Stream These 13 Titles Before They Leave Netflix in October – The New York Times
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Stream These 13 Titles Before They Leave Netflix in October – The New York Times

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A major TV comedy and a couple of indie gems are among the many shows and movies leaving for U.S. subscribers next month. These are the ones not to miss.
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Sound the alarms: One of the most beloved sitcoms in recent TV history is leaving Netflix in the United States in October — and early in the month, so get that last binge going with a quickness. The streaming service will also bid a fond farewell to a handful of Gen-X favorites, an Oscar nominee or two, a couple of indie gems and a bold remix of one of the great movies of the 1970s. (Dates indicate the final day a title is available.)
The “SCTV” legends and Christopher Guest repertory company members Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara memorably re-teamed for this uproariously funny Canadian comedy series, which Levy created with his son Dan, who also stars. The three play (alongside their comedy secret weapon Annie Murphy) the Rose family, an absurdly wealthy and comically out-of-touch brood who find themselves unexpectedly broke and stuck in the title town, which they purchased as a joke. The smart scripts mine the endless possibilities for comedy of class and manners, but the key to its longevity is its cast; all manage to play the silliness of their characters without losing touch with their humanity, and their arcs into becoming (marginally!) better people are uncommonly poignant.

Stream it here.
This 1979 Vietnam War epic from Francis Ford Coppola was a notoriously troubled production, and by the time it hit theaters, the director had been through so many trials and tribulations during its making that some questioned whether he could see the forest for the trees. Two decades later, he went back to his original footage, restoring 45 minutes of deleted shots and scenes. Some of the new material doesn’t quite land (he originally cut the “French plantation” sequence because it slowed the picture to a crawl, and its restoration here proves the accuracy of his early instincts), but that which does is glorious, lifting the film to its rightful perch as an heir to the likes of “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Ben-Hur.”

Stream it here.
Will Ferrell has never quite managed to pull off the Robin Williams/Jim Carrey-style flip to becoming a serious dramatic actor, though it’s certainly not for lack of trying, or of his specific gifts. He proves to be an ideally flawed protagonist in this character-driven indie comedy-drama from the writer and director Dan Rush, playing a newly relapsed alcoholic who, after losing his job and his wife, tries to make a fresh start with a big yard sale — one of the more explicit “lose your baggage” stories imaginable. Rush’s screenplay is based on the Raymond Carver short story “Why Don’t You Dance,” and it gets Carver’s distinctive (and difficult) tone just right.

Stream it here.
The original “Sinister” was one of the best horror films of the 2010s, a brutally efficient and inspired hybrid of “Blair Witch”-style found footage and “Poltergeist”-inspired suburban dread. Its success landed its director and co-writer, Scott Derrickson, and his collaborator C. Robert Cargill a lucrative gig making “Doctor Strange” for Marvel, but they made time to write the script for this sequel, following the “Sinister” supporting player James Ransone into a new and terrifying story. Shannyn Sossamon is an empathetic lead, while Robert and Dartanian Sloan make a memorable impression as her twin sons. But the most valuable addition is the director Ciarán Foy, whose moody, atmospheric lensing and nightmare imagery is a good fit for Derrickson and Cargill’s world.

Stream it here.
Religious faith and raging hormones crash into each other with uproarious results in this coming-of-age comedy from the writer and director Karen Maine. Natalia Dyer (best known as Nancy from “Stranger Things”) is delightful — funny, credible and endlessly sympathetic — as Alice, a Catholic teen in the early 2000s who discovers that the internet (specifically that millennial relic, that AOL chat) helps her tap into her blooming sexuality, and all the sin and guilt therein. The “Veep” M.V.P. Timothy Simons stands out as a rather clueless man of the cloth.

Stream it here.
When Eminem decided to make the leap from music to film, he could’ve easily taken the easy route, spitting out a “Cool As Ice”-like exploitation flick to make a quick buck. Instead, he hooked up with the gifted director Curtis Hanson (“L.A. Confidential”), the super-producer Brian Grazer and a cast that included Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer and Brittany Murphy to make a real, respectable motion picture debut. He was also smart enough to keep his acting ambitions modest — he basically plays himself, a tough-talking Detroit kid who finds his voice, and his confidence, in the city’s underground rap battles. But his is a compelling story, and it is well told by Hanson, who makes Eminem’s home turf atmospheric and lived-in.

Stream it here.
Renée Zellweger nabbed her first Academy Award nomination for her work in this zingy adaptation of the Helen Fielding novel, itself a loose-limbed update of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” It’s a justifiably beloved performance, by turns snarky, spiky, silly, and sympathetic, as our heroine jots down every stray thought on her journey to quitting smoking, losing a few pounds and finding true love. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant are exquisite as the two leading contenders for romance, with Firth perfectly cast as the upright, uptight riff on Mr. Darcy and Grant at his bad-boy best as a gorgeous, selfish hedonist.

Stream it here.
Few words in our modern vernacular have been abused like “iconic,” yet that feels like the only one to properly describe the title character of this comedy classic from the writer and director John Hughes. Matthew Broderick became a generational hero (and a bane to the generation before it) as the wise and witty high schooler who fakes sick for one last day of consequence-free senior year hooky. But it’s not all fun and games; he brings along his best buddy, Cameron (the future “Succession” co-star Alan Ruck), and his girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara), and what first seems like goofing off becomes something like group therapy. Jennifer Grey (later of “Dirty Dancing”) is especially funny as Ferris’s bitter sister.

Stream it here.
When this indie hit landed in 1995, its star and co-writer Ice Cube was still best known as a tough guy, both on film and on wax. Audiences were pleased to discover he also had considerable comic chops, joining forces with the up-and-comer Chris Tucker to create something of a ’hood Cheech and Chong. The stakes are low — as suggested by the title, it’s set entirely in one day, as the frustrated Craig (Cube) and his stoner pal Smokey (Tucker) try to dodge nagging parents and a neighborhood tough guy. But the laughs are big thanks to Cube’s low-key charm, Tucker’s manic energy, and a spirited supporting cast that includes Regina King, Nia Long, John Witherspoon, Bernie Mac, Faizon Love and Tommy Lister Jr. (The sequel “Friday After Next” also leaves Netflix next month.)
Stream it here.
Fans of the frisky and fun “Series of Unfortunate Events” Netflix show would be wise to check out this earlier attempt to adapt the popular young-adult book series, released in theaters in 2004. The director Brad Silberling (“Casper”) finds the right mixture of dark menace and light comedy to dramatize the first three volumes, while Jim Carrey makes an inspired Count Olaf, digging into the character’s theatricality and evil with delicious relish. Viewed now, it seems less like the beginning of a failed film series and more like a pilot for the show, which closely followed its visual style, character design and cockeyed worldview.

Stream it here.
A fair chunk of this 2000 Sandra Bullock comedy hasn’t held up too well — its gender politics, especially early on, are genuinely cringe-worthy — but it’s still worth watching for Bullock’s stellar work in the leading role. She stars as Gracie Hart, a socially awkward F.B.I. field agent and unapologetic slob who finds herself unexpectedly glammed-up for a dangerous undercover assignment at a high-profile beauty pageant. Bullock has a blast, taking falls galore and exploring the comic possibilities of newfound hotness with winking charisma, and her joy is infectious. (The 2005 sequel, ‘Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous,’ is also streaming on Netflix.)

Stream it here.
We can snicker all we want about the novels of Nicholas Sparks and the cookie-cutter films adapted from them. But this 2004 sleeper hit had just the right combination of elements: committed direction by Nick Cassavetes, a first-rate supporting cast (including Sam Shepard, Joan Allen, James Garner and the director’s mom, Gena Rowlands) and most of all, the impossibly beautiful and charismatic leading actors Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, whose burn-the-house-down chemistry was so intense it turned into a yearslong offscreen relationship. Yes, “The Notebook” is schmaltz, but schmaltz is rarely rendered with this much skill.

Stream it here.
Let’s not have any misunderstandings here, for this is not a full-throated endorsement; Adam Shankman’s film adaptation of the ’80s-infused Broadway jukebox musical is awfully corny stuff, and enjoying it requires just the right combination of ironic detachment and unreasonable nostalgia for a mostly unfortunate period in popular music. But right in the middle of all that dreck sits a terrific Tom Cruise performance as an aging rock star trying desperately to keep himself relevant. Cruise’s own career was a little wobbly at the time he made “Rock of Ages,” so his work here is delightfully self-aware, displaying a wounded vulnerability that makes this a surprisingly personal piece of acting.

Stream it here.
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