To loosely paraphrase the lyrics from a 1964 classic: “Summer’s here and the time is right for shutting the curtains in the middle of the afternoon and watching your favorite films without seeing your own reflective glare in the TV.” Not as catchy, I grant you, but nobody wants to peer into their own soul while guiltily imbibing at the nourishing teat of the Videodrome; surely that’s the job of the Kardashians and their thousand-yard selfie-stares into the vapid abyss of Narcissus’ lipstick-stained bathroom mirror.
To assuage this existential crisis for us regular (and slightly irregular) folks, Netflix has kindly taken the lead in offering up a panoply of brightly colored distractions that we can enjoy without seeing our own pasty visages looming out of the digital murk like the juddery girl from The Ring(1998).
In fact, with several new additions this month, Netflix has gone one further and offered up films that not only remove our own reflections with vivid imagery, but remove our cerebral functions as well. Special mention must go to August 1st’s slate of Big Daddy (1999), Final Destination 3 (2006), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), The Fast and the Furious (2001), and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) — the film that cemented director Justin Lin’s place at the top of the Fast-food chain, and led to him being the director of this summer’s rather fun Star Trek Beyond (2016).
This month, Netflix also embraces what must be some algorithmically derived genre oppositions for maximum profit, by countering their “Bro”-seph and “Bro”-sephine battle royales of populist nonsense with romantic entanglements, pre-Pepper Potts perfunctory Paltrow performances, and a pre-melt down, Sinatra-impersonating Mel Gibson (which I’m pretty sure nobody asked for) in Sliding Doors (1998), Pay It Forward (2000), What Women Want (2000), and The Wedding Planner (2001).
What women might want is to see all of these actors in better films, so onwards from this crime scene of poor taste, post-haste (as I believe the youths in The Fast and the Furious might say), to the movies that Netflix have added to their catalog in August that I believe are worth your precious time…
The full 1,600 word version of this article is published at PopMatters.com, where you can read the rest of the article for free.