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2016 is shaping quite nicely with a host of Netflix’s much loved shows returning, such as Daredevil and Orange Is The New Black, an impressive haul of new Originals including series from Mitchell Hurwitz (Arrested Development) and Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Trainwreck). Now we’ll take a look at the Netflix Original movies set to join the abundance of films available to Netflix users this year.
There are four confirmed Netflix Original movies scheduled for a Irish release this year, with many more in the pip line for US Netflix, which we’ll go through next week. Not only have Netflix been busy picking up films along the film festival rounds, they have also made a very exciting deal with the Duplass Brothers (Baghead, Safety Not Guaranteed) to produce four movies which will have a limited theatrical release before becoming available to all you viewers.
Coming in 2016
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (26th February)
Sword of Destiny tells an epic story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World.
Directed by renowned martial arts choreographer (The Matrix Trilogy, Kill Bill 1 & 2), Yuen Wo-Ping, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny stars Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Lady) as Yu Shu-Lien and Donnie Yen (Ip Man trilogy, Monkey King 3D) as Silent Wolf. As the trailer depicts, the heroic protagonists must keep the titular Sword of Destiny out of the hands of the evil warlord.
As I mentioned before, my only real concern is some of the CGI heavy scenes in the trailer. The wire work used in the original was fantastic and to substitute it for (pretty poor) graphics in this sequel seems like a bad move on the director’s part. Still, any chance to see Yen and Yeoh doing their thing and I’m happy.
Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday (18th March)
The new film stars the beloved fun-loving hero of TV, stage and film, Pee-wee Herman. In Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny.
This project has been in the pipeline for years now, but the time is nearly upon us. For many, the quirky, over-the-top antics of the child-like Pee-Wee Herman was a major part of their childhood. For others, he was just that weird guy with an even weirder laugh. From Tim Burton’s debut feature, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, to the long running TV series Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Paul Reuben’s signature character has become a cult hero.
The cast and crew attached to this project is also something to get excited about; Produced by Judd Apatow, written by Reuben and Paul Rust (Love) and directed by John Lee, creator of the wildly inappropriate and hilarious Wonder Showzen.
Pee-Wee may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I can’t wait for what should be a completely bonkers, and long-awaited, sequel of a true cult classic.
Jadotville tells the true story of the 1961 siege of a 150-member Irish U.N. battalion under Commander Patrick Quinlan (Dornan) by 3,000 Congolese troops, led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Film also stars Guillaume Canet (Tell No One) as the French commander who sought to defeat Quinlan and his men.
Jamie Dornan, of Fifty Shades of Grey fame, will portray the commander of an Irish U.N. battalion which came under attack while under orders to protect the civilians of a small mining town, Jadotville.
If you have never heard of the Siege of Jadotville, you would not be alone. The story of the hard-fought battle against all odds was seen as a defeat by many in the Irish Defence Forces and it was not until 2004 that the heroism was recognised by the Irish state.
Production got under way last year, shooting here in Ireland as well as South Africa. Jadotville is directed by Richie Smyth, a commercial and music video director (U2, Bon Jovi, The Verve) and written by Kevin Brodbin (Constantine). Alan Moloney will produce for Parallel Films (Haywire, Albert Nobbs, Byzantium).
The tale of the brave Irish soldiers will surely be of great interest to the ever-increasing Netflix viewers in Ireland as well as many others around the world.
Inspired by the best-selling book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan by the late Michael Hastings, War Machine concerns a four star, “rock star” general whose lethal reputation and impeccable track record vaults him to command the American war in Afghanistan. Determined to win the “impossible” war once and for all with a radical new approach, the general and his motley staff of commanders and press advisers race across the globe navigating delicate international alliances and troop requests, the charged battlefield of Washington politics, the voracious appetite of the media, and the day-to-day management of the war itself – all the while struggling to stay connected to the lives of men and women out in the field.
With a host of Golden Globes nominations and two Oscar nods, for original documentaries What Happened, Miss Simone? and Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, the increased legitimacy of Netflix as a global powerhouse is very much apparent. This is only cemented with the VOD network bagging Brad Pitt’s latest film, War Machine, as one of their own.
Pitt will star as the aforementioned “rock star” general, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, with Will Poulter (Glassland, The Revenant), Topher Grace (That 70s Show) and Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Spin City) in supporting roles. The satirical feature will be directed by David Michôd (Rover, Animal Kingdom), who also pens the screenplay based on American journalist Hastings’ non-fiction account of the war on Afghanistan.
When the book came out in late 2011, it was met with mass controversy along with rave-reviews from critics. Controversy follows anything that calls out any sort of “misbehaviour” by the American government and anything that might, heaven forbid, review the war in Afghanistan as the ridiculous spectacle it was.
Really looking forward to these Netflix Original movies and along with the vast amount of Original programming, coming straight to your laptop, 2016 looks like a brilliant year for Netflix.
I’ll take a look at the movies that might not necessarily be available on the Ireland Netflix but will be coming to US Netflix and will eventually filter through to the UK and Irish viewers, including Ricky Gervais’ Special Correspondents, starring Eric Bana, and the latest from mockumentary legend Christopher Guest, Mascots.
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