After our small discussion about “House of Cards” on episode 290 of The Cinecast, there is/was much chatter in the comments about the future of release schedules when it comes to Netflix original content and their episodic entertainment. “House of Cards” full season was released in one fell swoop so that viewers could just enjoy the entire run from start to finish at their own pace rather than being forced to wait for the next episode on a week by week basis.
So this July, Dreamworks Animation is theatrically releasing their next potential franchise with Turbo; “a high velocity 3D comedy about an ordinary snail who dares to dream big – and fast.” Then in December, Dreamworks is collaborating with Netflix to release an animated series based on the movie specifically for the Netflix kids audience entitled “Turbo: F. A. S. T. (Fast Action Stunt Team)”.
So by going after the little ones, this is one more step in the direction of subscriber based television becoming the norm. Of course it likely won’t be the norm for many many years yet, but it’s headed that way. The story doesn’t say whether “Turbo: F. A. S. T.” will be released all at once, but my hunch is yes it will.
“Netflix boasts one of the largest and fastest-growing audiences in kids television. They pioneered a new model for TV dramas with House of Cards, and now together, we’re doing the same thing with kids’ programming,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Katzenberg . “DreamWorks is thrilled to be part of the television revolution.”
So your kids will now be begging you for Netflix so they can watch the new big thing (presumably similar to something like Shrek or Cars) and you’ll be able to plop them down in the rec room for 16 hours of straight animation while you get your house work done.
With winter in season, the entertainment world starts buzzing about the upcoming holidays. TV channels play holiday shows and movies, and radio stations air Christmas songs. Families start getting into the holiday spirit, and with the cold weather outside, people huddle around the TV more.
If you’re not an avid TV watcher, then Netflix is the next best option. Netflix streaming through an Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, Google TV, Android or an iPhone/iPod can let you get instant access to thousands of movies anytime, as long as you have a reliable internet connection.
According to Matt Barone at Complex.com, Netflix has over 100 top rated movies from every genre, streaming at any given time. Viewers can take their pick of some of the greatest action, adventure, horror, comedy, sci-fi, or family movies ever made, but for the upcoming holidays, here are some great movies you can find to celebrate the season:
This television classic has been around since 1955. Thomas Mitchell plays Kris Kringle, a department store Santa who claims to be the real Santa Claus. A feel-good movie for families.
Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin, was left home the previous year and had to defeat a pair of burglars. This time he finds himself in New York City and the same criminals are not far behind. Definitely a great comedy to watch with friends or family.
Two military war friends, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, fall for two sisters and follow the girls to a resort owned by their former commanding officer, who is in danger of losing the place. A great romantic movie for couples.
In this family comedy, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a father who decides to get the hottest toy for his son just before Christmas Day. Competing with another father (played by comedian Sinbad) for one of the last toys, he encounters a number of problems along the way.
The Griswold family plans a big family Christmas, only to be turned into a huge disaster, featuring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. Classic Chevy Chase movie.
In this Tim Burton classic, Jack Skellington, King of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town and tries to understand the concept. This movie revolutionized the genre for its unique animation, characters, and creativity. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should add it to your list to watch.
Will Ferrell plays a man raised as an elf in the North Pole, who discovers he’s not an elf and goes to the U.S. to find out who he really is and where he came from. The success of the film has turned it into one of the top rated Christmas movies of all time.
So I missed doing last week’s DVD Triage altogether, and what a mistake THAT was. There were a lot of interesting releases last week, compared to a relatively slow week this week. So I thought I’d just quickly list last week’s most interesting releases quickly here before getting into this week’s. Highly Recommended: The Turin Horse, Extraterrestrial. Recommended: Mamitas. Curious Myself: Lockout, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Intruders. Other Notable Releases: The Three Stooges, Get the Gringo, Casa de Mi Padre, Friends With Kids, 4:44 Last Day on Earth. TV Releases: Eureka S5, Leverage S4, Sanctuary S4, Alphas S1. I’ll do the same for classics down in that section. I have just included last week’s Instant Watch releases along with this week’s; not an inordinate amount of either releases or expirations.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
This documentary about Jiro Ono, widely considered the finest sushi chef in the world, and his ongoing love for his art and striving toward perfection in the sushi that he prepares and serves has been getting near-universal acclaim on its way around the festival circuit. Our own Marina adds to that with a four-star DVD review.
2011 USA. Director: David Gelb. Starring Jiro Ono, Yashikazu Ono.
Age of the Dragons (2012 USA, dir Ryan Little, stars Danny Glover)
Bathory: Countess of Blood (2012 USA, dir Jurai Jakubisko, stars Anna Friel)
Big Easy Express (2012 USA, dir Emmett Malloy, stars Mumford & Sons, etc.)
Boss: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Kelsey Grammer, Connie Nielsen)
Brake (2012 USA, dir Gabe Torres, stars Stephen Dorff)
Inspector Lewis: Series 5 (2011 UK, stars Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox)
Meeting Evil (2012 USA, dir Chris Fisher, stars Luke Wilson)
My Way (2011 South Korean, dir Je-kyu Kang, stars Jang Dong-Gun)
On the Inside (2011 USA, dir D.W. Brown, stars Nick Stahl)
Treasure Island (2012 UK, dir Steve Barron, stars Eddie Izzard)
After sitting on a shelf for some eight years, Margaret finally got a very limited release last year, and despite a muddled trailer and mixed reaction, a whole raft of critics have emerged acclaiming it as a masterpiece, albeit a flawed and messy one – this release is a longer and presumably more coherent director’s cut. I didn’t get out to see it myself, but I admit I’m fascinated by the story surrounding it.
2011 USA. Director: Kenneth Lonergan. Starring: Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, J. Smith-Cameron, Allison Janney.
Adventure Time: Season 1 (2010 USA, creator Pendleton Ward)
The Flowers of War (2012 China, dir Zhang Yimou, stars Christian Bale)
Senna Blu-ray (2010 UK, dir Asif Kapadia)
There is pretty much JACK SHIT in terms of New Releases this week, and not very much of interest in catalog releases, either aside from a few possibly-but-not-really interesting Blu-ray upgrades. So I exercised creative license and moved the Instant Watch section to the top, because they came through with first-of-the-month releases this time, and there are quite a few notable things to check out. Look further down for DVD releases, and still further for Instant Watch expirations, which are pretty much the same as last week.
This is pretty high on my personal to-see list, not least of which because I think I’ve already seen it and can’t remember a lick of it. But I’m a pretty big fan of the original short La Jetée, and Terry Gilliam doing a feature-length take on that idea can only be a good thing.
1995 USA. Director: Terry Gilliam. Starring: Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer.
In the Mood for Love
There was actually just a conversation about this film as compared to other Wong Kar Wai films, and if you weren’t sure which side you came down on, here’s a chance to watch or rewatch it. Personally, I think this film is gorgeous and amazing, though I haven’t seen all of Wong’s filmography by a long shot.
2000 China. Director: Wong Kar Wai. Starring: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung.
Once Upon a Time in the West
Man With No Trilogy notwithstanding, this is easily the Leone film I want to come back to most often, even if it’s just to drink in that opening scene one more time. A great villainous turn from Fonda doesn’t hurt at all, either.
1969 Italy. Director: Sergio Leone. Starring: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudie Cardinale, Jason Robards.
Trying a new thing with the title this week, instead of just the boring old date. Kinda silly, but yeah. There are quite a few releases this week, both new and catalog, big name and festival faves. Oscar films are out in force with both The Artist and foreign film nominee Bullhead making their way to DVD and Blu-ray. Meanwhile, Criterion has some tasty new Blu-rays, and small distributor Olive is making marks with two difficult-to-find Jean-Luc Godard films.
Last year’s Oscar winner and a pretty big favorite around here, too – I know I couldn’t manage to resist its old-fashioned charm and homage to the silent film era. Simply a lovely and adorable film.
2011 France. Director: Michel Hazanavicius. Starring: Jean Dujardin, Béatrice Bejo, John Goodman, James Woods.
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
A very long, slow burn, but one that ended up sticking with me far longer than a lot of festival films do. The mystery isn’t the point here, the character interactions are, and they unfold with a subtlety (and sly humor) I didn’t expect, but very much appreciated.
2011 Turkey. Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Starring: Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel.
Christopher Nolan Director’s Collection Blu-ray (includes Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception, Memento, Insomnia)
Damages: Season 4 (2012 USA, stars Glenn Close, Rose Byrne)
The Decoy Bride (2012 UK, dir Sheree Folkson, stars David Tennant)
Oranges and Sunshine (2010 UK, dir Jim Loach, stars Emily Watson)
The Perfect Family (2011 USA, dir Anne Renton, stars Emily Deschanel)
Sector 7 (2011 South Korea, dir Kim Ji-Hoon, stars Ha Ji-Won)
A Thousand Words (2012 USA, dir Brian Robbins, stars Eddie Murphy, Allison Janney)
Sound of Noise (2012 Sweden, dir Johannes Stjarne Nilsson, stars Bengt Nilsson)
Sorry about the horrific delay in this column this week! Between big projects at work, my husband’s car being in the shop, and trying to squeeze in some LA Film Fest screenings, my writing time was a bit cramped this week. Also, after lulling me into complacency with very few expirations over the last several weeks, Netflix is expiring a whole slew of awesome things on the first of July, which both took me a long time to list out and made me sad while I was doing it. Lots of great stuff in there, so be sure to check the full list.
Stylistically caught between the French and Czech New Waves and whatever Tsangari and Lanthimos are leading down in Greece right now, this film is a low-key but secretly weighty look at a young woman’s unconventional attempts to deal with her late-blooming sexuality and the impending death of her father. My AFI review.
2010 Greece. Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari. Starring: Ariane Labed, Evangalia Randou, Vangelis Mourikis, Yorgos Lanthimos.
Jeff Who Lives at Home
Jay and Mark Duplass, once poster children for the Mumblecore movement, are edging nearer and nearer the mainstream, and from all I’ve heard, it’s working out pretty well for them. I’ve yet to see this one, but despite not usually being interested in the Segal/Helms oeuvre, I’m curious to check it out.
2011 USA. Director: Jay and Mark Duplass. Starring: Jason Segal, Ed Helms.
The Big Fix (2011 USA, dir Rebecca Harrell & Joshua Tickell, stars Peter Fonda)
Cat Run (2011 USA, dir John Stockwell, stars Paz Vega)
Exit Humanity (2011 Canada, dir John Geddes, stars Brian Cox)
Four Lovers (2010 France, dir Antony Cordier, stars Marina Fois)
Franklin & Bash: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Breckin Meyer)
Holy Rollers (2011 USA, dir Bryan Storkel, stars Colin Jones)
My Afternoons with Margueritte (2011 France, dir Jean Becker, stars Gerard Depardieu)
My Reincarnation (2011 Tibet, dir Jennifer Fox)
Seeking Justice (2011 USA, dir Roger Donaldson, stars Nicolas Cage)
Wilfred: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Elijah Wood)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
I enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes movie, but in the holiday rush never made it to see the sequel, though I intended to. Perhaps this might be a Redbox opportunity in the near future. After seeing Prometheus, I’m definitely curious to see more Noomi Rapace (though her bits in the trailer for this are not particularly convincing).
2011 USA. Director: Guy Ritchie. Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris.
Accident (2009 Hong Kong, dir Soi Cheang, stars Louis Koo)
Demoted (2012 USA, dir J.B. Rogers, stars David Cross)
Episodes: Season 1 (2012 USA, stars Matt LeBlanc)
GCB: Season 1 (2012 USA, stars Kristin Chenoweth)
A Little Bit of Heaven (2011 USA, dir Nicole Kassell, stars Kate Hudson)
Missing: Season 1 (2012 USA, stars Ashley Judd)
Paradise (2009 South Korea, dir Jang-soo Lee, stars Jin-hee Ji)
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Season 5 (2011 UK, creator Russell T. Davies, stars Elisabeth Sladen)
Scandal: Season 1 (2012 USA, creator Shonda Rhimes, stars Kerry Washington)
Superman vs. The Elite (2012 USA, dir Michael Chang, stars George Newbern)
Thin Ice (2011 USA, dir Jill Sprecher, stars Greg Kinnear)
Too Big to Fail (2011 USA, dir Curtis Hanson, stars James Woods)
Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds (2012 USA, dir Tyler Perry, star Tyler Perry)
Breaking Bad: Season 4
I’ve only seen the first season of Breaking Bad myself, but I was incredibly impressed with that season and all the buzz I’ve heard about the subsequent seasons has also been outstanding, so I’m giving the season four set a sight-unseen endorsement.
2012 USA. Creator: Vince Gilligan. Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul.
Act of Vengeance (2010 Turkey/USA, dir Mahsun Kirmizigul, stars Gina Gershon)
Bad Ass (2012 USA, dir Craig Moss, stars Danny Trejo)
Burn Notice: Season 5 (2011 USA, stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar)
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 8 92011 USA, stars Larry David)
Declaration of War (2011 France, dir Valérie Donzelli, stars Valérie Donzelli)
Fairly Legal: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Sarah Shahi)
Falling Skies: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Noah Wylie)
Hatfields & McCoys: Bad Blood (2012 USA, dir Fred Olen Ray, stars Christian Slater)
In Plain Sight: Season 4 (2011 USA, stars Mary McCormack)
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012 USA, dir Brad Peyton, stars Josh Hutcherson)
Machine Gun Preacher (2011 USA, dir Marc Forster, stars Gerard Butler)
Necessary Roughness: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Patrick Johnson)
Pretty Little Liars: Season 2 (2011 USA, stars Holly Marie Combs)
Private Romeo (2011 USA, dir Alan Brown, stars Hale Appleman)
Seven Days in Utopia (2011 USA, dir Matt Russell, stars Lucas Black)
White Collar: Season 3 (2011 USA, stars Matt Bomer)
We Need to Talk About Kevin
One of the most powerful and overwhelming films I’ve seen in a long time, and easily one of the best films of 2011. Tilda Swinton is always amazing, but this is probably her finest work yet, and Lynne Ramsay is definitely a directorial force I hope to hear much more from in the future.
2011 UK. Director: Lynne Ramsay. Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller.
The Aggression Scale (2012 USA, dir Steven C. Miller, stars Ray Wise)
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies (2012 Australia, stars Ben Lewis)
Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker (2012 USA, dir Fumihiko Sori, stars Luci Christian)
Finding Jenua (2011 USA, dir Alison Mason, stars Leigh Rose)
Gone (2012 USA, dir Heitor Dhalia, stars Amanda Seyfried)
Life Without Principle (2011 Hong Kong, dir Johnnie To, stars Terence Yin)
Memorial Day (2011 USA, dir Samuel Fischer, stars Jonathan Bennett)
Monroe: Series 1 (2011 UK, stars James Nesbit)
96 Minutes (2011 USA, dir Aimee Lagos, stars Brittany Snow)
Rookie Blue: Season 2 (2011 USA, stars Missy Peregrym)
Royal Pains: Season 3, Vol 2 (2011 USA, stars Mark Feuerstein)
Sing Your Song: Harry Belafonte (2011 USA, dir Susanne Rostock, stars Harry Belafonte)
Take Me Home (2011 USA, dir Sam Jaeger, stars Sam & Amber Jaeger)
The Yellow Wallpaper (2011 USA, dir Logan Thomas, stars Juliet Landau)
Sherlock: Season 2
I’ve only just started watching Sherlock on Netflix Instant, but I’m already totally a fan – great modern approach to the material. Hopefully the DVD release of Season 2 means it’ll hit Instant soon as well.
2012 UK. Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves.
American Warships (2012 USA, dir Thunder Levin, stars Mario Van Peebles)
Beyond (2011 USA, dir Josef Rusnak, stars Jon Voight)
Black Cobra (2012 USA, dir Scott Donovan, stars Damion Poitier)
Carol Channing: Larger Than Life (2012 USA, dir Dori Berinstein)
Mutant Girls Squad (2010 Japan, dir Noboru Iguchi, et al, stars Asami)
Newlyweds (2011 USA, dir Edward Burns, stars Edward Burns)
Perfect Sense (2011 UK, dir David Mackenzie, stars Ewan McGregor)
Planzet (2010 Japan, dir Jun Awazu, stars Kaori Ishihara)
The River: Season 1 (2012 USA, creator Oren Peli, stars Bruce Greenwood)
Rizzoli & Isles: Season 2 (2012 USA, stars Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander)
Teen Wolf: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Tyler Posey)
United (2011 UK, dir James Strong, stars Dean Andrews)