As Netflix et al. add more content, it’s difficult to know what to look for amidst all of the newly added titles. So at the start of every month, I publish a list of particularly noteworthy and interesting movies and TV shows to add to your streaming queues.
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Blazing Saddles (March 1)
Mel Brooks’ parody of western movies is probably one of the most politically incorrect movies ever made. It also happens to be one of the funniest, thanks to the duo of Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder (not to mention the likes of Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn, and Slim Pickens). Brooks’ unending stream of sight gags, visual puns, post-modern deconstruction, racial humor — and flatulence — is spot on as Little’s black sheriff must save a town full of racist morons who hate him.
Coraline (March 16)
Neil Gaiman’s darkly fantastical storytelling and Henry Selick’s stop-motion animation are a match made in movie heaven. Coraline’s titular heroine dreams of a nicer, more magical home — which is exactly what she gets when she discovers a portal to another world. Of course, given that this is Neil Gaiman we’re talking about, things soon get dark and weird, and Selick’s clever visuals are a perfect tool for conveying that.
Iron Fist, Season One (March 17)
Netflix’s latest Marvel series, following Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, follows a young man who returns home after spending years abroad following the tragic death of his parents. He also happens to be a billionaire heir and in possession of some serious fighting skills. Sound like any other heroes you know? In all seriousness, Netflix’s Marvel series have all been topnotch productions, despite occasionally suffering story issues (I’m looking in your direction, Luke Cage). What’s more, this one features a guy with explosive punches and lots of martial arts action. I’m sold.
The Discovery (March 31)
This Netflix original movie has an intriguing premise: What if science had proven the existence of an afterlife? In The Discovery, this news leads to a suicide epidemic as people try to get to the other side. Against this morbid backdrop, two people — played by Rooney Mara and Jason Segel — fall in love. The Discovery was written and directed by Charlie McDowell, who also directed 2014’s acclaimed The One I Love.
Click here for a complete list of everything arriving on and leaving Netflix in March 2017.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (March 1)
“No matter where you go, there you are.” The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai is an acquired taste but its blend of pulp sci-fi, ’80s fashion, and rock n’ roll makes it one of the all-time great cult films. It’s a good thing Buckaroo Banzai is a rock star, neurosurgeon, and superhero: he needs to stop extra-dimensional aliens from using his oscillation overthruster for nefarious ends. Be sure to look out for John Lithgow’s zany, over-the-top performance, a fantastic end credits sequence, and oh yeah, the watermelon.
The Karate Kid (March 1)
Wax on, wax off… If you’re a child of the ’80s then you know the plot by heart: a lonely kid gets picked on by some ruthless karate bullies, he’s taken in by an old Japanese man who teaches him karate in a rather unorthodox fashion, and he uses the crane kick to dispense justice. Oh, and there’s that awesome soundtrack featuring Survivor, Bananarama, Joe Esposito, and… Gang of Four?! (All three of the Ralph Macchio Karate Kid movies are coming to Hulu on March 1.)
The Man From Nowhere (March 1)
I never saw the appeal of the Taken movies starring Liam Neeson, especially considering The Man From Nowhere is such a better former-special-agent-out-for-revenge kind of movie. The Man From Nowhere slow burns for the first 30 minutes or so, and then bang! — all hell breaks loose as the hero takes on an organ-trafficking gang to save a young girl. Won Bin is excellent as the emotionally damaged yet extremely lethal agent (he won “Best Actor” at the 2010 Korea Film Awards for this role), the villains are appropriately slimy and despicable, and the action is fast and brutal. Being a South Korean film, there’s plenty of melodrama but that only enhances the film’s intensity and poignancy.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (March 1)
True story: When I was in high school, a friend let me borrow a copy of Terminator 2 that he’d recorded off HBO. Not only was the movie mind-blowing in terms of special effects and action, but it was one of my first brushes with fan obsession. I must’ve watched the movie ten times in a single week. (I’m surprised that VHS tape survived the ordeal.) 26 years later, the movie still holds up as an action masterpiece, and the unstoppable liquid metal T‑1000 — played excellently by Robert Patrick — remains one of movie sci-fi’s best and most cleverly devised antagonists.
Click here for a complete list of everything arriving on and leaving Hulu in March 2017.
What We Do In The Shadows (March 1)
Amazon Prime’s offerings in March are pretty slim, but I’m particularly excited about this. I missed it the first time around, but this “documentary” about a group of vampires trying to make it in the modern world, looks like brilliant horror comedy à la Shaun of the Dead. The movie comes by way of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, the guys who’ve also given us other acclaimed comedies like Flight of the Conchords and Eagle vs Shark. Waititi is the director of the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.
Orphan Black, Season Four (March 16)
This is the penultimate season of the acclaimed Canadian sci-fi series about a young woman who discovers that she’s one of a series of clones. Tatiana Maslany won “Best Lead Actress” at the 2016 Emmy awards for her lead role in Orphan Black… or is that lead roles?
Click here for a complete list of everything arriving on Amazon Prime in March 2017.