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It’s that time again! The beginning of a brand new month when we get to see what’s new on the all-knowing all-seeing Netflix.
This month brings a cavalcade of throw-back hits, including 1997’s “Flubber,” starring (sniff) Robin Williams, as well as 1987’s “Good Morning Vietnam” (ditto), 1960’s “Swiss Family Robinson” (who among us didn’t want to live in that gorgeous treehouse?), and 1980’s “The Blue Lagoon,” in which nature takes its course with shipwrecked Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins (I saw this at the drive-in when it first came out).
New for kids on Netflix is one of my favorite family movies ever, “Hoodwinked,” with Anne Hathaway voicing the iconic Little Red Riding Hood (known simply as the much hipper “Red”), and new episodes of the Netflix original, “TurboFAST,” available Sept. 12.
Oh, and don’t miss Robert Redford on a boat in “All Is Lost,” available Sept. 5. Read Melanie Votaw’s report from the New York Film Festival press conference last year.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s new on Netflix in September.
A Simple Plan (1998). When brothers Hank and Jacob discover a dead body and millions of dollars in cash in a downed plane, they plot to hide the loot and split it later. It’s a simple plan — until things go murderously awry amid suspicion and mistrust. Stars Bill Paxton, Bridget Fonda, Billy Bob Thornton, Brent Briscoe, Jack Walsh and Chelcie Ross.
Californication: Seasons 1-7. Best-selling novelist Hank Moody (David Duchovny) battles writer’s block and a weakness for drugs, booze and one-night stands while he struggles to make things work with his on-and-off girlfriend and their teenage daughter.
Chasing UFOs: Season 1. Investigators set out to uncover the truth about UFOs, and Season 1 finds them unveiling a possible alien farm, a reported UFO landing pad and more.
Cool Runnings (1993). A fictionalized account of the unlikely story of Jamaica’s first bobsled team, this cute movie follows their journey to the 1988 Olympics. Stars John Candy, Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba, Raymond J. Barry and Peter Outerbridge.
Crocodile Dundee (1986). When a New York reporter (Linda Kozlowski) plucks crocodile hunter Dundee (Paul Hogan) from the Australian Outback for a visit to the Big Apple, it’s a clash of cultures and a recipe for good-natured comedy as naïve Dundee negotiates the concrete jungle. Hogan’s script earned an Oscar nod. Also stars John Meillon, David Gulpilil, Ritchie Singer, Terry Gilliam and Mark Blum.
Detention (2011). In this genre-bending slasher flick, a high schooler gets slapped with detention on the same night as senior prom. But plenty of other kids will also be missing the big event when a past-her-prime prom queen shows up to slay them. Stars Shanley Caswell, Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Spencer Locke, Aaron David Johnson and Jan Anderson.
Doomsday Preppers: Seasons 1-3. The first season of this documentary series profiles survivalists preparing for economic collapse, food instability and other forms of global chaos.
Flubber (1997). Nothing can rival 1961’s “The Absent-Minded Professor,” starring Fred MacMurray, but this remake comes close. On the verge of losing his girlfriend and his job, a scatterbrained college professor accidentally invents a bouncy material called Flubber. The substance stands to save the day — if the professor can defeat the many rivals who try to sabotage him. Stars Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, Ted Levine and Clancy Brown.
Girl Rising (2013). Nine filmmakers each profile a young girl from a different part of the world to weave a global tapestry of youth in the 21st century. From a 7-year-old Haitian earthquake survivor to an Afghani child bride, these stories inspire and captivate. Features Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Selena Gomez, Liam Neeson, Priyanka Chopra, Chloë Grace Moretz, Freida Pinto, Salma Hayek, Meryl Streep, Alicia Keys and Kerry Washington.
Girlfight (2000). First-time director Karyn Kusama’s powerful film tells the story of Diana (Michelle Rodriguez), a Brooklyn high-schooler who gets little support from her dismissive single father and takes her frustrations out on her classmates. But when she wanders into a local boxing gym, she’s instantly drawn to the action, despite the fact that it’s a male-dominated world. Also stars Jaime Tirelli, Paul Calderon, Santiago Douglas, Ray Santiago and Víctor Sierra.
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). When his manic radio show proves a huge morale-booster, Armed Forces Radio disc jockey Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) gets sent to Vietnam, where his monkeyshines — lampooning any and all sacred cows — tickle the troops but land him in trouble with his superiors. Also stars Forest Whitaker, Tung Thanh Tran, Chintara Sukapatana, Bruno Kirby and Robert Wuhl.
Guess Who (2005). Ashton Kutcher stars in this remake of the 1967 classic “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” But the tables are turned this time around, as he plays the fiancé of an African American woman who’s met with skepticism and suspicion from her father. Also stars Bernie Mac, Zoe Saldana, Judith Scott, Hal Williams and Kellee Stewart.
Hinterland: Season 1. This BBC police detective drama series is set in Aberystwyth against the backdrop of mountainous terrain, close-knit villages, and windswept sand dunes. Richard Harrington stars as DCI Tom Mathias.
Hoodwinked (2005). In this nod to “Little Red Riding Hood,” investigators uncover a tangled web of events when they’re called to Granny’s cottage to look into a domestic disturbance involving a sardonic wolf, an axe, and a crimson-caped girl. Features some of the funniest lines ever uttered in any animated movie. Voice talent includes Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, James Belushi, Patrick Warburton, Anthony Anderson and David Ogden Stiers.
Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie (2013). After hitting the lottery jackpot, Jay and Silent Bob use their newfound cash to become crime-fighting superheroes Bluntman and Chronic. Stars Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Eliza Dushku, Tara Strong, Ralph Garman, Neil Gaiman and Ben Gleib.
Lords of Dogtown (2005). A group of outcasts from California’s Venice Beach change the face of skateboarding forever in this 1970s tale based on a true story, written by “Skateboard Godfather” Stacy Peralta, one of the competitive skaters portrayed in the film. Stars Heath Ledger, Emile Hirsch, Rebecca De Mornay, Michael Angarano and Nikki Reed.
Mirage Men (2012). Fascination and controversy regarding UFO sightings have been with us for centuries, but this absorbing documentary offers a disturbing new thesis: that the U.S. military has been distributing false information about them for decades. Truth or conspiracy?
School of Rock (2003). Any time this movie comes on in our house, everyone has to stop and watch it. Fired from his band and hard up for cash, guitarist and vocalist Dewey Finn (Jack Black) finagles his way into a job as a fourth-grade substitute teacher at a private school, where he secretly begins teaching his students the finer points of rock ‘n’ roll. Awesomeness ensues. Also stars Adam Pascal, Lucas Papaelias, Chris Stack, Sarah Silverman, Mike White and Lucas Babin.
Small Apartments (2012). Franklin Franklin (Matt Lucas) has a dead landlord on the kitchen floor and an investigator (Billy Crystal) questioning him. But none of this fazes Franklin. He waits each day for a letter from his brother (James Marsden) who has the secret that can set him free. Also stars Juno Temple, James Caan, Peter Stormare and David Koechner.
Swiss Family Robinson (1960). After being shipwrecked, the Robinson family is marooned on an island inhabited only by an impressive array of wildlife. In true pioneer spirit, they quickly make themselves at home (in a fabulous treehouse!), but soon face a danger even greater than nature: dastardly pirates. This Disney classic, based on the book by Johann Wyss, is great for the whole family. Stars John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, Sessue Hayakawa and Disney favorite Tommy Kirk.
The Believers (1987). Mourning the accidental death of his wife and having just moved to New York with his young son, laconic police psychologist Cal Jamison is reluctantly drawn into a series of grisly, ritualistic murders involving the immolation of two youths. Stars Martin Sheen, Helen Shaver, Harley Cross, Robert Loggia, Elizabeth Wilson, Harris Yulin and Lee Richardson.
The Blue Lagoon (1980). Set in the lush environs of a deserted tropical island, this coming-of-age tale follows two shipwrecked children — Emmeline (Brooke Shields) and Richard (Christopher Atkins) — who are stranded for years. As the cute kids turn into beautiful teenagers, nature inevitably takes its course. Also stars Leo McKern, William Daniels, Elva Josephson and Glenn Kohan.
The Unbelievers (2013). Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss — the dynamic duo of science — travel the globe seeking to promote a scientific worldview and the rational questioning of religious belief, with celebrities, professors and ordinary folks supporting their work. Also features Stephen Hawking, Ricky Gervais, Woody Allen and Cameron Diaz.
Unsealed: Alien Files: Season 1. The debut season investigates Area 51, Vatican cover-ups, Nazi-alien collaboration, presidential encounters, ancient visitations and more.
Zero Hour: Seasons 1-3. This documentary-style series dramatizes the moments leading up to some of the most memorable historical events that unfolded in less than an hour.
The League: Season 5. Fantasy football tackles reality in this semi-scripted look at a group of longtime friends whose annual hobby gives them an excuse to get together and escape their everyday lives in a blitz of trash-talking, deceit and ruthless extortion. Stars Mark Duplass, Pete Eckhart, Nick Kroll, Jonathan Lajoie, Stephen Rannazzisi, Paul Scheer and Katie Aselton.
All is Lost (2013). In this harrowing drama — which has no dialogue — Robert Redford portrays a man stranded alone at sea, courageously battling a ferocious storm as he struggles to survive with just a sextant and maritime maps to guide him.
Trailer Park Boys: Season 8. This mockumentary series follows the booze-fueled misadventures of Julian (John Paul Tremblay), Ricky (Robb Wells) and Bubbles (Mike Smith), longtime pals and petty serial criminals who run scams from their Nova Scotia trailer park — when they aren’t in jail, that is. But kudos to the lads for their persistence, even if their harebrained get-rich schemes involve growing pot right under the nose of ex-cop Jim (John Dunsworth).
Kid Cannabis (2014). Teaming with his best friend and a ragtag group of potheads, enterprising teen Nate Norman sets up a lucrative operation smuggling large amounts of marijuana from Canada to Idaho. But the young drug traffickers soon sow the seeds of their downfall. Stars Kenny Wormald, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Ron Perlman, Aaron Yoo, John C. McGinley and Corey Large.
Le Week-End (2014). Returning to Paris long after their honeymoon there, a British couple (Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan) hope to rediscover the magical feelings of their early years together. There, they meet an old friend whose perspectives on love and marriage help them recover what was lost. Also stars Jeff Goldblum, Olly Alexander, Judith Davis and Xavier De Guillebon. Read Vera Badertscher’s review here.
Refuge (2012). After Amy’s parents abandon her two younger siblings — one of them brain-damaged — she’s obliged to leave college to take care of them. While struggling to accept her dreary new existence, Amy meets a man who may change everything. Stars Krysten Ritter, Brian Geraghty, Logan Huffman, Madeleine Martin, Juliet Garrett, Joe Pallister, Chris Papavasiliou and Helen Rogers.
Your Sister’s Sister (2011). Jack, who is mourning the death of his brother, has a complicated relationship with his best friend, Iris, who used to date his brother. Their chaotic situation becomes even more tangled when Jack has a drunken tryst with Iris’s flighty sister. Stars Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark Duplass and Mike Birbiglia.
The Blacklist: Season 1 (2013). After turning himself in to the FBI, brilliant fugitive Raymond Reddington (brilliant James Spader) offers to help capture other criminals, but only if the bureau plays by his rules — which include teaming with rookie profiler Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). One of my favorite new shows last fall – read my recaps and news here. Also stars Harry Lennix, Diego Klattenhoff, Ryan Eggold and Ilfenesh Hadera.
Who Is Dayani Cristal? (2013). In the oppressive desert heat, Arizona authorities find a man’s decomposing body with only one clue to his identity: a tattoo reading “Dayani Cristal.” Gael García Bernal portrays the unknown man in dramatic segments of this intriguing documentary.
Crash & Bernstein: Season 2. Wyatt Bernstein (Cole Jensen), the only boy in his otherwise all-female family, creates a puppet named Crash who comes to life as the brother he always wanted. Now, the new siblings learn from each other as they face life’s adventures together.
Deadly Code (2013). Friends Kolyma and Gagarin come of age in a Siberian crime family where Kolyma’s iron-fisted grandfather enforces rules that keep the young men at odds. Their relationship is further tested when they both fall for the same beautiful woman. Stars Arnas Fedaravicius, Vilius Tumalavicius, Eleanor Tomlinson, Jonas Trukanas, Vitalij Porshnev, Peter Stormare and John Malkovich.
A Single Man (2009). Set in 1962 Los Angeles, this stream-of-consciousness drama centers on a day in the life of George Falconer, a gay college professor who plans to commit suicide in the wake of his longtime lover’s recent death. Stars Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Goode and Ginnifer Goodwin.
Dennis Miller: America 180 (2014). Five-time Emmy winner Dennis Miller takes a look at the state of the nation in a stand-up routine that touches on health care and climate change.
Filth (2014). An arrogant, corrupt cop who believes he’s the only competent person in his department sees a recent murder case as a path to promotion. But the investigation brings the deluded officer into a rendezvous with reality that he’s wholly unprepared for. Stars James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell, Joanne Froggatt, Eddie Marsan and Jim Broadbent.
The Moment (2013). After her lover vanishes, a photojournalist winds up in a psychiatric hospital, where she tries to make sense of her fragmented memories — and begins to uncover some unexpected and disturbing truths. Stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Martin Henderson, Alia Shawkat, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Meat Loaf.
Grace Unplugged (2013). Every Sunday, 18-year-old Grace performs at church with her ex-rock star father, but she longs to share her talent with the rest of the world. Heading for the bright lights of Los Angeles, she soon must choose between stardom and faith. Stars AJ Michalka, James Denton, Kevin Pollak, Shawnee Smith, Michael Welch and Jamie Grace.
TurboFast (2013). New episodes of this Netflix original (the first one for kids!) hit the web on Sept. 12. The series picks up right after the Dreamworks film “Turbo” and follows a snail (named Turbo, of course) and his crew to Starlight City, where they master new stunts and compete with villains. It’s an awesome series that’s funny, wonderfully animated, and great for kids.
Justin and the Knights of Valor (2013). In this animated saga set in medieval times, a young boy slips away from his family home and begins a long journey to pursue his dream of becoming a knight. Seeking instruction from three wise monks, he makes his way to their remote abbey. Features the voices of Antonio Banderas, James Cosmo, Rupert Everett, Freddie Highmore and Saoirse Ronan.
About a Boy: Season 1. Will Freeman loves being immature, carefree and single, until his new neighbors — ditzy single mom Fiona and eccentric 11-year-old Marcus — invade his life. Will finds his scheme to exploit them foiled by unexpected feelings of responsibility. Stars Minnie Driver, David Walton and Benjamin Stockham.
Arrow: Season 2. This adaptation of the story of DC Comics’ Green Arrow stars Stephen Amell as the title character, an affluent playboy who becomes an archer superhero at night, saving the city from villains armed with just a bow and arrows.
Beginners (2011). Oliver, a graphic artist, is coming to grips with the imminent death of his father, who, at 75, has one last secret: He’s gay. Inspired and confused by his father’s determination to find true love at last, Oliver tentatively pursues his own romance. Stars Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent and Goran Visnjic.
Bones: Season 9. Socially awkward forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) teams up with intuitive FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) to investigate crimes that have left scant evidence behind: namely, the bones of the deceased.
New Girl: Season 3. This smart sitcom revolves around Jessica Day, a socially awkward schoolteacher who’s still trying to rebound from a recent breakup when she moves in with three single guys, all ready to help her understand the ways of the world. Stars Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone and Lamorne Morris.
One Day (2011). After a romantic tryst on college graduation night, Emma and Dexter pursue separate dreams. This romantic drama based on a novel of the same name checks in with them each year on the same date, tracking their personal and professional progress. Stars Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess and Patricia Clarkson.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012). After a stint in a psychiatric hospital, bipolar Pat has no choice but to move back in with his football-obsessed parents. While he tries in vain to reconcile with his wife, Pat meets a woman who’s as unstable as he is — and she changes his life. This award-winning dramedy stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver.
3 Days to Kill (2014). After a terminally ill secret agent retires to spend his remaining time with his family, he’s asked to complete a dangerous last mission in exchange for an experimental drug that might save him — if he can survive its hallucinatory side effects. Stars Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen and Amber Heard.
The Fosters: Season 2. Executive-produced by Jennifer Lopez, this offbeat drama follows an interracial lesbian couple — one a police officer, the other a school vice principal — and their multiethnic brood of biological, adopted and foster children. Stars Teri Polo, Sherri Saum, Jake T. Austin and Hayden Byerly.
Revolution: Season 2. Fifteen years after electricity stopped working and the world was sent back into the dark ages — with small agrarian communities of families working together — three companions go on a quest to uncover the truth about the mysterious blackout. Stars Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito and Elizabeth Mitchell.
How I Met Your Mother: Season 9. This sitcom details desperate bachelor Ted’s epic search for his soul mate, told through flashbacks as an adult Ted recounts to his kids how he met their mom. As Ted bounces from one red herring to another, his best friends help keep him grounded. Stars Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris.
The Double (2013). Jesse Eisenberg plays the dual roles of a timid office worker and his charismatic doppelganger in this cinematic adaptation of a Dostoevsky tale. First spotted on the bus, then at work, Simon’s double may share his looks, but he’s no carbon copy. Also stars Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Yasmin Paige and James Fox.
Parks and Recreation: Season 6. This droll comedy focuses on Leslie Knope, a public employee with the Parks and Recreation department in rural Pawnee, Ind. Although Leslie is full of energy and good ideas for community improvements, she finds herself bogged down by bureaucracy. Stars Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt.
Bad Grandpa (2013). In-character encounters with real folks provide comic fodder in this franchise featuring Johnny Knoxville in lecherous-gramps disguise. With hidden cameras in tow, Irving Zisman (Knoxville) takes his grandson on an offbeat cross-country tour. Also stars Jackson Nicoll, Greg Harris, Georgina Cates, Kamber Hejlik, Jill Kill and Madison Davis.
Comic Book Men: Season 3. Set in Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash comic book emporium, this unscripted series unveils the fanboy culture thriving in a neighborhood comics store. As employees vend various collectibles, customers reveal what makes fans of comic books tick. Stars Kevin Smith, Ming Chen, Walter Flanagan, Bryan Johnson and Mike Zapcic.
The Walking Dead: Season 4. In the wake of a zombie apocalypse that desolates the world as we know it, a group of survivors led by police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) holds on to the hope of humanity by banding together to wage a never-ending fight for their own survival. Also stars Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride.
Lullaby (2014). Long after breaking ties with his family, Jonathan learns that his long-ill father has elected to take himself off of life support in two days. Drawn in by the dire news, Jonathan returns to face his kin in an intense emotional encounter. Stars Garrett Hedlund, Richard Jenkins, Jessica Brown Findlay, Anne Archer and Jennifer Hudson.
Killing Them Softly (2012). When a couple of low-level crooks make a dumb move by robbing a Mob-protected poker game and unwittingly bringing a recession to the area’s criminal economy, a slick enforcer is hired to track down the offenders and take care of business. Stars Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins and Vincent Curatola.