Best New Bets on Netflix: November 2016

The Last King Birkebeinerne Kristofer Hivju Torstein Jakob Oftebro SkjervaldA fresh batch of entertainment has arrived on Netflix this November and Eclectic Pop has narrowed down the best new bets. First up the Top 5 movie additions and then a TV pick. Let’s get started…

#1: ‘The Last King' ('Birkebeinerne') (2016)

For ‘Game of Thrones’ fans hoping to take the edge off the longer-than-usual wait between seasons, ‘The Last King’ has arrived on Netflix to help you dull the ache.

Set in 1206 Norway, this action adventure flick with an inventive kick, stars ‘Game of Thrones’ scene-stealer Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane on the HBO smash), as one half of a warrior duo tasked with protecting the King’s illegitimate baby son and last living heir. 

What ‘The Last King’ lacks in terms of ‘Game of Thrones’’ more famous attributes (ahem), it makes up for in the series’ knack for shocking deaths. The production quality is top drawer and the inclusion of some exciting ski chases (yes), gives it a refreshing air. Unfortunately, ‘The Last King’ ends up sharing more in common with 2007’s ‘The Last Legion’ than ‘Thrones’ but it is a noble effort, all the same. Now Streaming

#2. 'Just Friends' (2005)

The laughs are abundant in this sweet yet salty, romantic comedy. ‘Just Friends’ follows a mega-successful record producer (Ryan Reynolds) who begrudgingly returns to his hometown for Christmas. During his visit, he runs into his best friend and biggest crush from high school, Jamie (Amy Smart).

Her rejection of him as teenagers; altered the course of his life. Now faced with a second chance, he launches a quest to win her over. Ryan Reynolds is pitch-perfect as the witty Chris and Amy Smart is divine as the likable girl-next-door, Jamie. 

Reynolds and Smart are not the only ones who shine in this cinematic treat. Supporting cast members: Anna Faris, Chris Klein, Julie Hagerty and Chris Marquette, are all essential to adding the extra special ingredient that puts the movie over the top. ‘Just Friends’ came in at #4 on Eclectic Pop’s Top 5 Unconventional Christmas Movies for a reason: it is a hilarious blend of romance. Now Streaming

#3. ‘Mercy' (2014)

When a single mom (Frances O'Connor) and her two sons move in with her mother (Shirley Knight), they realize grandma may or may not have supernatural powers. In a year that saw Frances O’Conner winningly portray a harried single mother in another paranormal thriller (‘Conjuring 2’), ‘Mercy’ appears on the Netflix stream with a sense of renewed relevance.

It currently has an average rating (a flat 5) on IMDB, but there have probably been worse movies on Netflix. Starts Streaming: November 22

#4. The Jungle Book’ (2016)

One of the biggest movies of the year arrives on Netflix at the tail end of November. Disney has been in a live-action adaptation, frenzy as of late and ‘The Jungle Book’ is their latest addition, before ‘Beauty and the Beast’ hits theaters next year.

‘The Jungle Book’ tells the classic tale of Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a man-cub who grows up under the watchful supervision of the laid-back bear, Baloo (Bill Murray) and the stately panther, Bagheera (Ben Kingsley).

There are a plethora of high-profile talents who lend their voices to the iconic characters. Among them is Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, and Christopher Walken as King Louie.

‘The Jungle Book’ is the biggest ticket movie coming to Netflix in November. Hopefully, it is a sign the streaming service is turning things around with the quality of their movie selection. Starts Streaming: November 30

#5. ‘Level Up’ (2016)

‘Revenge’ alum Josh Bowman stars as a motivated boyfriend, who must scour all of London, fighting off various threats, to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend (Leila Mimmack), after she is taken from their home by masked invaders.

Bowman was one of the true standouts on ‘Revenge’ and one of the most misused actors on the cast. The problem was so infuriating it threatened to eclipse his entire run on the series. Hopefully ‘Level Up’ can better utilize his obvious talents. Given the standard set by ‘Revenge’, that will not be a difficult task. Starts Streaming: November 30

TV Pick: ‘The Crown’ on Netflix

Love, honor, duty, family – Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) had her hands full when she unexpectedly took power at the tender age of 26. The weight of a fresh marriage, a young family, and the eyes of an entire country, fell on her shoulders in an instant. ‘The Crown’ recounts the early years of her reign with an impeccable eye to its story’s visual majesty. 

Claire Foy is extraordinary as the legendary monarch. While Vanessa Kirby gives a breakout performance as the effervescent Princess Margaret. Between theirs and an especially poignant turn by John Lithgow as Winston Churchill, ‘The Crown’ is bound to earn major attention, come awards season. Now Streaming

[Featured Image by Magnolia Pictures, Nordisk Filmdistribusjon, StudioCanal, At Entertainment, Koch Media]