August is shaping up to be a hell of a month for Netflix subscribers, which is a pretty noticeable contrast to the preceding few. We’re not saying things have been awful, but we definitely don’t think we’re alone in noticing Netflix’s dedication to promoting their unique original content. It’s not a bad thing at all (Hell, we love Stranger Things as much as the next guy), but selections of non-Netflix movies and television shows have definitely been lacking.
Well, that all changes in August. Subscribers will find a couple Netflix-owned gems coming, but this next month is really all about the classics:
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
For one reason or another, it seems like the early to mid-2000s was awash with some pretty God-awful horror films. Remember Darkness Falls? The Wicker Man? Ugh… The Fog? Or what about that piece of shit sequel to the original Blair Witch film? Yeah. Ick.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was one of the few diamonds in the rough during this period of American horror stagnation, and even though it was a remake of the 1974 cult-classic, it held its own not just at the Box Office, but with fans of the original film. The remake follows five 20-somethings on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in the summer of 1973. What begins as a groovy road trip very quickly descends into a horrifying interaction with a crazed murderer with—you guessed it—a chainsaw. It’s a true-to-its-roots slasher film that’s less about substance, and more about gore (with a little sex thrown in for good measure), and if you’re a fan of the genre—or just of Jessica Biel—you’ll probably dig this flick.
APEX: The Story of the Hypercar
At his core, man is an animal that lusts for the excitement of the unknown, and who is inherently at odds with nature—a driving force that desires nothing more than to wipe him from the face of the Earth. He is always striving to test the limits of himself and the world around him, and it is this idea that takes precedence in APEX: The Story of the Hypercar. APEX tells the story of Christian Von Koenigsegg as he designs, develops, builds, and even races APEX’s 274-mile-per-hour speed demon, the One:1. APEX is beautifully produced, exceptionally intimate at times, and honestly reads more like a love letter to the art of automobile design than an a car documentary. Even if high-dollar supercars aren’t your bag, APEX: The Story of the Hypercar is a film worth watching at least once.
In The Shadow Of The Moon
This film is a superb account of the United States’ manned missions to the moon throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. Directed by David Sington and Christopher Riley (both British, oddly enough), In The Shadow of the Moon offers a compelling and intimate look back to one of America’s proudest and most innovative periods of technological development and scientific exploration. Viewers can expect first-hand accounts by astronauts like Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Jim Lovell, and several others who appear on camera and talk about what life is like in zero gravity.
Destination: Team USA
This year’s Summer Olympics is quickly spiraling into perhaps one of the biggest international shit shows of the last decade. Yet, despite all the clear and present danger, athletes from all over the world put their blood, sweat, and tears into competing for the chance to represent their respective countries on the world’s grandest stage. Destination: Team USA follows five Olympic hopefuls as they compete for the chance to live out their life’s greatest ambitions—going to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
An Inconvenient Truth
The film that started a conversation about the indisputability of climate change and humanity’s affect on the world around us, An Inconvenient Truth, directed by Davis Guggenheim and conceived by the guy who gave us the internet (Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore), is often credited with being one of the most influential environmental documentaries not just of the 21st Century, but all time. Whether you’re a young environmentalist, a climate-change conspiracy theorist, or even a complete non-believer, An Inconvenient Truth is an excellent primer to modern environmentalism. At the very least, it’s worth watching for its historical relevance.
The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift
The third installment in what has emerged as one of Hollywood’s biggest and most-beloved franchises in the last 20 years, The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift makes its way to Netflix on August 1. If you’re a fan of the franchise, you’re undoubtedly excited for this one, as many consider it to be the best in the entire series. Its focus on tuner and drifter car culture, rather than on pointless action sequences, has firmly planted its roots in the garden of legends—which is a tough thing to do with the car crowd. Just do us all a favor and don’t call it “Nahss.” ~shudder~
Note: The original The Fast and the Furious (2001) is also coming to Netflix this month. So, if you’ve somehow never seen or heard of the franchise before, you’ll be able to start from the beginning.
Punk’s Dead: SLC Punk 2
SLC Punk!, even if just for nostalgia’s sake, is regarded as one of the most heartwarmingly ridiculous homages to punk rock culture ever produced for the big screen. It is a late ‘90s cult classic whose legacy lives on in Punk’s Dead: SLC Punk 2, the often-spoken-about-but-never-thought-to-actually-ever-happen sequel to the original. Punk’s Dead follows Ross, the love child of Trish and Heroin Bob (two of the original film’s prominent characters), and his two friends Penny and Crash, as they embark on an epic road trip to learn more about the culture that brought Ross’ parents together. Expect hysterical cameos from Devon Sawa (who returns as Sean), and James Duval (who returns as John The Mod—but is no longer a mod). Whether you’re an old punk kid who has settled into a life of Fred Perry and craft brewing, or a new kid just experiencing The Descendents for the first time, or you’re just looking for a random enjoyable movie on a Tuesday night in, this is a must-watch.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Bill Murray over the last few years, it’s that, despite his critical acclaim and status as one of the most interesting actors in Hollywood’s storied history, he can, in fact, do wrong—we’re looking at you, Rock the Kasbah.
But we’d like to officially go on record right here and now as saying that his role as Vincent in St. Vincent is one of the best performances of his career. Murray perfectly executes the role of bitter-alcoholic-‘Nam-vet-and-native-brooklynite-and-wild-eccentric-with-a-heart-of-gold, and his co-stars, Melissa McCarthy (Maggie Bronstein) and Jaeden Lieberher (Maggie’s son, Oliver), really bring this film somewhere special. We’re not big proponents of cutesy-tootsy feel-good cinema, but St. Vincent is the rare exception to the rule.
No Country For Old Men
Many have tried to put Cormac McCarthy’s brilliantly suspenseful and oft horrific style of writing to the screen, but few succeed in doing his brand of story-telling justice. Fortunately, the Coen brothers adaptation of the McCarthy classic of the same name hits the nail on the head. Starring Tommy Lee Jones (in what may be one of his best roles ever—seriously), Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin, No Country For Old Men tells the story of a cat-and-mouse game of circumstance and fate between a steadfast sheriff, a rogue hit man-for-hire, and an innocent hunter who finds himself in the right place at the very, very wrong time. We can’t say enough good things about this one, and if you haven’t seen it yet, now’s the time to make it happen.
The Get Down: Season 1
New York City wasn’t always the touristy hipster-haven it is today. Before Giuliani’s historic cleanup of the city in the early 1990s, places like Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and even Manhattan were concrete jungles of urban decay, home to some of the most dangerous and destructive, but indisputably unique, raw, and 100-percent indelible cultural movements in American history.
The Get Down, one of the most expensive Netflix original yet, tries to shed some light on that wild and radical history. Created by Baz Luhrman, with the one and only Nas in the Exec. Producer seat, The Get Down follows a crew of young kids on the come-up in late ‘70s Bronx as they tour their way through the city that put hip-hop, punk, and disco on the radar. Viewers will see a lot of bits and pieces of genuine culture from the time period (like the wild Warriors-like street crews that ran rampant in the streets, to the ritzy Studio 54 disco scene), while also exploring the effects of things like poverty, racism, and violence, and its effects on adolescent development. All that, in addition to some straight up thug shit, too!