What’s new on Netflix? Lots, including “The Hunger Games,” “ParaNorman,” “Hustle & Flow,” Eureka: Season 5,” and “Weeds: Season 8.”
Also, in celebration of Black History Month and the 85th Academy Awards, select titles on the service have been highlighted below. Dates may change.
And, with the success of “House of Cards,” I guess Netflix is doing that “show me the money” thing from “Jerry Maguire” and adding more original series. It just announced its first original series for kids, based on the DreamWorks Animation movie “Turbo,” in theaters this summer (it looks hilarious). The new series “Turbo: F.A.S.T.” (Fast Action Stunt Team) will debut on Netflix in December.
Netflix also just announced a first look film deal with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit production company.
Ok, here’s what’s new and upcoming on Netflix:
Action & Adventure
Anaconda (1997). Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Jonathan Hyde, Owen Wilson. When deranged snake hunter Paul Serone tricks a film crew into taking him on their boat so he can hunt a giant anaconda, the group soon finds itself up the Amazon River without a paddle as they become prey for the fearsome reptile.
Godzilla (1998). Matthew Broderick, Vicki Lewis, Malcolm Danare, Jean Reno, Hank Azaria. When a freighter is attacked in the Pacific Ocean, a team of experts, including a biologist and two scientists, concludes that an oversized reptile is the culprit. Before long, the big lizard is loose in Manhattan, destroying everything in sight.
The Mask of Zorro (1998). Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones. In this smashing revival of the iconic masked hero, an aging Zorro passes the torch to young successor Alejandro Murrieta, schooling him in discipline and training him to take up the sword against unscrupulous officials.
The Hunger Games (2012). Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci. In a dystopian future ruled by a totalitarian regime, resourceful Katniss and her partner, Peeta, represent their district in the lethal Hunger Games, a televised survival competition in which teenage contestants fight each other to the death.
Children & Family
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001). Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer, Don Novello, Phil Morris. A rare Disney foray into PG-rated animation, this action-filled tale follows the exploits of a group of adventurers led by museum researcher Milo Thatch as they journey thousands of leagues under the sea to the fabled kingdom of Atlantis.
Star Kid (1997). Joseph Mazzello, Richard Gilliland, Corinne Bohrer, Alex Daniels. Shy seventh-grader Spencer Griffith goes from zero to hero when he discovers an alien space suit that gives him extraordinary powers — which he’s eager to use to get back at his tormentor and impress his dream girl.
Arthur and the Invisibles (2006). Freddie Highmore, Madonna, Mia Farrow, Robert De Niro, Snoop Dogg, David Bowie. Ten-year-old Arthur discovers a world of tiny people living in the backyard of his home, which is slated for demolition. A cryptic message leads Arthur to the mini community, where he searches for a rumored treasure in an effort to save his house.
Avail 4/18. ParaNorman (2012). Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann. When an army of zombies invades a small town, it’s up to an odd local boy with a knack for communicating with the dead to save the day. But judgmental adults prove to be even more formidable adversaries. The film is one of the 2013 Oscar nominees for Best Animated Feature.
LOL (2012). Miley Cyrus, Demi Moore, Ashley Greene, Douglas Booth, Thomas Jane, Jay Hernandez. Pretty teen Lola and her high school friends struggle to elude their bewildered parents, pull off daring hookups and sow some seriously wild oats in this coming-of-age comedy for the social media era.
Bachelorette (2012). Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson, James Marsden. When a single overachiever learns, to her horror, that an overweight girl she teased in high school is getting married before her, she swallows her pride and serves as maid of honor, enlisting her old clique to help through an evening of mishaps.
Mr. Bean’s Holiday (2007). Rowan Atkinson, Emma de Caunes, Max Baldry, Willem Dafoe. The hapless Mr. Bean takes a vacation on the French Riviera, where he becomes ensnared in an accidental kidnapping, discovers romance with a lovely actress at the Cannes Film Festival and manages to give a pompous movie director his comeuppance.
Bully (2011). Exploring the subject of school bullying from a personal angle, this eye-opening documentary tracks the stories of five different families whose children are struggling to defend themselves on a near-daily basis.
Hustle & Flow (2005). Terrence Howard, Ludacris, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning. Terrence Howard turns in an Oscar-nominated performance in director Craig Brewer’s indie drama as DJay, a pimp with aspirations of grandeur who wants to make it as a rapper but discovers that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Offering strong characters and notes of sweet romance amid the urban beats of its central plot, this 2005 Sundance Audience Award winner also won an Oscar for Best Original Song (“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”).
Pretty in Pink (1986). Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts, James Spader. Working-class misfit Andie thinks her dreams have come true when rich, popular Blane asks her to prom in this coming-of-age classic from John Hughes. Meanwhile, Andie’s best friend Duckie pines for her.
Lovelace (2013). Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco, Sharon Stone, Wes Bentley. Amanda Seyfried stars as adult film icon Linda Lovelace, a woman coerced into and abused by the porn industry before taking charge of her life. The supporting cast includes all manner of Hollywood A-listers stepping into meaty roles.
Dangerous Liaisons (1988). Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Keanu Reeves, Uma Thurman. Privileged and bored 18th-century French aristocrats Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont entertain themselves by making a bet focusing on the virginal Cécile de Volanges and the virtuous Madame de Tourvel.
Drop Dead Fred (1991). Phoebe Cates, Rik Mayall, Marsha Mason, Tim Matheson, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda. After Elizabeth leaves her cheating husband, she moves back into her childhood home. Instead of getting on with her life, she takes a huge step backward, reliving old memories and reviving her imaginary friend, Fred.
The Paperboy (2012). Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray, John Cusack, Nicole Kidman. Convinced by a death row inmate’s female pen pal that the convict is innocent, a reporter and his brother investigate and discover a case marred by deceit, seduction and betrayal. Meanwhile, one brother falls for the convict’s mysterious confidant.
Action & Adventure
Archer: Season 3 (2011). Sophisticated spy Archer may have the coolest gadgets, but he still has issues when it comes to dealing with his boss — who also happens to be his mother — in this wicked animated spoof of spy flicks and the sex-crazed agents who populate them.
Weeds: Season 8 (2012). The last time we saw Nancy and the Botwins it was through the scope of a hit man’s rifle. Nancy had sprung from the joint and gone to New York City where she made a fresh start doing what she does best-selling pot and making enemies. Now everyone’s wondering who put out the hit and who got smoked.
The L Word: Seasons 1-6 (2004). This trailblazing cable series follows the tangled lives and ever-changing relationships among a close-knit group of lesbians — including a lusty hairstylist and a recovering alcoholic — who call Los Angeles home.
Borgia: Season 2 (2012). The name Borgia stands for betrayal, intrigue and corruption in the Vatican, which was the center of the world during the Renaissance. Rodrigo Borgia — later Pope Alexander VI — embodied the spirit of the time with its unimaginable contradictions.
Titanic: Blood and Steel (2012). Irish immigrant Mark Muir works on construction of the doomed RMS Titanic while hiding his Catholic heritage from the project’s Protestant financiers. As the ship is built, Muir falls in love amid the tensions of the period and Muir’s own past.
Eureka: Season 5 (2012). When he takes the job of sheriff of the little town of Eureka, Ore., ex-U.S. marshal Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) discovers that the community’s quiet citizens are actually brilliant scientists working for a dangerous top-secret research facility. As he works to fix the damage caused by experimental technology gone disastrously awry, Carter keeps a watchful eye on his rebellious daughter. Jordan Hinson co-stars in this offbeat sci-fi series.
In Celebration of Black History Month
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Perspective (1994). Arthur Burghardt, Martin Luther King Jr. This documentary program focuses on the Civil Rights leader’s many groundbreaking accomplishments. Footage covers Dr. King’s war on poverty and his staunch opposition to the Vietnam War. Also included is his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech.
Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story (2012). Raymond De Felitta, Frank De Felitta, Booker Wright. Prompted by a son’s wish to honor his filmmaker father, this documentary uncovers the impact of a bold decision made by an African American waiter to expose the true state of race relations in Mississippi in the turbulent 1960s.
Carmen Jones (1954). Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Olga James, Joe Adams. After the beautiful but troublemaking Carmen sets her sights on pilot-in-training Joe, he leaves his girl, deserts the Army and kills a man, prompting the couple to flee from justice. Soon, the tragic events they’ve set in motion come full circle.
Night Catches Us (2010). Kerry Washington, Anthony Mackie, Wendell Pierce, Jamie Hector, Tariq Trotter. After growing up during the tumultuous 1960s, ex-Black Panther Marcus (Anthony Mackie) returns to his home in Philadelphia in 1976 and reconnects with Pat (Kerry Washington), the widow of a Panther leader. Marcus befriends Pat’s young daughter and attempts to conquer his demons. Interfering with Marcus’s good intentions are the neighborhood’s continuing racial and social conflicts, as well as old enemies and friends — both with scores to settle.
In Celebration of the Oscars – Past Winner Selects
Brokeback Mountain (2005). Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Randy Quaid. While working together near Wyoming’s Brokeback Mountain in 1963, sheepherders Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar begin an increasingly passionate affair. But keeping their relationship a secret from their wives proves agonizing and all-consuming.
Gandhi (1982). Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud. This awe-inspiring biopic about Mahatma Gandhi — the diminutive lawyer who stood up against British rule in India and became an international symbol of nonviolence and understanding — brilliantly underscores the difference one person can make.
Hugo (2011). Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law. When his father dies, 12-year-old orphan Hugo takes up residence behind the walls of a Parisian train station. There, he meets Isabelle, the daughter of filmmaker Georges Méliès, who holds the key to Hugo’s destiny.
Rango (2011). Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina. Johnny Depp lends his voice to the title character, an adventurous family pet who leaves home to learn more about himself in this comic animated tale also featuring the vocal talents of Abigail Breslin, Harry Dean Stanton and Ned Beatty.
Shakespeare in Love (1998). Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush, Judi Dench, Simon Callow, Colin Firth. Young Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is forced to stage his latest comedy, “Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter,” before it’s even written. When a lovely noblewoman (Gwyneth Paltrow) auditions for a role, they fall into forbidden love — and his play finds a new life (and title). As their relationship progresses, Shakespeare’s comedy soon transforms into tragedy. This bittersweet romance won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress.
The Artist (2011). Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller. Winner of five Oscars, this artful black-and-white silent film follows the romance between a silent-era superstar on a downward spiral and a rising young starlet who embraces the future of cinema at the dawn of the “talkies.”
The Hours (2002). Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels. This gripping drama follows the parallel lives of three 20th-century women: incomparable writer Virginia Woolf, an unsatisfied 1950s housewife and a modern-day book editor who’s losing her former lover to AIDS.
The Piano (1993). Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin, Kerry Walker. Holly Hunter stars as Ada McGrath, a mute but strong-willed 19th-century Scottish expatriate who arrives in New Zealand with her daughter (Anna Paquin) and her beloved piano in tow. Although betrothed to a landowner (Sam Neill), she’s pulled into an affair with a laborer (Harvey Keitel). Hunter and Paquin both won Oscars for their performances in this haunting drama from writer-director Jane Campion.