Danielle Brooks, Lin Tucci, Natasha Lyonne, Yael Stone, Jackie Cruz, Emma Myles and Laverne Cox are on display in "Orange is the New Black." Credit: Netflix
Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon a story here and there reminding you that binge watching — a trend made all the easier/palatable in our age of video streaming — is in fact bad for you. It kills your social life, traps you in some alternate universe of fiction and — let’s not forget — usually involves epic sitting jags. And sitting, as we know, will kill you dead (or shave years off your life).
But ignore that: “Orange is the New Black” is almost back! Here’s the usual assault of new programming, new (small) movies and absolutely random older films and TV titles coming to Netflix Instant in June, when you should be out soaking up cancerous UV rays and (probably also cancerous) fresh air.
Something called “Orange is the New Black”: Netflix’s homegrown prison sensation returns on June 6, and rather than watch it piecemeal over a few months, surely many of you are going to turn off your phone, close the blinds, pour a bowl of Cheetos and hoover the whole thing up in one disgusting fowl swoop. In related news, Ricky Gervais’ much more manageable “Derek” — only six 23-minute episodes — just returned for its second series.
New (tiny) movies: Both “Devil’s Knot” — an all-star recreation of the “West Memphis Three” trial, which sent three innocent boys to jail for 18 years — just came out in theaters. That is to say they came out a couple weeks ago. Ditto “Wolf Creek 2,” the sequel to the infamous, often deplored Aussie serial killer grinder. Yet both will be on Instant June 3 and June 24, respectively. Neither attracted many ticket buyers, which may explain the shockingly quick turnaround, and “Devil’s Knot” isn’t very good — a curiously flat and phoned-in film from director Atom Egoyan, who once made a masterpiece from vaguely similar material (“The Sweet Hereafter”). However, it does feature fine work from Reese Witherspoon, as a mom wrestling with the rape and murder of her son.
The 1996 movie "The Craft" is a grittier teen witch movie than "Teen Witch." Credit: MGM
Random older movies: Surely you were waiting to waste an evening with “xXx: State of the Union,” the franchise sequel that swapped out Vin Diesel for Ice Cube. That’s available June 24, though “Rudy” is on June 1, as is Brian De Palma’s classic take on Stephen King’s “Carrie,” which was on there back when the not bad though not particularly necessary remake emerged last year. And hey, “The Craft” is coming June 1. Remember “The Craft”? The one where Neve Campbell and Fairuza Balk are actual teen witches? That's almost two decades old.
Brad Pitt vs. zombies: Everyone expected it to tank, but “World War Z” — which has almost nothing to do with the speculative fiction novel, save a bit where Jerusalem’s wall is used to keep out the undead, not Palestinians — became a “surprise” hit that cost upwards of $200 million to make and stars one of the biggest actors in the world (one Brad Pitt). It’s honestly kind of a drag (and a PG-13 drag at that, and which absolutely wastes new "Doctor Who" star Peter Capaldi), but what do we know? It’s feasting on Instant starting June 13.