Lionsgate via Everett Collection
When news broke that Netflix would be purging a load of movies from their instant streaming library, everyone rushed to binge-watch their favorites. Can’t Hardly Wait star Ethan Embry even held a Twitter re-watch on Jan. 31 in honor of instant streaming removing the ‘90s flick. However, Netflix doesn’t take movies away without giving any back — out with the old and…in with the old. All of the new films added to instant streaming are at least a decade old and we’ve picked out the ones you should absolutely make time to watch (you never know when Netflix will do another purge.)
Take a trip down memory lane (you know you want to) and watch Good Burger. It’s based on a sketch from the children’s version of Saturday Night Live: All That. You can see Kenan Thompson in his best role before joining SNL.
Even if you watched the Red Dawn remake with Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, the original is an action classic (and a lot better.)
Thelma & Louise
Before Bridesmaids and The Heat, there was Thelma & Louise. If you enjoy watching ladies being friends and robbing banks, you’ll definitely enjoy this movie.
While everyone always calls Ghost a love story, we know it’s really a revenge flick. And that’s okay because we love Patrick Swayze.
West Side Story
If you haven’t seen West Side Story, what are you doing? Go watch it right now! It’s iconic.
Wacky comedic sci-fi at it’s best. Plus it stars Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, and Bill Pullman — with Joan Rivers lending her voice as well.
Even if you have some kind of aversion to foreign films and subtitles, Amélie is a must-watch for everyone.
Christian Bale’s first fantastic role was starring as Patrick Bateman in the film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s book. American Psycho is the best film about a psychopath who goes on a murderous rampage.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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When General Hospital first scooped up the orphaned stars and characters of One Lift to Live — canceled in 2011 after more than 40 years on air, and set to revive as an Internet exclusive series later this year — it seemed to be hoping to hold fast to the long-running soap opera's fandom. Michael Easton, Roger Howarth, and Kristen Alderson first set foot on the GH set as their old OLTL characters John McBain, Todd Manning, and Starr Manning (respectively) in 2012, promising a new venue for displaced fans of displaced One Life fanatics. But while General Hospital is keeping this trio on its cast list, viewers might find it particularly perplexing when they return in the future as entirely different characters.
RELATED: 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' Announce Online Premieres
TV Guide reports that Easton, Howart, and Alderson will indeed be revisiting their old General Hospital stomping grounds, but in all new roles. According to TV guide, the shift is a result of OLTL's revival and its new production company Prospect Park's reins on the McBain and Manning characters. "Prospect Park has been extremely difficult to deal with on this issue so GH basically said, 'Screw it! We'll create all new characters!'" a source tells TV Guide. "It's the only way GH can get past the problem and get on with business."
So, soap opera fans, as long as you're more of the good-with-faces type than the good-with-names type, this shouldn't be at all a problem.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
[Photo Credit: ABC]
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Half-used bottle of hair dye Lindsay Lohan made a porn movie. Well, not exactly, but she did star with adult actor James Deen in The Canyons, written by Twitter scourge Brett Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader (of Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and American Gigolo fame). Of course, we all want to hear all the dirty details behind the microbudget film and just how many rails she snorted off a naked DJ who is riding a pony and wearing glittery chaps.
Sadly, there is none of that in Stephen Rodrick's captivating New York Times Magazine story about the making of the film, but there are all sorts of nutty details that make LiLo sound like an absolute nightmare. You really should read the whole thing in all its dirty details, but here is a breakdown of the outlandish things she Ellis and Schrader had to deal with while making the movie:
Dina Lohan Butting In: "The actress’s mother, Dina Lohan, sits at the next table. Mom sweeps blond hair behind her ear and tries to eavesdrop."
Bitching About Liz & Dick: "At their second meeting, Lohan complained to Schrader about a biopic she was shooting for Lifetime, in which she played Elizabeth Taylor, one of her role models. She proclaimed the director a jerk, her co-star a nightmare and the crew unfriendly."
Not Showing Up: "There was just one missing: Lohan."
Making Suggestions About Casting After the Cast Is Complete: "Across the table, [costar Nolan Gerard] Funk could see that his name had been crossed out in Lohan’s script and underneath were the names of three or four actors as possible replacements. [Brett Easton] Ellis saw that [James] Deen’s name also had a line through it."
Suggesting Cast Members Be Replaced with Jared Leto: "Lohan squealed and said, 'How about Jared?' Schrader nodded approvingly. 'Jared Harris?' 'No, Jared Leto.'"
Not Showing Up: "Then she disappeared for a few days."
Stalking the Director and Freaking Out When She's Fired: "She pounded on doors until she found Schrader’s room. As she banged on his door, she texted him manically."
Doing Her Own Makeup... Badly: "It was true; Lohan’s visage had a Kabuki quality to it."
Jumping Out of the Back Seat of the Car and Disappearing for a Lunch Break: "That’s when his passengers did a jailbreak, jumping out of his car. [Publicist Steve] Honig frantically pushed buttons until the gate opened and the four of them dashed for Lohan’s assistant’s car."
Being Distractingly Jealous of Her Costar While Locking Herself in a Closet Instead of Filming a Sex Scene with Three Porn Stars: "'The thing that’s going to explode from this film is James Deen!' [Schrader said.] Lohan screamed from the back of the closet. 'That’s what I’m afraid of!'"
Driving Drunk: "He noticed that she...had been drinking...Quietly, Pope told Lohan that he could get her a driver to take her home. But she refused, jumped into her Porsche and headed down the dark, narrow road."
Being Amazing: "Now, without the garish makeup, Lohan looked sadly beautiful, and it was easy to see why men like Schrader were willing to put their lives in her hands. The camera rolled, and Deen moved in slowly to touch her face."
Not Showing Up: "Lohan missed her morning call, and then she left the shoot for lunch with friends, running up a $600 tab on sushi, sake and vodka."
Showing Up Then Leaving Because of a Concocted Illness: "His diagnosis: An inner-ear infection. She was done for the day."
Partying All Night with Lady Gaga: "'Lindsay was out with Lady Gaga till 5:30 a.m. Her call was 6 a.m.'"
Quoting the Most Eye-Rolling Scene in Liz & Dick While Attempting To Make You Feel Sorry For Her: "I needed time to figure out all the crap in my life that I’d created for myself, essentially, and I kind of realized, What am I doing? I like doing this. I like being here. This makes me happy. There was a line in the ‘Elizabeth’ movie where she says, ‘I’m so bored, I’ve never been taught what to do when I’m not working,’ and I’m kind of figuring that out now."
Coming Up with a Brilliant Plan to Get Access Hollywood to Foot the Bill for Production: "'We’ll have Access Hollywood pay for it. They’ll film it, I’ll answer three questions about the movie and then they’ll pay for it. It’s really easy.'"
Not Showing Up: "It took two months and the quasi intervention of Lohan’s father to get Lohan to finish two hours of looping for the outdoor scenes."
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Sodium Fox]
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