As Netflix subscribers prepare to welcome The Muppet Christmas Carol arriving on Christmas Day, NOW TV users will be mourning the loss of the blue, furry Charles Dickens on the site from Christmas Eve. But there are more cinematic treats departing soon for Sky Cinema Month Pass subscribers (£9.99 a month), from Tangled and The Grand Budapest Hotel to Young Frankenstein.
Entertainment Pass subscribers (£6.99 a month), meanwhile, will have only until the end of the month to catch up with the latest season of The Walking Dead…
Here’s a full list of films and TV shows leaving NOW TV in December 2015 and January 2016:
The Muppet Christmas Carol – Christmas Eve
The Muppets give Dickens a hefty injection of fuzzy humour without losing the story’s dark edge. From Gonzo as Charles himself and Rizzo’s jelly bean-eating sidekick providing the post-modern narration to Michael Caine’s surprisingly moving turn as Ebenezer, this is not only a fantastic, family-friendly adaptation of A Christmas Carol; it’s arguably the definitive version.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Christmas Day
Chris Pine stars as Tom Clancy’s CIA Agent in this underrated, and refreshingly old-school, spy thriller.
Tangled – 29th December
From its winning music (by Alan Menken) to the stunning visuals, Tangled takes a female protagonist of old and gives her a modern story that’s engaging across the board, winning over everyone watching at home – even the boys and the baldies. Best of all? There’s not a talking animal in sight. Tangled Ever After will also be removed at the same time.
The Grand Budapest Hotel – 29th December
“There is still a glimmer of civilisation in the barbaric slaughterhouse we know as humanity.”
That’s Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) to his young bellboy protege Zero (Tony Revolori) at The Grand Budapest Hotel. Located halfway up a mountain in the tiny, war-torn Eastern European Republic of Zubrowka, it’s a frontier for wealth, sophistication, old women with large suitcases and fluffy pink pastries. Wes Anderson’s tribute to the lost decorum of the past as well as the act of storytelling itself feels almost like a summation of the director’s career; combining the naivety of Rushmore with the spot-motion anarchy of Fantastic Mr. Fox, it zips along with mechanical precision, a clockwork dainty that ticks relentlessly against the gloomy tide of fascism.
Starred Up – 30th December
Eric (Jack O’Connell) is transferred from juvenile into adult jail two years early. For the system, that means he’s too dangerous. For the people inside it, that means he’s all set to rise to the top. The problem? That would mean going past Neville (Ben Mendelsohn), a senior con. Who also happens to be his dad. Their relationship David Mackenzie’s violent drama intensely absorbing.
The Walking Dead: Season 6 – 30th December
The latest run of AMC’s hit zombie thriller is as gruesome and gripping and ever, with arguably the most thrilling opening episodes of any season of The Walking Dead to date.
Blackadder’s Christmas Carol – New Year’s Eve
Christmas Eve, 1850. In the reign of good Queen Vic, there stood, in Dumpling Lane in old London town, the Moustache Shoppe of one Ebenezer Blackadder – the kindest and loveliest man in all England…
Poirot: Season 1 to 5 – New Year’s Eve
It’s not that long since David Suchet hung up his hat, cane and moustache as Hercule Poirot, but Agatha Christie’s iconic detective is still available to stream in large chunks on NOW TV – at least until the end of 2015.
Young Frankenstein – New Year’s Eve
Mel Brooks’ loving spoof, which stars Gene Wilder as a descendant of Frankenstein and Marty Feldman as his loyal servant, is not just one of the funniest horror-comedies of all time, but one of the funniest comedies period.
Blazing Saddles – New Year’s Eve
Mel Brooks was on peak form once again for this Western, which sees a black sheriff mosey into an extremely white town. The laughs-per-minute ratio is almost unmatched.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – New Year’s Eve
Clapping isn’t something you would normally call intimate, but Ain’t Them Bodies Saints manages it. David Lowery’s delicate, sun-washed Western is full of the stuff, a hand-tapping, thigh-slapping fest that has grubby fingerprints all over it. The film starts with a flurry, as Ruth (Mara) and Bob (Affleck) are on the run from the cops. Holed up in a barn, they swap bullets until she takes one to the body and Bob takes the blame. And so he ends up behind bars, while she waits dutifully at home with a small child in tow – and a watchful sheriff (Ben Foster) over her shoulder. A simple, beautifully told love triangle.
Blade – New Year’s Eve
Wesley Snipes kicks undead butt in this excellent vampire flick.
Cool Hand Luke – New Year’s Eve
Paul Newman. Prison. Eggs. What’s not to like about this magnificent drama?
Die Hard / Die Hard 2 / Die Hard with a Vengeance – New Year’s Eve
Nothing says Christmas like a man trying to get home to his estranged family in time for the holidays – despite a bunch of terrorists taking a skyscraper hostage during a festive staff party. All three original Die Hard films are classics that deserve to be re-watched before they disappear in the New Year.
Gangs of New York – New Year’s Eve
Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis are on stunning form in Martin Scorsese’s film about the origins of Manhattan.
How to Steal a Million – New Year’s Eve
Peter O’Toole’s irresistible charisma was perfectly showcased opposite Audrey Hepburn in this fun Hitchcockian caper.
Jaws – New Year’s Eve
Steven Spielberg’s classic thriller about a shark terrorising a beach village may not be thought of as a classic horror, but this stripped down creature-feature is swimming with suspense.
Raging Bull – New Year’s Eve
Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro live up to their reputations in this superb boxing drama.
The Color of Money – New Year’s Eve
“Aaahoo! Werewolves of London.” Warren Zevon’s song blasts into a backroom bar as Tom Cruise’s charismatic young Vincent plays pool with Paul Newman’s Fast Eddie Felson. Reprising his role as The Hustler, Newman has rarely been better, delivering an expert example of how to return to a character from a new angle. Now in the fast-paced, luck-driven world of 9 Ball, the pool trickster, who once found redemption in losing everything outside of the game, storms back onto the baize – given a darkly colourful tone by Scorsese – to find himself once again through his protege. “I’m back!” he declares to Cruise with a glint in his eye. Werewolves of London, indeed.
The Incredibles – New Year’s Eve
Arguably Pixar’s best film to date, The Incredibles combines family drama, superhero silliness and a genuine sense of peril.
The Man Who Wasn’t There – New Year’s Eve
Pianos, aliens, haircuts and dry-cleaning. The Coen brothers are on fine form with this darkly comic, absorbing drama featuring a stellar turn by Billy Bob Thornton.
You, Me and the Apocalypse – New Year’s Day
The cast alone for Sky’s original series makes it worth watching: Rob Lowe leads the transatlantic ensemble, which includes Jenna Fischer (The Office), Emmy winner Megan Mullally (Will and Grace), Mathew Baynton, Pauline Quirke, Paterson Joseph and Joel Fry. Set against a backdrop of apocalyptic chaos, the adrenaline fuelled comedy drama about the last days of mankind follows an eclectic group of seemingly unconnected characters, as their lives start to intersect – all triggered by the news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course towards earth, which prompts a dash to make it to a bunker deep beneath the suburbs of Slough.
Stewart Lee: Carpet Remnant World – New Year’s Day
The acerbic comedian is as patronising, smart and funny as ever in this recording of his stand-up show.
3:10 to Yuma – 3rd January 2016
Russell Crowe and Christian Bale go head to head in James Mangolds’ Western, which proves to be as exciting and fun as a remake can be.
A Clockwork Orange – 3rd January 2016
Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece remains as shocking and stylish today as it was 44 years ago.
Starship Troopers – 6th January 2016
Giant bugs. Big guns. Chunky helmets. Paul Verhoeven’s science fiction movie is a laugh-out-loud blockbuster that makes up for its dumb acting and unsubtle plot with lots and lots of gore. For some, it’s a no-brainer piece of entertainment; for others, it’s a military satire of a fascist government with an army of propaganda videos and a shoot-first-ask-questions-later foreign policy. Would you like to know more?
The Last King of Scotland – 12th January 2016
James McAvoy is marvellous in this drama about a young physician who finds himself under the wing of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker).
The Leftovers: Season 1 – 15th January 2016
Damon Lindelof’s perplexing drama – which sees 2 per cent of the world’s disappear one day without explanation – emerges as a powerful study of grief and faith. Worth persevering with, especially for Christopher Eccleston’s stunning performance in Episode 3. Read our full reviews of both Season 1 and Season 2.
The Last Panthers: Season 1 – 16th January 2016
Sky’s latest original crime drama is a six-part pan-European production with CANAL+ in France, with a cast as epic as its ambition. Samantha Morton, Tahar Rahim and John Hurt star in the six-part thriller about a shadowy alliance of gangsters and banisters that rule the continent – kicking off with a daring diamond heist. As if that weren’t enough, the show’s opening credits feature a brand new song by David Bowie. Our review of Episode 1.
Other titles leaving NOW TV soon in December 2015 and January 2016
Joy Ride 3
New Year’s Eve
A Man Aparts
Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold
Austin Powers in Goldmember
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
Courage Under Fire
Dennis the Menace Strikes Again
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
Escape from L.A.
Final Destination 2
Girls! Girls! Girls!
Guns at Batasi
House on Haunted Hill
I Was a Male War Bride
Jaws: The Revenge
Jungle 2 Jungle
Lethal Weapon 3
Little Shop of Horrors
Love Story (1970)
Man of Tai Chi
Men in Black
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
North to Alaska
Paradise, Hawaiian Style
Return To Nim’s Island
Road House (1989)
She’s Having a Baby
The Enemy Below
The Full Monty
The Last Boy Scout
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
The Wedding Singer
Wayne’s World 2
28 Weeks Later
New Year’s Day
3rd January 2016
Herbie Goes Bananas
4th January 2016
Frozen: Sing-Along Edition
6th January 2016
7th January 2016
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
8th January 2016
12th January 2016
Sky Arts Sessions
The Last Weekend: Season 1
Kingdom: Season 3
Band of Gold: Season 2
David Attenborough’s Flying Monsters
Rembrandt From The National Gallery, London
The Royle Family Christmas Special: Joe’s Crackers
New Year’s Eve
Broadchurch: Season 1 and 2
Landscape Artist Of The Year
Bones: Season 1 to 8
Kavanagh QC: Season 1 to 6
Melissa & Joey: Season 1 to 4
Prey: Season 1
Scott and Bailey: Season 1 to 3
Whitechapel: Season 1 to 4
The Amazing Race: Season 20 to 23
Alaska: The Last Frontier: Season 4
Band of Gold: Season 3
Big Bad World: Season 1
South Park: Season 13 to 15
Scott and Bailey: Season 4