Pentatonix: On My Way Home, All American High: Revisited, Finding Jesus: Faith Fact Forgery, First Comes Love, From Baghdad to Brooklyn, Gardeners of Eden, Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live!, My Monkey Baby, Road, Three Stars

Drama: Beasts of No Nation, The Christmas Card

Family: Seventeen Again

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Ferocious Planet

Suburra

Foreign: Suburra, Gulaab Gang, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania

The Lazarus Effect

Horror: The Lazarus Effect, Djinn

Jane the Virgin

Television: Jane the Virgin, Adaalat, C.I.D, Dinotopia, El asombroso mundo de Zamba, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Huntik, Maharana Pratap, Medialana y las Noches Magicas, Skins, and new episodes of All Hail King Julien and Some Assembly Required

Thriller: Circle, The Guvnors, Rear Window (1998), The Sitter

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 10/6/15

Oodles of television to catch you up before the fall.

Comedy: Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy

Documentary: A Sinner in Mecca

Drama: Northless

Family: Little Loopers, Alpha and Omega: Family Vacation

Man from Reno

Foreign: Man From Reno, Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal, El Viaje de la nonna, La Leyenda de la Nahuala, Victorio

3-Headed Shark Attack

Horror: 3-Headed Shark Attack, Tremors 5: Bloodline

The Vampire Diaries

Television: Team Hot Wheels: Build the Epic Race, The Flash, American Horror Story: Freak Show, iZombie, and new episodes of Reign, Last Man Standing, The Originals, and The Vampire Diaries

Thriller: The Stranger (2015)

Lots of Special October Theater Screenings

Wow! I love special screenings and there are a remarkable number of them this month. Sadly, I won’t be able to attend most of them due to work and family obligations but YOU, you could go!.

Fathom Events, your source for special if overpriced movies, is showing the RiffTrax version of Miami Connection tonight at 7:30. For those not familiar with RiffTrax, it is very similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) in execution (people onscreen mocking the events in the movie). Tomorrow night (10/7 at 7:30), Fathom presents the extended version of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The extended version of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies concludes the trilogy on 10/13, also at 7:30.

Dracula

Turner Classic Movies presents a Dracula double feature on October 25th and 28th at 2 and 7. The original Bela Lugosi version of Dracula will be shown followed by the Spanish version that was filmed at night on the same sets. Finally on October 29th at 7:30, Fathom and SpectiCast are bringing back John Carpenter’s Halloween.

Not movie related but Fathom Events is bringing a filmed live version of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet to theaters on 10/15. It is four hours long but I’m going to that with a couple of dear friends.

Back to the Future

Regal Cinemas is presenting the entire Back to the Future trilogy on the big screen one day only, 10/21/15 (naturally, for those who are familiar with the timeline). Strangely, it appears to currently be priced as a single matinee ticket. AMC and other theater chains are also participating so check your local listings. Unfortunately for me, this embarrassment of riches conflicts with a local showing of The Exorcist at Carolina Cinemas, 10/21 at 8.

My Fair Lady

Epic Cinemas is also getting into the trend of bringing back classic cinema to the big screen. On 10/18 at 2 and 10/21 at 7, they will be showing My Fair Lady.

I love that the theaters are doing all of this. My only complaint is that they usually do a terrible job of advertising and the screenings are often close to empty. This of course leads to a cancellation of future showings. Regal used to have a classic cinema series but abandoned it due to poor attendance.

 

October’s New Netflix Titles

It seems as though Netflix just did a huge garbage dump of cheap television shows but they did add way more classic era movies than they have before, most of them musicals.

Batman Begins

Action & Adventure: 10.0 Earthquake, Alexander: Theatrical Cut, Batman Begins, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, King Kong (1976), The Punisher, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Anime: HALO Legends

The Wild Bunch

Classic: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Anchors Aweigh, Around the World in 80 Days (listed as the 2004 version but actually the 1956 version), Carousel, A Christmas Carol (1938), A Clockwork Orange, Daddy Long Legs, The Devil at 4 O’Clock, The Graduate, High Society, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Laura, The Odd Couple, On the Town, Pal Joey, Pepe, Some Came Running, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, There’s No Business Like Show Business, The Wild Bunch

Comedy: American Pie, American Wedding, Bachelor Night, The Butcher’s Wife, Coyote Ugly, Heartbreakers, The Impostors, Kingpin, Risky Business, Someone Like You, This Must be the Place, The Wedding Singer, Mac & Devin Go to High School, Trailer Park Boys: The Movie

Documentary: Art & Copy, Big Men, Bigger Than T. Rex, The Black Kungfu Experience, The Day the ’60s Died, The Hacker Wars, Inside the Court of Henry VIII, John Denver: Country Boy, Nature: Invasion of the Killer Whales, Nature: Penguin Post Office, The Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story, Never a Neverland, The Nightmare, Nova: First Air War, Nova: Killer Landslides, Nova: Rise of the Hackers, Nova: Surviving Ebola, Nova: Vaccines: Calling the Shots, Queens & Cowboys, Richard Pryor: Icon, Secrets of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Secrets of Underground London, Tell Spring Not to Come This Year, Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, Where Was God? Stories of Hope After the Storm

Drama: About Alex, Anna and the King, Any Day, Boogie Nights, The Chambermaid, Cru, The Face of an Angel, The Girl is in Trouble, Glass Chin, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Good Thief, Hotel Rwanda, I Believe in Unicorns, Innocence, The Lesser Blessed, The Lesson, Million Dollar Baby, A Necessary Death, Runoff, United Passions, White Rabbit, Wild Horses, Midnight’s Children, Ned Rifle

Family: Cats & Dogs, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Max Dugan Returns, Nature: A Sloth Named Velcro, Nature: Animal Misfits, Nature: Mystery Monkeys of Shangri-La, Nature: Owl Power, Nature: The Last Orangutan Eden, Wakufu, Leafie: A Hen into the Wild

Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Corpse Bride, Sphere

The Relic

Horror: The Beast of Xmoor, The Blood Lands, Curse of Chucky, Dark Was the Night, Pernicious, The Relic

Television: Gringolandia, America’s Test Kitchen, American Experience: The Poisoner’s Handbook, Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics Collection, Beachfront Bargain Hunt Collection, Chopped Collection, Chuck’s Eat the Street Collection, Cyberchase, Dear Genevieve Collection, Design on a Dime Collection, Emperor’s Ghost Army, Escape from a Nazi Death Camp, Extreme Homes Collection, First Man on the Moon, Fixer Upper, Genevieve’s Renovation, Girl Eat World, The Great British Baking Show, The Great Food Truck Race Collection, House Hunters Renovation Collection, How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson, Ken Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, La Casa de al Lado, Man v. Food Collection, Million Dollar Rooms Collection, Monkey Thieves, Monumental Mysteries Collection, My First Place Collection, Nova: Ben Franklin’s Balloons, The Physics of Light, Property Virgins Collection, Robin Williams Remembered, Salvage Dawgs, Selling New York Collection, Sex in the Wild, Shushybye, Small Space Bug Style Collection, Soul Food Junkies, Tales from the Royal Bedchamber, Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, Throwdown with Bobby Flay Collection, The Time In Between, Twice Born: Stories from the Special Delivery Unit, The Vanilla Ice Project, Why Planes Vanish, Worst Cooks in America Collection, Zoboomafoo, Spiral, and new episodes of Nazi Mega Weapons, agatha Christie’s Poirot, Murdoch Mysteries, and Street Food

Thriller: Pressure, Reasonable Doubt, Cruel

Friday This ‘n’ That – Halloween

Well I finally had the chance to sit down and watch the Unrated Producer’s Cut of Halloween 6 – The Curse of Michael Myers.

Halloween 6

Halloween – The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) – Unrated Producer’s Cut

Six years after Michael Myers last terrorized Haddonfield, he returns there in pursuit of his niece, Jamie Lloyd, who has escaped with her newborn child, for which Michael and a mysterious cult have sinister plans.”

Initially I loved director’s cuts. Directors often have their creative works taken out of their hands and recut, often butchering them. While Aliens theatrical is more streamlined, Aliens director’s cut is significantly better and expounds upon the theme of motherhood that runs through it. The restored Touch of Evil is far superior to the theatrical cut.

Unfortunately Hollywood quickly saw the ‘director’s cut’  and the nebulous ‘unrated version’ as a profit center. This led to a slew of meaningless rereleases where essentially nothing was changed except an added scene or a few longer takes. For horror movies, it reached assembly line status: Release a movie with a teen friendly PG-13 rating then when it reaches home video, stick a little of the gore back in and call it ‘unrated’ even though it would likely still have been PG-13.

Sometimes a director’s cut can be overindulgent such as Apocalypse Now Redux. If you thought Apocalypse Now was a little bloated, try watching the new four hour cut. These problems put the kibosh on special editions for me.

Ok, a few weeks ago I wrote a bit about the mess that was Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers theatrical as well as the travesty that was Halloween Resurrection. I often find myself at a loss as to why I watch these films as there are now ten of them, eleven if you count this producer’s cut. Out of the ten movies, the first is an absolute classic and Halloween H20 is a lot of fun with some wonderful ideas, even if they pretend that 4, 5, and 6 didn’t happen.

Having now watched the unrated producer’s cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, I can say that it is significantly better than the theatrical version but it is still a mess. They have a much better explanation of the retconning of the end of Halloween 5 but that doesn’t mean it makes sense. The main problem is that it appears that the story someone wanted to tell actually begins about an hour and twenty minutes into an hour and thirty-six minute movie.

This is essentially a completely different movie and honestly one in which Michael Myers is merely a minor character. The cultists have ridiculous looking outfits which is why they are almost entirely cut out of the theatrical version. Dr. Loomis becomes a central character again. One of the characters meets a very un-Hollywoodlike fate in the middle of the movie that is different from the theatrical version.

If you are a fan of the Halloween series, by all means watch this fascinating misfire. If you aren’t a fan then this is not likely to interest you as it is not very good.

 

Burying the Ex

Burying the Ex is currently available on instant Netflix

Burying the Ex

Burying the Ex (2014) – Rated R

When Max (Yelchin) learns that his new live-in girlfriend, Evelyn (Greene) is controlling and manipulative, he is afraid to end the relationship. However, fate occurs and Evelyn is killed in a freak accident. A couple months have passed and Max meets his dream girl, Olivia (Daddario). The new romance gets tricky when Evelyn comes back from the grave and insists on continuing their once relationship by all means.”

Joe Dante does not direct films very often. When he does, they often involve horror and comedy – two great tastes that don’t always work well together. He cut his teeth on making trailers back in the Roger Corman days and, together with John Landis, runs the wonderful Trailers from Hell website. New trailers with expert commentary arrive Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and each week is themed.

He directed the best Jaws ripoff, Piranha in 1978. He is probably best remembered today, among horror fans, for The Howling (1981)  and Gremlins 1 & 2 (1984, 1990). My favorite is his wonderful homage to entrepreneur William Castle, Matinee. I was really looking forward to Burying the Ex.

Burying the Ex stars Anton Yelchin as our likable boyfriend with a quandary. He has been in horror movies before – Only Lovers Left Alive and the Fright Night reboot. He played the titular Odd Thomas and helped anchor that quirky horror feature. He is certainly amiable here and very sympathetic.

Ashley Greene does a fine job as the proverbial girlfriend from hell, sexy yet horrifying. Alexandra Daddario is suitably winning as the new girl, Olivia. Essentially the only other cast member is Oliver Cooper as Max’s half-brother Travis. He’s a little annoying but bearable.

Unfortunately the writing here by Alan Trezza is not up to par. His only other writing credit is for the short of the same title. Therein lies the problem. Burying the Ex is cute but feels terribly padded out. The idea is good but honestly, in spite of the ‘R’ rating, they are afraid to go anywhere with it.

There are uncounted references to numerous horror movies. Sadly these are not homages nor are they plot important in any way so they quickly become tedious (and this is from a certified horror nut). As they don’t really feature in the plot other than to establish Max and Olivia’s cred, I am not sure if the fault belongs with Dante or Trezza.

Burying the Ex is pretty much completely inoffensive. It is mild fun but could have been so much more.

 

Resurrecting Halloween or Driving the Final Nails In?

Halloween Resurrection is currently available on instant Netflix

Halloween Resurrection

Halloween Resurrection (2002) – Rated R

Three years after he last terrorized his sister, Michael Myers confronts her again, before traveling to Haddonfield to deal with the cast and crew of a reality show which is being broadcast from his old home.

As I noted last week, Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers was a complete narrative nightmare (and not in the good sense). Among its many egregious sins was rewriting the end of the previous movie.

Along came Halloween: H20, the second best movie in the franchise. Since it didn’t have Dr. Loomis, they went back and got Jamie Lee Curtis to reprise her role as Laurie Strode. It also helped launch the careers of Josh Hartnett, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Michelle Williams. It also had a very satisfying ending that made for an excellent sendoff of the series. Unfortunately it made too much money.

So here we have Halloween 8. Resurrection is a terrible name for this movie as it is more a death knell than a revivification. It enters self-parody but not self-awareness. Naturally the first thing it does is completely rewrite the ending of the previous movie.

Original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis is lured back one last time. I imagine the conversation went something along the lines of “sure, I’ll be in your movie, I want x dollars and I want it to be a cameo just like in the Scream movies.” Katee Sackhoff has an early role here.

The premise has a reality show being filmed from the Myers home. This is apparently broadcast through the internet. As usual with a Hollywood movie, they have absolutely no idea how the internet works.

The house is completely covered with cameras and wired for sound as are all the ‘actors’ in the reality show. In spite of all of that, the plot hinges on no one (supposedly there is a vast audience for this live event) noticing the first few, completely on camera, killings. They also don’t follow through on their premise with many of the killings shown from angles that don’t match up to the camera placement.

I applaud the use of a more ethnically diverse cast so it isn’t just the usual game of ‘white girl down’. Unfortunately they also try to ‘urban’ it up which fails spectacularly. The writing is ridiculous and they must have had a cursing quota. Busta Rhymes is just awful. Tyra Banks is umm Tyra Banks.

Finally we reach the absolute nadir of the Halloween franchise with Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) going Bruce Lee on Michael Myers while Myers is armed with a butcher knife. Michael Myers becomes a bad joke in his own movie.