The month of September is leaving us, and with it, many old favorites and hidden gems on the Netflix streaming library are departing, too. And yet, the stuff that's coming in the door to replace the outgoing crew is just as spectacular, if not more so. In particular, we have some returning favorites, a couple of proper Halloween season thrills and some long overdue house guests that we've been waiting to put in our queue. So fire up your streaming device of choice and make some room for the following titles.
A little warning before we move forward with this one: Before Midnight is the third in Richard Linklater's trilogy of films surrounding Ethan Hawke's Jesse and Julie Delpy's Celine. So if you haven't seen Before Sunrise or Before Sunset, then you'll probably be a little lost. Still, Richard Linklater's tale of a couple examining their relationship years down the line doesn't seem all that inaccessible for folks new to the fray. And as always, Hawke and Delpy's double team of sweetness and combativeness is something that has always been hard to replicate outside of this special series of films. If you happen to enjoy Before Midnight, then you'll know what the next two films you have to watch happen to be.
While Leonardo DiCaprio had been working towards winning an Oscar for a little over 20 years before he eventually won for The Revenant, some of the films along the way deserve just as much, if not a bit more, recognition than the one that landed him the win. Blood Diamond continued the streak, as it teamed DiCaprio with Djimon Hounsou in a particularly exciting action-drama set in the world of conflict diamonds. While Leo naturally shines in this film, it's Hounsou who really helps give the film a soul as a man who is separated from his family and must engage in the trade that drove them apart in order to have any hope of returning to them.
Eyes Wide Shut
While Eyes Wide Shut is more of a relationship drama when all is said and done, it's Stanley Kubrick's approach to the whole affair that makes his final film an unsung masterpiece of un-officially classified horror. The imagery behind a lot of the moments shown in this sex-charged thriller is downright creepy, and yet rather than repulse its audience, it only draws them in further. Though there's also an added dimension of bittersweet reality, as while Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's marriage on screen looks like it might have a chance, they would eventually divorce two years after the film was released. Whether that adds or detracts to the experience is up to you, as you'll more than likely discuss this film with whomever you watch it with over a night of coffee and intense questioning. Just don't forget to enjoy the movie.
One has to wonder that if Chris Farley were still living today, would he and David Spade had the same sort of track record as Adam Sandler? With Tommy Boy starting the pair off on the road to the sort of success Bing Crosby and Bob Hope once enjoyed, it's easy to imagine a slew of road trip films that would have played similar to this one, and its follow up Black Sheep. Yet it's Tommy Boy that's the true gem of the format, as the duo were firing on all cylinders while attempting to sell auto parts across the open roads of the United States.
The words "French indie horror" sound like something that might scare you, simply because it's shorthand for that friend of yours who can't shut up about the genre. Yet that's exactly the bucket Raw would fall into, as it lives up to all three qualifiers in spades. Julia Ducournau's writing/directing hand leads this tale of a vegetarian going to veterinary college, and the life experiences she has after being forced to eat meat. On the surface, that sounds pretty boring, but when those experiences happen to occur on the slippery slope to full blown cannibalism, that tends to amp up the urgency, and the blood, you'll be seeing throughout the film. Obviously if you're uber-squeamish, you should give this one a hard pass; but if you're a gore hound, you'll probably find pieces of Raw that are a little too creepy even for you. Bon appetite!
When you make a debut that's so iconic it takes on a life of its own, almost everything that follows gets unfairly put down. Richard Kelly is someone who has suffered that very fate, as Donnie Darko was such a revelation received as gospel upon its debut that his follow-up films, Southland Tales and The Box, feel like they never had a chance. The merit of those films can be debated another time, but Darko's influence on how those films were received is undeniable, as this was one of the premiere indie darlings at the turn of the millennium. Before Stranger Things or even IT tried to bring back that 80s feeling to a more contemporary horror/thriller, Donnie Darko pioneered that execution, and it's not hard to see why it worked.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
A long time ago, it was rumored that Will Ferrell was going to make a complete trilogy of films with a protagonist whose name would be initialled "RB". Those rumors turned out to be complete bunk, and it's a damned shame considering Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby carried that unofficial torch brightly after Anchorman lit it two years prior. A NASCAR-fueled comedy that pokes fun at, yet lovingly nudges, the sport it's focused on. This is one of the films in Ferrell's canon that tends to get stuck between the darlings and disasters that make up his filmography, and unfairly so, as it's as fast as it is funny.
Meet The Robinsons
The more that Disney tries to make Frozen its new flagship, the more some of their less trumpeted successes start to come out of the woodwork. Case in point: Meet The Robinsons is about to head over to Netflix, and while it's not as widely remembered as the more recent Scandinavian-themed fairy tale, it could be considered a superior Disney film. Between the memorable jokes, fun inclusion of musical moments and time travel, as well as a dinosaur being controlled by a bowler hat, Meet The Robinsons makes its fun nature well known to all. But mix in the classic Disney values of family first, and some really beautiful sentiment about just what family means, and you have a movie worthy of a long amusement park wait.
The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight blew folks out of the water when it premiered in theaters towards the end of 2015. And yet, it's taken the film this long to hit Netflix, which is especially upsetting when you figure out most of his films are still currently being streamed. So if you've put off watching this bloody and balls out stage play of a film, your excuse count just went extremely low. And what's better, you'll be able to rewind at your leisure, which will definitely come in handy at a particularly extreme part towards the middle of the film. We won't say which part, and to you folks at home revisiting this fantastic film, please don't spoil it. Just sit your wayward friends down, start the movie and watch their faces when that scene happens.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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