With year’s end hurtling toward us, it’s that time again to begin the hurried process of catching-up with as many of the acclaimed movies of the past twelve months as possible. Your pal Netflix is here to help: this week’s crop is heavily centred on the new, with only two of the below choices coming from years previous. Now you’ve got no excuse.
Browsing: This Week On Demand
Urm… truth be told, I’m too tired to think of an intro this week. Enjoy the movies.
A bonus bumper edition is our way of apologising for leaving you high and dry last week, giving you everything you would have had anyway, but with less time to explor… okay it’s not a bonus, fine, but it’ll just have to do. Last week’s dull delivery is less of note than the latest, November’s twist on the typical first-of-the-month flood. There are plenty of picks here to satisfy all needs, from some of this year’s finest to one of its most deplorable, from the Oscar-feted films of yesteryear to some underrated oddities of times gone by, from America to Africa and any number of places in between.
Appropriately enough for the month that’s in it, it’s a horror-heavy bunch this week, with rediscovered gems and new indie hits alike taking centre stage. Scaredy-cats needn’t fear though—see what I did there?—thanks to the alternate comedy options available. Both breeds have an equally wide international spread to choose from; horror aficionado or no, now’s your chance to see the world without ever even standing up.
Well oh well, it’s all or nothing this week on demand. That’s not true—not even nearly—though it tends to feel that way when the below content so wildly wavers from some of the year’s strongest offerings to a few of its stinkiest. So whether you’re lacking for films to fill out your best or worst of 2013 list, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a fairly even spread of foreign imports and indie offerings, with plenty in the way of mediocrity to prove just how terribly untrue those opening words were.
As ever, the first-of-the-month content drop on Netflix gives us a whistle-stop tour through the history of American cinema, plus a few choice glances at industries beyond. Here we have some of the finest filmmakers the country’s ever produced, if not perhaps in every case their finest films. From erotic thrillers to westerns, iconic horror comedy to ironic horror comedy, if there’s not something here to sate your tastes, you’re just going to have to lower your standards.
Shoved aside to make way for a massive influx of miniseries content, movies get the short end of the stick on Netflix this week; luckily, though, they’re all at least a little interesting, this being one of those rare batches lacking entirely in even a single dud. That’s not to say they’re universally wonderful, and most of these milquetoast movies will be of mild intrigue to say the least. Still, from one of the year’s most acclaimed documentaries to an immense Indonesian offering nobody saw coming, this is a fine little film selection for those uninterested in the endless slew of TV content they’re hidden amidst.
When 56 Up made its debut on Netflix back in July, I recommended it heartily, particularly given that series’ other seven instalments were also available to instantly stream. It turns out, of course, that they may have not been; Netflix’s perplexing penchant for pulling content and putting it back some time later (constantly done with the James Bond films) was in full swing, but fret not! Seven Up! Through 49 Up are re-added this week, as well of course as the huge mountain of content covered below. It’s a diverse week indeed, and a very fine one too, with a handful of foreign delights that might just be among the year’s finest films.
If ever there were a more typical edition of This Week on Demand I don’t recall it. Here we have all we’ve become accustomed to: a shower of subpar horror; a selection of diverse documentary; a handful of amusing animation; a less-than-stellar new indie; a picture bearing Oscar prestige. That’s not to say it’s a poor selection—though by and large it is—rather just to point out how interestingly tiered these releases can be. Have at it.
Ricky Gervais is clutching at straws. There’s precious little other way to see Derek, the comedian’s latest series that arrived this week on Netflix after a TV airing in the UK at the start of the year. Take its seventh and final episode, whose cold open consists entirely of a “funny” animal remix YouTube video watched and mimed to by the eponymous character, a potentially autistic 50 year-old care worker in a retirement home. Any humour the sequence might have is derived from another source entirely; the sole original addition is Gervais’ face, gazing at the camera in the awkward vein of The Office with a new hairdo and a clenched jaw. What an apt embodiment of the series as a whole that one scene makes: like it, this new effort amounts to little more than a rote reliance on old material.