Nobody wants to talk about stuff leaving Netflix in the middle of the night, any more than we want to talk about weird family vibes this holiday or the fact that we will probably all get snowed in forever while it's happening. So let's think instead about all these Netflix movies that we have the next five days to zip through, before they're gone. (And check back in to see what will replace them!)
- Double Indemnity (1944)—Billy Wilder directs the story of what happens when every idiot in town decides to underestimate Barbara Stanwyck and let me tell you it is at their peril.
- An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)—Richard Gere carries a woman, played by Debra Winger, all over the place. Sometimes he does it in the style of an officer, but at other times he is more circumspect. You never know until it's happening. Inspired the sequel An Officer, A Gentleman & A Little Lady.
- The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)—Cate Blanchett gives a brilliant performance in this film about a winsome young ingénue whose vacation is utterly ruined by a bunch of hysterical young jet-setters and their creepy bisexual ways. Director Anthony Minghella also made The English Patient and Cold Mountain, films reported to be quite long in duration.
- Five Easy Pieces (1970)—Jack Nicholson is a concert pianist-turned-roughneck who comes home to watch his dad die... Which is when the fun really begins.
- Reds (1981)—Commie in real life Warren Beatty plays one in this spiritual predecessor to director/Pinko Beatty's greatest work, Bulworth. Also stars well-known Maoist and flighty head case Diane Keaton.
- Chaplin (1992)—You know who isn't silent is the ladies, if you get me.
- The Paper Chase (1973)—Timothy Bottoms from The Last Picture Show plays somebody who really deserves to be loved.
- The Untouchables (1987)—Brian De Palma tells the true story of Kevin Costner's life as a member of the lowest caste.
- The Constant Gardener (2005)—John LeCarre's story of how the death of one man's wife leads to the creation of the dark wizard Voldemort.
- The King's Speech (2010)—Eve Best plays Wallis Simpson in this movie about what a true hustler has to go through in this life.
NOT SO GREAT
- House (1986)—The Greatest American Hero is a Nam vet, divorced, and lost his son, so he's already in a good place when he moves into a haunted guess what.
- House II: The Second Story (1987)—Arye Gross, best known as one of "Those Friends of" Ellen Degeneres, learns that his great-great-grandfather once touched a skull. The film, whose title contains a pun, was made by the director of Children of the Corn 5: Fields of Terror, in which Alexis Arquette's car breaks down.
- C.H.U.D. (1984)—Only Daniel Stern and John Heard can save us from the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, aka our nation's homeless.
- Invaders From Mars (1986)—Timothy Bottoms from The Last Picture Show stars in a movie with Karen Black and Louise Fletcher that I guess is about aliens based on the title. By Tobe Hooper, director of 1990's I'm Dangerous Tonight, in which Mädchen Amick is possessed by an Aztec cloak.
- Monkey Shines (1988)—Never trust a monkey, especially one that can read your quadriplegic mind. Director George A. Romero is also known for Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead and Bruiser, one of the first films to feature a man with no face.
- Helvetica—For if you're "kind of a typography geek." Make sure to let everybody know, if that's a big part of your identity—it's an instant sign to just how interesting of a person you are!
- Star Trek: Generations (1994)—Han Solo and Glomer take a ride on the ol' Tachyon Expressway so Whoopi Goldberg can explain how robots ate her mom.
- First Knight (1995)—King Arthur and Sir Launcelot (Sean Connery and Richard Gere) invent Eskimo brotherhood, one cold starry night in Camelot.
- Mission: Impossible III (2006)—Tom Cruise doesn't know what the heck is going on, but that doesn't mean it's impossible—nothing is impossible, when you are living in a state of complete mental clarity.
- Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)—Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley Jr. go looking for Frankenstein but come back with something even better: The serenity to accept the things they cannot change, and the wisdom to know a Frankenstein when they see it.
- Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997)—Despite being subtitled "A True Story," not a true story. That in itself is a twist. Starring Paul McGann, Peter O'Toole, Bill Nighy, and every other old British dude that has ever existed; plus Mel Gibson and Harvey Keitel as the great big old fairies that live down the end of the garden.
- How to Frame a Figg (1971)—Do you like seeing Don Knotts act "flummoxed"? Then have I got the movie for you.
- The Promise (1979)—Stephen Collins is... Nope.
- I'm Not Rappaport (1996)—Walter Matthau and Ossie Davis play men who are not named Rappaport and were not born yesterday.
- 'night, Mother (1986)—Sissy Spacek dicks around for a million years yelling at Anne Bancroft, then shoots herself in the head and that's the end of the movie. Better watch it before it leaves Netflix on Sunday!
- Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)—Jim Jarmusch directs a bunch of quirky nonsense with the usual folks: Bill Murray, Tom Waits, Roberto Benigni (remember him?), Steven Wright, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, a young Cate Blanchett, the pointless Jack and Meg White, Alfred Molina, Steve Coogan, and both the GZA and the RZA. Quite a crew.
- Magicians (2007)—The team and stars behind Peep Show, etc., Mitchell and Webb, play rival magicians and ex-besties who have shenanigans they are up to.
- Mr. Mom (1983)—What if a man was the lady!?
- Joe Kidd (1972)—John "OK Corral" Sturges directs as Robert Duvall hires Clint Eastwood to go after some banditos with a pretty valid point.
- The Apostle (1997)—Robert Duvall directs himself as a cuckolded Pentecostal preacher who beats the other guy senseless and then starts a new church in the swamp. Starring actual swamp people Billy Bob Thornton and Miranda Richardson, and June Carter Cash as actress Reese Witherspoon.
- They Might Be Giants (1971)—George C. Scott, Joanne Woodward and Rue McClanahan star in this movie about a man who thinks he's Baker Street's most famous detective, Edith Head.
- 1941 (1979)—The year: Unknown. Dan Aykroyd and Ned Beatty invent the California internment camps, with Steven Spielberg's guidance.
- The Girl from Petrovka (1974)—Goldie Hawn plays a rule-breaking Russian ballerina with a totally believable accent who falls for a American reporter during the Cold War.
- The Other Side of the Mountain (1975)—A skier lady becomes a quadriplegic but that's not gonna stop her from having it all!
- The Other Side of the Mountain: Part 2 (1978)—Former skier discovers still more mountain.
- Cry-Baby (1990)—John Waters directs Johnny Depp before he became awful, and Amy Locane before she went to jail for killing an old lady, but mostly it's all about our beloved Hatchet Face.
- The Parole Officer (2001)—Steve Coogan gets in over his head once again when he witnesses a murder and then gets framed for it and then has to break into a bank vault! God there are a lot of Steve Coogan movies you've never heard of. Maybe it's because of things like this? Makes you think.
- The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)—Wes Craven, the director of Vampire in Brooklyn, every single Scream and the always underrated Cursed, had probably his most mainstream/respected hit with this movie, in which Bill Pullman is maybe having the problem of voodoo on him.
- The Pirates of Penzance (1983)—Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt, Rex Smith, Patricia Routledge and Angela Lansbury make this the sexiest bunch of pirates youv'e seen since 1995's Hackers.
- Audrey Rose (1977)—How come our daughter keeps remembering shit that never happened? It is ghosts.
- School Ties (1992)—1 hour and 46 minutes into this porn, you start wondering if it's just completely forgotten to happen. One minute later, it's over! Fooled you, it wasn't a porno at all but a movie about tolerance. Starring Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell, Cole Hauser, Ben Affleck, Anthony Rapp, Zeljko Ivanek, and Amy Locane before she went to jail for killing an old lady.
- The Boys Next Door (1985)—Penelope Spheeris (Wayne's World, Chris Farley's Black Sheep, and the Suburbia with actual punks such as Flea) directed this very excellent movie about hottie Maxwell Caulfield and dark horse Charlie Sheen just fuckin' going for it because they are truly hardcore. It's like The Living End minus HIV, or Thelma & Louise minus vaginas.
- The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)—Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Cleopatra, All About Eve) directed this classic about a young widow who at first just wants some seaside peace and quiet but ends up getting the ghostly d from a salty sea captain instead.
WORTH A LOOK
- Dirty Dancing (1987)—One carries a watermelon, another puts baby in a corner, the third takes her out again, a fourth gets an abortion, the fifth reads The Fountainhead and cracks rape jokes, and the Queen of the Pocanos is Emily Gilmore. But how do their lives intersect, joining hands and hearts and voices, voices, hearts, and hands? It is through a forbidden dance.
- Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)—One thirsty white girl's rash dancing leads to a fifty-year embargo.
- Blood & Chocolate (2007)—Probably one of the best movies in the entire universe of film, this movie about sexy werewolves stars Agnes Bruckner and Hugh Dancy as popular/edgy children's entertainers "Blood" and "Chocolate."
- Ishtar (1987)—Elaine May, a genius, wrote this punching bag, which I would suggest to you deserves a second look.
- Johnny Mnemonic (1995)—Udo Kier and Dolph Lundgren star as the two sides of Keanu Reeve's id. There is also a mean dolphin, and Dina Meyer from Starship Troopers as an ill-advised Steppin' Razor.
- Event Horizon—Don't cross it! The "event" is a visit to Hell, no takebacks.
- Night of the Creeps (1986)—A very rad 89 minutes of horny coeds with alien slugs inside them, turning 'em into sexy zombies.
- RoboCop 2 (1990)—RoboCop returns after three days in a tomb, to spread his gospel of "Somewhere there is a crime happening."
- Spice World (1998)—Have you ever seen A Hard Day's Night? It's pretty much like that, only the John Lennon of the Spice Girls is a proud feminist rather than beating women.
Stay warm out there! And stay tuned for the list of things you'll find coming to Netflix after the holiday weekend.