Ricky Gervais returns to TV — or at least Netflix — with "Derek," in which he plays a staffer at a nursing home. Credit: Netflix
Titles come and go so fast on Netflix Instant that you have to seize the day; if all you want is to sit down in front of “Metallica: Through the Never” — in which 50-something metalheads rock out while Dane DeHaan fights demons or something — you better act quick, because it might be gone tomorrow. (It won’t; it’s around for a bit, at least.) Here’s what’s new or en route in May:
More “Derek”: Ricky Gervais’ oddly touching/funny show about a “slow” staffer at an old folks home returns on May 30, though it’s already going in the U.K. Despite the temptation for cheap, offensive laughs, this is actually the sweetest thing Gervais has ever done, and it only goes too far when it busts out Coldplay. Such a thing shouldn’t be done.
Newish blockbusters you forgot existed: “Star Trek Into Darkness” (up May 17) dares to riff on the original “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” and it gets its fingers burnt. If you want to temper your excitement for J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars Episode VII,” have at it. “Machete Kills” (May 22), meanwhile, probably plays better on the small screen (i.e., your massive home entertainment system). On May 27 comes "Escape from Tomorrow," the indie shot clandestinely inside Disneyworld and Disneyland — a film mysteriously classified as "action." (It's not. Though it gets weird.)
Modern classics (or “classics”): Quentin Tarantino has yet to make the complete and fairly different joined-together version of “Kill Bill” widely available. But it’s still a marvel in two pieces, and as of Thursday they’re both on there. As for questionable Best Picture winners, feel free to judge both “Gladiator” and “Forrest Gump,” as well as “The Breakfast Club,” which didn’t win Best Picture.
Godzilla gets winged by Mothra in "Godzilla vs. Mothra." Credit: Provided
Godzilla!: Though Hulu has the widest selection of Godzilla titles, Netflix got in on the action — a bit. Before the serious reboot comes out in two weeks, you can get a 101 on four of the campy old ones that feature a dude in a rubber suit and one (1) roar sound. Watch him battle Mothra and Monster Zero, and, interestingly, check the compromised American version of the original, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” which tones down the 1954’s already somber note and adds Raymond Burr as “Steve Martin.”
007!: The Bond movies slip in and out of Instant’s confines, but for now you’ve got a random six, including on the good side “Goldfinger,” “You Only Live Twice” and “For Your Eyes Only,” but also “Live and Let Die” and “View to a Kill” (which are still fun). You can also do up 1983’s “Never Say Never Again,” the non-canonical remake of “Thunderball,” made by a different company, who paid up big to score a pretty old Sean Connery.
TV: Television remains Instant’s big draw, because apparently a lot of you have scores of free time and don’t want to go outside. (Please do it standing up at least. Sitting will kill you.) Along with Season 3 of “Scandal,” “Luther,” “Prison Break” and “Damages,” you can also catch up with “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” the chef-turned-globetrotter’s CNN show. Meanwhile, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” — once upon a time one of the main reasons to get Netflix Instant — is still MIA.