Welcome to your Netflix Streaming Report for January 21, 2016. After the long week you deserve a relaxing staycation with a bowl of popcorn, a bucket of ice cream, and only your Netflix queue to judge you. This past week, Netflix Watch Instant has been kind enough to supply us with The Overnight, Everly, Cartel Land, Degrassi: Next Class, and many more. Also, I’ve started a new section to the report where you’ll find the best option from the week of new releases that best enable you to Netflix and Chill. I hope you enjoy!
The Overnight (Patrick Brice) Rated R [79 min] – Alex, Emily, and their son, RJ, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family “playdate” becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on. Starring Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godrèche
I had no expectations going in when I first saw this little movie. All I knew is that it was some kind of adult comedy that would lead into sexcapades in some shape or form. The Overnight is a gem of a comedy that rewards patience. The build up to the climax provides subtle hints of things to come, with wonderful performances by all involved thanks to their chemistry together. It’s a rare, hilarious comedy that’s very original and worth your time.
Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman) Rated R [100 min] – A physician in Michoacán, Mexico leads a citizen uprising against the drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Across the U.S. border, a veteran heads a paramilitary group working to prevent Mexico’s drug wars from entering U.S. territory. Starring José Manuel ‘El Doctor’ Mireles
I have not seen Cartel Land, but I’ve heard great things about it. The movie is also up for an Academy Award this year. So if you need to catch up before February 28, get on it.
Serenity (Joss Whedon) Rated PG-13 [119 min] – The crew of the ship Serenity tries to evade an assassin sent to recapture one of their number who is telepathic. Starring Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Ron Glass
For some reason, I held out on watching Firefly for the longest time. I knew of the fandom and I like Joss Whedon’s work, but there was something holding me back from checking out the series. And when I finally binged the entire show, I felt like a complete fool. How could I have gone so long without seeing it? And with this follow-up film, Serenity, not only does it reward fans, it breaks your heart knowing we will probably never see new adventures from these characters. It’s the closest thing we’ll get to a live-action Cowboy Bebop series me thinks.
Degrassi: Next Class (Season 1) (Linda Schuyler) TV-PG [24 min] – Degrassi’s next generation of high-tech follows students as they navigate their way through high school dealing with real life issues and situations that teenagers actually go through such as Cyber Bullying, Mental illness, Homophobia, racism, drug use, feminism, sexuality, religion, life threatening diseases, online harassment, catfishing and dysfunctional families. Starring Nikki Gould, Ricardo Hoyos, Andre Kim, Eric Osborne, Olivia Scriven, and Sara Waisglass
I started watching Degrassi: The Next Generation back in its glory days when Noggin/The N would air episodes from CTV. I’d sit through hours of marathons before Radio Free Roscoe, eating up every moment of the teen drama. As the kids grew up during the evolution of the Internet, emo music, and awkward stages of puberty, so did I. The show hit close to home despite being such a bubbly, cliche teen soap. While I haven’t seen any episodes of this new class of kids, I’d hope that the series retains the core of its moral dilemmas and resonates with Gen Z now that Netflix has acquired the rights to dump every episode on streaming.
Everly (Joe Lynch) Rated R [92 min] – An action/thriller centered on a woman who faces down assassins sent by her ex, a mob boss, while holed up in her apartment. Starring Salma Hayek, Jennifer Blanc, Uros Certic, and Togo Igawa
There was a lot of buzz about Everly coming out of Fantastic Fest in 2014. The premise intrigued me, but unfortunately I missed it when it arrived last year. Now having the opportunity to catch it on Netflix, Everly isn’t as special as I had hoped. Its story is pretty unique, but thin. The dialogue and the acting are very B-movie-esque with tons of wacky action that feels repetitive. Salma Hayek dishes out some solid energy, but she is constrained by the minimalism of the narrative.
The Last Five Years (Richard LaGravenese) Rated PG-13 [94 min] – Based on the musical, a struggling actress and her novelist lover each illustrate the struggle and deconstruction of their love affair. Starring Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan, Meg Hudson, and Natalie Knepp
I’ve been riding on the Anna Kendrick hype train ever since her big break in 2009’s Up in the Air – she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars for her performance. While she is most recognized for her role as Beca in the Pitch Perfect franchise, and also as that little sass bag on Twitter who is the pure embodiment of a box full of kittens high on all of the cat nip, Kendrick’s career mainly consists of little indie films such as The Last Five Years. While I am fan of her work, I wasn’t digging this adaptation of the musical. I like musicals, but this one is just so so. She’s great, but the movie is a bit slow and too melancholy.
NETFLIX AND CHILL PICK OF THE WEEK:
The Last Survivors (Thomas S. Hammock) Unrated [95 min] – A teenage girl fights to protect the last working well in a drought-stricken valley from a greedy water baron. Starring Haley Lu Richardson, Booboo Stewart, Max Charles, and Nicole Arianna Fox
Hardened female badass. Check. Post-apocalyptic disaster world. Check. Love interest with hopes of a better tomorrow. Check. The Last Survivors picks the hottest narrative devices and throws them into a plodding disaster of a straight-to-home video release that is ripe full of exit points. Your S/O will be so bored to tears that “Chill” will definitely capture their interest more.
Also newly added to Netflix:
- Ayanada and the Mechanic
- The Cut
- Out of My Hand
- The Veil
- Secret Affair (Season 1)
- This is My Love (Season 1)
- Can We Get Married (Season 1)
- Beating Again (Season 1)
- Z Nation (Season 2)
- Hyde Park on Hudson
- All that Glitters
- Being Ginger
- Chase by Desire
- Female Agents
- Go with Le Flo
- Happily Ever After
- The Lifeguard
- Loving Annabelle
- Meet the Small Potatoes
- Paris by Night
- Sirens (Season 2)
- When Animals Dream
- Tony Hinchcliffe: One Shot
- Why Not Us?
What will you be watching this weekend?
Look forward to more new titles from the Netflix Streaming Report every Thursday on TTRC.
All plot synopses courtesy of IMDb.com