Is it just us or has it been pretty hot outside this summer? August certainly isn't going to let up any time soon, so naturally we're going to need some breaks sitting inside, watching quality streaming content. If you're a Netflix subscriber, and why wouldn't you be, this is just another justification to take a time out on the couch and watch a movie or six. Considering what's coming online in the next month, we can't help but get excited about the options that are heading our way, especially the 10 films we're about to feature below. If you want to see July's honored additions, head over to last month's listing, as we're leaping into the future, starting now!
As a Netflix subscriber, it's not how you watch, but what you watch, that defines you. So if you're a fan of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, then we have a good idea where you'll be heading next month, as Batman Begins makes its return to the ranks of the streaming. Some say this is the best of the Nolan Batman films, and quite possibly the best in his catalogue yet. While we won't weigh in on that matter here, we ask that you revisit the film for yourself and judge accordingly.
How the hell is Clerks 24 years old? It seems like only yesterday Kevin Smith's vision of indie comedy was a fresh new child, making its way through video stores and cinephiles all over. Whether this is your first or fiftieth viewing*, you'll have the chance to brave the wilds of suburban New Jersey in black and white yet again. With the impending reboot of the Jay and Silent Bob series, it seems like a good idea to revisit the old Quik Stop before it gets potentially re-written with a newer, quicker stop.
*in a row?
Million Dollar Baby
This month marks a renewed showdown of two Best Picture contenders, as two of 2005's heavy hitters are both coming to Netflix's streaming library. The first is director / star Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, the winner and champion of the top honor in its year. A story of an underdog boxer, played by Hillary Swank, and her trainer, played by Eastwood, the film is a bittersweet drama about having what it takes to win, even if the entire world seems like it's out to stop you. Gorgeously understated, make sure you have tissues for this one.
If you're already crying because of Million Dollar Baby, why not make it a double Kleenex feature? Steel Magnolias is a legendary weeper, with a cast that includes Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and Dolly Parton. That's just scratching the surface of this dramedy, as the cast is as big as the story involving the personal lives of the women working at Louisiana hair salon. If you're not cried out by time this movie's through, then you're either made of the strongest stuff, or you're a glutton for punishment. Either way, we salute you.
It's not all serious on Netflix in August, as the Bill Murray comedy classic Stripes is also heading to your streaming library in the next month. If you're looking for a nice 80's throwback, Murray's smart-assed antics in the Army are just about as good as you're going to get next month. Joined by John Candy, Harold Ramis, and a slew of other notable actors of the time, you're bound to be laughing as frequently as you are picking out yet another cast member you recognize.
Our other contender in the rematch of 2005's Best Picture contenders, The Aviator comes from the immaculate pairing of Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. Their second pairing takes on the life and times of aerospace tycoon Howard Hughes during the middle portion of his life's work, seeing him go from film director to military contractor to eccentric genius. Along the way, he'll fall in love, rub elbows with Hollywood elites, and butt heads with titans of industry and government -- all the while keeping his vision firmly in sight. If you've got an afternoon free, this one's worth the trip.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
If you're looking for an epic, but your tastes run more towards that of the fantastic, then let The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring take you away from this mortal realm. You've more than likely seen Peter Jackson's first of many installments in the Middle-Earth saga, but ask yourself, when's the last time you've really sat down to watch it? If it's been too long, now's as good a time as any to reacquaint yourself with that world from long ago, when darkness seemed poised to swallow the world in such beautifully crafted detail.
Some stories are so absurd, yet so true, that they need an exclamation point added to the end of their titles. The Informant! is a prime example of a tale that really could use that extra flourish, as Steven Soderbergh and Matt Damon teamed up to tell the story of a man who goes through a long, strange journey to the truth, thanks to the FBI and his own mouth. You might need to watch this one twice, as it does get a bit weird, but trust us -- it's a movie worth the while, if only for Damon's equally outrageous performance.
No Country for Old Men
With The Coen Brothers turning their Netflix series, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, into a Netflix movie, the world should adjust themselves to receive a film from the more Western flavored portion of their unique canon. As that's the expectation, we can't think of a finer film to relive through the magic of Netflix than their Best Picture winning opus, No Country For Old Men. With Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin playing an elongated game of cat and mouse, focused on some cartel money that belongs somewhere other than where it lies, it's equal parts dark comedy and pitch black morality in this gem.
We close this month's new favorites as we opened it: with Christian Bale in uniform. Only this time, his role in Scott Cooper's Hostiles is a bit more primative, and definitely more ambiguously heroic. Playing a Captain with a brutal history involving Native American combat, Bale is assigned an escort mission to bring an ailing chief and his family back to their homeland. What follows is a film so severely underrated, it deserves a second life in the streaming realm.
Be honest: who should have won Best Picture in 2005?