February is one of the coldest months of the year for most of us, which means we’ll be spending a lot of time inside complaining about everything going on outside. Luckily, the team at Amazon knew we’d need all the entertainment we can get our hands on, because February is absolutely chock full of the good stuff. Amazon Prime members are getting a couple highly anticipated Amazon Originals movies and shows, as well as some great cult classic and new blockbuster hits.
The Warriors is a time capsule of sorts. It’s a movie about a New York City the world has long since left behind, and while it’s a fictitious action suspense film, you’d be surprised to learn how much of its premise—N.Y.C. street gangs running rampant and causing mayhem in the streets—is rooted in real-life history. In the 1979 cult classic The Warriors, a street screw (called The Warriors), must fight their way from the Bronx back to their home turf in Coney Island, after being accused of killing Cyrus, the ringleader and leader of the city’s largest gang. The crew travels from neighborhood to neighborhood, winding their way back into Coney Island, avoiding the police, snitches, and other gangs along the way—all while figuring out a way to clear their name and prove they had nothing to do with Cyrus’ murder.
This ‘80s classic, steeped in historical relevance and oozing with period-correct nostalgia, takes place in an alternate universe where Soviet and Cuban forces have invaded the U.S. and are trying to force a communist coup. When they get to the small town of Calumet, Colorado, the locals fight against the foreign invaders, and a group of high school students resists using any means necessary. When the town begins to fall, it’s up to Jed (Patrick Swayze), Robert (C. Thomas Howell), and six of their friends to take back the town from the invaders and rescue their friends and neighbors.
We love a good gangster movie, and when that gangster movie happens to star the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, and Tim Roth, we’re all in on it. Fishburne plays the roll of Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson, a crime lord with a soft voice, a heavy hand, and deep pockets in 1930’s Harlem. Bumpy’s enterprise is on the up and up until ruthless white mobster Dutch Schultz (Roth) decides he wants in on Bumpy’s action. What ensues is over two hours of brutal prohibition-era violence, intertwined with exactly the kind of acting you know and love from Roth, Fishburne, Garcia, and others. Far as these types of gangster movies are concerned, this ranks right up there with The Untouchables.
This 1975 classic takes place in a dystopian future (The year is actually 2018, ironically enough) run by wealthy industrialists as part of a wealthy global corporate state, Rollerball is a violent worldwide sport that looks like roller derby, but on steroids—players are encouraged to be ultra-violent, and some of them even ride motorcycles, because why the hell not.
Anyway, Jonathan E. is the reigning veteran on the Houston Rollerball team. As his popularity nears record highs, the bigwigs and the team’s corporate owners, Energy Corporation, fear his popularity, and decide that he should retire. After he refuses, the owners make the game more violent and dangerous than ever before in an effort to kill off Jonathan. Jonathan must decide whether he wants to take the money and retire, or risk his life for the game—and fans—he loves.
FYI: The 2002 remake is also coming to Amazon Prime Streaming this month, if you want to check that out, too.
We’ve seen a lot of impressive original content from Amazon in the last year or so, and they’re stepping that up yet another notch in February with the debut of Absentia, a mystery crime thriller about an FBI agent, Emily Byrne (Stana Katic), who goes missing while trying to track down one of Boston’s most brutal serial killers. Eventually, the investigation goes cold and Byrne is presumed dead. The series picks up six years later, after Byrne is found alive in a cabin, mysteriously with zero recollection of the last six years. Not only does the series aim to answer what happened to Byrne after she disappeared, but also to figure out whether or not she can be implicated in a series of other recent murders. The first season was released last September on AXN, and critics and audiences loved it.
Grand Prix Driver: Season 1
For the first time ever in the history of Formula 1 racing, viewers are invited deep inside one of the world’s premiere—and most secretive—teams in Grand Prix racing: McLaren. The goal of this Amazon Original is to take a passenger seat in the madness of what it means to be a trophy-winning super team. From the engineers, to the builders, to the racers themselves, we get an all-access view of just how much time, effort, and skill goes into making the McLaren team everything it is. And when we say “passenger seat” we mean you get to see everything, from the beauty of the motorway, to the trials and tribulations of keeping the team together and in line.
The Ballad of Lefty Brown
Amazon is always picking up classic Westerns, but it’s rare that we get to see an awesome modern classic show up on the steaming service. So, when we saw The Ballad of Lefty Brown would be added to the list this month, we were practically jumping for joy. Released in 2017, The Ballad of Lefty Brown stars Bill Pullman as Lefty Brown, a cowboy who witnesses the murder of his longtime friend and partner, Senator Edward Johnson (Peter Fonda). Lefty vows to find out who killed his friend and why they did it, only to discover a conspiracy has unfolded against him, in which he is being sought in connection to Johnson’s death. Vowing to bring Johnson’s killers to justice and clear his name, Lefty enlists the help of a young gunslinger named Jeremiah (Diego Josef), and an old friend, U.S. Marshall Tom Harrah (Tommy Flanagan) to help him get the job done.
Still considered the greatest addition to the Star Trek reboot series, the 2009 film stars Chris Pine as a young James T. Kirk, and Zachary Quinto as a young Spock. In this Star Trek, Romulan creates black holes to destroy every planet in the Federation, and it’s up to Kirk and Spock to figure out a way to stop him before they lose everything. In the lead up to the film’s release, fans and critics were worried that a modern reboot would prove disastrous for the franchise, but with J.J. Abrams at the helm, it proved a major, major success.
Channing Tatum and a one-handed Kylo Ren walk into a bar, and the weirdest part is that statement isn’t even a cheesy joke. Logan Lucky stars Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan and Adam Driver (the dude who plays Kylo Ren) as Clyde Logan, two brothers tired of being broke who decide to pull off a daring heist at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during one of the busiest races of the year. Daniel Craigs co-stars as Joe Bang, a local felon and “demolitions expert” who the two brothers purposefully break out of prison to assist in the heist. It’s kind of like the trailer park version of an Ocean’s movie, mostly because it’s directed by the same guy, Steven Soderbergh.
One of Amazon’s most popular originals, The Tick returns in February for the second half of its first season. Starring Peter Serafinowicz, this superhero comedy follows the story of The Tick, a superhero in a blue tick costume whose goal is to fight crime and out the mysterious man running the city’s criminal underground behind the curtains. The first half of the season debuted back in August, and everyone—us included—loved it. Serafinowicz, with his deadpan humor and stiff-jawed mannerisms is hilarious as The Tick, and Griffin Newman is a perfect fit as Arthur Everest, The Tick’s sidekick. If you haven’t looked into this one yet, you’re really missing out.