School's back, everyone’s returning from some far-away beached vacation, the temperature is about to drop, and everyone’s about to become really, really unhappy. That’s just your reality right now. Thankfully though, Netflix is coming to the rescue once again with a dump-truck of new content to take full advantage of that in-door self-loathing self of yours.
Several Netflix original movies like Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Nappily Ever After, and Hold the Dark will make their debuts this month. And even if Netflix originals with the potential trash aren’t your thing, more established movies like Annihilation are still here to make you question your existence while films like Hancock will force you to question Will Smith’s existence. All in all there’s plenty good to go around. Here’s my paring through the trash to make your picks a little easier in September.
Just your average hedonistic, binge-drinking, sorority based comedy disguised as a get-unwaxed-Zac Efron-out-of-a-t-shirt project over here. It’s what you’d expect from a Nicholas Stoller follow-up of generational conflicts between young parents and the friendly neighborhood fraternity.
Just your average hedonistic, binge-drinking, sorority based comedy disguised as a get-unwaxed-Zac Efron-out-of-a-t-shirt project over here.
Would you buy Will Smith as John Hancock? Some booze-guzzling, no job-having, superasshole amnesiac with a wasted talent for saving the world? Sure you would, because you’ve seen Collateral followed by Beauty as you sucked on tequila shots just to remove the memory. But still, there’s a mildly entertaining mix of heroics and dramedy here about an immortal with great power but zero tact or responsibility. From there, you’ve got the random middle class family lead by Charlize Theron tasked with helping the black clumsy hero with his public image. Thankfully our real-life man Will Smith found YouTube to help with all that.
Kramer vs. Kramer
Remember 1979 when the idea of a woman conflicted about motherhood, and a man heading for single fatherhood wasn’t the crazy thing to bring up to uncle bob? Well Robert Benton’s Kramer vs Kramer—the same movie provided Dustin Hoffman with his first Oscar—had the nerve to suggest it was possible. Plotwise: after an episode of marital discord which leads to a separation from his wife (Meryl Streep), workaholic Hoffman becomes the single dad Hollywood spent decades ignoring. Few movies at the time depicted the effect genre roles could have on the family that refused to follow through with them. You know, the dudes addicted to Hungry Man because they couldn’t cook, or the guys that would mix whites with colour. I doubt we’ve at all changed.
I still don’t get why Labyrinth is a children’s film to begin with. First you’ve got that maze which reads like an anxiety attack, and then there’s the weird sexual tension between a very young Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie which is just disturbing even for 1986. I mean I get it, the man is a sexy dude, but chances are if you were born between 1975 and 1989, you watched this odd, wonderful guy dance in spandex with his white-blond, spiked wig (The Goblin King) who snatched a younger brother from her older sister and felt confused. Sure, this operated in the true-world dynamics of the 80s which prevented the weird love between a 40-year-old and 15-year-old from reading like statutory rape. But still, it was still ahead of its time creatively, and we all love Bowie.
It’s Tom Hardy doing what he’s had such a hard time doing: being understood. In Mad Max: Fury Road, the guy barely spoke a word while having his face covered for more than half the movie. In The Dark Knight Rises, he was physically intimidating but mumbled his ass through two hours and 44 minutes. And in Dunkirk, again, that whole mouthpiece during flight thing isn’t helping him. In Brian Helgeland’s Legend, he’s playing two identical gangster twins who were the lords of London in the 1960s. In this way, we get to see him talk far more with double the fun.
Black, black, black, black on black, black, black, this movie is so black. Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is an epic that doesn’t talk, walk, or bust tail like any other Marvel film before it. It excels on every level from its acting, directing, and production, and for many, it's an answered prayer to a landscape seriously lacking in black heroics. I shouldn’t have to say more, but PLUG: you can read more.
Several guys will create an exit strategy for any sort of chick flick, especially with the terms Bride and Maid in the title. They’d rather their chicks enjoy it with each other as long as they can be excused from the party. But my guy, stop this. This shit is a solid comedy here about a rowdy row fem-friendship that stars Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper. My dude, get over the fear, and see this damn movie. You’ll learn a thing or two.
Drag Me to Hell
Ahhhh, that return of that good down-to-filthy cheapness that fathered the likes of The Evil Dead in 1983. Written by Sam Raimi himself and his brother Ivan Raimi, this one plays out like a messed up competition put on by a couple of filmic frat boys. You’ve got your loan officer (Alison Lohman) who evicts some old woman from her home and like clockwork receives a supernatural curse. If this was about that bill collector that keeps calling me 8 in the damn morning, I’d be right along with that witch. Either way, you’ll laugh, scream, and scream even more when out this damn shit is PG-13. Still good.
Oh yeah. That dreamy-creepy stalker-boyfriend role that helped transform Wahlberg into a bonafide celebrity. He had the half smile, narrow eyes, and right from the get-go you knew he was every privileged white boy with a homicidal streak that ever was. The Jealous man that commits horrific acts on the opposite sex (Reese Witherspoon) is unfortunately all the rage, and James Foley’s Fear in the 90s did it better than most with that teenage drama spin. I have a theory that Wahlberg’s derpy ass Marky Mark persona and the creepy ass dude from Fear are one in the same, but lemme leave that for a future piece.
National Lampoon's Animal House
Way before the title “National Lampoon” guaranteed that you’d get some low budget shit fest of a movie like Dorm Daze 2, it held as a brand of quality. Animal House was no exception here. Sure, it has aged as all hell, but in 1978 this flick told the story of college life as it was in 1962, when college was easier, beer was cheaper, and black folks were still doing that segregation thing. Too real? Anyway, Directed by John Landis and starring Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Mark Metcalf, James Daughton, Kevin Bacon, John Belushi and a bunch of others, this one stands as the stupid, messy comedy that started so many other stupid, messy comedies after it. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
This is the most Nick Frost and Simon Pegg scenario ever. You’ve got two British sci-fi nerds who decide to make a pilgrimage to San Diego's Comic-Con and go on an RV trip to tour a few UFO hot spots. But of course, they come across Paul, the alien that just fled from the feds who they help rescue. It wouldn’t be a Edgar Wright creation though if it wasn’t a party-having, pot-smoking alien in a hurry to “return home” instead of that square from the 80s. This movie just beams with throwbacks to Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and E.T. in a way that speaks to the nerdism of Nick and Simon. It’s a little sappy and a little sloppy, but this shit hits the right spot.
You’ll have two crowds with this one here: the first will look at all of the absurdity happening on screen and still claim that “nothing happened.” The other will take in the eerie pacing and bizarre imagery and still assert that it wasn’t scary. I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with these two groups, my elitist-ass is just saying that their taste is trash. To me, the recipe is all there for a classic watch: an isolated family (Anya taylor-joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw) in a 1600s New England farm. The planted idea of a wicked witch in a forest with a habit for stealing babies. A baby that’s in fact stolen for the sake of dramatics, and you have a psychological experiment that’s way more horrifying your sweater-wearing dude with knives for fingers and an unkempt face.
It’s a virtual guarantee to suggest that every viewer that will take in Annihilation will think some version of, “what the fuck is going on?” or “what the fuck was that?” It’s just that sort of high-concept sci-fi movie that doesn’t borrow too many elements in an effort to tell a story drowning in science fiction. Storywise, similar to John Carpenter's The Thing, a meteor from deep space hits a United States coastline and begins to affect the surrounding environment. An invisible barrier begins to grow as everything within it mutates, compelling a series of teams to enter the void and investigate (Natalie Portman, Anya Thorensen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sonoya Mizuno). The thing that Annihilation does so well is undermine all your expectations of what the term “alien” should look, act, sound, and be like. You’ll leave questioning your entire damn reality.
And here’s the rest in TV and film.
Death at a Funeral
Family Guy: Season 16
The Flash: Season 1-4
La Catedral del Mar - Netflix Original
Monkey Twins - Netflix Original
Mr. Sunshine - Netflix Original
Sisters - Netflix Original
Quantico: Season 3
A Million Ways to Die in the West
The Adjustment Bureau
Land of the Lost
Once Upon a Time: Season 7
Atypical: Season 2 - Netflix Original
Cable Girls: Season 3 - Netflix Original
City of Joy - Netflix Original
First and Last - Netflix Original
Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2 - Netflix Original
The Most Assassinated Woman in the World - Netflix Film
Next Gen - Netflix Original
Sierra Burgess Is A Loser - Netflix Film
Stretch Armstrong & the Flex Fighters: Season 2 - Netflix Original
Wynonna Earp: Season 2
Daniel Sloss: Live Shows - Netflix Original
The Resistance Banker - Netflix Film
On My Skin - Netflix Film
American Vandal: Season 2 - Netflix Original
The Angel - Netflix Film
Archer: Season 9
Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures: Season 1
Bleach - Netflix Film
BoJack Horseman: Season 5 - Netflix Original
Car Masters: Rust to Riches - Netflix Original
The Dragon Prince - Netflix Original
Ingobernable: Season 2 - Netflix Original
The Land of Steady Habits - Netflix Film
LAST HOPE - Netflix Original
Norm Macdonald has a Show - Netflix Original
Super Monsters Monster Party: Songs - Netflix Original
D.L. Hughley: Contrarian - Netflix Original
The Good Place: Season 2
Battlefish - Netflix Original
DRAGON PILOT: Hisone & Masotan - Netflix Original
The Good Cop - Netflix Original
Gotham: Season 4
Hilda - Netflix Original
Maniac: Limited Series - Netflix Original
Nappily Ever After - Netflix Film
Quincy - Netflix Original
The Walking Dead: Season 8
Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time
Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 2
Lethal Weapon: Season 2
Norsemen: Season 2 - Netflix Original
This Is Us: Season 2
Grey's Anatomy: Season 14
Chef's Table: Volume 5 - Netflix Original
Forest of Piano - Netflix Original
Hold the Dark - Netflix Film
Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father: Season 2 - Netflix Original
Lessons From A School Shooting: Notes from Dunblane - Netflix Original
Lost Song - Netflix Original
Made in Mexico - Netflix Original
Skylanders Academy: Season 3 - Netflix Original
The 3rd Eye - Netflix Film
Two Catalonias - Netflix Film
The Exorcist: Season 2
Movies on the way out in September 2018.
13 Going on 30
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Pitch Perfect 2
Disney’s Pete’s Dragon
Star Trek Beyond
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