Another week, even more streaming. Like the great polio epidemic, it never ends. I was going to try to write about titles such as American Courtesans and American Virgins, (both available on Netflix Instant right now!) but I couldn’t find anything interesting to opine about either of them. I even watched them both a little, fruitlessly searching for any source of inspiration, but nada. Sure, I could have made the obligatory, “whoa, from Courtesans to Virgins!” dichotomy sort of joke, but eh, whatever. Also on the tip of my tongue was the whole idea of protesting the clearly NON-American word “courtesans” in the title, but in the end I decided discretion was the better part of myself. I guess I shouldn’t have eaten an entire pizza before writing this. Crap. I still need to snail mail the article to Vince too. Typical.
So let’s just get on with the REAL streaming titles of the week, now featuring incredible commentary and trivia!
Netflix Streaming, All Available Now.
Top Netflix Streamer of the Week
The Muppet Christmas Carol
This 1982 classic is widely considered the best of the entire series. Fact. But why is it being released on streaming in mid-June? That’s a fair question, and my guess is it has something to do with weird territory rights and restrictions. As in, “you can’t release this title on a future thing called “Internet Streaming” until 32 years after the theatrical release.” Man, when not blasted out of their mind on cocaine, those ’80s lawyers were really good at writing ironclad contracts!
Streamability: Yes! Let’s fight the war on Christmas together!
Netflix Mandatory Sequel
The Smurfs 2
Oh, how this film suuuuuuucks. Somehow, it’s worse than the first one, which is no Ivanka Trump its own self. There is one interesting thing going on here though, and that’s the introduction of a whole new lady Smurf, a sort of counterculture goth one, who is hatched from one of Gargamel’s schemes to eat the Smurfs or whatnot. Her name is Vexy, va-va-voom, and if Smurf culture was really based on variety, she would have dominated the club scene for at least a couple of years until “Harajuku Smurf” came unto fashion. Sadly, this entire concept really isn’t broached, and Naughty Vexy (seriously, they are called “The Naughties”) spends much of the third act trying to be good. Ugh. If only the Smurfs franchise would go dark and gritty, as God and nature intended.
Netflix Mandatory Remake
This is a classic case of remaking a film that was already made well to begin with. The English language hurt it too, and I’ll tell you why. Here in America we’re used to people pulling out weapons the size of a small brown bear, but Josh Brolin does all his fighting in the film with his big paws, handsy style. For the original South Korean film this made sense, because no one here knows their gun laws (or even any laws, really) but to see the guy from No Country for Old Men pretend he’s Chuck Norris for two hours is off-putting. I’m saying I was put off by it. The only bright side is Elizabeth Olsen, 45lbs of pasty white goodness, I’d do whatever horrible sexual metaphor you want to throw in there with her if you know what I’m saying. [Vince's review, just in case.]
Streamability: Reluctantly, no. Spike Lee should stick to courtside seats.
Netflix Streaming Television
(Editor’s Note: It’s actually a horror film called Almost Human that’s available on NetFlix streaming. But Laremy gets really excited, and the show he’s talking about is available on Amazon for $1.99 an episode. Humor him.)
I’d claim we’re all “almost” human, and that the point of life is to rise above, to transcend this mortal coil, to reach for that undefinable and magnificent edifice of light … ha, no, I’m just screwing with you. People evidently actually liked this show, and they could be right for all we know. It was cancelled by FOX, but that’s not really a hint in either direction. I mean, FOX employs Terry Bradshaw for crissakes. I did just see Michael Ealy in Think Like a Man Too and I’ll admit to having a certain fondness for the whole cast and crew (especially the craft services department) of that series.
Streamability: I think I might. It’s pretty easy to binge watch one season and then get outraged some fools cancelled it.
Firstly, let’s turn it over to the Netflix synopsis:
Agents Chloe Jocelyn and Frank Parker investigate a series of seemingly unrelated cyberattacks with the help of an incarcerated master hacker.
Really, I included this title for the crazy ridiculous box art. I mean, I really want to meet the team who worked on that. “Hmmmm … do you think her rack is prominent enough? I mean, it’s bigger than the title art … but still, do we need bigger to move product? We could just put pasties on her, right? Maybe call the showrunner and have him work that into the script.”
Still, this show is still on the air at least, so you can form some sort of attachment. And seriously, how often are you going to catch a program that features a live woman and an incarcerated master hacker?
Streamability: Totally your call. I won’t judge you.
And now for the paid titles.
Streaming for the Entire Fam
The Lego Movie (Amazon Instant, Google Play, $3.99)
One of the best movies of the year, though it’s been a tough year. Still, I saw this twice in theaters and really enjoy that Tegan and Sara + The Lonely Island came up with the theme song. The song has the line, “Everything is better when we sleep together.” That’s in a children’s ditty! Respect. Even MORE trivia, this is the first film to feature Batman and Superman on the same big screen. That truly happened. I can’t think of a good reason to hate this film other than the blatant commercialism at work. But usually that sort of thing (money grabbing) happens without Tegan, Sara or legitimate script, so I’ll take my wins where I can get ‘em.
Streamability: It’s this years Wreck-It Ralph! (that means “yes”)
Best Paid Streamer of the Week
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Amazon Instant, Google Play, $3.99)
I love this film, another one I saw twice, though to be fair I’m not sure it’s the one to convert all those non-WesA-ites. Frankly, it’s a bit slow. Wry, sure. Witty, mos def. But actively engaging? Erm, no. Rushmore is probably Mr. Anderson’s most accessible work, either that or Tenenbaums, so that should be the starter kit for those folks who aren’t buying into all this whimsy just yet. Budapest Hotel operates in a world where there was a fire sale on whimsy, and Ralph (pronounced “Ralph”) Fiennes and his lobby boy scooped up on every last ounce of it. Works for me though. [Vince's review, in case you were curious.]
Streamability: Hells yeah! With bells on!
Laremy gets down with the get down on Twitter every couple of days or so.