The start of a new month means new offerings on Netflix’s streaming service, though I must say that the pickings are a bit slim this time around.
First known as an actor, Jared Leto has also found success in the music industry with his band 30 Seconds to Mars. This documentary follows the band as it makes the album “This is War” while battling recording giant EMI in a pivotal lawsuit.
Babes in Toyland (1961)
Ray Bolger, Tommy Sands, Annette Funicello, Ed Wynn, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, Henry Calvin
Composer Victor Herbert’s operetta comes delightfully to life in this 1961 fantasy starring Annette Funicello as Mary Contrary, whose fiance, Tom Piper, (Tommy Sands), is abducted by a pair of goons. It seems that dastardly Mr. Barnaby (Ray Bolger) — who covets Mary and her inheritance — dispatched the thugs to get Tom out of the picture. When the dim-bulb duo double-crosses the boss, it sets off a search for Tom and a slew of comical chases.
Hell is for Heroes (1962)
Steve McQueen, Bobby Darin, Fess Parker, Harry Guardino, James Coburn, Bob Newhart, Nick Adams
When a weary infantry squad is sent back into battle against a massive German force, unruly ace soldier Reese (Steve McQueen, in strong antihero form) devises a ruse to trick the Nazis into thinking the tiny Allied platoon is a much larger battalion. Renowned action director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry) helms the tense, well-acted war film, which also stars Bobby Darin, Bob Newhart and James Coburn as the flamethrower-wielding Henshaw.
Woody Harrelson, Bill Murray, Randy Quaid, Chris Elliott, Vanessa Angel
The Farrelly brothers dumb down and goof up pro bowling — and gross us out in the process. After bowler Roy Munsen (Woody Harrelson) swindles the wrong crowd and is left with a hook for a hand, he settles into impoverished obscurity. That is, until he uncovers the next big thing: an Amish kid named Ishmael (Randy Quaid). So, the corrupt and the hopelessly naive hit the circuit intent on settling an old score with Big Ern (Bill Murray).
The Rocketeer (1991)
Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino, Terry O’Quinn, Ed Lauter
In this stylish action-adventure, a stunt pilot stumbles across an experimental Nazi jet pack that transforms him into a one-man air force — and soon becomes a target for mobsters, spies, FBI agents and millionaire Howard Hughes.
Trading Mom (1994)
Sissy Spacek, Anna Chlumsky, Aaron Michael Metchik, Asher Metchik, Merritt Yohnka, Andre the Giant
Sissy Spacek plays four different characters in this unusual family comedy about three young siblings — Elizabeth, Jeremy and Harry — who magically banish their overworked single mother and try out several ￼new models found at the “Mommy Market.”
Alexis Tomassian, Richard Duval, Med Hondo, Daniel Kamwa, Gilbert Levy, Michel Mella
Carrying the bag containing the letters to Santa Claus sent by children all around the world, one of Santa’s elves loses the letters and must attempt to retrieve them from a bank vault guarded by penguins and targeted by a polar bear.
Total Recall (1990)
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell
Paul Verhoeven’s violent sci-fi adventure follows construction worker Douglas Quaid, who discovers a memory chip in his brain during a virtual-reality trip. He also finds that his past has been invented to conceal a plot of planetary domination.
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Hector Elizondo, John Rhys-Davies, Heather Matarazzo, Chris Pine
As the newly crowned princess of the tiny European country of Genovia, teen Mia Thermopolis is still trying to get used to her title — and as she’s groomed to become the nation’s future ruler, Mia learns an arranged marriage may be in store.
Through the words of director Robert Altman, film clips and behind-the-scenes material, documentarian Ron Mann chisels a well-crafted tribute to the maverick auteur whose fertile career encompassed huge hits, big misses and controversy.
Fading Gigolo (2014)
John Turturro, Woody Allen, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sharon Stone, Sofía Vergara
Middle-aged Fioravante and Murray are an unlikely gigolo and pimp in this farce about two cash-strapped friends who turn to the sex trade to make ends meet. Their new enterprise is fruitful, but things get complicated when romance enters the picture.
Louder Than Words (2014)
David Duchovny, Hope Davis, Timothy Hutton, Olivia Steele-Falconer, Adelaide Kane
After the unexpected death of their daughter, a couple, Stephanie and John Fareri, work to build a state of the art children’s hospital where families are welcomed into the healing process.
Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Stacy Keach, Bob Odenkirk, Rance Howard, Mary Louise Wilson
When a cantankerous old boozer thinks he’s won a magazine sweepstakes prize, his son reluctantly takes a road trip with him to claim the fortune. As they drive from Montana to Nebraska, they visit friends and relatives to whom the dad owes money.
Not Yet Begin the Flight (2012)
After his searing experiences as a pilot in the Vietnam War, retired Marine Eric Hastings turned to fly- fishing to help his personal healing process. As captured in this documentary, Hastings now offers the same solace to today’s wounded warriors.
Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon, Sheridan Smith
A trio of retired opera singers’ annual celebration of Verdi’s birthday sours when their estranged fourth member shows up but refuses to sing. Tensions rise and diva drama erupts — will personal problems prevent the show from going on?
La Bare (2014)
Joe Manganiello, Lance Winters, Nick Soto
Magic Mike actor Joe Manganiello makes his directorial debut with this absorbing documentary profiling the dancers at a Dallas male strip club, where elaborate choreography, punishing physical regimens and showmanship are demanded of every performer.
Small Town Santa (2013)
Dean Cain, Christine Lakin, Derek Brandon
Already lacking any holiday spirit on the eve of Christmas, Sheriff Rick Langston sees his world turned upside down after he arrests a home intruder claiming to be Santa Claus. Will Rick find his inner elf with help from a new girl in town?
Dream House (2011)
Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Elias Koteas, Marton Csokas, Taylor Geare, Claire Geare
Abandoning high-stress Manhattan, Will moves to a quiet New England town but learns that his new home was the site of several brutal murders. As sinister signs multiply around his family, Will searches for help.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello
With Arnold Schwarzenegger lending his intimidating presence, this action drama tracks a crack team of DEA agents plotting their own heist. While they manage to make off with $10 million, the daring thieves are soon being knocked off one by one.
Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik, Joanna Kulig, Adam Szyszkowski, Jerzy Trela
Raised in a Catholic orphanage during the Nazi occupation of Poland, Anna is poised to join the order when she learns she has a surviving aunt. But visiting the woman before taking her vows uncovers some inconvenient truths about her heritage.
Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell
The Earth’s remaining inhabitants are confined to a single train circling the globe as revolution brews among the class-divided cars. Based on a French graphic novel and set in a new ice age, this futuristic thriller stars a top-notch ensemble cast.
Beyond The Edge (2013)
Edmund Hillary’s 1953 ascent of Mt. Everest was an event that amazed the world and led to a new age of mountaineering and ambitious exploration. Hilary’s triumphant saga is retold using both modern footage, and recordings and photos from the time.
Running From Crazy (2013)
Plagued by her family’s history of mental illness, including the suicides of her uncle Ernest and her sister Margaux, actress Mariel Hemingway becomes an advocate for suicide prevention and strives to find balance in her life.
War Story (2014)
Catherine Keener, Ben Kingsley, Hafsia Herzi, Vincenzo Amato, Donatella Finocchiaro, Guido Caprino After being held hostage in Libya, a war photographer struggles to cope with PTSD and takes some time off to heal in Sicily, where she tries to help a Tunisian immigrant who desperately needs an abortion.
The One I Love (2014)
Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, Ted Danson
Confronted with the potential end of their marriage, Ethan and Sophie take off for a weekend together, hoping to negotiate their future. When they reach their idyllic destination, however, the couple strolls into a bizarre new brand of trouble.
About Cherry (2012)
Ashley Hinshaw, Lili Taylor, Dev Patel, Diane Farr, Jonny Weston, James Franco, Heather Graham
Determined to escape her past, 18-year-old Angelina moves to San Francisco, where she becomes Cherry, an innocent-but-sexy adult film star. Her provocative new life brings fame, money, and acquaintances who have a variety of motives.
The Grand Seduction (2013)
Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Liane Balaban
The cash-strapped burg of Tickle Cove must persuade a doctor to move to town if they want a plastics manufacturer to build a new factory there. But selling the advantages of the tiny Newfoundland village to a young professional won’t