Well, it’s that time of the month again: when an old batch of Netflix titles leave the streaming service and a brand new batch takes their place. While there are thankfully few high-end films exiting in October, there are a few that should not be missed while they are still available.
5. The Warriors (1979) – Although critically panned when first released, The Warriors has developed a well-deserved cult following over the last thirty-seven years. When a gang leader is assassinated at a massive, inter-gang meeting in the Bronx, a group known as The Warriors are framed for it. Now, with every gang in the city hunting them down, they need to fight their way back to Coney Island and clear their names.
The Warriors is the kind of campy, over-the-top production that never seems to get made anymore. Beset by fabulously dressed gangs and set in stylized, nighttime New York City, it strikes the perfect balance between action thriller and straight up horror.
4. Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) – They just don’t make them like this anymore. The 1980’s was a golden age of action-comedies and buddy cop thrillers. Between this, Lethal Weapon and The Killer – all of which are currently streamable on Netflix – you could hardly go wrong with a high-octane 80’s flick.
While most people prefer the first in the series, I have always had a soft spot for the sequel to the hit Eddie Murphey buddy cop movie. The jokes are bigger, the action set pieces more bombastic and the characters even more outrageous than before. It features what is perhaps the best Murphey performance out there – certainly the most iconic – guffawing his way through explosive heists and even the playboy mansion, alongside the nearly-as-impressive John Ashton and Judge Reinhold.
3. The Truman Show (1998) – Say what you will about art imitating life. Keep your realism to yourself. For me, it never gets any better than when it gets weird. Give me Being John Malkovich. Give me Under the Skin. Give me The Truman Show.
The premise of the film is delightfully absurd: a man’s entire life – from birth through the present day – is a lie. Unbeknownst to him, he has been raised in a reality TV show, engineered in order to keep things light and entertaining. His friends have all been actors working off of a script. Every major event in his life, from his father’s traumatic death at sea to his marriage to his college sweetheart, has been orchestrated by the show’s director to maintain the audience-friendly status quo. And now, after thirty years of records-breaking television, Truman finally starts to catch on that things aren’t quite what they appear to be on the surface.
(Photo via drafthouse.com)
2. Back to the Future (1985) – This film hardly needs an introduction. Virtually everybody has already seen it: an iconic action-comedy that spawned a massively popular franchise that is a landmark in 80’s cinema. Spawned from the boundless imagination of Steven Spielberg, helmed by the often under-appreciated Robert Zemeckis and starring two of the 80’s most recognizable actors, the film is the perfect storm of accessible-yet-intelligent cinema.
The thing is, though, that it’s not just the beloved first-film that’s leaving Netflix, but the entire trilogy. It’s like last April when the entire Friday the 13th franchise got the boot at the same time. Marathon them while you can, because after this week, you won’t be able to.
1. The Exorcist (1973) – Talk about awful timing. The Exorcist – perhaps the most celebrated horror movie of all time – is being taken off of Netflix just in time for October. Netflix has enough trouble keeping high-end films of the genre as it is without dumping the best-of-the-best with Halloween right around the corner.
But that is sadly the shape of things. The classic story of an innocent girl being possessed by the Devil in order to torture the living is not long for this world. And while the streaming service is not entirely without quality horror – they at least still have Jaws, Hellraiser and The Babadook for now – there’s no doubting that The Exorcist will be sorely missed in this time of tricks and treats.