Well, December is coming to an end and it’s taking 2015 with it! With the New Year brings new resolutions to break, at least a month of still writing 2015 on all your paperwork and checks, and a slew of new movies and shows to stream on Netflix. So, after the clock strikes midnight and you’ve kissed the person closest to you (with permission, of course. Don’t go around grabbing people and kissing them against their will because that’s very bad), spend some time nursing your hangover from the holiday festivities with the warm embrace of Netflix!
Let’s get started!
2 Fast 2 Furious (Jan. 1st) – The first of many sequels to this very lucrative franchise, this film seems Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) going Vin-less on a solo adventure to stop a criminal organization. I’m an unapologetic fan of this over-the-top series but this is the one film in the franchise I didn’t dig. It felt like a needless sequel–of course, I had no idea at the time of its release that it would spawn so many films–and it hasn’t quite reached the ridiculousness of future releases so this feature feels a tad pointless. I’d say Skip It!
Along Came Polly (Jan. 1st) – Despite being loathed by critics, this romcom featuring Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston is one movie I really enjoy. Stiller has some fun moments but a hysterical performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman really steals the show and makes this film something to check out. Even with the bad reviews, PSH and all his awesome moments makes this film a Must See!
Catwoman (Jan. 1st) – What can I say about this film that hasn’t already been said? Halle Berry was at the top of her game when this film came out in 2004 and this film nearly destroyed her career. Berry is clearly trying (but way too hard) but the film is suffering from being way too silly to take seriously. It’s good for a laugh but not for a genuinely entertaining film about a popular anti-hero. If you want to riff, this is a Must but if you want a decent film to enjoy, this is a Pass.
Constantine (Jan. 1st) – Another DC property, Constantine wasn’t well received by fans due to all the changes they made to the titular character. Instead of being a blond haired Brit, the surly spell-caster was Keanu Reeves. Despite the fact that it varies so differently from the source material, I actually really enjoy the film. I’m a fan of Reeves and you have Peter Stormare as Satan! Visually, the film is also really impressive and the story was pretty engaging. Purists and fans of John Constantine from the pages might not dig this but, if you’re curious, I’d say Check It Out!
House of Wax (Jan. 1st) – A remake of the Vincent Price original from the 1950s, the film tells a story about a wax museum that has real victims being encased in wax and put on display. After a group of teenagers–that include Paris Hilton–stumble on the place, they have to struggle to survive or see themselves covered in wax and end up the next exhibit. Predictably, this film is not good but it does offer up a great performance from Hilton–just kidding! She’s actually terrible to sit through and, because of that, is the sole reason to actually Check It Out. Her performance is so bad that it’s hilarious and actually worth the viewing.
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (Jan. 1st) – The ice age is coming to an end and the lovable creatures from the first film have to get to higher ground. I actually really enjoy these films. They’re fun, the animation looks great and they always have great casts bringing the characters to life. This is one of those great animated films that is perfect for the whole family. It’s not as emotional or deep as something Pixar would do but it’s still fun and I’d say Check It Out!
Meet the Parents (Jan. 1st) – This film is your typical uncomfortable comedy about a man named Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) meeting his fiancee’s parents (played by Blythe Danner and Robert De Niro). This was a comedy that took me by surprise because I thought it was going to be cheesy and a bit dumb but I found I laughed my a@# off. Stiller and De Niro play excellently off each other and really make this a Must See!
Meet the Fockers (Jan. 1st) – It’s the sequel to Meet the Parents where we get to meet Greg’s parents (played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand). It’s a little more over-the-top and cartoon-y than the first film but I still really enjoyed this one. Occasionally, the word play on the last name “Focker” gets old but I’d still label this one something to Check Out!
The Rundown (Jan. 1st) – Still very early in his budding (and now very successful) acting career, this film sees The “Dwayne Johnson” Rock as a bounty hunter out to collect Stifler–and it has Christopher Walken in it! It’s a pretty silly feature but also a pretty damn fun action comedy that doesn’t fail to entertain. I’d say Check It Out!
Swordfish (Jan. 1st) – Sadly, this cyber-thriller with Hugh Jackman and John Travolta is known for only one thing: It has Halle “Catwoman” Berry’s first nude scene. While this is a nice addition to the film, it sorta became the whole film–however, it’s not like the film had much going for it to begin with. Jackman isn’t convincing as a hacker, Travolta is being his usual overacting self and the story is a tad silly. The film is slick at times and fun at other times but, overall, it’s something to Skip.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (Jan. 1st) – Without a doubt, this film about a troubled teen and the heartache a mother must go through in order to love and raise him is one of the most powerful films I have ever seen. With it’s epic performances from Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller, the incredible amount of tension and drama in the story, and a horrific ending that shocks you, the film sticks with you long after you’ve finished watching it. This is definitely a Must See!
The Whole Ten Yards (Jan. 1st) – The 2004 sequel to The Whole Nine Yards sees more adventures of a retired hitman (played by Bruce Willis) trying to live a normal life. It has its moments of fun and isn’t a terrible follow-up but it doesn’t have the charm of the first film. Still, I’d say it’s Worth a Shot.
Training Day (Jan. 4th) – With a great writer, fantastic director and a tremendous actor in the lead, this film about a corrupt cop training a rookie is very engaging and entertaining. Plus, you get to hear Denzel Washington scream about how King Kong ain’t got s**t on him! If you’ve never seen it, it’s a Must See! If you have seen it, watch it again!
The Ladykillers (Jan. 12th) – Based on a 1955 dark comedy of the same name, this film from the Coen Brothers sees a group of charming and eccentric criminals (played by the likes of Tom Hanks, J.K. Simmons, Marlon Wayans, Tzi Ma and Ryan Hurst–yes, Opie from Sons of Anarchy) charming an old woman in order to pull off a heist. It’s a dark comedy so it doesn’t play for all audiences but I’m a big fan of the Coens and really enjoyed this one. I’d say, if you haven’t seen it, Give it a Shot.
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (Jan. 22nd) – Yes, somehow Syfy made three of these super-cheesy and poorly made films. A third film seems like a bit much but this one pulls out all the stops and sends this franchise into orbit–literally. There’s no denying how fun these terrible films are but, realistically, how much longer can these go on? Either way, if you are looking for stupid fun, this is one to Check Out.
Turbo Kid (Jan. 25th) – It’s like Mad Max but with BMX bikes! It’s a throwback feature about an apocalyptic wasteland filled with fun, gore and Michael Ironside. It’s ridiculous, over-the-top and just insanely entertaining. If you have a wicked sense of humor, this movie is definitely a Must See!
Additional Films (That I Haven’t Seen) Released in January
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Along Came Polly (2004)
American Girl: Grace Stirs up Success (2015)
Bring It On: Fight to the Finish (2009)
Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007)
The Good Road (2013)
House of Wax (2005)
How to Change the World (2015)
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (2006)
Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
Journey to Le Mans (2014)
Loins of Punjab (2007)
Meet the Fockers (2004)
Meet the Parents (2000)
Nanny McPhee (2006)
Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005)
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
The Rundown (2003)
Shout Gladi Gladi (2015)
Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball (2009)
Something New (2006)
Stephen Fry Live: More Fool Me (2014)
Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle (Season 3)
The Tale of Despereaux (2008)
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
The Wedding Date (2005)
The Whole Ten Yards (2004)
Blunt Force Trauma (2015)
Training Day (2001)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 10)
New Girl (Season 4)
Adult World (2014)
Tom Segura: Mostly Stories (2015)
Dos Hermanos (2010)
El Hombre de al Lado (2009)
Esperando La Carroza (1985)
The Marziano Family (2011)
Rosario Tijeras (2005)
Un Oso Rojo (2002)
The Ladykillers (2004)
The Testimony (2015)
The Last Five Years (2015)
The Overnight (2015)
Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)
Sharknado 3 (2015)
Chelsea Does (2016)
Turbo Kid (2015)
Frozen Planet (2011)
Frozen Planet: On Thin Ice (2011)
Frozen Planet: The Epic Journey (2011)
The Making of Frozen Planet (2012)
Words and Pictures (2013)
And there ya have it! 2016 is starting off with a bang for what’s streaming on Netflix. So, for all the days you will have in the month after you’ve already given up on going to the gym, know that there is plenty to keep you entertained and plenty to keep you from having to leave your home and the comforting glow of your television. Now, my friends, go forth and stream! I’ll see ya next month!
Rev. Ron is a bad actor (who just got off of doing a play that was a Star Wars Christmas comedy), a man who thinks fleece pajama pants are fine evening wear (and that shorts are fine to wear in the winter) and a wannabe movie critic (a sure sign that he’s addicted to movies). You can read all his reviews at his blog RevRonMovies.BlogSpot.com. Also, you can read his terrible jokes by following him on Twitter (@RevRonster). He’ll probably–almost definitely–follow you back!