Last chance to stream: Top 13 titles leaving Netflix UK (May / June 2015)
James R | On 27, May 2015
As May draws to a close and June arrives, another wave of movies and TV series prepare to depart from Netflix UK into the online video ether, to the big pay-per-view streaming sites in the sky.
Many will not be missed. One of them is Bicentennial man, which has the greatest Netflix cover of all time. But some are kids’ TV shows, which – if they do not have their licence renewed – could prove to be a disappointing loss for families looking to watch their favourite programmes online with their children during the summer holidays.
These shows, in particular, are from HIT Entertainment, who have a deal with both Netflix and Amazon to provide Fireman Sam, Thomas & Friends, Barney and Bob the Builder to their subscribers. If Netflix were not to renew the titles, and Amazon retained them, it could prove a decisive shift in the ongoing battle for younger eyeballs.
From Pixar to Pingu, here are the top 13 titles leaving Netflix UK at the end of May.
A Bug’s Life – 28th May
A Bug’s Life is an early Pixar, but it stand up surprisingly well. Following failed inventor Flik as he attempts to save his colony from an evil grasshopper – Kevin Spacey, again – it’s an amusing adventure full of beautiful creepy crawlies and, for Frasier fans, a supporting turn from David Hyde Pierce as a stick.
Ghosts of the Abyss – 28th May
This 2003 documentary sees director James Cameron return to the wreck of the Titanic with a crew of experts, photographers and, erm, Bill Paxton. It was created for IMAX cinemas, but the ship’s submerged ruins are still impressive on the small screen.
Bicentennial Man – 31st May
Based on the novel The Positronic Man, Chris Columbus’ sci-fi stars Robin Williams as an android who tries to become more human, as he gradually acquires emotions. The movie may be mawkish and sentimental, but it’s another chance to appreciate the late, great Robin Williams. Or at least enjoy the terrible cover art one more time.
Dirty Pretty Things – 31st May
Years before Peaky Blinders and Locke, Steven Knight penned the screenplay for this drama about two illegal immigrants in London. Starring Audrey Tautou and Chiwetel Ejiofor and directed by Stephen Frears, the film went on to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 2003 Oscars.
Flightplan – 31st May
Jodie Foster stars in this largely nonsensical thriller about a missing girl on an airplane. Is the pilot in on it? Did Jodie Foster’s engineer imagine her daughter in the first place? Is she going mad with grief from her recently-deceased husband? Yes, it’s trash, but Robert Schwentke keeps things claustrophobic enough to stay enjoyably tense.
Halloween: H2O – 31st May
How do you celebrate the 20th anniversary of a horror franchise? Halloween got it mostly right, hiring a cast that included Jamie Lee Curtis, LL Cool J, Josh Hartnett and Michelle Williams. The end result reversed the series’ trend of poor sequels.
Little Voice – 31st May
Jane Horrocks stars in this likeable drama about a shy woman who finds escape from life in music. Based on Jim Cartwright’s play, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, the cast includes Ewan McGregor, Michael Caine and Jim Broadbent.
John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show – 2nd June
Before stealing the show on The Daily Show and getting his own series, Last Week Tonight, British comedian John Oliver was hosting this showcase for up-and-coming stand-up talent on Comedy Central.
Pingu – 2nd June
Claymation doesn’t get more charming than Pingu, everyone’s favourite anthropomorphic penguin. The key to its success? There’s no speaking at all: just squawking. And babbling. And chirping. And other weird noises. A couple of episodes of this and your house will be full of Pingu impressions for days – and that’s just the adults.
Thomas & Friends / Fireman Sam / Bob the Builder – 2nd June
Trains are awesome. Especially those called Thomas. So if your kids are familiar with Reverend Wilbert Awdry’s books, these are a must. Those keen on colourful urban adventures may well enjoy the similarly cute Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder. But while one is the hero next door and the other features a chart-topping theme song, they have one thing in common: they’re not trains. Plus they don’t have Ringo Starr as a narrator. Is there a more relaxing sound than the drummer from The Beatles saying the words “Sir Topham Hatt”?
She’s All That – 31st May
Freddie Prinze, Jr, Rachael Leigh Cook and Paul Walker star in this modern retelling of the old Pygmalion / My Fair Lady story. Because the world can never have enough Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Other titles leaving soon
Sunday 31st May
A Fall from Grace
The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina
Apenas a Fim
Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan
Goal! The Dream Begins
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
Hello Sister, Goodbye Life
Mimic 2: Hardshell
Not Another Teen Movie
Papadopoulos and Sons
School for Seduction
The Shipping News
Someone Like You
Wednesday 14th June
Barney and Friends
Monday 19th June
Tip of the hat to Netflix.maft.uk for the information