Here's the best of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Crackle for the beginning of December. So cheer up, Charlie Brown!
Fifteen years after Cameron Crowe's amazing film about his time as a young “Rolling Stone” intern made us fall in love with Kate Hudson, it remains a singular accomplishment. The immersive, heartfelt movie has an incredible soundtrack and great performances across the board. Never forget that Katy Perry had to change her name from Katy Hudson so as not to be confused with Goldie Hawn's Oscar-nominated daughter.
Kevin Spacey's existential crisis. Annette Bening's fury. Thora Birch's woefulness. Chris Cooper's scariness. These are the kinds of things that make a Best Picture. The dream sequences involving Mena Suvari certainly weren't a detriment.
Jim Carrey's performance as the Riddler in this cartoonish romp might be the most underrated moment in the entire Batman filmography. No, wait. I'm kidding. It's that Drew Barrymore and Debi Mazar were femme fatales Sugar and Spice in this same movie. God bless!
“The Truman Show”
This is a movie that is either amazing and mind-blowing or a bit cloying and simplistic, depending on how you feel about the serious works of Jim Carrey. Either way, in case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (December 3)
I famously chose Sally as the most insufferable Peanut, but Linus makes a good case for himself as he opines about Christ during the final act of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It is a worthwhile Christmas special, but I cannot handle the Gospel reading. Cannot. As if learning about Luke and the manger will help you see through the artifice of Christmas? I don't buy it, Sparky Schulz!
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (December 8)
Christmas episode! Love everyone on this show, especially the flawless Andre Braugher.
“The Simpsons” (December 8)
And another Christmas episode! Has any show done Christmas episodes better than “The Simpsons”? I think not, Santa's Little Helper.
“Stand By Me”
“Stand By Me” seems quaint in theory, but it's honestly one of the most re-watchable coming-of-age tales in mainstream cinema. Wil Wheaton leads his pals River Phoenix, Jerry O'Connell, and Corey Feldman on an expedition to locate the dead body of a classmate, and along the way they fight, discover their insecurities, and begin to understand the arcs of their lives. Four fabulous juvenile performances here; Phoenix is unreal as the tough but tragically underestimated Chris Chambers.
“Air Force One”
Here is Harrison Ford announcing for the first time how much he wants you off his lawn.
The glory days of Billy Dee Williams are no joke. He was awesome in “Mahogany” (which is not an awesome movie) and crucial in “Lady Sings the Blues.” Here he is making your dad cry.
“Shirley Bassey” is a name I wish I heard millennials vaunting a bit more. GoooooldFINGAH! That's how it's pronounced.
“Troop Beverly Hills”
Shelley Long should've been more of a movie superstar, but nevertheless she gave us this gem about a shopaholic redhead who leads an uppity brownie troupe to greatness.
“We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Tilda Swinton, who is basically a big diamond with eyes and a blazer, is harrowing in this drama as the mother of a disturbed teenager. She's also married to John C. Reilly in this movie, and for some reason that's also disturbing.
“Life After Beth”
Zombie movies with a comic twist! Check out a possessed Aubrey Plaza and a befuddled Dane DeHaan as they cope with a zombified dystopia.