With so many titles to choose from, Netflix Instant's library can be overwhelming. So we bring you this biweekly column as a tool to cut through the clutter by highlighting some now streaming titles that pair well with the latest theatrical releases.
Looking to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and A Madea Christmas for inspiration, we've pulled together a selection of fantasy adventures, showbiz comedies and Christmas movies perfect for the holiday season!
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Having secured a magical ring that can turn him invisible, hobbit Bilbo Baggins continues on his quest with Gandalf the Grey a band of dwarves to reclaim Erebor from the fire-breathing dragon, Smaug. Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, and Richard Armitage star; Peter Jackson directs. Read our review here.
Of course the closest comparison to the forthcoming Hobbit trilogy is The Lord of the Rings trilogy Jackson previously released. However, none of these titles are streaming. So instead, let us suggest a string of fantasy stories that take the genre in strange and exciting new directions, boasting stories of mighty monsters, dangerous legends, and noble warriors.
Trollhunter (2010) This Norwegian adventure tale centers on three college students who unexpectedly stumble across a government cover-up and the world-rattling realization that some fairy tales are true when their documentary project lures them into the dark woods, following a enigmatic poacher. Imagine Jurassic Park with trolls, and you've got this inventive found footage feature. Otto Jespersen, Glen Erland Tosterud, and Johanna Morck star; Andre Ovredal directs.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) You think you know the story of Santa Claus. Fat guy, jolly, with a penchant for cookies and giving kids toys. Yeah. Well, sometimes lovely stories cover a twisted truth. In this Scandanavian thriller, a little boy and his father are forced to hunt down a psychotic, scrawny Santa Claus before it's too late. It's a Christmas quest unlike any you've seen before. Per Christian Ellefsen, Peeter Jakobi, and Tommi Korpela star; Jalmari Helander directs.
The Sorcerer and the White Snake (2011) For a more Eastern-influenced take on fantasy, check out this monsters and magic stuffed epic from China. Based on a legend of a young man who unwittingly falls for a giant white snake who has taken the form of a lovely girl, this action adventure stars Jet Li and boasts angels, demons, the aforementioned snake lady, and lots of wild action. Shengyi Huang co-stars; Siu-tung Ching directs.