Netflix and Chill: 5 Must-Stream Movies Coming to Netflix in July 2018

With as many alternate streaming services that we’ve been covering this last month, it feels good to be getting back to the basics.  Despite there being so many more fish in the sea to choose from, the fact remains that Netflix is the biggest and all-around best streaming service out there.  It offers up a little bit of everything so that fans of everything will at least be satisfied with the services that they rent from them: a couple of Sitcoms, a couple of Police Procedurals, a couple of Horror movies, a couple of Action movies, a couple of Dramas and so on and so forth.

And although the depth of their content catalogs are sadly lacking, let it never be said that Netflix isn’t willing to add some great new content to what little they already have.  July is no exception, as they begin rolling out a few new major movies to supplement what they already have.  And whether you’re a cult action fan, a big budget blockbuster fan, an Oscar-loving dramaturge or a casual comic, their incoming titles this month will doubtless include something for you.

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Drawing from the tragically real death of New Yorker Kitty Genovese — in which a young girl was brutally slain in front of all of her neighbors, none of whom came to her aid or even called the police — a well-meaning priest’s fiery sermon inspires a latter-day rash of unchecked vigilantism.  As our soon-to-be heroes exit the church, he chillingly concluding that while “we must all fear evil men[,] there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.”

Acting as a more bombastic inheritor to Death Wish‘s (1974) mantle of fed-up, ordinary (and quite possibly deranged) men rising up to the challenges of modern crime where the rest of society seems content to play witness to society’s degradation, the film depicts two brothers’ (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) volatile crusade to clean up their city and detective Paul Smecker’s (Willem Dafoe) increasingly conflicted mission to bring them in before innocent people get caught in their crosshairs.  It’s a riotously funny, stylish, action-packed, 90+ minute ride that holds up every bit as much as it did when it was first released.  And if you’ve somehow managed to avoid it until now, it’s definitely something worth checking up on.

Finding Neverland (2004)

It’s easy to forget with the blithering deluge of terrible movies that he’s been in over the last decade, but Johnny Depp really is one of the best actors of his generation.  And for a while there in the mid-nineties and early 2000’s, the man’s career was positively bulletproof.  From the first Pirates of the Carribean (2003) movie to the horror-musical Sweeney Todd (2007) to the off-beat Ed Wood (2004) to the criminally underrated The Libertine (2004), he was a one-man tour-de-force of acting: always choosing the most uncanny and interesting roles he could find.

While perhaps not his best or most memorable of this period, his role as children’s author James Matthew Barrie was probably the closest that the man ever came (and will ever come) to winning an Oscar.  More grounded that the off-the-wall antics of Jack Sparrow and less gruesome than Sweeney Todd, it was the perfect, compact character piece to showcase his talents and deliver a poignant little message about growing up (or the lack thereof) inherent in adulthood.  And it’s times like this, between him stammering through another tired Pirates sequel and uncomfortably playing “magical Hitler” in the first Fantastic Beasts sequel, that we can benefit from remembering when he took intimate, challenging and thoroughly rewarding roles because they meant something.

Happy Gilmore (1996)

For that matter, whatever happened to Adam Sandler.  While his notably juvenile brand of comedy certainly wasn’t for everybody, there was a time there in the nineties when everybody could at least agree that the man was good in the kind of roles he wanted to play (whatever you thought of the movies themselves).  Instead of Grownups (2010), Jack and Jill (2011) and That’s My Boy (2012), he was appearing in movies like Billy Madison (1995), Happy Gilmore (1996) and The Wedding Singer (1998).  And although I’m not the biggest comedy fan out there, even I can’t turn down one of these formative comedies from my childhood (because they really are just that good).

Happy Gilmore, from which the first half of Sandler’s production company Happy Madison derives its name, is the story of a down-and-out amateur hockey player who turns his talents to professional golf when it’s discovered that his hard-hitting swing gives him a long-range advantage over most of the pros that he’s competing with.  Desperately needing the prize money to pay his grandmother’s back taxes, he goes through the usual (as well as some unexpectedly novel) “slobs versus snobs” gags to win the money, win-over the girl of his dreams and show-up his uppity pro tour rivals.

Her (2013)

Too often, science fiction is relegated to big budget, action-adventure epics that desperately ape Star Wars’ (1977) signature style and wide audience appeal.  And while certainly have nothing against that film, franchise or vein of movies in general, the genre is so much bigger, so much better than just this one take on it.  It’s a tradition of rich, forward-looking and deeply contemplative drama that aspires us to become our best selves (and warns us away from becoming out worst).  But occasionally, every distant now and again, we get the kind of small-scale, intimate and deeply meaningful movie in the genre that makes up for all of the Transformers (2007) and Battlefield Earths (2000) in the business.

Although it isn’t the first, or even best, movie in recent years to address the challenges facing near-future technologies, it is easily one of the most celebrated and, dare I even say, underseen.  In it, an ordinary man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his phone-based AI (Scarlett Johansson) as it slowly becomes a more intimate confidant than any of his real-life acquaintances could ever hope to be.  And that’s it, really.  Lacking any of the studio-mandated flourishes that typifies the genre, we instead get a look into what romantic relationships may very soon start to resemble as technology rapidly catches up to biology in a world where such distinctions are increasingly meaningless to make in the first place.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Although I still maintain that the revolutionary Jurassic Park is, at best, a second-tier Spielberg movie, that’s meant more as a marvel to Spielberg’s monolithic career than it is a slight toward one of his most popular movies.  While the movie can hardly be said to compete with the likes of Jaws (1975), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Schindler’s List (1993), Minority Report (2002) or Lincoln (2012), Jurassic Park is a masterpiece of such singular brilliance that it would certainly be the very best movie made by any less of a director (which, given who’s working in the industry, is pretty much everybody).

From the animatronics to the computer imaging, from the revered source material to the sweep John Williams score, the film is every inch the best version of the exact movie that it was trying to be.  And with Fallen Kingdom still touring its way through theaters — trying, but not quite managing, to equal its storied predecessor — maybe it’s about time for the O.G. dinosaur movie to come back into the fray and remind all the kids how things are really done.

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