The Netflix Stream: Week of October 23rd, 2011

At the end of the month, things always look dire on Netflix streaming. We see a lot of great stuff leaving the stream, yet we won’t find out what’s new until the beginning of November. There’s practically nothing good being added and plenty of brilliant films going away. I have high hopes that next week makes up for it.

Leaving the Stream
  1. ‘8 Mile’ (11/1): Scoff if you want, but this movie is just plain good. It helps, I’m sure, that I’m a Detroit native, but I’m a big fan of ‘8 Mile‘. It’s fun but dark, gritty but uplifting, and just an all-around good movie. But here’s a tip for non-Detroiters, just because something’s on 8 Mile road doesn’t make it badass. I grew up in middle class suburbia on 10 Mile. 8 Mile and Haggerty has a Meijer, a Kohl’s and a TGI Friday’s. Not exactly the most thuggish of neighborhoods. Of course, if you venture east for a while, things change significantly.
  2. ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ (11/1): Long before ‘The Simpsons’ started with its couch gag, Dick Van Dyke was tripping over – or not tripping over, depending on the episode – an ottoman. ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show‘ starred some of the greatest comedians of the time and is very much worth watching if you get the chance.
  3. ‘My Cousin Vinny’ (11/1): Sonofabitch! ‘My Cousin Vinny‘ is one of my go-to movies when I’m sick or depressed and I just feel like sitting on the couch all day watching reruns and movies that I’ve seen a million times before. Something about Joe Pesci kicking ass all over the place just makes me feel warm inside. Also, Marisa Tomei is smokin’ hot.
  4. ‘Scream’ (11/1): There haven’t been a lot of great horror franchises for my generation, but ‘Scream‘ is right up there. Well, it would be if they stopped at the second one, or even the first one, but it’s still cool. Luckily, this one’s staying through Halloween, so we probably won’t miss it for another year.
  5. ‘Spaceballs’ (11/1): I’m of the opinion that, despite some horrible missteps along the way, Mel Brooks is a comic genius. I don’t consider ‘Spaceballs‘ to be among his finest work, but it definitely has some great moments, especially scenes with Dark Helmet and his incompetent crew. Oh, how we miss you, Rick Moranis. Come back for just one more movie!
  6. ‘The Usual Suspects’ (11/1): I liked him in ‘Se7en’, but ‘The Usual Suspects‘ is the movie that really made me fall in love with Kevin Spacey. It also started me down the path to really appreciating Benicio del Toro, Pete Postlethwaite, and (oh so briefly) Bryan Singer. What happened to Singer anyway? How does he go from this to ‘Superman Returns’? Spacey gets a pass on that one because he’s Kevin Freaking Spacey. If you haven’t seen this flick, do it. Do it now.
Entering the Stream
  1. ‘The Captains’: Yup, there’s only one title new to the stream that’s worth talking about, at least according to Netflix’s RSS feed. ‘The Captains‘ is a weird and wonderful documentary made by William Shatner for what appears to be the sole purpose of padding his ego. Whatever the reason, it’s a good watch for fans of ‘Star Trek’.

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