Ever entrenched in efforts to frustrate, Netflix this week adds not one, but two sequels to movies not yet on the database. I could go to the trouble of tracking down the films which these two follow before proceeding to watch and cover them, but to quote Meatloaf: no. Being as they are American Wedding and Atlas Shrugged: Part II, films whose overall critical reception was less than stellar, it’s seems safe to say we’re not missing much. Nor do we have much in their stead, this newest batch noticeably caught for quality, though not without its handful of little gems. It’s a week that’s heavy on 2013 releases, which would seem a good thing until you feast your eyes on which…
Browsing: This Week On Demand
On weeks like these, where a generally poor calibre of content is salvaged only by the addition of a few choice classics, it’s tempting to bemoan the decline of cinema. But to do so would be silly: of course the classics are of a better quality; it’s not for no reason they’ve survived the decades. Eighty years from now, when whatever form of film presentation evolves is being covered by whichever breed of criticism thrives, many of the titles below will be lost to the ravages of time, and our present will seem to put the films of the future to shame. But that’s enough waffling on. It’s a rough week, like I say, but where else to look for diamonds?
Courtesy of illness, This Week on Demand for once has a legitimate reason to be…
Welcome to the latest first-of-the-month content drop on Netflix, offering, as ever, a range of films both old and new, both great and very much not. As is always the case, we’ve done what we can to cover as wide a range of titles as possible; be it documentary or drama you seek, comedy or crime, thriller or action, there should be something to suit below. You’ll find faces you know and faces you don’t, directors at the top of their game and others at the bottom. You’ll find, if you haven’t already, that I’m struggling not to repeat myself when introducing these columns.
Here’s a rare treat: this is a week as strong for international cinema as it is for American, both well-represented by exemplary critical and commercial hits. It’s an appropriately level playing ground for a week in which we see the arrival of history’s highest-grossing film not in the English language, showing—just like that film’s incredible success—that cinema is cinema the world over. Of course, cinema will doubtlessly take something of a hit this week on Netflix as everyone rushes to gorge themselves on the long-awaited return of Arrested Development; as typically witty and wonderful a batch of episodes as they are, there’s much to be enjoyed on the film front in the new arrivals, and Pete Volk and I have done our all to bring you the very best below.
It’s been seven long and arduous years since Fox made a huge mistake and plucked from the airwaves one of the most original, offbeat, audacious sitcoms in television history. The extent of Arrested Development’s ingenuity—stuffed as it was with callbacks and foreshadows, season-long setups and years-later payoffs—was only truly appreciated in the cult superstardom it came to accrue on the more natural homes of DVD and, particularly, Netflix. The ability to pause, rewind, replay, and endlessly relive the riches-to-rags misadventures of the Bluth family offered the show’s ever-growing legions of fans the opportunity to seek out every one of its endless recurring gags, the staggering depth and breadth of which had proved, in 2006, just too much for network television audiences.
Courtesy of our good friends at Studiocanal, a whole host of Anglophonic oldies are dumped on Instant shores this week, forgotten catalogue items from the ‘50s and ‘60s offering some spectacularly old-fashioned looks at the Britain of times gone by. Anglophobes need not worry, however: there’s plenty else for you to examine, from the typical independent American offerings—gay cinema has a strong showing—to a selection of international treats and even a Hollywood comedy too. Don’t say you’re not spoiled for choice.
The Scandinavians are coming this week on demand, with Nordic titles comprising almost half the…
Another month, another overwhelming addition of titles to the Netflix database. Those distraught by the massive loss of movies which began May for Instant subscribers should be able to relax now that many such contracts have already been renewed; look at it like this: if they renewed The Mysterious Mr. Wong, you can be sure they didn’t let anything valuable go. A number of titles from distrubutor Film Movement bring a nice bunch of world cinema titles for your eyes this week, as well as the typical handful of modern greats. Thanks, as ever, to the wonderful Jaime Burchardt for his help in covering the deluge; were he running the show, this column would not be as overdue as it is.
Twitter feeds are clogged today with talk of the titles—some 2000—dropping from Netflix Instant in the morning. Such is the nature of this VOD business, contracts expiring and deals going unrenewed, leaving our virtual collections suddenly dwindled. Let’s not lament the losses though: we can do nothing about what’s leaving, let’s instead focus on the new. This week offers a fine array of foreign talent, generally far surpassing the lacklustre crop of Anglophonic additions. It’s not a great week, but it’s enough to whet the appetite until next time, when plenty more will have been added to make up—though not quite entirely—for those missing 2000.