Beauty and the Beast — Although we saw a few treasured Disney films fall from Netflix’s roster this month, it seems like the company is more than willing to make up to difference to us. For the low, low price of Lilo & Stitch and The Emperor’s New Groove, we get a handful of genuine classics. In addition to the brilliantly crafted remake of Beauty and the Beast, Netflix will also be receiving Hercules Mulan, and Pocahontas.
Of the company’s new offerings, it’s the live-action film that is most exciting. Between the booming vocals and gorgeous visuals, it perfectly recreates the magic of the original animated classic. Although I can ultimately take or leave the added flourishes the existing songs, the addition of “Forever More” was a haunting tribute to a character marked by a changing heart.
Gerald’s Game —Stephen King has undoubtedly been the most prolific and celebrated horror author of the last century. And for better or worse, between It, Gerald’s Game and The Dark Tower, 2017’s moviescape will be in large part defined by attempts of recreating his nightmarish vision for the big screen.
Although not as celebrated as some of his other works, Geralds Game is among his best written. It details how an innocent bout of sex between spouses can escalate into a harrowing game of life and death. And with horror director Mike Flannigan — best known for directing Oculus, Hush and that one good Ouija prequel that took everybody by surprise — fans can rest assured that the story is in good hands.
Jaws — Although September’s additions hardly make up for the genre purge that is currently underway with the streaming service, this is a good start to making amends. Gerald’s Game is a promising prospect, but ultimately an unknown quantity. Jaws, on the other hand, is a certifiable classic.
When a coastal tourist town is beset by shark over a big holiday weekend, the mayor proves to be more concerned with out-of-town spending than on the cost the beast poses to Human lives. As swimmers start disappearing in the water, it’s up to a motley crew, led by the town’s upstart sheriff, to purge the shark from their shore.
Jerry Before Seinfeld — It’s truly amazing the kinds of projects that Netflix ends up greenlighting. Before the streaming service re-imagined he world of home entertainment, revival projects like this were virtually unthinkable. Even something as simple as a television special for a comedian decades past his prime was an unheard of prospect.
Although not much is known about the shape of this Netflix-backed comedy special, we do know that it’s a return to form for the actor: back-tracking to the same material that landed him a hit television series in the 1990’s. Whether it’s a straight retelling of his old material — or a revamped set that incorporates more modern elements to it — remains to be seen, but as one of the most proven comedic talents of the past few decades, it will doubtless be worth a laugh or two.
The Magic School Bus Rides Again — It was only a matter of time, I suppose. In the years since they’ve began dabbling in original programming, Netflix has become the home for niche nostalgia projects that have long been excised from basic cable. Between Bill Nigh Saves the World and Fuller House — Girl Meets World and a drastically reimagined Series of Unfortunate Events — they have proven both willing and capable of resurrecting any franchise that still has some life left in it.
Like Bill Nigh Saves the World, The Magic School Bus Rides Again is a revival of an old, 90’s educational program that is still fondly remembered by the adults who watched it in elementary school. The imaginative show explored everything from the Solar System to the workings of the Human body, and with a talent like Kate McKinnon taking center stage, it will doubtless bring them — and a new generation of eager learners — back for more.
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