New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 10/27/15

Here’s a rather eclectic mix, yet nothing new for Halloween.

Kung Fury

Action & Adventure: Kung Fury

Comedy: Results

Back in Time

Documentary: Back in Time, The Tiger and the Monk

Drama: Unexpected, Hungry Hearts, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Family: The Journey Home, Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered

Foreign: Mea Culpa, Z Storm

Avengers Assemble

Television: New episodes of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble

Friday This ‘n’ That – FREE Monsters, Inc.

 

Inside Out

Please accept my apologies for the lack of posts this week. When I’m sick, I’m happy enough to plug away on the keyboard even in a fuzzy state. Unfortunately, my darling granddaughter has been sick all week so I have been taking car of her. She is very demanding and, when I haven’t been doing chores or taking care of things in general, I have been sitting on the couch with her watching Inside Out (Vudu), Monsters, Inc. (ditto), animated Batman (Amazon Prime), Octonauts (Netflix), The Simpsons (Hulu), and ugh play-doh toy videos on YouTube.

Contagion

Anyways, stay healthy folks and avoid this plague like it was the…well you get the idea. Speaking of Monsters, Inc., I got it FREE for connecting my Disney Movies Anywhere account to Amazon. You can too!

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

Marvel, Paradise Regained

Yesterday, I covered how Marvel set up a series of deals that helped rescue them from financial difficulty but horrifically tied their hands. Now, Marvel has a wonderful cinematic universe where, just like in the comics, stories cross over each other.

Daredevil

The Daredevil and Punisher licenses have lapsed (Yay!). Marvel and Netflix made a wonderful series out of Daredevil (and I daresay spent less than they did on the mediocre movie). I have high hopes for Jessica Jones (November!), Power Man, Iron Fist, and The Defenders.

Agents of SHIELD

So why doesn’t Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. work? It was sold as being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This means The Avengers as that is basically what the MCU is, given the absence of mutants, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and others. Yet for being based on The Avengers, there is no sign of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, or any superheroes at all. The closest they come is that Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) guest stars in two episodes. That’s two episodes out of two full seasons. In the second season, they added Bobbi Morse aka Mockingbird but haven’t done much with her.

Another part of it has to do with SHIELD. SHIELD as a comic book evolved out of the James Bond series. Nick Fury was a spymaster with a vast array of incredibly cool gadgets but that was in the 70s. The cinematic Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is based more on The Ultimates line of comics and works well.

Unfortunately, a television series could not afford Samuel L. Jackson on a regular basis so the leader of SHIELD is seen in only three episodes and even then it’s briefly. So they resurrect Agent Coulson to lead the team so that we have at least one familiar face. The gadget antics wore out their welcome long ago. It’s why when Daniel Craig became Bond, they went back to basics and ditched the outlandish gadgets. Unfortunately the SHIELD team thinks these items can substitute for plot. They don’t really understand how a Mcguffin works.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already had a wide array of supervillains, drawn from a long history of comics. While many of the heavy hitters like Dr. Doom and Magneto are unavailable, we still have Loki, Malekith (who was much cooler in the comics), Thanos, Yellowjacket, Ironmonger, Whiplash, The Mandarin (sort of), The Red Skull, Arnim Zola, Ultron, and others, heck they even manage to shoehorn Strucker and Klaw into a movie that didn’t need them.

Who does SHIELD have for a supervillain? Umm, The Enchantress guest stars in an episode. Kyle MacLachlan periodically guests as Calvin Zabo. Who?

SHIELD has started to introduce the Inhumans, one of the few properties not sold off. Unfortunately, they do so in a rather lame fashion. Black Bolt? Nope. Medusa? Nope. I guess they are saving those for the eventual Inhumans movie.

Agent Carter

There is the real crux of the problem. Marvel appears to be saving everything for their blockbuster movies, leaving nothing for SHIELD (or Agent Carter for that matter). There was even talk of a spinoff from SHIELD featuring Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird). Why do a spinoff when you cannot even get the original right?

Obviously, the Inhumans are SHIELD’s big push this year, until the inevitable spring tie-in with Captain America: Civil War. I am a die-hard Marvel fan from my kid days but I feel I have invested too much time in this already.

Excuse me, The Flash is about to come on.

Marvel’s Deals with the Devil

Blame, blame is such an easy game. Why, with such an incredible universe to draw from, is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. such a bore? There is quite a lot of blame to go around but it lies rooted in Marvel’s financial woes in the 90s. There is a great article on Marvel’s trip from bankruptcy to billions here so I won’t go into too much depth.

The Incredible Hulk

Marvel had a big television hit with The Incredible Hulk. It was a wonderful formula: take a well liked actor (Bill Bixby), add a champion body builder (Lou Ferrigno), and simply retell The Fugitive, a popular television series from fifteen years earlier. It worked great. They then attempted to repeat this success with Captain America (painfully bad), Dr. Strange, and others. They didn’t pan out so Marvel tried to launch a few more from within The Incredible Hulk. The Incredible Hulk Returns featured Thor and The Trial of the Incredible Hulk featured Daredevil.

As part of the recovery from bankruptcy in the 90s, numerous licensing deals were made.  It is great that Marvel was able to climb back out of the hole but many of the terms on the deals were ridiculous.

X-Men

Twentieth Century Fox made a fantastic version of X-Men (2000) and the even better X-Men 2 (2003). Unfortunately, the deal allowed X-Men movies to be owned by Fox in perpetuity as long as the movies kept being made. That would be bad enough but the deal included all of the standard X-Men, their standard villains, and even extended to the term mutant.

Attempts had been made during the 90s to bring Spider-Man, Marvel’s most iconic character, to the big screen and while that failed, the rights were tied up for quite some time. Once the rights were untangled, Columbia (Sony) locked them up again, including a rogue’s gallery of Marvel’s best villains. Once again, a really good blockbuster was made, Spider-Man (2002) followed by an even better sequel, Spider-Man 2 (2004).

Daredevil

Apparently, it took a long time for Marvel to catch on that they were selling the cow instead of the milk. Essentially the same deal was made, again with Twentieth Century Fox, for Daredevil. Daredevil, Elektra, The Kingpin, and even Ben Urich were tied up. Ditto Lionsgate with The Punisher (2004) and The Punisher: War Zone (2008).

Finally, the Fantastic Four rights were locked up, again by Twentieth Century Fox. This wouldn’t be so bad as they were usually self-contained but it also included Doctor Doom and the Silver Surfer. Not just that but Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and the reboot Fantastic Four (2015) have all been pretty dire.

Not only did Marvel practically give away their entire roster of characters but many others such as Iron Man were locked up in deals where the movie simply never came to fruition.

 

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 10/13/15

Another week, another dump of vintage kung fu?

Action & Adventure: American Heist

Anime: Aldnoah.Zero, Durarara!!, Durarara!! x2, Sword Art Online II

Comedy: Robert Kelly: Live at the Village Underground, Cheatin’

Documentary: Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Drama: Uncertain Terms

Family: Lou! Journal infime

Police Story Lockdown

Foreign: Police Story: Lockdown, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Crippled Avengers, Five Elements Ninjas, The Five Venoms, Hero (1997), Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Invincible Shaolin, Masked Avengers, Return to the 36th Chamber

Arrow

Television: Jane the Virgin, Lalaloopsy: Band Together, e-Dreams, The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show, Flor Salvaje, Legends, and new episodes of Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Arrow, Supernatural, and Mighty Med

Strangerland

Thriller: Strangerland

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)

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

The Last of September’s Streaming Netflix Titles

 

Comedy: SMOSH: The Movie, Love Actually

Documentary: The Drop Box, Because I Was a Painter, Iris, Soul Boys of the Western World, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, The Barefoot Artist

Philomena

Drama: Philomena, Finding Neighbors, Puncture, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The Duke of Burgundy

Family: Vampire Dog, Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls

Foreign: The Brainiac, Shootout at Lockhandwala

Zoo

Television: Zoo, Dark Matter, Monster High: Boo York, Boo York, and new episodes of The Walking Dead, Hawaii Five-O (new), VeggieTales in the House, Bones, and Blue Blood

The Loft

Thriller: The Loft, The Canyons, Intruders

The Best of the Best of the Best on Netflix

Why not watch the best of the best? Netflix has ten of the American Film Institute’s top 50 films. I don’t recommend The Birth of a Nation except as a racist historical oddity but the others are all solid choices.

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia (#5)

Follows a brilliant, flamboyant and controversial British military figure and his conflicted loyalties during wartime service.”

Sunset Boulevard (#12)

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.”

All About Eve (#16)

An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Chinatown

Chinatown (#19)

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder.”

Apocalypse Now (#28)

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Annie Hall (#31)

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall.”

High Noon

High Noon (#33)

A marshal, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him.

To Kill a Mockingbird (#34)

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.”

The Birth of a Nation (#44)

Two brothers, Phil and Ted Stoneman, visit their friends in Piedmont, South Carolina: the family Cameron. This friendship is affected by the Civil War, as the Stonemans and the Camerons must join up opposite armies. The consequences of the War in their lives are shown in connection to major historical events, like the development of the Civil War itself, Lincoln’s assassination, and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (#50)

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.”