(KUTV) - The list of titles leaving Netflix next month is formidable. There are vampires galore, the entire Sharknado franchise, some art-house horror films and a few all-time classics. Here are ten titles that caught my eye, but you'll want to check the full list because it is packed with fan favorites.
1998's "Blade," the cinematic adaptation of the Marvel Comics character who had all the strengths of a vampire and none of the weaknesses except the need to drink human blood, wasn't a massive hit at the box office. It was, however, a massive success when it was released on DVD. Without "Blade" DVD might not have taken off in the way it did. Without DVD, there probably wouldn't have ever been a "Blade II." If we don't have "Blade II," what does that do to Guillermo del Toro's career? Fortunately, we don't have to know because all the cards fell into place. I like the original film, but it was del Toro's presence that made the sequel so much more than a comic book horror film. Wesley Snipes is perfectly cast, it's a shame that the franchise ended on the low point known as "Blade: Trinity."
Released in 1992 and snubbed by the Academy of Arts and Science in 1993, "Like Water for Chocolate" was one of the first foreign language films that I remember seeing. At its most basic, the story is about Tita (Lumi Cavazos), a woman who is not allowed to marry because family tradition dictates that the youngest daughter must stay at home to take care of her mother. Tita falls in love with Pedro, but he marries Tita's older sister. Tita takes her passion for Pedro and infuses it into her cooking. I prefer the longing of the first half of the film, something I would later also find in the films of Wong Kar-wai, but there's still magic to be found in "Like Water for Chocolate."
The entire Godfather trilogy is leaving Netflix at the start of January. The first two films are essential viewing for anyone interested in crime dramas, gangsters or simply fantastic casts (Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton) doing wonderful things with a great script (Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo).
Based on Jon Krakauer's nonfiction book, "Into the Wild" stars Emile Hirsch as Christopher McCandless, a young man who abandons his conventional life to travel around North America in hopes of finding purpose and meaning. Directed by Sean Penn, the film features strong performances from Hirsch and Hal Holbrook who was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
There was a time when I paid little to no attention to box office numbers. For me, a film's quality has never been determined by how much money the movie made or lost. So, when "The Iron Giant" was released in 1999 I simply assumed that the masses loved this classic tale of a young man and his giant space robot as much as I did. Turns out, no one went to see it and the film was a box office bust. It's unfathomable to me that "The Iron Giant" wasn't a massive hit. Director/co-writer Brad Bird would go on to make "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille" for Pixar.
Sometimes a movie comes along and catches you at the wrong time. Such was the fate for 2008's "Kung Fu Panda." For whatever reason, I found little redeeming in this animated tale of Po, an overweight panda, who becomes an unlikely hero and rises from obscurity to defend China against Tai Lung, an evil snow leopard.
When I watched "Kung Fu Panda" in 2011 and enjoyed it enough to revisit the first film and discovered that I had underappreciated the original.
When a Susan Murphy is struck by a meteorite on her wedding day, she is transformed into a giant and is quickly taken away to a secret government facility where she learns that she is just one of man "monsters." Turns out these monsters are Earth's only hope when it comes to fighting off alien overlord Gallaxhar and his invading army.
David Robert Mitchell's horror film "It Follows" has been interpreted as a parable about sexual promiscuity. that may, or may not be the case. What I do know is that ever since Jaimie (Maika Monroe) had sex with new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary), she's been stalked by a presence that no one else can see. (Leaving 1/13/18)
As far as I'm concerned, "Rogue One" is the second or third best Star Wars film ever made. The story sits in a space that rubs up against "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" and explores the heroic events that led to the destruction of the first Death Star. (Leaving 1/18/18)
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" may be the film that received the bulk of the franchise's Academy Awards, but it is "The Fellowship of the Ring"that is the best film in the sense that it is all set up and features very little action when compared to the two films that followed it. Just be warned, if you start the trilogy, then you will probably have to finish the trilogy. (Leaving 1/19/18)
Beethoven's Christmas Adventure
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Friday Night Lights
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
I Am Ali
Interview with the Vampire
Into the Wild
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kung Fu Panda
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Fifteenth Year
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Seventeenth Year
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Sixteenth Year
Like Water for Chocolate
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Meet the Fockers
Meet the Parents
Million Dollar Baby
Monsters vs. Aliens
Sharknado 2: The Second One
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens
The 6th Day
The Godfather: Part II
The Godfather: Part III
The Green Mile
The Iron Giant
The Princess Diaries
The Queen of the Damned
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring