Well, I hope your holidays went well. I hope Santa gave you all the gifts you wanted and I hope you are ready to start the New Year off with a bang! 2016 was a hard year that was filled with loads of turmoil, too many precious celebrities leaving us, and the travesty of electing the most unqualified man in all of existence to become our president. 2017 might be the last year we have before President Trump sets off the apocalypse but, while we wait for the mushroom clouds to fill the sky, we can take solace in the fact that Netflix will be here to provide us with a much needed distraction. In addition to the massive amounts of new movies and shows coming, Netflix is also adding some new originals to their catalog. January will see the 2nd season of Voltron: Legendary Defenders start up on the 20th and on the 13th you can see Neil Patrick Harris in the adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events series.
Let’s get started!
Caddyshack (January 1st) – This 1980s comedy centers on a golf course that is on its way to destruction after some unique new members join. This movie is loaded with tons of comedic talent, its replay value is endless and it’s insanely quotable. I laugh just as hard watching it now as I did the first time I saw it. It’s a Must See!
Braveheart (January 1st) – Despite Mel Gibson having a lot of trouble with alcohol and saying horribly offensive stuff while in a state of inebriation, the man is a very talented actor and director. In this movie about William Wallace fighting for Scotland’s freedom against the English crown we get to see Gibson’s talents in both these departments. While it may not be the most historically accurate, this is a great movie, a Must See!
Boogie Nights (January 1st) – Mark Wahlberg is the porn star Dirk Diggler and this film shows us his journey through the industry during, arguably, it’s most interesting era. There’s a tremendous cast in this film, the story is very entertaining and there’s a ton of iconic moments. I’d definitely add this one to the Must See category.
The Shining (January 1st) – There’s a reason that Stanley Kubrick’s films live on in infamy and will be referenced as great works for ages and The Shining is definitely an example of why. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the story centers on a man (played by Jack Nicholson) who takes his family to be caretakers for an isolated resort but starts to lose his mind as supernatural forces begin to close in. Hauntingly filmed, incredibly performed and horribly unnerving, The Shining is a film that sticks with you after you watch it and, without a doubt, is a Must See!
V for Vendetta (January 1st) – When Alan Moore’s comics get adapted it’s always up for discussion if justice is done to them. Fans debate, Moore hates them but, in my opinion, some of them ain’t so bad (unless it was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). The film centers on a freedom fighter battling against a totalitarian government and, sadly, has given rise to the popularity of those Guy Fawkes masks that people who like to use the words “Sheeple” and “Woke” like to wear. Like all comic adaptations, a lot is changed but, overall, it’s not a bad film (it’s not great either, mind you). However, I’d say Check It Out.
HALO Legends (January 1st) – This feature is a collection of animated shorts that take place in, you guessed it, the HALO universe. Each short is unique in its presentation and offers up some cool action. If you’re a fan of the game series or just a fan of animation in general, I’d say Check It Out.
Bee Movie (January 1st) –The lasting legacy of this 2007 DreamWorks animated film about a bee who is not ready to take on the responsibilities that come with being an adult is the fact Jerry Seinfeld voiced the main character, it was promoted like crazy, and it somehow became a joke referenced in memes on various social media platforms. As for the film itself, it is your typical DreamWorks forgettable film about an anthropomorphic animal. I’d say Skip It.
Hugo (January 1st) – Adapted from the graphic novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, this was Martin Scorsese’s first attempt at a 3D film and the final product was a beautiful and whimsical tale. Gorgeously shot, fantastic performances and a fun story, Hugo really had everything working for it. I’d say it’s a Must See!
The Parent Trap (January 1st) – This is one of Disney’s classic live-action Technicolor films starring Hayley Mills as a pair of twins that set up their parents to try and get them together. It’s been years and years since I’ve seen the film but this was definitely one of those movies I watched a lot as a kid. It’s a pretty fun movie and I’d say Check It Out.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (January 1st) – In 1982, Steven Spielberg delivered to the world a heartwarming classic about a boy finding a wayward alien trapped on our planet and it has since become a permanent fixture in pop culture. The film is beautiful, endlessly charming and holds up incredibly well. Even if you’ve seen it a million times, it’s still a Must See!
Ocean’s Twelve (January 1st) – For some reason, Netflix didn’t bother to include the first film or the third film but this sequel to the 2001 remake of the rat pack film sees George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and the rest of the crew return for a new heist. It’s not as good as the first film but it’s still a fun ride. I’d say Check It Out.
Superman: The Movie (January 1st) – Christopher Reeve pretty much set the standard for the film version of Superman in this tale. Sure, some of the special effects don’t hold up and the whole “reversing the rotation of the Earth to turn back time” is really weird but Richard Donner made something great with this one. I’d call it a Must See!
Superman II (January 1st) – Famous for its problems on set that got Donner booted from the project and resulted in a film that has some really awkward comedic moments, this film sees General Zod escape the Phantom Zone and seek to conquer the Earth and it’s up to Superman to stop him. The reviews were very positive for this one when it came out and I won’t deny that it has some great moments but, overall, I’m not the biggest fan of this film. That being said, I’d still say Check It Out.
Superman III (January 1st) – This third addition to the Superman franchise was…interesting, to say the least. The film was more of a comedy as it co-starred Richard Pryor as a computer programmer that, at the behest of greedy CEO, creates Kryptonite that, when mixed with tar from cigarettes makes Superman bad. This one was played more for comedy than anything else and it made for a very odd film. Normally, I would say Skip It but, since the other films are here, might as well Check It Out and have a Supes marathon.
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (January 1st) – If you’re a loyal reader here at The Robot’s Pajamas you might remember me kicking off my regular article Was It THAT Bad? with this film. This one sees Superman with a drive to end the nuclear arms race in the world and ends up fighting a man named Nuclear Man. It’s a mess of a film in every possible way and the crap-storm that went into making it is far more interesting than the final product. Even if you’re marathoning the films, I’d say Skip It.
Superman Returns (January 1st) – In 2006, hot off the success of the X-Men films, Bryan Singer directed this sequel/reboot to the Superman franchise and it sees the hero return after a long absence and discovers that a lot has changed…except the fact that Lex Luthor wants to do some bad stuff. Visually the film is great, there are some cool ideas and themes being explored and there’s some pretty good action but the whole film feels like it is just trying to redo the first Christopher Reeves film and it makes the movie feel a tad tedious. Still, I’d say Check It Out.
Dreamcatcher (January 1st) – It’s a Stephen King adapted film about some friends out on a hunting trip that encounter aliens that who want to get up in their butts. This movie is a god-awful mess that feels like it was made by King himself during the height of his coke years—and that’s why it’s kinda fun to watch. It’s one of those fun bad movies (and How Did This Get Made? had a great episode on it) but I still can’t recommend it. I’d say Skip It!
Ratchet & Clank (January 9th) – Based on the hit platformer game franchise, this film is a retelling of the very first game. It’s got a great voice cast that includes a lot of the original actors, the animation is decent and it has some amusing moments but the film never really captures the essence of the game and retelling the first entry into the franchise makes the film feel lazy and complacent. I’d say Skip It and just play the game.
It Follows (January 13th) – Critics and horror film aficionados went bananas for this unique film that plays off the old trope in scary movies of sex equaling dying. The film centers on a young woman who inherits a ghastly curse after having sex with a man. The man reveals that she will spend the rest of her life being followed by a murderous thing that can look like anyone and if it gets to you it will kill you. The only way to save yourself is to make whoopy with someone else so the curse is passed on. This film was a little too tedious for me and felt like it was a short film that was stretched to its limits in order to make it a feature length item. I was honestly unimpressed and pretty bored with the repetitive nature of the plot. However, it has some interesting ideas at play so I would say Check It Out.
Flash of Genius (January 16th) – Greg Kinnear stars as Robert Kearns and the film follows his struggles against the car industry after he invents intermittent wiper blades. The film is an interesting idea that results in a fairly entertaining and intriguing bio-pic. It’s not an incredibly memorable film but it’s one that won’t wholly disappoint. If you’re bored, I’d say Check It Out.
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (January 31st) – Despite the fact the first film is incredibly dumb, the complete apathy from the production made the film a perfect example of a great and completely fun bad movie. However, every sequel about the tornadoes filled with sharks since has tried to become more self-aware, intentionally tried to be funny, and has overloaded its running length with celebrity cameos. This fourth one was an ordeal for me to sit through and I found it to be such drudgery that I had to watch it in short spurts over several weeks and didn’t even bother to review it for my blog. Honestly, I’d say don’t waste your time and Skip It because not only has this film jumped the tornado loaded shark but it did so while beating a dead horse.
Other Films (That I Haven’t Seen) Released in January
Vanilla Sky (2011)
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)
Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
Collateral Damage (2002)
El Dorado (1967)
License to Drive (1988)
Nancy Drew (2007)
Jen Kirkman: Just Keep Livin’?
Coin Heist (2017)
Alpha and Omega (2016)
Under the Shadow (2016)
Best and Most Beautiful Things (2016)
Jim Gaffigan: Cinco
As I Open My Eyes (2015)
Theo Who Lived (2016)
Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Camp X-Ray (2014)
Cardboard Boxer (2016)
A Beautiful Now (2015)
Hostage to the Devil (2016)
The Similars (2015)
Neal Brennan: 3 Mics
Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 (2016)
Good Kids (2016)
Take the 10 (2017)
Cristela Alonzo: Lower Class Classy
Gad Gone Wild
Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil (2015)
Kill Command (2016)
Swing State (2016)
Bill Burr Stand Up Special
Well, there ya have it! That’s all you have to look forward to in 2017! Hell, why not make it your resolution to watch every movie they are bringing in or, if anything, check out all the comedy specials they are offering because, once Trump is sworn into office, we’re going to need a whole lot of cheering up. Now, my friends, go forth and stream!
Rev. Ron is a dude in his mid-30s who still collects action figures, plays video games, regularly eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and often drinks fruit punch out of Star Wars cups. When he’s not talking about what Netflix has to offer or questions whether a critically butchered film was really that bad he is watching movies and reviewing them on his blog. You can read those reviews at RevRonMovies.BlogSpot.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@RevRonster). Thanks!