So a new month is steadily approaching, which means Netflix is gonna Netflix by way of new releases with limited shelf-lives. In knowing that one needs to grab that fruit while it’s still ripe, I went through the list to inform you, my dear audience, as to what you should should check out first while the supplies still last. Here we go…
Don’t let that Rotten Tomatoes den of reviewers without a pulse fool you, one needs to only consider this: The 90s? Check! A big ass snake? Check! Snake hunter Jon Voight? Check! Pop/hip hop duo? (Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube) Check! Inaccuracies up the butthole? Check! Don’t come to Luis Llosa’s Anaconda (1997) with your bougie high brow, come with that basement brow. You’re here for camp, and good god, Anaconda serves up that camp nicely with a thick slice of cheese.
The Bone Collector
Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie are the headliners in this one, so my stanning ass doesn’t stand a chance objectively. But still, there’s something you can still call a decent plot here about a quadriplegic ex-homicide detective (Denzel), and his partner (Angelina), who’re attempting the, trying-so-hard-to-be- Se7en killer hunt. There are plot holes, you may even figure out the serial killer’s identity from the opening credits (Christ..), but still, give Phillip Noyce’s attempt at something thrilly a chance. If not to at least watch some classic Denzel Washington-isms.
Say what you want about Russell Crowe, but he’s got that depressing thing down pat. I’m not sure what it is, the Russell scowl, that deep and slow Russell talk, but he’s made for this (A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator). Ron Howard of course, in knowing this, put Russell in a Great Depression period. On the surface Cinderella Man can seem like a boxer’s biological drama (James J. Braddock), but beyond the Rocky-esque fall and rise story, it's about a man that will go to extreme lengths to provide. Something we can all relate to.
The Disaster Artist
Many of us witnessed the beautiful and terrible disaster that was Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. Deemed as one of the worst pieces of shit by folks who don’t understand pieces of shit, this complete cluster-fuck of a project managed the status of pivotal arthood. We needed to understand the eccentric creator that birthed this intentional mess. Enter James Franco, a problematic mess in his own right, who both directed and starred as Tommy Wiseau in a biographical re-telling of what made The Room a mesmerizing view of the foolish.
If you’ve ever wanted to understand the sausage factory of war; beyond the guns, beyond warpaint, and beyond the Hollywood bullshit, you’d watch Jarhead. The Sam Mendes version of events—based on US Marine Anthony Swofford’s 2003 memoir with the same name—is neither pro-war or anti-war. What we get instead is a look into the grunt work; war’s version of the toilet cleaners who were divorced from the action. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Anthony Swofford), Jamie Foxx and Peter Sarsgaard among others; expect a whole lot of introspection about the unknown, and the anxieties that come with waiting for the war.
Here comes another Hugh Grant rom-com—ironic British, self-deprecation, compulsively blinking charm notwithstanding. Even after all these years, Grant can still charm the skin off of a snake, but with Julia Roberts and that mega-wide smile, he found an even match. In this one, Roberts plays celebrity Anna Scott, who falls head over heels for regular chap William Thacker (Grant). In this Roger Michell Hollywood self-parody of celebrity worship, there’s a believability in the dialogue exchanges and believability in its Netflix and chill potential.
Unsolved: Tupac & Biggie
As the story goes, two black men get shot up, and for some odd (or realistic) reason, the case never finds its justice; the story of America (and Canada) folks. Told in a biographical form that originally aired on the USA Network, it stars a few notables like Bokeem Woodbine (the everyday black man of the 90s), and Josh Duhamel who plays Detective Greg Kading who worked on the enforcement task force who investigated the murders. If you’re looking for a film that won’t solve a damn thing, but will still be insightful nonetheless, it's a worthy watch.
Even today, I can still appreciate how classically Home Alone-esque this plot is. Anxiety ridden mother (Jodie Foster) builds a panic room (no one can get in) for herself and her diabetic daughter (Kristen Stewart). Day comes when house intruders lead by Forest Whitaker force said woman to use their panic room, and tensions ensue when intruders realize that they must get inside said panic room. David Fincher did an amazing job of unintentionally replicating the trappings of a holiday classic ( Home Alone) with battles of wit, countermeasures and gambits between two opposing sides.
Lady Bird by director Greta Gerwig is a coming-of-age drama, if coming-of-age-dramas were about messy people being regular in all their messiness. Marion McPherson played by Laurie Metcalf, is a nurse that works tirelessly to keep her family afloat while raising an unruly teenage daughter. The real funny though comes in Lady Bird herself, who’s an exact carbon copy of her off-the-wall mother. Both loving, both are hilarious, and both bounce off of each other with opposing personalities that feel refreshingly real to watch.
At this point in American and Canadian history, there are two types of clearly defined people: those who enjoy decade long run’s of superhero movies…and the deplorables. That’s about it. Thor: Ragnarok by director Taika Waititi is perhaps the loudest, sparkliest, most 1980s-ish Marvel watch of the bunch. We’re getting plenty of Chris Hemsworth with a hammer in this one. He also has to fight the big green hulkish dude too while attempting to escape Jeff Goldblum’s “UH” world to kill his evil sister, Cate Blanchett. Good times.
I don’t know much about this Netflix Original, but we’re getting a story about the high-profile murder of novelist Michael Peterson which began with a phone call. French director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade is at the helm of one, who is better known for directing the Oscar-winning documentary, Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001), which delved into the murder trial of a black 15-year-old accused of murder in Jacksonville, Florida. If anything can be gained from this, it’s that Jean-Xavier will treat the subject matter of a unique incident with detail and objectivity.
Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2
Luke Cage isn’t a superhero in that dark, snarky, asshole way like a Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne. He more of a Captain America, if Captain America were privy to giving history lessons on the N-word before handing off copies of Between The World and Me. Big, black and bad Mike Colter reprises his role from the first season as the bulletproof black man rocking way too many bullet ridden hoodies. Irregardless of your taste, seeing a black man that can’t be gunned down will always be refreshing change of pace.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Chill out, it’s not as bad as the trolls say. Sure, they did my man Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker a little bit dirty, and bad guy Snoke was a glorified chump, but it still looked like Star Wars at least. There’s chosen ones (Daisy Riley), little guys winning over bad guys, and several of the best set pieces of any of the Star Wars movies.
That’s what caught my eye, but of course, here’s the rest coming and going in June.
About a Boy
Charlie Wilson’s War
The Indian Detective: Season 1
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
The Mothman Prophecies
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
November 13: Attack on Paris - Netflix Original
Sense and Sensibility
The Break with Michelle Wolf - Weekly Episodes Every Sunday - Netflix Original
Mr. D: Season 7
All I See Is You
Marcella: Season 2
Sense8: The Series Finale - Netflix Original
Treehouse Detectives - Netflix Original
Champions - Netflix Original
Marlon - Netflix Original
Lust Stories - Netflix Film
Maktub - Netflix Film
The Ranch: Part 5 - Netflix Original
Set It Up - Netflix Film
Sunday’s Illness - Netflix Film
Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 6 - Netflix Original
Club de Cuervos presenta: La balada de Hugo Sánchez - Netflix Original
Kim’s Convenience: Season 2
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette - Netflix Original
Brain on Fire - Netflix Film
Cooking on High - Netflix Original
Derren Brown: Miracle - Netflix Original
To Each, Her Own (Les Goûts et les couleurs) - Netflix Film
The Last Laugh
W. Kamau Bell: Private School Negro - Netflix Original
Churchill’s Secret Agents: The New Recruits
GLOW: Season 2 - Netflix Original
Harvey Street Kids - Netflix Original
Kiss Me First - Netflix Original
La Forêt - Netflix Original
Nailed It!: Season 2 - Netflix Original
Paquita Salas: Season 2 - Netflix Original
Recovery Boys - Netflix Original
TAU - Netflix Film
Fate/EXTRA Last Encore: Oblitus Copernican Theory - Netflix Original
Suburbicon Films Leaving Netflix in June:
A Little Chaos
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ice Age: Collision Course
Independence Day: Resurgence
Sherlock: Series 3
Born on the Fourth of July
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
Oz the Great and Powerful
The Great Outdoors
Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Follow Noel Ransome on Twitter.
Sign up for the VICE Canada Newsletter to get the best of VICE Canada delivered to your inbox daily.