I feel like every time I browse Netflix nowadays, I threaten aloud (mostly to myself) that I'm going to unsubscribe, buy a Blu-ray player, and pick up a Netflix disc subscription. Of course, I never actually do any of that — for one, I'm using my parents' Netflix account — but the point is, I'm really starting to think that Blu-ray rentals are the best choice for a movie nerd. There just isn't enough on Netflix streaming any more.
Of course, there are a million things on Netflix; I just mean that, increasingly, less and less of it is stuff you (I?) actually want to watch. So much of it feels like the cheap stuff, meant to pad things out between seasons of House of Cards and Jessica Jones. I understand why, from a business perspective, this makes sense for Netflix — anyone could go and put a bunch of old movies together online, so exclusives reign supreme — but it's not at all what I want. I miss that seemingly endless catalog. I miss the bizarro movie recommendations and beautiful discoveries. Now, all of my recommendations are Netflix titles. That doesn't seem like a coincidence.
Here are trailers for nine movies and TV shows that may or may not end up on Netflix:
This looks really cool. Atlanta is created by Donald Glover, and is about two cousins (one played by Glover) making their way into the city's rap scene. This first teaser doesn't really show the show so much as it shows a vibe and some beautiful dioramas of life, but that really ought to be enough to sell you on it — they're that good. The show starts September 6th on FX.
The next film from the studio behind Despicable Me (you know, the Minions people) is Sing, a movie that appears tailor-made for a wholesome family audience. Seriously though: goofy song covers are all the rage right now, and Sing is likely to improve on that formula by turning the singers into adorable animated animals. Also literally every famous actor is voicing someone in this movie. It comes out December 21st. Your family will see this after Christmas.
Last Chance U
Netflix's latest series is a six-part documentary on a strange corner of college football. Last Chance U (which started life as a GQ article) follows a group of guys looking for a second chance at getting into the NFL, after failing, for one reason or another, at other schools. It premieres July 29th.
In what feels like a weirdly timely film during an election season where one candidate is not-so-subtly encouraging xenophobic hatred, Imperium has Daniel Radcliffe playing an FBI agent who goes undercover with a group of white supremacists with plans to begin carrying out terrorist acts. Radcliffe looks... maybe not that convincing here, but perhaps that's for the best. The film comes out August 19th.
Miss Sharon Jones!
Starz has a documentary coming up about renown soul and funk singer Sharon Jones. Jones' energy comes through so clearly in this trailer that it's hard not to be drawn in — but the documentary deals with more than her stage performances, turning to her recent battle with cancer and the response that followed. It opens wide in August.
Nick Jonas is in the middle of a thing, I guess, where he appears in a lot of small movies. This looks like the less bad of the most recent two and is about the horrors of sharing a room with James Franco, and hazing. From this trailer, it seems to show frats as both grotesque and glamorous, so it'll be interesting to hear how well it conveys a strong point of view. It'll be out September 23rd.
I am not a Serial Killer
Yes, this looks very low budget. And yes, the acting looks... questionable. But this first trailer for I am not a Serial Killer is incredibly creepy, with deceptively plain visuals that start to look more and more beautiful as it goes on. It comes out August 26th.
This looks maybe a little corny, but the cast involved is just too good to ignore. Anna Kendrick stars alongside Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant, and Craig Robinson, among others. Is that enough to justify a super goofy/contrived romcom plot? I don't know! But let's put this cast together more often. It'll be out January 20th.
This is from last week, but I missed it and feel obligated to include it given the mixture of absurd premise and popular names involved. War Dogs is directed by Todd Phillips, who very possibly made your favorite bro drama (be it The Hangover, or the other two Hangovers, or Old School) and stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as two young guys trying to make a killing off of sketchy military contracts with the US government. Except it's also a bro comedy, with all of the partying, chaotic energy, and ludicrous mishaps you'd expect. It opens August 19th.