December Streaming Guide: What’s New On Netflix, Amazon, and HBO.

The Dad Approved December Streaming Picks
(IMDB)

Dads don’t always get to control the remote, so when the time comes, we need to be ready. Here are our picks for the best movies and shows coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Now this month. (We know it’s December, but we’re mostly skipping the holiday stuff. You’ve seen ’em.)

FAMILY FRIENDLY FLICKS (mostly):

These are great for the whole family. Ideal for that night you come home with the perfect Christmas tree, set it up in the corner, and collectively decide that you’re too tired to decorate it yet.

Netflix:

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (December 1st)
One of the first in the recent trend of kid’s movies being way funnier than you’d think they could be.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Laugh
(Gify)

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (December 7th)
This movie hasn’t gotten much attention in the wake of the Disney “Live Action” Jungle Book movie, but is directed by motion capture master Andy Serkis, and features Christian Bale, Cate Blanchet, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Serkis himself in a more faithful adaptation of the original Kipling stories.

Voltron Legendary Defender: Season 8 (December 14th)
We’re not going to say it’s as good as the one we watched when we were kids, but it’s not like we’re gonna just…not watch Voltron.

Voltron
Actual footage of my kid getting home for winter break. (Giphy)

3Below: Tales From Arcadia (December 21st)
Guillermo Del Toro’s second show in set in the Trollhunters universe, about rogue aliens on the run from bounty hunters (awesome). Reasonably sure nobody will fall in love with a fish here,  but you just never know with this guy.

Avengers: Infinity War (December 25th)
Disney is planning to snatch all their Marvel and Star Wars movies back for their own streaming service, so check out the ultimate superhero showdown before it’s gone in a….you know…

Thanos-Snap Comic
(Doyouevencomicbook.com/John Robinson IV - Jim Starlin, George Perez, Ron Lim)

Amazon Prime:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (December 1st)
Remember when Raphael said a bad word in the first five minutes, and it was like “whoa, this is different than the cartoon?”  Anyway, if you miss the days of rubber suit ninja action, this will probably blow your kids’ minds.

Groundhog Day (December 1st)
“Ok, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties cause it’s coooooold out there today.”

Groundhog Day Winter
(Giphy)

The Dark Crystal (December 1st)
Jim Henson’s successful attempt to live forever in our nightmares is a family classic, apparently.

The Dark Crystal Mouth Muppet
(Giphy)

The Naked Gun Trilogy (December 1st)
Ok, these are maybe, technically, probably not suitable for kids. Like, at all. But let’s be real, your dad probably showed them to you when you were too young, and it’s those traditions that makes the holidays special.

HBO Now:

The Land Before Time (All 2,000 of them available December 1st)
Don Bluth is a legend, and the first adventure of Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Spike, and Petrie is a must-see! The other entries in the series…also exist.

Ready Player One (December 8th)
Every 80s kid’s favorite director made a movie for aughts kids.

Spider-Man Spielberg
This is pretty much how it happened. (ImageFlip)

 

The Dad After Dark:

Check out these titles after the kids go to bed. Assuming you are still awake yourself, that is.

Netflix:

The Big Lebowski (December 1st)
Sam Elliot hasn’t aged in 20 years, which is something we’re looking into. Also, you know, this is one of the best comedies ever made, so.

The Dude Abides
(giphy)

Friday (December 1st)
You know the meme, but have you seen the original? This classic comedy is still leaving it’s mark on pop culture, 23 years later. Don’t believe us? Bye, Felicia.

Friday
(Giphy)

Terminator Salvation (December 1st)
Is this movie good? Is that really what’s important here? As the entry in the franchise that you probably didn’t pay actual money to go see, it’s the ideal “too tired to pay attention to anything” entertainment choice. Plus, if enough people watch this, maybe they’ll bring back the actually great Sarah Conner Chronicles.

District 9 (December 4th)
The best father/son shrimp monster relationship in movie history.

District 9
(Giphy)

The American Meme (December 7th)
This might end up being the most fun or most depressing thing you ever watch, depending on your relationship with social media. Great if you need a reminder why it’s good to limit your kids’ screen time.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale (Available December 14th)
If you are getting some strong Buffy vibes from this take on the Archie comic universe, you’re not alone. In fact, Buffy/Angel star Alexis Denisof is joining the cast for season 2. But first, step back in time with this holiday special that’s sure add some Halloween spirit to the holiday…ahem…solstice season.

Springsteen on Broadway (December 16th)
Oh, is the Boss performing a special Tony Award winning solo show about his relationship with his father? Cool. Cool cool cool. We’re just gonna be chopping some onions over here, don’t mind us.

Springsteen
(Tenor/CatalinaJoel)

Theory of Everything (December 16th)
“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at.” – Stephen Hawking, winner of The Dad’s first-ever Father of the Space Time Continuum Award.

Amazon Prime:

The Game (December 1st)
Before escape rooms were a thing, this David Fincher thriller had Michael Douglas on the run in a maybe real/maybe not race to escape his father’s legacy. It’s the most fun you probably don’t want to actually have.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2 (December 5th)
If Tony Shaloub in this series isn’t your Dad Goals inspiration, then what are you even doing?

Mrs Maisel Dad
(Giphy)

Hereditary (December 27th)
Here’s the thing. Don’t watch this movie. Is it a well made, wonderfully acted, beautifully shot piece of cinema that tells a compelling story of grief, depression, and the impact parents have on our lives? Yes, absolutely, it’s one of the best films of the year. Do we wish we could burn it from our memory and wash our eyeballs in bleach after seeing it? 100%. Even if you don’t mind gore, and could watch brainless teenagers get off’d at summer camp all day long, trust us. This is not that kind of horror movie. Real talk, parent-to-parent: This movie. Is. Upsetting.

Hereditary Dad
(Giphy)

HBO Now:

Inception (December 1st)
Leonardo DiCaprio folds a city in half in order to get back to his kids, when they could have just easily come to him, but didn’t because they’re stubborn. One of the most honest stories of fatherhood ever told.

So there you have it! The Dad’s binge watch guide to get your family through the winter. Now, these are just the titles we don’t want you to miss. But if you’ve got vacation time coming up…

The Full List

Here’s all of it!

Netflix:

December 1st

  • 8 Mile
  • Astro Boy
  • Battle
  • Bride of Chucky
  • Christine
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  • Crossroads: One Two Jaga
  • Friday
  • Friday After Next
  • Hellboy
  • Man vs Wild with Sunny Leone, season 1
  • Meet Joe Black
  • Memories of the Alhambra (streaming every Saturday)
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Next Friday
  • Reindeer Games
  • Seven Pounds
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Terminator Salvation
  • The Big Lebowski
  • The Great British Baking Show: Masterclass, season 5
  • The Last Dragon
  • The Man Who Knew Too Little

December 2nd

  • The Lobster

December 3rd

  • Blue Planet II, season 1
  • Hero Mask
  • The Sound of Your Heart: Reboot, season 2

December 4th

  • District 9

December 6th

  • Happy!, season 1

December 7th

  • 5 Star Christmas
  • Bad Blood
  • Dogs of Berlin
  • Dumplin’
  • Free Rein: The Twelve Neighs of Christmas
  • Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
  • Nailed It! Holiday!
  • Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas
  • Pine Gap
  • ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?
  • Super Monsters and the Wish Star
  • The American Meme
  • The Hook Up Plan (Plan Coeur)
  • The Ranch: Part 6

December 9th

  • Sin senos sí hay paraíso, season 3

December 10th

  • Michael Jackson’s This Is It

December 11th

  • Vir Das: Losing It

December 12th

  • Back Street Girls: Gokudols
  • Out of Many, One

December 13th

  • Wanted, season 3

December 14th

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale
  • Cuckoo, season 4
  • Dance & Sing with True: Songs
  • Fuller House, season 4
  • Inside the Real Narcos
  • Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons, season 3
  • Prince of Peoria: A Christmas Moose Miracle
  • Roma
  • Sunderland Til I Die
  • The Fix
  • The Innocent Man
  • The Protector
  • Tidelands
  • Travelers, season 3
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender, season 8

December 16th

  • Baby Mama
  • Kill the Messenger
  • One Day
  • Springsteen on Broadway
  • The Theory of Everything

December 18th

  • Baki
  • Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable
  • Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 5

December 21st

  • 3Below: Tales of Arcadia
  • 7 Days Out
  • Back With the Ex
  • Bad Seeds
  • Bird Box
  • Derry Girls
  • Diablero
  • Greenleaf, season 3
  • LAST HOPE: Part 2
  • Perfume
  • Sirius the Jaeger
  • Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski
  • Tales by Light, season 3
  • The Casketeers
  • Wolf (BÖRÜ)

December 23rd

  • Watership Down

December 24th

  • Hi Score Girl
  • The Magicians, season 3

December 25th

  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, season 11
  • Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War

December 26th

  • Alexa & Katie, season 2
  • YOU

December 28th

  • Instant Hotel
  • La noche de 12 años
  • Selection Day
  • When Angels Sleep
  • Yummy Mummies

December 30th

  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe

December 31st

  • The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man

Amazon Prime:

December 1st

  • A Clockwork Orange
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • A Fistful of Dollars (Per un pugno di dollari)
  • All the President’s Men
  • Bad Girls from Mars
  • Because I Said So
  • Bestseller
  • Beverly Hills Vamp
  • Blue Hill Avenue
  • Boogie Nights
  • Bright Lights, Big City
  • Event Horizon
  • Gargoyle
  • Groundhog Day
  • Happily N’Ever After
  • Happily N’Ever After 2
  • Hitman’s Run
  • King of the Mountain
  • Line of Duty
  • Livin’ by the Gun
  • Margin Call
  • Mars Attacks!
  • Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
  • Ordinary People
  • Promised Land
  • Silent Tongue
  • Sleepover
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • The Black Stallion
  • The Dark Crystal
  • The Firm
  • The Game
  • The Godson
  • The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
  • The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
  • Trucks
  • Ulee’s Gold
  • Valkyrie
  • War
  • Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins
  • Wild Wild West
  • Windtalkers

December 5th

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, season 2

December 7th

  • Killers
  • Why Did I Get Married Too?

December 8th

  • Before I Fall
  • Collide

December 14th

  • LOL: Last One Laughing, season 1

December 15th

  • 4 Blocks, season 2
  • Life of Crime, Mini-series

December 16th

  • Evan Almighty

December 19th

  • A Most Wanted Man

December 21st

  • Life Itself
  • Vanity Fair, season 1

December 25th

  • Iron Man 2

December 27th

  • Hereditary

December 28th

  • Niko and the Sword of Light, season 2

HBO NOW:

December 1st

  • An Innocent Man
  • The Best Man
  • The Book of Eli
  • Bootmen
  • Dave
  • Dawn of the Dead
  • George A Romero’s Land of the Dead
  • Get Him to the Greek
  • Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
  • The Hangover
  • He’s Just Not That Into You
  • Inception
  • The Land Before Time
  • The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure
  • The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving
  • The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists
  • The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island
  • The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock
  • The Land Before Time VII: Stone of Cold Fire
  • The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze
  • The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water
  • The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration
  • Legend of the Guardians The Owls of Ga’Hoole
  • Light It Up
  • Lost River
  • Mi tesoro (aka My Treasure)
  • Rampage
  • Vida en Marte (aka Life on Mars)

December 2nd

  • Camping, season 1 finale

December 3rd

  • Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

December 4th

  • HBO First Look: Mortal Engines

December 6th

  • Traffik

December 7th

  • Ice Box

December 8th

  • Ready Player One

December 10th

  • Vice Special Report: The Panic Artists
  • My Brilliant Friend, season 1 finale
  • My True Brilliant Friend

December 11th

  • Momentum Generation

December 14th

  • Room 104, season 2 finale

December 14th

  • High & Mighty

December 14th

  • Vice, season 6 finale

December 15th

  • Blockers

December 15th

  • Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean

December 16th

  • Magnifica, season 3 finale

December 17th

  • Bleed Out

December 21st

  • En El Septimo Dia (aka On the Seventh Day)

December 22nd

  • Isle of Dogs

December 23rd

  • Sally4Ever, season 1 finale

So, now it should be easy to make a decision, right?

…Right?

Inception Top
(Giphy)

This Day In Internet History – Feb. 17, 2001: O RLY

Know Your Meme

Greetings, Internet historians! I am RLY excited to share today’s lesson with you.

Giphy

Yes, RLY! Today’s lesson involves an owl, some trolls, a computer virus, and Barbra Streisand — all wrapped up in the meme known as “O RLY.”

If you’re having trouble reading it, “O RLY” is an abbreviation of “Oh, really?”

 

A Brief History of O RLY

Seventeen years ago on this day, professional photographer John White published an image of a snowy owl looking, as he put it, “silly.” 

Why is the owl making that ludicrous face? According to White, it was cooling down after a particularly vigorous flight. It was panting, kind of like a dog.

Photograph by John White

White didn’t know it at the time, but the aviary subject of his photograph was destined for Internet stardom. Only, not for four more years.

In the meantime, it was 2001 — the era of online message boards. Yes, dark days — dark days, indeed. And what did people do on online message boards? They were sarcastic. They said dumb things to each other and responded with incredulity, saying things like “Ohhhhh, realllllly?” 

According to Know Your Meme, the phrase “O RLY” can be traced back to early 2003 on the forum of Something Awful, “where it was used as a deadpan response to anything you found doubtful, unimpressive or just plain dull.” I can’t think of any better adjectives to describe online message boards.

From the message boards of Something Awful, this is the first known instance of O RLY

Still, it wasn’t until 2005 that the O RLY retort found its soulmate in the image of John White’s snowy owl, on the imageboard website 4chan. That’s when an anonymous user overlaid the image with bold, white text, resulting in this gem:

Know Your Meme

Perhaps in part due to its simplicity, the O RLY image caught on with 4chan users instantly. They used it to respond sarcastically to posts not only on 4chan, but on multiple other forums, thus catalyzing its spread far and wide.

Over a short amount of time, the meme became synonymous with low-level trolling, and eventually spawned over 9,000 different iterations.

Some of the most popular O RLY versions are:

Gangsta Owl

Bodybuilding.com

O RLY Baby

Giphy

O’Reilly O RLY

Uncyclopedia

Two Controversies? O RLY?!

A couple of controversies involving O RLY led first to its ubiquitousness, then to its demise.

First Controversy: The Streisand Effect

When O RLY merchandise went on sale in 2005, photographer John White got a little miffed that he wasn’t receiving royalties. He decided to make his opinion known publicly. However, in the process of chastising popular bloggers for stealing his photograph, White found himself victim to the Barbra Streisand effect — by trying to censor the meme, he accidentally brought extra attention to it, thus making it more popular than ever.

Streisand effect aside, the craze didn’t last long. Why? My guess is, it had something to do with the virus.

Second Controversy: The Virus

In 2006, tons of computers got infected with a worm known as W32/Hoots-A. How did the virus work? Essentially, invasive malware sent pictures of the O RLY meme to the infected user’s printer, nonstop. Yeah, it’s fair to say people got pretty sick of it after that. Search queries for O RLY dropped to nearly zero within months.

Thus, the meme was over.

Still, it is used from time to time in today’s internet culture by people who want to come across as not only sarcastic, but extremely ironic. Kind of like a Nobel Laureate wearing a t-shirt that says “Jenius.”

TL;DR

What, you didn’t read all of that?

Giphy

Alright, you friggin’ slouch. Here are the main points, in recipe form:

  • Take one picture of exhausted owl
  • Stir in sarcastic message board users
  • Combine until meme
  • Bake with the heat of the photographer’s ire
  • Destroy it all with a virus

And, voilà! You’ve made an O RLY meme.

Okay, class. For homework tonight, think about how nothing represents internet culture better than loving something and then immediately hating it with the same fervor.

 

Screentime: Moana’s Dad Sucks

(Walt Disney Studios Motion pictures)

Where You Are.

“Daddy, this you.”

My daughter loves to identify the characters she sees, in books, TV, movies, with counterparts from her real life. She’ll point to a random woman in a picture book and loudly declare, “It’s Grandma”. There’s an illustration snail she will reliably identify as “Mommy” for no discernible reason. In The Cat In The Hat, there’s a crudely sketched portrait of a dude with a huge nose

Every time we read the book she points at the damn painting and says “PICTURE OF DADDY” over and over again until I say “Yes, that’s a picture of daddy can we please move on?”

So it came as no surprise when she held up a figurine of Chief Tui, Moana’s father, and told me “Daddy, this you”. In fact, it made more sense than many of the characters that are “me”. My daughter obviously identifies with Moana and Tui is Moana’s dad. Simple.

Initially, the comparison seemed favorable. For a start, Tui is a pretty impressive-looking guy. If this is what my kid sees when she looks at me, I’m doing something right. He’s also the Chief of a whole dang island, which looks pretty good on your CV.

Pictured: Me (Left); Other Dads (Right) (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/20th Television)

The Perfect Daughter

But the more I thought about the movie, the more uncomfortable I was about being linked with Tui in my daughter’s mind. Obviously, there is the fact of his being the main obstacle to Moana exploring the ocean, saving the world and finding herself in the process. But that’s just the start of it!

Moana is rightly praised for being a female-led film in which the heroine’s victory is her own. No man swoops in to save the day, or to offer a ring. Instead, the men of the film represent the status quo, the facts of the world that Moana must navigate around. It is no accident, therefore, that the two most significant male presences in the film are both authority figures. Tui and Maui are both powerful men, and each can be seen as representing different types of dad. (Stay with me here)

Maui and Moana
(Youtube//DisneyMusicVevo)

You’re Welcome

Maui’s is less so, but still valid. Maui is the figurative father of humanity. The litany of feats he lists in “You’re Welcome” demonstrate that without him, human lives would be unrecognizable. Tides, Wind, Land, Fire, Coconuts. All the things Moana and her people treat as givens, he handed to them. In the same sense that Prometheus is the father of humanity in Greek mythology, Maui is father to us all.

Maybe this is the dude I want to be compared to. Magic, heroic, legendary. Sounds pretty good!

But what kind of a father is he? As his song proclaims, he is a heroic one. He has performed incredible, dangerous feats to improve the lives of his children. He is brave and strong, fun and adventurous. But he also solves all his problems in the same way: Brute force.

He is also an absent father. His version of fatherhood consists of providing, but not sustaining. As soon as a complication approaches, he runs away.

His self-image is so dependent on his heroic victories & his strength that he cannot face the possibility of failure. I don’t want that.

Maui Flies Away
(Youtube//Nicole Sthefania)

Consider The Coconut

So I guess it’s back to Moana’s actual father, Tui. He has a more grounded, less spectacular, approach. He emphasizes tradition, tries to teach responsibility. I can get behind this, I suppose. I mean, kind of boring, but commendable.

Apart from two things. Firstly, he uses the twin swords of Tradition and Responsibility to hem his daughter in, stopping her not only from following her heart, but from coming up with genuine solutions to real problems they both face.

Secondly, it becomes clear he’s doing this not in order to help his daughter develop or grow, or even because he genuinely thinks its what’s best. He’s just projecting his own fear of the ocean onto her. His talk of tradition is just a cover for his own hang-ups. He doesn’t run away, he just hides behind his value-system!

I don’t wanna be either of these dudes!

(YouTube// Ultimate Productions)

A Girl Who Loves Her Island, A Girl Who Loves The Sea

In the end, though, Moana herself doesn’t outright reject either of these flawed father figures. She embraces the Tui’s responsibilities and traditions while rejecting the fears that guided him. She embraces Maui’s bravery and sense of adventure but rejects his fear of failure and his violence. She takes the best of each of them, rejecting their shortcomings, and becomes her own, stronger, person, finding solutions neither of them could ever see. (Obviously, this is also in large part due to the supportive maternal figures in her life, but you knew that.)

So I suppose I don’t mind whether my kid sees me as Tui, or Maui, or Heihei. I just hope that she can take the best of me, and use it to forge her own, better, way.

I Am Moana
(YouTube//ArchieBuld)