Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 2015: What's New / What's Leaving

Before I get into what's expiring this month, I want to take a moment to acknowledge all the great titles that showed up on Netflix in May. For various reasons I wasn't able to comment on them earlier, so I want to at least call out the most notable.

The Newly Welcome

The marquee titles you probably already know (and/or have an opinion) about: The Blues Brothers (1980), David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986), The Exorcist (1973), Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009), John Woo's The Killer (1989), Legally Blonde (2001), Leon: The Professional (1994), and The Sixth Sense (1999). Oh, and the zombie-beaver movie the world's been waiting for: 2014's Zombeavers. These represent an excellent mix of new and old, violent and funny, and—in the cases of Lynch and Tarantino—a mix of all four.

But there's also the underrated Assassins (1995), a surprisingly entertaining Sylvester Stallone/Antonio Banderas action flick (based on a script by the Wachowskis); Bus Stop (1956), showcasing one of Marilyn Monroe's best performances (and the first new MM title since the March purge); Tom DiCillo's playful, satirical look at the movie business, The Real Blonde (1998); an obscure 1970s western called Santee (1973), starring Glenn Ford; the uniformly excellent indie drama, In the Bedroom (2001), which received a boatload of Oscar nominations; and a couple of acclaimed documentaries, Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man (2005) and Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz (1978). The latter disappeared for a few days due to technical difficulties, but seems to be back up now and makes a surprising but welcome addition to the Instant catalog.

Equally welcome are the returning titles, which include such stalwarts as Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Internal Affairs (1990), and Saturday Night Fever (1977), but also less well-known pics like Peter Bogdanovich's amusing tale of 1920s Hollywood, The Cat's Meow (2001), and Jay and Mark Duplass's first feature, The Puffy Chair (2005). And then there are a couple of scruffy 1970s films: Hal Ashby's Harold and Maude (1971) and the brutal Nick Nolte football comedy, North Dallas Forty (1979), both of which were reviewed the last time they showed up. It's nice to see these join The Exorcist, Bus Stop, and The Last Waltz as proof that Netflix hasn't entirely given up on pre-1982 films.