I see you, Internet. Every week, we do a nice little roundup of the new releases of note on the DVD/Blu-ray shelves and the streaming services, and it gets a fair amount of traffic — solid, nothing spectacular — and that’s that. But last week’s column was huge, far and away the column’s high point and one of our most clicked posts of the week, though the movies in it weren’t blockbusters: the modestly performing Will Smith vehicle Focus, the K-Stew military drama Camp X-Ray, Ava DuVernay’s indie breakthrough, an ‘80s Mickey Rourke movie. Oh, and it included the documentary Hot Girls Wanted , Netflix’s recent Sundance pickup about the horrifying exploitation of young women in the world of “amateur” porn. The disproportionate popularity of our post that mentions that title made me wonder if Netflix is seeing the same kind of traffic — if they maybe even bought the movie in part because it’s got such a click-friendly title. And all I can say, having seen Hot Girls Wanted, is that any late-night dirty-movie creepers who click “play” based on that title are in for a big, big disappointment. Which prompts the question: How many more Netflix streamers sound like they’re gonna be sexy, and really, really aren’t?
What it looks/sounds like: The cover image shows the legs and feet of three young women, so there’s a little shout-out to the foot fetishists; the stills in the description screen feature a trio of attractive young women. Netflix tags it as “steamy” and “controversial.” Maybe it’s a coming-of-age, young-and-sexy movie, eh? What it is: Yeah, not so much. This is the previous documentary by Hot Girls Wanted directors Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, focusing on the increasing sexualization of young women, and the pressures society puts on girls to be sexual, at earlier and earlier ages. Good luck enjoying that, perverts! Average viewer rating: 2 stars
What it looks/sounds like: The cover image and info stills are packed with blondes in bikinis, and the description purrs, “Tired of waiting for men to take action (and typically disappoint), beach babes Alexis and Lindsay decide to go out and get what they want.” What it is: Further down the description page, in smaller type: “Funnymen Tom Arnold and Chris Kattan are part of the hilarious ensemble cast in this raunchy comedy.” Average viewer rating: 1 star
What it looks/sounds like: Between the sexily tousled hair of our wrapped-in-a-man’s-white-dress-shirt cover image, the menu description (“On a yearlong break between high school and college, a teenager writes an anonymous but highly revealing blog chronicling her sex life”), and the poster tagline (“YOUNG. NOT SO INNOCENT”), this looks like some sort of sexed-up erotic jailbait flick in the Poison Ivy mold. What it is: A thoughtful, sensitive coming-of-age drama (“Although the many life truths Katie comes to learn, particularly from the film’s various grown-ups, may not seem exceedingly profound to post-teen viewers, they deftly fit together to complete an incisive character puzzle,” per the Los Angeles Times) — starring Britt Robertson, who’s very hard to imagine as a sexpot after Tomorrowland. Average viewer rating: 2 stars
What it looks/sounds like: The title speaks volumes — it sounds like one of those ‘70s Roger Corman jiggle-sploitation movies, where a bevy of bad girls engage in catfights and pillow fights, while in various stages of school-uniform undress. What it is: A 1994 remake (for Showtime’s “Rebel Highway” series) of a 1957 juvenile delinquent film, far heavier on camp than skin. Plus, it features (a pre-Friends!) Matt LeBlanc in the leather-jacketed “bad boy” role. Average viewer rating: 1½ stars
What it looks/sounds like: With a title taken from a notorious (and fictional) aphrodisiac and a cover image of a couple in a nude embrace (as well as our old friend, the “steamy” tag), this looks like one of those foreign nudie flicks us Gen-Xers used to sneak down to the TV and watch on Cinemax at two in the morning. What it is: A dull and critically drubbed look at the changing face of macho, and a vanity project for writer/director/star Daphna Kastner, who casts herself as the primary object of desire. Average viewer rating: 1 star
What it looks/sounds like: With the ridiculously good-looking marquee pairing of Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Connelly, and a cover image of the pair in an erotic motorboat clinch, this seems to be another Banderas erotic thriller in the Original Sin mold. What it is: A political period piece, set during the Pinochet reign of Chile, with exactly one, brief love scene. Average viewer rating: 2 stars
What it looks/sounds like: Cover image of a stripper! “Live nude girls” right in the title! “Provocative” in the tags! Probably a story about a bunch of hot strippers coming together to get naked in new and inventive ways, right? What it is: Wrong-o! Julia Query and Vicky Funari’s acclaimed documentary is a ground-level look at how a group of San Francisco exotic dancers unionized and went on strike to improve their working conditions. In other words, it’s about how a group of women who were treated as sex objects demanded they be treated as people. Average viewer rating: 1 star
What it looks/sounds like: The eye-catching cover photo of a scantily clad, high-heeled woman in handcuffs hard-sells this 2012 film as a spicy slab of sexy S&M. What it is: A gritty and upsetting exposé of America’s sex-trafficking trade, “which destroys lives as it generates $3 billion a year.” Average viewer rating: 2 stars
What it looks/sounds like: From the cover image, it looks like it’s about boobs. What it is: It kind of is — but it’s a documentary about the legalization of public nudity in America, with a specific focus on the de-eroticization of the titular (pardon the pun) area, so it’s not really for rubberneckers. Average viewer rating: 2 stars
What it looks/sounds like: Hot title! Is that some kind of Fifty Shades of Grey-style bondage flick? What it is: It is not. It’s a 1934 romantic drama starring Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, and Alan Hale, and it’s medically impossible to get turned on in any way by a movie even vaguely related to the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island. Average viewer rating: 3½ stars. I mean, c’mon, it’s a Bette Davis movie.