Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out this week, so it's probably on point that today's edition of The 405's Netflix Guide is all about fantasy films. From alt-history re-imaginings to some of the most iconic action films of the '80s, we've shifted through the dredge that is the Netflix home page to compile the very best selection of movies that the streaming service has to offer this weekend.


Predator (1987)

"If it bleeds, we can kill it."

John McTiernan's Predator makes me yearn for the overly-macho action movies of the 1980s. From this to Commando to pretty much anything else Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in during the period, the decade was ripe with extravagant and explosive action movies that were shockingly lacking in self-awareness. Yet, unlike many others of its type, Predator actually makes you take it seriously. Although in other hands the film could have ended up as nothing but a campy B-movie, in the hands of both Arnie and McTiernan Predator manages to be one of the most intense science-fiction films ever made. It's over the top and bombastic, yet when the movie demands it this horror-inspired action flick can be unforgivingly brutal.


Big Fish (2003)

"I know better than to argue romance with a French woman."

Perhaps one of Tim Burton's greatest movies, Big Fish is definitely the director's most personal film. About a dying father and the fantasy world that his son indulges in to cope with his looming mortality, this 2003 film packs a heart that's been lacking in some of the director's recent efforts. The world itself is classic Burton; full of inspired yet menacing fantasy creature, yet Big Fish manages to be more whimsical than anything else the director has ever done, playing more like a fairytale than a piece of gothic horror. If you're a fan of the director and haven't seen this movie - or if you're just in the mood for a well-told emotional piece of pure American fantasy - then Big Fish is the movie for you this weekend.


Look Who's Back (2015)

Based on the novel of the same name, last year's Look Who's Back tackles the genius alternate-history plot of what would happen if Hitler somehow ended up being transported to the present day. While others have used the same idea and gone down the generic route of portraying World War 2 (but in the modern day!) Look Who's Back follows Hitler on his efforts to be a stand-up comedian. Although the idea of the set-up somewhat outshines the film's eventual execution (at almost two hours many of the character's exploits should have been left on the page), this movie is still a hidden gem as far as Netflix is concerned, and probably deserves at least a watch out of curiosity this weekend.


Looper (2012)

"This time travel crap, just fries your brain like an egg."

To celebrate the release of The Force Awakens and to look ahead to Rhian Johnson's next Star Wars film, I decided to rewatch his seminal science-fiction movie Looper last week. Thankfully, the film more than holds up on a repeat viewing - mostly in part to a self-aware script that doesn't take its time-travelling lore too seriously - with some blistering action sequences and amazing performances making Johnson's film a must see movie for any sci-fi or fantasy fan out there. Oh, and it has Paul Dano in it, who quite frankly is always excellent in anything he's in. Seriously, just watch all the movies that guy's made and you'll have a cracking time.


The Voices (2014)

"The fourth angel was Lucifer."

I was going to start off this entry explaining how the past few years have been a kind of resurgence of sorts for Ryan Reynolds, yet I'm not sure there was a point where the actor was actually on top to begin with. Either way, Reynolds has always been a pretty charismatic screen presence, and his turn in The Voices and this year's Deadpool has shown that the actor is probably much smarter than we've given him credit for. Both movies thrive in thick black humour, and while both are a touch too juvenile for their own good (gross-out humour written to appeal to 14-year-olds never really works when it's penned by 40-year-olds), they can still make for a great time.