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October took some impressive titles out of the picture when it came to the Netflix streaming library, particularly when it came to the likes of horror films such as The Shining. However, this month seems to have more than a couple of family friendly hits leaving the ranks, which means you'll want to pay attention to this month's departing films, so as to prepare a proper Thanksgiving feast for the kids at home. Though if you're not a fan of football and/or just like to binge movies, you'll have more than enough to binge throughout this last weekend of the month, even if you purely stuck to the following line-up of films:
Before everyone went superhero crazy, there was way more room for original takes on the genre with non-branded characters. For instance, take Sky High, the story of kids living in the shadows of their super-powered parents, and the development of their latent powers now that they are growing up. If this were made today, Marvel Studios would probably pair with Fox to use this as that Fantastic Four reboot they're planning with the kids of Reed Richards and Sue Storm. But back then, that just wasn't an option, and instead we have a fun family comedy casting Kurt Russell as the nicer version of being a super hero's dad.
There are some movies that are so outrageous that you can't believe they exist, yet at the same time they remain so obscure that you probably forgot they actually did. The Guy Pearce / Robert Carlyle thriller Ravenous is square in the heart of such territory, as the Civil War-era film about cannibalism, and other activities, has flown under the radar for some time. Which, to be frank, is a damned shame, because there is some serious power under the hood of this flick. If you're a fan of either Pearce or Carlyle, or just enjoy a good culinary thriller, then feast your eyes on this before Netflix sweeps it away.
Before Hard Candy, the names Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson were not as well known as they are today. Which is probably a good thing, as making a movie about a young girl baiting a pedophile into a game of torture and shame probably wouldn't have worked as well if you recognized the celebrity faces playing said game. This allowed director David Slade and his cast to really go to some dark places with this taut thriller. If your idea of fright is something grounded in the darker part of human nature, this is a movie you'll absolutely love.
Martin Scorsese made a kid's movie. And it is awesome. The man who brought us such non-kid-friendly hits as Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street actually made Hugo, a film that is a love letter to cinema and its evolution, and he used Brian Selznick's best-selling children's novel as the vessel. Needless to say, it works like a charm, as Scorsese assembles a cast of notables like Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron-Cohen, and Jude Law, as well as then up-and-comers Chloe Grace Moretz and Asa Butterfield, to truly flesh out this world. It's hard not to fall in love with this movie. Go ahead, try.
The Matrix Trilogy
Doesn't it feel like we just got The Matrix trilogy on Netflix? Well, if you haven't partaken in another round of reality bending and would like to do so in the near future, you should make it a point to watch the entire run as one, long movie. If anything, it might help show just where The Wachowskis' story of free will in a world of total machine domination worked, and where it may have needed some sprucing up. Bonus points to whomever throws on the John Wick duology afterwards, and creates a headcanon where John's just a reincarnated Neo.
V for Vendetta
You might be inclined to skip V for Vendetta, what with the past couple of years seeing the iconography of the film being used for more civilian purposes. But that's a big mistake, as the adaptation of Alan Moore's legendary graphic novel still holds up as a damned fine movie. While The Wachowskis only produced on this one, you can still very much see their fingerprints, as this tale of political activism and totalitarian rule is still as fiery as it was back when it was first released. It never fails to strike the same, stellar notes that it always has.
Despite how many times we've probably highlighted this title, there's still a good chance you haven't seen Heavyweights. If we're correct in our assumption, what's the hold up? It's a nostalgic favorite from that era of Disney live-action films where they were extremely hit or miss, with this film falling into the former category. Not to mention, the way things are going at Disney, you should probably watch this before it's turned into a Disney Channel TV movie remake that totally misses what made the original special. This might be too obscure for such treatment, but stranger things have happened.
Christmas With The Kranks
We really have to wonder if Christmas with the Kranks is becoming somewhat of a holiday classic in the making. While it may not seem like a movie that set the world on fire, it hasn't been forgotten over the decade or so since it was released, with more audience members finding it on cable and streaming. Not to mention, in the film's best moments of chemistry, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen work like gangbusters, bringing their own blend of comedic timing to the table. Note to Hollywood: find a way to include Jamie Lee Curtis in Toy Story 4 and/or Tim Allen in the new Halloween reboot. Thank us later.
Goosebumps is a pleasant surprise. It had a surprisingly generous run at the box office, and it had genuine fun and spirit to its proceedings. But most impressive of all was the fact that somehow a movie was made that could encompass the huge library of titles in the R.L. Stine authored series, and yet still have one central story that really worked. There's a sequel coming in the near future, so get in on the chance to start the adventure while you can.