It’s supposed to rain a lot this week, so if you haven’t got a thick Russian novel to pore over, may we suggest catching up on the pile of movies leaving Amazon Prime next month? Streaming giveth and it taketh away, and while these titles will soon be replaced by “Superbad” and “Bill and Ted” movies and five “Saw” entries, some of these hurt. (They’re all exiting on July 31 unless otherwise noted.)
First off, how well do the “Matrix” movies hold up? It’s almost 20 years old, this franchise, which changed the action movie until it was changed again by “The Bourne Identity.” We don’t imagine a critical about-face on the sequels, but the first one presumably still dazzles. Besides, we’re in the middle of a bona fide Keanu-ssaince, with the former Neo better than ever in films both big (the genius “John Wick” cycle) and small (he’s the best part of “The Neon Demon,” and he’s only in it for a combined three minutes, maybe).
Speaking of old-timey hits, remember the “Addams Family” movies? Now that we have an even crazier family in the White House, maybe spend some detox time with a clan who are merely kooky, spooky and ooky. Bonus: There are fewer more dynamite mother-daughter teams than Anjelica Huston and Christina Ricci in goth mode.
Along with the Keanu-ssaince, we’re also in the midst of a Kyle MacLachlan revival. If you can’t get enough of the actor not reprising Agent Cooper (so far — and all hail Dougie Jones), check him out in a very funny scruffy ’60s rocker wig as keyboardist Ray Manzarek in “The Doors,” Oliver Stone’s phantasmagoric (and largely BS, but, you know, always print the legend) account of the life of Jim Morrison. Speaking of which, can we get a Val Kilmer-assaince while we’re at it?
More “Twin Peaks” connections! Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” may have been a valentine to star Pam Grier, giving her the meaty role she always deserved. But QT threw two in for the price of one: Robert Forster, a character actor who in 1997 never quite was, also scored a terrific role, playing a bondsman who falls for Grier’s busted stewardess wit drug connections. He’s even better here as he is on “Peaks,” and he’s killing it as the quietly soulful Sheriff Frank Truman.
“Twin Peaks” yet again! 91-year-old Harry Dean Stanton has been holding up his end as the show’s oldest cast member. But remember when he played Molly Ringwald’s dad? In “Pretty in Pink,” he’s the chain-smoking, crusty but loving dad who can’t afford to show his high school daughter the good life — which may explain why she falls for the douchey rich kid (Andrew McCarthy) and not the nerd who really deserves her (Jon Cryer).
If you’re like us, you’re still gutted by the loss of Jonathan Demme, American cinema’s foremost goofy humanist. If you can’t find a streaming copy of “Stop Making Sense” or “Something Wild” or “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Married to the Mob” — his silly 1987 studio comedy — will more than do in a pinch. One of his sneakiest and most enjoyable efforts, it also contains the Michelle Pfeiffer performance to beat. She plays the widow of a murdered mafioso (Alec Baldwin!) who tries to escape her old life, with a body count. And she’s got a barndoor broad Brooklyn accent that will melt your heart.
Because we don’t think of him enough these days, let’s talk Donald Trump. Specifically, let’s talk Michael Moore, who’s about to storm Broadway with his one-man show “The Terms of My Surrender.” Revisit one of Moore’s biggest glories, “Bowling for Columbine,” his Oscar-winning doc about gun culture, which hasn’t exactly gotten better.
Johnny Depp isn’t doing too well these days, but it’s important to recall that he used to be a god. For proof, watch “Sleepy Hollow,” in which he weirds up an already weird Tim Burton take on the Washington Irving. Then again, “Mortdecai” (departing 8/6) is also about to depart Amazon’s pastures, if you want to remember one reason why we turned on him.
Some odds and ends: The 2015 “Macbeth” (departing 8/13), from the team that would bring you the dreaded “Assassin’s Creed” movie one year later (i.e., Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and director Justin Kurzel) is leaving, as is “Winter’s Bone,” containing Jennifer Lawrence’s first Oscar-nom’d turn. And do the kids still love Burt Reynolds? If so, act fast because “Gator,” his sequel to “White Lightning,” is speeding off down the swamp soon.