Mayor Nutter has suggested treating this weekend—when the Pope and an estimated 1 to 2 million of his most devoted followers (and almost just as many Port a Potties) descend onto Philly—like a winter storm. That means one thing: Start using the words “hunker” and “down” in the same sentence and cozy up on the couch with a few good flicks. To help you decide what to watch, I present you five of my favorite new entries to hit Netflix instant streaming this month.
To be fair, there were back-to-school sales as early as June (which, if I were a kid, I would be enormously offended by), but now we’re truly coming into the homestretch. Summer’s winding down folks, time to flip up the dark glasses and peer into the frigid grayness to come off in the far distance. I mean, not to bum you out or anything, but you have a month left of low-key, relaxed-office, quasi-vacation time left before the grind begins anew and with depressing vigor. Maybe it’s a good time to stock up on some fine visual entertainment before the onslaught, hey? Here are some of our picks for the best and most interesting offerings from Netflix streaming this month.
Last night, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess posted on Instagram a video of him, Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski lip-syncing Beyoncé’s “Flawless.”
The video was taken from a jet and, being an Instagram post, it’s dreadfully short. They all get to show off their lip-syncing skills, though—especially Fey, who nails it with an extra bit of sass at the end.
Earlier that day, the crew attended the Television Critics Association press tour to talk up season two of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The series, which was created by Fey and her 30 Rock co-hort Robert Carlock, is due out late 2015.
This is officially the dead zone for most sports fans. Unless, you know, you are seriously in to golf or the WNBA, you find yourself with all sorts of extra time sitting in front of a TV and not knowing what to do with yourself. Might we suggest some streaming-film entertainment on the world’s most comprehensive cinematic streaming site? Splendid, let’s get to it, then. Here are some of our picks for the best and most interesting offerings from Netflix streaming in July.
An Honest Liar (2014)
The Amazing Randi (James Randi) is a magician of some professional renown, a title he is happy to embrace, now entering into old age. He has used slight-of-hand and misdirection to produce fantastic illusions throughout his career. Where he directs his ire is toward members of the guild who suggest what they are doing is actual conjuring, be it seances with the dead or bending spoons with their minds. To them, Randi is their worst nightmare: A professional skeptic with the trained eye and the skills to debunk the nonsense they’re pitching to a gullible public. A fascinating doc.
Nina Simone wanted to be a classical pianist. In fact, the iconic star that we know as a soulful singer never wanted to sing.
These and many, many more revelations about the late performer can be found in the totally gripping Netflix-produced documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? The film chronicles the, at times, painful life of Simone—the suicidal thoughts, the terrible abuse of her husband, her manic-depressive behavior. What makes the documentary so effective is the huge amount of archival footage from interviews and live performances that you most likely have never seen before, even if you are a staunch Simone fan. Read more »
David Lynch’s Blue Velvet makes the cut at No. 60.
BBC.com just released a list of the “100 Greatest American Films.” To compile it, editors polled 62 film critics around the world, asking them for their top 10 picks. More on how the data was collected and who was represented in the ranking:
The News: Health insurance companies say the new patients they attained due to health care reform are much sicker — and expensive — than expected. And now, insurers around the country are hoping to raise rates 20 percent to 40 percent, according to the New York Times. That includes Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in five states (not including Pennsylvania.) Read more »
As our biggest pre-summer TV series have begun to wind down (au revoir, Mad Men; see you soon, Game of Thrones), our attention can now be consumed by some new narratives. Here are some of our picks for the best and most interesting new offerings from Netflix streaming this month.
I’m hardly what you would call a John Wayne devotee, but William Wellman’s high-altitude thriller is sharp, and well-constructed. Wayne plays a burned-out co-pilot of a trans-Pacific flight who suddenly has to take over the plane and land it safely when his pilot loses it. If the plot sounds vaguely familiar, you have to imagine it was one of the many inspirations for the ZAZ boys when they made the ribald Airplane! a couple decades later.
Netflix just released the trailer for the TV series based on the 2001 summer-camp spoof Wet Hot American Summer, starring folks like Philly’s own Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler.
The trailer views like an ad for the camp that was recorded on an old VHS tape that was probably on the fritz. It promotes Camp Firewood’s many activities and the long-lasting friendships that are waiting to be made. If you watch really closely, there’s even a split-second throw-in of the steamy sex scene between Cooper and fellow star Michael Ian Black. Cooper returns to reprise his role as Ben, the token gay camp leader who runs the theater portion of the camp with fruit-fly Susie (Poehler).
The series is called Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and it will be released on Netflix on July 31st—unless they decide to surprise us by sharing it early like they did Orange is the New Black.
Sometimes, you need a little reality check. That’s why a good documentary can be a welcomed change to, say, battering your head against a wall while watching another episode of Game of Thrones. In no particular order, we rounded up ten great LGBT documentaries that you can stream right now on Netflix, and there’s a little something for everyone in our list.
1. Bridegroom: “This timely documentary tells the story of Shane Bitney Crone, who finds himself without marriage’s legal protections when his same-sex partner dies.”
2. Vito: “This documentary explores the life and work of activist Vito Russo, who wrote The Celluloid Closet, which examines movie portrayals of homosexuals. Russo was a powerful force in gay politics and AIDS awareness before dying of the disease in 1990.”