The end of summer brings exciting original fare from the streaming giant, and super mediocre Hollywood offerings to fill out the schedule.
Right out of the gate, Netflix treats us to Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. But then Marvel and anime fans have to wait patiently for The Defenders and Death Note with nothing but bland rom-coms to fill the weeks ahead.
Once again, Netflix’s originals are outshining its Hollywood fare, which is either boring, bland or been seen a thousand times before.
The Matrix, anyone?
The Addams Family (1991)
Perhaps the greatest TV-to-movie adaptation of all time that utilized the full talents of Angelica Huston and Raul Julia. Pure bliss.
The Astronaut’s Wife (1999)
Johnny Depp plays an astronaut who creeps out Charlize Theron, and not in a cool Tim Burton way.
A Cinderella Story (2004)
Hilary Duff stars in a story straight from the public domain, with enough changes to keep Disney lawyers at bay.
Bad Santa (2003)
If Billy Bob Thornton opted to become a mall Santa, this would be a documentary.
the bomb (2016)
Originally part of a multimedia installation at Tribeca, this animated movie is a study at the culture surrounding nuclear weapons.
Cloud Atlas (2012)
Utter brilliance or utter drek? This fantasy sci-fier from the Wachowskis has fans and critics divided. Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent, the epic that spans five centuries is certainly fascinating.
Everyone’s Hero (2006)
Mediocre animated fare about a boy who tries to return Babe Ruth’s talking bat.
Funny Games (2007)
American remake of the absolutely chilling French torture pic might be unnecessary and not as gripping, but the performances from Naomi Watts, Michael Pitt and Tim Roth are worth the price of the ticket alone.
The Hollywood Masters (Season 1)
The Hollywood Reporter series takes a deep dive into Tinsel Town and the masters who make it work.
Sci-fi comedy romp starring every big ‘80s star and then some. Martin Short plays a milquetoast store clerk who is accidentally injected with a microscopic Dennis Quaid. Hijinks ensue.
Jackie Brown (1997)
Quentin Tarantino’s follow up to Pulp Fiction didn’t have the style, grace or pizzazz of the indie blockbuster, but this is still one hell of a ride, with a tour de force performance from Pam Grier.
The Last Mimzy (2007)
Kids find a box of toys that make them smarter and give them special abilities.
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
The first Matrix was a groundbreaking achievement in filmmaking that had audiences at the edge of their seat. The sequel was also good, but confusing and began to muddle the plot. The third one was a user error on the part of the filmmakers.
My advice? Watch the first one three times and forget the other two.
Lord of War (2005)
Nicolas Cage plays an arms dealer who ushers in a new era of terrorism, while dealing with family drama, his love life and the law.
N.O.L.A. Circus (2015)
Rival New Orleans’ barbershops declare war on each other. Hijinks ensue.
The Number 23 (2007)
Jim Carrey attempts to break away from slapstick comedy and sight gags with this thriller that follows a man whose discovers an obscure book is seemingly based on his life. Hijinks ensue.
Opening Night (2016)
A bunch of terrible people attempt to get their production to debut.
Practical Magic (1998)
Witchcraft 101 for the rom-com sect. Starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as hot witches in high waisted jeans.
The Royal House of Windsor (Season 1)
“Drawing on newly available evidence, this epic series explores the Windsor dynasty’s gripping family saga, providing fresh insights into how our royal family have survived four generations of crisis” – Channel 4’s official site
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp solidify their common-law union with this solid outing that takes on the classic Washington Irving terror tale. Bonus Christopher Walken with a face full of sharp teethies.
Small Soldiers (1998)
Toys go to war with each other in this lower budget, slightly darker version of Toy Story.
Surviving Escobar — Alias JJ (Season 1)
As the Medellín Cartel crumbles, Pablo Escobar’s No. 1 hit man struggles to stay alive and gain respect in the prison hierarchy.
The Wedding Party (2016)
Romantic comedy proving the point made by Bridezilla: everyone who wants a lavish wedding are terrible. A two-hour advertisement from the Clark County Marriage Bureau in Las Vegas.
Tie the Knot (2016)
A romantic comedy that takes a look behind different cultural traditions when an American gal flees to India.
Who Gets the Dog? (2016)
Alicia Silverstone and Ryan Kwanten play a divorcing couple who fight over the family pooch.
Wild Wild West (1999)
Terrible TV adaptation that marks the end of big budget summer movies that both star Will Smith and include a theme song with the same title.
Jab We Met (2007)
Romantic comedy that proves that the concept of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is not just an American invention. She can be annoying on an international level as well.
The Founder (2016)
Michael Keaton stars in this biopic about Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds who revolutionized the food industry.
Soulless animated fare about animals auditioning for a singing competition. All the humiliation of X-Factor and American Idol, but in a barnyard.
The Invisible Guardian (2017)
An unusual Spanish-lingo ghost story about a police investigator on the hunt for a serial killer.
Bryan Fogel’s fascinating and thrilling docu about the Russian doping scandal during the Olympics. A must-see.
Voltron: Legendary Defender (Season 3)
“In an all-new series, five unlikely heroes and their flying robot lions unite to form the megapowerful Voltron and defend the universe from evil.”
Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (Season 1)
“A decade after their wild summer as junior counselors, the gang reunites for a weekend of bonding, hanky-panky and hair-raising adventures.”
Before he became a poster for but undisclosed mental issues, Shia LeBouf had a career as an actor. Really. Here is the proof.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (Season 7)
Beloved kid show watched by young girls and creepy man-children alike.
Black Site Delta (2017)
Part Dirty Dozen, part Expendables, all blah. Military prisoners fight off terrorists.
Diary of an Exorcist — Zero (2016)
Spanish-language horror pic about a priest attempting to find redemption in an exorcist case.
Atypical (Season 1; Netflix original series)
“When a teen on the autism spectrum decides to get a girlfriend, his bid for more independence puts his whole family on a path of self-discovery.“
Home: Adventures With Tip & Oh (Season 3; Netflix original series)
“A misfit alien named Oh moves in with Tip and her family, in a series that picks up the dynamic duo’s adventures where the hit film left off.”
“Nervous about finally getting married a guy is forced to relive the same nerve-wracking hours over and over again until he gets things right on his wedding day.”
True and The Rainbow Kingdom (Season 1; Netflix original series)
“When something’s wrong in the Rainbow Kingdom, bighearted guardian True and her best friend, Bartleby, are there to grant wishes and save the day.”
White Gold (2017)
“Meet Vincent, the smart, handsome and cocksure double glazing salesman who’ll stop at nothing to get his piece of the pie.” – BBC Two official site
Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)
A huge, monster box office hit pretty much everywhere except the US, this kiddie adventure from helmer Luc Besson follows a young boy as heads out on a treasure hunt in an attempt to save his family home.
Hot Property (2016)
A “comedy” about the real estate market.
Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo (2017)
“Through the team’s testimony and the supporting voices of Apollo astronauts and modern NASA flight directors, Mission Control explores their journey from the faltering start of the program to the Mercury and Gemini missions, and then the tragedy of the Apollo 1 fire and the glories of the Moon landings.” – Official site
The Outcasts (2017)
High school nerds get their revenge on the teen queen after falling victim to a cruel prank.
Urban Hymn (2015)
Social worker helps a kid from the wrong side of the tracks through singing in this ho-hum feel good drama.
Middle age French people gather for an outdoor BBQ and talk about life. There are probably no ribs involved.
MIT students use their brains to win big in Vegas. Sort of based on a true story, but with different genders and races and backstories and dramas and endings.
A New Economy (2016)
“What if working together for the good of all was the most common business model? Watch, as several organizations strive towards building a more cooperative future. By putting humanity before the bottom line, they are finding their place in an economy previously dominated by profits and big business.” – Official site of documentary
All These Sleepless Nights (2016)
Polish art pic about two students wandering the streets of Warsaw, contemplating the future.
Donald Cried (2016)
Man returns home after a long stint away, only to discover that he needs the helping hand of a long discarded buddy after he loses his wallet.
My Ex-Ex (2015)
A woman on the verge of a meltdown decides between two unlikely romantic prospects.
The Sweet Life (2016)
Two loners meet in Chicago and travel together to San Fran in a road-trip suicide pact. Probably not the feel good movie of the year.
The McConaughssance continues with this odd drama about a prospector who takes his dealings to Indonesia to hunt for buried treasure.
The Defenders (Season 1; Netflix original series)
“Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.” – Netflix
Side Note: YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
Dinotrux (Season 5; Netflix original series)
“Half dinosaur, half construction truck, full-on fun! Watch giant Ty Rux, his little buddy Revvit and the crew come face-to-face with evil D-Structs.”
Glitter Force Doki Doki (Season 1; Netflix original series)
“Four girls summon their inner superheroes to defend Earth and the magical kingdom of Splendorius from King Mercenare and his minions.
I Am Sam (2001)
Here. Watch this scene from Tropic Thunder. It best explains this movie and Sean Penn’s role in it:
What Happened to Monday (2017)
Dystopian sci-fier about a group of septuplets avoiding death from a government that only allows a single child per family.
Hide and Seek (2005)
Mediocre thriller with Robert DeNiro about a widower trying to get his family through the trauma of his wife’s suicide and a haunting.
Camera Store (2017)
Candid drama about the switch to digital from film and how it affected the small time store owner.
A woman with her eye on a military career is stopped in her tracks by an unexpected love.
Bad Rap (2016)
Docu on four Asian-American rappers trying to make it in the music industry.
Beautiful Creatures (2013)
Based on the The Caster Chronicles Trilogy of books, a supernatural teen thriller about the mysterious new gal in town and the secrets that surround her family.
Gomorrah (Season 2)
Italian television crime drama based on the successful book series.
Docu from Disclosure Project founder Dr. Steven M. Greer about life on other planets.
Sadie’s Last Days on Earth (2016)
Offbeat comedy about a teen girl who preps for end of times.
Disjointed: Part 1 (Season 1; Netflix original)
“She’s living her dream as the owner of a cannabis dispensary. She and the budtenders — her son and a guard — are pretty much constantly high.”
Death Note (2017; Netflix original)
“Intoxicated by the power of a supernatural notebook, a young man begins killing those he deems unworthy of life. Based on the famous Japanese manga.”
DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge (Season 5)
“Hiccup, Toothless and the rest of the Dragon Riders set up camp far from Berk and battle old enemies while discovering new dragons.”
Once Upon a Time (Season 6)
The world of Storybrooke continues to spin out of control with zero chill. This time around we get Aladdin.
Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack (2017)
I honestly had no idea this was still a thing.
The Good Place (Season 1)
“…A smart, unique new comedy about what makes a good person. The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop, an ordinary woman who enters the afterlife and, thanks to some kind of error, is sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad Place, which is definitely where she belongs.” – NBC
Be Afraid (2017)
A man suffering from sleep paralysis learns his dreams are real and plotting against him and his family.