You might still be emotionally reeling from the news that Netflix will be axing several titles from its library by the end of 2013 or early 2014, but there’s still time for one last binge.
One redditor made a list of all the titles expiring between Dec. 29 and Jan. 4. So with a few days left in the year, here are 10 of the best films to get all up on this weekend. Or on New Year’s Eve. Or as a way to avoid/bond with your family during the holidays. All the titles below expire on Jan. 1.
Being John Malkovich
Before he made a movie about someone becoming obsessed with a gadget, Spike Jonze directed a movie about someone becoming obsessed with climbing into John Malkovich’s head. His 1999 film, penned by Charlie Kaufman, was beta/meta version of augmented reality: As John Cusack’s character declares, “Do you see what a metaphysical can of worms this portal is?” Sounds a lot like the Internet...
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
If you happened to watch this movie on HBO as a kid in the ‘80s, you likely have fond memories of it this schlock-shock classic, and were likely terrified of cotton candy for a short time. Its title is literal, and it was directed by the Chiodo brothers, who were responsible for the low-budget special effects of other ‘80s cult-comedies like Critters. Bonus: The Dickies did the “Killer Klowns” title track.
Do the Right Thing
Spike Lee’s latest joints haven’t really lit up the box office — let’s be honest and admit Oldboy never needed to be remade — but 1989’s Do the Right Thing might be his masterpiece. It’s a perfect film, with the dramatic tension building in a Bed-Stuy neighborhood over the course of one summer day. The riot scene is often cited when discussing this film, but Lee’s ensemble cast is the magic here.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Real talk: I watched this film again recently, nearly a decade after seeing it in the theater after a heartbreak, and it’s just as devastating now. Michel Gondry captured the aimless despair of a bad breakup and how hard it is to disentangle from another human being. Beck also does an excellent cover of the Korgis’ “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime.”
Of course Tim Burton attempted to remake this ‘60s television show, but his version was pretty campy. Gone was the the stylish, gothic drama of the original series. The main character, Barnabas Collins, puts all these modern sensitive vamp-bros to shame, and the Collins family were the original Cullens, with much more sartorial edge. It’s easy to forget this was a daytime soap opera: that was pretty edgy for the late ‘60s.
The Kids in the Hall
And The Kids in the Hall was pretty edgy for early ‘90s cable. The Canadian sketch group made an infinitely quotable series, much like Mr. Show, which debuted the same year The Kids in the Hall ended. The sketches revolved around absurd storylines, and every fan has their favorite. Definitely good for a weekend binge and a nice, comfy green sweater.
Speaking of green sweaters, Half-Baked is another infinitely quotable film, and starred Dave Chappelle pre-Chappelle's Show fame and Guillermo Diaz pre-Scandal. Who hasn’t re-enacted this scene in the last 15 years?
This sequel to 1986’s Troll actually has nothing to do with the original, and features no trolls. It’s also really bad. Somehow, this mixture of awful acting and inexplicable plot led the film to become a cult classic. The 2010 documentary Best Worst Movie, which is also on Netflix, documents the unlikely modern-day popularity of the film, the cast’s struggles with Italian director Claudio Fragasso, and a whole new generation that knows what "nilbog" is spelled backwards.
When Netflix gets classic films, you’ve got to snatch them up. You’ve got Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn looking equally beautiful in this William Wyler film, with Rome as their backdrop. The film’s screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, finally got full credit in 2011, after being blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the early ‘50s.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
This movie about Texas’s infamous Chicken Ranch stars Dolly Parton and Jim Nabors, which is all you really need to know.
Image via MoneyBlogNewz/Flickr