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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A Clockwork Orange (March 1)
In Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Anthony Burgess novel, a young man (played by Malcolm McDowell) obsessed with sex, violence, and Beethoven is subjected to a controversial treatment to cure his anti-social desires, but it all goes wrong. The film was originally rated “X” and stirred up considerable controversy due to its graphic content. It wasn’t even widely available in the UK until after Kubrick’s death, nearly 30 years after its initial release.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (March 1)
Ang Lee’s martial arts epic was a huge success when it appeared in 2000, winning numerous awards (including four Oscars) and becoming the most successful foreign film in American box office history. With its dramatic storyline, sweeping cinematography, evocative score, and graceful combat, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon proved that martial arts films could be more than cheesy action comedies, and ushered in a wave of artsy martial arts films including Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and The Promise.
Junebug (March 1)
In this charming indie drama, a man returns to his Southern birthplace with his elegant, refined wife — much to the fascination and consternation of his family. Junebug was arguably Amy Adams’ breakout role; she was nominated for numerous awards for her performance as the young, perpetually upbeat woman who immediately latches on to the wife, and the exciting, upscale lifestyle she represents. On its surface, Junebug seems to be all about Southerners and their quirks, but its naturalistic and compassionate approach to its characters and their lives makes it much more sublime and affecting than that.
Jimmy Carr: The Best of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits (March 12)
One of my guilty pleasures is watching stand-up comedians deal with hecklers, and Jimmy Carr is one of the best at that. With his quick wit, facial expressions, and unique laugh, Carr is one of the world’s top comedians. (He’s also a pretty good quiz show host.) The Best of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits find Carr revisiting some of his best routines and material, and it’s bound to be as hilarious (and offensive) as anything on Netflix these days.
Kung Fu Hustle (March 15)
Sing (Stephen Chow) has one dream in life: to become a member of the feared Axe Gang. But when he encounters a group of reclusive and unlikely martial artists, he’s slowly begins to realize that he could be something more. But not without plenty of hijinks — this is a Stephen Chow movie, after all. Coming on the heels of Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle went even further into CGI-fuelled leaps of martial arts slapstick. While Shaolin Soccer is the better film overall, Kung Fu Hustle still has plenty of hilarious delights all its own.
Love Death + Robots (March 15)
Presented by David Fincher (Gone Girl, Zodiac, Fight Club) and Tim Miller (Deadpool), Love Death + Robots is an anthology of animated shorts that feature, among other things, “sentient dairy products, werewolf soldiers, robots gone wild, garbage monsters, cyborg bounty hunters, alien spiders and blood-thirsty demons from hell.” If the intense red band trailer below is any indication, Love Death + Robots is going to be a crazy ride. (Of course, I thought the same thing after watching Polar’s trailer, and that movie was absolute garbage.)
The OA, Part 2 (March 22)
When The OA’s first season aired in December 2016, it left viewers scratching their heads as to what, exactly, they’d just finished watching. The Netflix original series may have been compared to Stranger Things, but whereas that series delved into ’80s nostalgia, The OA was a lot weirder. It featured an oblique plot about altered states of consciousness and near-death experiences that some found intriguing and others found nonsensical. One thing seems pretty clear from the trailer below: The OA’s second season will probably be just as weird — and divisive — as its first.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (March 29)
Everyone knows hillbillies are the bad guys in horror films. What Tucker and Dale vs. Evil presupposes is… maybe they aren’t. When the titular rednecks encounter a bunch of hot, young coeds on vacation, confusion ensues — with all sorts of hilarious and bloody ramifications. The film’s ending is a bit of a letdown, but it’s still worth watching for Tucker and Dale’s reactions to people accidentally offing themselves in all sorts of crazy ways.
Here’s everything arriving on and leaving Netflix in March 2019.
Batman Begins (March 1)
Before Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale came along, the Caped Crusader hadn’t fared too well on the silver screen. True, Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman was enjoyable in a campy way, thanks to an ultra-gothic aesthetic, Jack Nicholson’s over-the-top Joker, and a funky Prince soundtrack. But it wasn’t until Nolan’s Batman Begins that the world’s greatest detective truly came into his own.
Easy Rider (March 1)
It may seem rather tame these days, but when it was released in 1969, Easy Rider stirred up considerable controversy for its countercultural depiction of sex, drugs, and free spirits. The road movie follows two bikers as they travel the country, encountering hippie love communes and conservative townsfolk and ending up in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Criticized by public figures, Easy Rider was a box office success. Famously, its soundtrack used popular pop and rock songs of the time, including artists like The Band, The Byrds, and Steppenwolf, whose “Born to Be Wild” has become synonymous with the movie.
Office Space (March 1)
Peter Gibbons seems to have it made with his cushy job. But the office environment is stifling and his overbearing boss, Bill Lumbergh, drives him nuts. After a hypnosis session goes wrong, Peter finds himself seeing life in a new way — which includes openly rebelling against his office drone lifestyle. Though a box office failure, the film has achieved a cult status over the years. Anyone who has ever sat through a boring meeting, had to come in on the weekends, or dealt with malfunctioning office equipment can relate to Office Space’s humorous absurdities.
Regarding Henry (March 1)
Regarding Henry is not the best Harrison Ford movie, and it’s easily eclipsed by the rest of his early ’90s output, including Patriot Games and The Fugitive. But for some reason, we watched this a lot when I was a kid, and so I have a soft spot in my heart for this sappy drama about a soulless Manhattan lawyer who’s given a chance to rebuild his life into something better after a vicious assault leaves him with amnesia.
Waterworld (March 1)
Waterworld is famous for being one of the huge Hollywood debacles. Released in 1995, it was the most expensive movie ever made — its budget ballooned to $175 million due to production costs and damage from a hurricane — and its domestic run was just a fraction of that. But Waterworld was nothing if not ambitious in its depiction of a post-apocalyptic Earth where the polar ice caps have melted and humanity has been reduced to floating communes.
Shoplifters (March 14)
Hirokazu Kore-eda is one of Japan’s most acclaimed directors thanks to the warm humanism of films like After Life, Nobody Knows, and Still Walking. His most recent film, Shoplifters, is no different in terms of critical acclaim. Its tale of a family of poor thieves who adopt a young girl won the top awards at the Cannes Film Festival and Mainichi Film Awards, and has been nominated for a “Best Foreign Language Film” Academy Award.
Here’s everything arriving on and leaving Hulu in March 2019.
Little House on the Prairie (March 1)
Based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved book series about growing up on the American prairie in the late 19th century, Little House on the Prairie is one of the classic American TV series. But despite its bucolic setting, the series also tackled weightier topics (e.g., racism, child abuse, drug addiction). Along with Star Trek and M*A*S*H, Little House on the Prairie was a huge part of my early childhood. As a result, the opening theme is permanently seared into my subconscious, as are random scenes (like those shots of the Ingalls children running down the hill during the opening credits).
Here’s everything arriving on and leaving Amazon in March 2019. As usual, there’s a lot of overlap between Hulu and Amazon Prime’s offerings.