Each week Yahoo Tech’s Alyssa Bereznak will help you pick the best movies and shows to stream online.
Another month, another fresh batch of new stuff to watch on Netflix. This time around, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, the return of an addictive Netflix original series, and the two excellent rock dudes named Garth and Wayne. Pray for rain: You’ll need every excuse to stay in bed with your laptop this weekend.
Ghostbusters has everything you want in a movie: young Bill Murray, young Dan Aykroyd, vaguely high-tech electric paraphernalia, an unforgettable soundtrack, and paranormal beings that look just about as threatening as a papier mâché skeleton.
As you may recall, the 1984 film follows a team of bumbling paranormal investigators as they battle ghosts terrorizing New York. The invasion culminates with a standoff of epic proportions. As one wise Rotten Tomatoes commenter wrote, “Whoever thought of having evil’s final manifestation take the form of a 100-ft. marshmallow deserves the rational mind’s eternal gratitude.”
Along with its thrilling political series, House of Cards, Netflix has managed to nurture another critically acclaimed original show up to its second season. That would be Orange Is the New Black, which is based on the true story of Piper Kerman. We meet her as she’s enjoying her upper-middle-class adulthood, with a thriving career, a boyfriend, and a supportive family. But her reckless youth catches up with her, and she’s sentenced to over a year in prison for delivering a suitcase of money for her ex drug dealer girlfriend.
While locked up, she must learn to navigate the various power structures and personalities that come with the women’s prison life. We left her last season as she crossed a particularly disturbing threshold. There’s likely more where that came from in Season 2.
The gossip that comes with this movie is almost as eerie and fascinating as the film itself. The 1979 film, based on Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, follows Vietnam War veteran/alcoholic Capt. Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) as he ventures deep into the Vietnamese jungle to retrieve rogue Col. Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando). It’s a dark and terrifying journey, complemented with a cast of colorful, frightening characters.
In real life, Francis Ford Coppola’s film was plagued by a number of problems, including cocaine binges, a heart attack, numerous breakdowns, dead bodies on set, and an unruly, overweight Marlon Brando. This behind-the-scenes drama coincidentally aligns with many of the themes of disillusion and excess the movie is meant to convey. Which may be what made it great — if not unbearably long — in the end.
This Stephen King novel turned chilling Sissy Spacek flick follows an unassuming teenager named Carrie as she navigates the vicious social circles of her high school. After her classmates spill a bucket of pig blood on her at prom, she harnesses her telekinetic powers to exact revenge.
It may seem a bit campy now, especially when an updated, more high-def Carrie exists for younger audiences, but when it came out in 1976, it was a form of real talk for any lady outcast who felt trapped in a world she couldn’t control or escape.
A new girl at school falls in with a clique of goth-looking girls who just so happen to also be able to cast spells on people. They use their sorcery against any one of their peers –– or parents –– who rubs them the wrong way.
This 1996 film — particularly the "light as a feather, stiff as a board" scene — inspired my best elementary school and me friend to obsess over a Ouija board and Barnes & Noble spell book for an entire year. Needless to say, we never saw the effects of the spells we cast on our gym teacher.
This 1992 movie may go down in history as the best SNL skit-to-box office movie ever.
Metalheads Wayne (Mike Meyers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) host a public-access TV show called “Wayne’s World” in their basement. They’re tempted by a conniving network executive (Rob Lowe) to produce a big-budget version of the show. But it turns out that Lowe’s just in it to get closer to Wayne’s hot rock singer girlfriend, Cassandra. The two battle to keep control of their show, and keep Cassandra out of the sleazeball’s hands.
The plot is clearly a thin one, but it’s carried by the duo’s wacky one-liners, and what may be the most amazing in-car performance of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody that ever existed.
Woody Allen’s reputation was recently dinged after his daughter Dylan wrote an open letter accusing him of sexual abuse. That makes rewatching his most famous films different, and all the more fascinating. The characters he writes for himself have always been nervous, overanalytical, and terrorized by sex and relationships. And Annie Hall, a charming 1977 love story, is no different. Comedian Alvy Singer (Allen) falls in love with eccentric Wisconsin transplant (Annie Hall) Diane Keaton. We watch as their relationship takes its course.
And these two are available June 13:
Just in time for the World Cup, Netflix will release an original documentary about Brazilian artist and photographer Vik Muniz. He travels the world, photographing nine countries over nine months to document the mutual international love of soccer (or, as he calls, it “the ball.”) Each person inspires part of an artwork he constructs from 20,000 soccer balls.
If you need to get pumped for the next few vuvuzelaed-out weeks, this is how you should do it.
Though Brad Pitt’s 2013 zombie thriller was famously rife with disorganized sets and costly reshoots, the end product turned out quite nice. At least, as nice as any movie about one man’s battle against a fast-spreading zombie pandemic that threatens to destroy humanity as we know it can be.