By any measurable standard, June is going to be a hell of a solid month for Netflix subscribers. We’re getting a ton of new original content, some superb classics like Full Metal Jacket and Young Frankenstein, and some ground-breaking documentary films you’ve probably never seen before. Lock in and buckle up, because things are probably going to get a little bumpy this month.
Full Metal Jacket
A timeless war film that never, ever gets old, Full Metal Jacket makes its triumphant return to Netflix this month. Released in 1987 and directed/produced by Stanley Kubrick, the film follows a platoon of U.S. Marines through their experiences during the Vietnam War. It’s billed as one of the most honest portrayals of America’s involvement during the war, and paints a vivid picture of what life was really like for our boys on the ground over there and over here before they left. It’s not always pretty, it’s not always pleasant, but the film itself is beautiful. Plus, you know, hearing Lee Ermey’s angelic choir of a voice is just… Perfect.
The Bucket List
Of course, what’s a “What’s New on Netflix” roundup without a couple heartwarming classics? The Bucket List stars film legends Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as two terminally ill men, Carter Chambers and Edward Cole, one a humble family man and mechanic, and the other a lonely brooding billionaire (guess who plays who), as they discover their illnesses, and with fate looming overhead, decide to embark on a beautiful adventure together. It sounds cheesy, and admittedly, it kind of is, but it’s a solid feel-good adventure film starring two of our favorite actors, coping gracefully with age and the inevitable idea of death. If you haven’t seen it, definitely give it a go.
Can you imagine a film where Edward Norton bosses Matt Damon around for a couple hours? And Damon plays the nerd while Norton plays the loose and fiscally irresponsible cannon? Well, that’s exactly what Rounders is all about. Starring Norton as Lester “Worm” Murphy and Damon as Mike McDermott, Rounders is the tale of two friends and card players who get wrapped up in unexpected bad guy bullshit.
Worm goes to jail for credit card fraud, and by the time he’s released, his friend (and partner) McDermott has gone straight, stopped playing cards, and is going through law school. Worm, who accumulated a massive debt while in prison, turns to his best friend to help him settle up. McDermott begrudgingly agrees, and so begins a pretty great movie that involves Russian gangsters, poker, hustlers, violence, and all the fun that comes with it.
One of the undisputed greatest American comedy films of all time, directed by Mel Brooks and starring the late great Gene Wilder, Young Frankenstein also makes its way back to Netflix. The black and white classic, first released in 1974, tells the story of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of the famous mad scientist Victor Frankenstein and lecturing physician at an American medical school, as he inherits his grandfather’s estate in Transylvania, discovers his grandfather’s long-lost laboratory, and proceeds to resume work in the family business—reanimating the dead. It’s timeless and funny and witty and ridiculous and everything you’d expect from the mind of the famous Mel Brooks.
We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t know the name “Banksy” if they heard it. When people generally hear about Banksy’s work, it’s from people who are in love with it. Suburban “young professionals” who find his style gritty and raw, art collectors who froth at the mouth just for the opportunity to see a real Banksy piece in person, and dealers who froth at the piles and piles of cash that comes with it, all talking about how great and wonderful Banksy is.
Saving Banksy is a documentary that tells the story of an art collector who’s willing to go through damn near anything to preserve an original Banksy piece from the side of a condemned building in San Francisco. What this film does that others don’t, however, is get the perspective of real-life graffiti writers that offer up quite a different perspective than what most are used to hearing: Stop fucking commoditizing graffiti culture. It’s a brilliant look at the flipside of a coin.
Orange is the New Black Season 5
Orange is the New Black Season 5 debuts June 9 on Netflix after what most would agree was a hell of a finale last season. We don’t want to give anything away for those who aren’t yet caught up, but we can’t wait to see what’s going to come of the impending shit storm that came to a head in the Season 4 finale, as well as how the show intends to pay [further] homage to one of its most beloved characters.
El Chapo Season 1
With the success and acclaim of Narcos in the books (and third and fourth seasons on order), Netflix is looking to capitalize on another more recent drug kingpin, perhaps the largest since the late Pablo Escobar, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. The series, which was first released back in April by Univision but quickly scooped up for worldwide distribution by Netflix, recounts the very beginning of the notorious cartel leader’s reign of power (and terror), starting in the mid-1980s with his low-level allegiance to the Guadalajara Cartel, all the way up through his arrest. It’s the most comprehensive recounting of the events that we’ve seen, so if you want to know the man behind the name, this is where it begins.
If we know anything about our readers (and you about us), it’s that we’re all fight guys. So, when we see new fight titles on Netflix, it’s a pretty sure thing that we’re going to include them here. But CounterPunch, a new Jay Bulger original documentary set to debut on June 16, isn’t just a fight flick; it’s a documentary that profiles a number of young, up-and-coming boxers in a sport that seems to have lost its allure over the last decade or so. The trailer was just released a few days ago, and it previews a film that gives the world an in-depth look at what it’s really like to be an up-and-coming amateur boxer hungry for the come-up. The road to a successful boxing career these days is exceptionally tough, and CounterPunch seems to capture that narrative honestly and with grace and style.
GLOW Season 1
Do you like wrestling? Do you like badass, beautiful women in spandex unitards? Then you’re probably going to love GLOW, which premieres on June 23 and is another Netflix Original from the same team who brought us Orange is the New Black. The premise revolves around an aspiring actress, Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), and her introduction to GLOW—the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. We haven’t seen much outside of the trailer, but from the looks of it, it’s going to be pretty damn good.
Another provocative new documentary, American Anarchist tells the story of a man you’ve likely never heard of before: William Powell. Powell was the author of the primary countercultural revolutionary manual of the last half a century, The Anarchist Cookbook. First published in 1971, The Anarchist Cookbook served as a literal manual for anarchists and revolutionaries all over the world because it gave detailed instructions on the manufacture of explosives, telecommunications hacking, hand to hand combat, information on drugs (and how to produce them), and was practically a step-by-step guide on how to essentially overthrow the government.
The film, however, talks a lot about Powell’s life after writing the book—his finding God through Anglicanism, his regrets about compiling the book (which has been used to hurt and even kill people in countless terrorist attacks, domestic and abroad). It also talks about the controversy surrounding it and its historical relevance.