Entertainment

Stream These 8 Titles Before They Leave Netflix This Month

stream-these-8-titles-before-they-leave-netflix-this-month

Keeping track of Netflix exits this month is easier than usual – maybe because they lost half of their library last month – but it’s full of little gems, including a double Oscar winner, gripping limited edition series, and major works by Paul Thomas Anderson and the Coen Brothers. Oh, and a comedy about a man who befriends a farting corpse.

Catch these 8 tracks before they depart in late January. (Dates indicate the last day a track is available.)

Cooking up a sequel to one of Disney’s greatest features 54 years later may have been an impossible goal at first. It’s safe to say that Rob Marshall’s successor to “Mary Poppins” from 2018 does not match the predecessor from 1964. But it offers real joys: poignant work by Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw as adult Jane and Michael Banks; juicy animated side rounds by Colin Firth and Meryl Streep; a handful of taps; and above all, a sharp-tongued, sparkling performance by Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins, which playfully captures much of the factual magic of Julie Andrews’ original characterization.

Stream it here.

This 2012 drama, one of the prickest and most challenging pictures of Paul Thomas Anderson (and that says something), resulted in numerous pre-handshakes as Anderson reportedly took the inspiration for his script from the Church of Scientology and his biography Founder L. Ron Hubbard. However, this is not a mere synopsis. Anderson’s story of an alcoholic drifter and World War II veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) stumbling into the circle of a religious leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is an intricate study of the blistering masculinity, male attachment, and cults of personality created by Andersons detailed direction is based in time and the achievements of two titans at the height of their powers.

Stream it here.

The Coen Brothers followed one of their broadest comedies (“Burn After Reading” from 2008) with one of their strangest, a retelling of the Book of Job, set in their hometown of Minnesota around 1967. The incomparable character actor Michael Stuhlbarg gets a rare leading role as Professor Larry Gopnik, whose personal and professional life is so mixed up that he begins to question his Jewish faith. “A Serious Man” is a dark joke that is endlessly thought-provoking. The Coens use gopnik as a vessel to examine their own views on faith and humanity. And while you land on nothing as simple as “answers,” your journey and insights are strangely exhilarating.

Stream it here.

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for this drama from director Jean-Marc Vallée that was loosely inspired by a true story. McConaughey plays Ron Woodruff, an HIV-positive Texan in the mid-1980s who put his frustration over limited AIDS treatments into action and smuggled experimental drugs into the country while the FDA battled him for his efforts. Dallas Buyers Club occasionally falls into the trap of simplification and storytelling that plague so many biographies, but Vallee’s directing is alive and well and the performances are touchingly human.

Stream it here.

We reach a point on the combined (and often intertwined) arcs of nostalgia and reassessment where it appears that every major news event of the 1990s got the movie, miniseries, or documentary. This 2018 effort repeats the 1993 stalemate in Waco, Texas, on the Branch Davidian Sect compound, in six episodes drawn from the memoirs of Davidian survivor David Thibodeau and FBI hostage taker Gary Noesner. Even at this extended length, the series strikes at times and misses the opportunity to link these events to the violent anti-government movements of the following decades. But the cast cannot be missing – especially the reliably intense Michael Shannon as Noesner and a shockingly effective Taylor Kitsch as cult leader David Koresh, a role that is miles away from his matinee idol work on “Friday Night Lights”.

Stream it here.

If there’s one thing you can say about modern movies it’s to play it safe – every movie seems to be a reflection of every other movie, and before you know it, your only entertainment options are a superhero movie, one “Star Wars” series and a gritty reboot of a terrifying show from the 1980s. So hats off to Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, who wrote and staged the story of a desperate man (Paul Dano) from 2016, who is trapped on a desert island, befriends a stranded corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) and the dead ingeniously uses post mortem flatulence in humans. Maybe it’s bizarre, maybe tasteless, but you have to admit: you’ve never seen anything like it.

Stream it here.

This 2010 comedy, directed by Neil LaBute, was a bit of a scratch – a remake of the British film of the same name from just three years earlier that merely shifted the backdrop of events to America and the race of its main characters from white to black. (Peter Dinklage plays the same role in both versions.) As star and producer, Chris Rock compiles an enviable collection of his comic contemporaries (including Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan, Regina Hall, Loretta Devine, Zoe Saldana, and Kevin Hart). Beloved Elders Danny Glover, Keith David and Ron Glass join the rings Luke Wilson and James Marsden to round out the ensemble.

Stream it here.

Freaks and Geeks co-stars Seth Rogen and James Franco first brought their remarkable chemistry with odd couples to screen in this 2008 hit from director David Gordon Green. The sharp script, written by Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg, mixes his laid-back “stoner comedy” in Cheech & Chong style with the fast-paced shoot-em-up action of adventures from the 80s like “Beverly Hills Cop” . a tonal mismatch that could easily have failed. But it landed in its breakthrough role thanks to the laid-back charisma of its leads – and the masterful theft of Danny McBride.

Stream it here.

0 Comments