Category: Streaming Suggestions

FilmStruck Hidden Gem: Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels (1995) Director: Wong Kar-Wai Genre: Drama Overview: A killer navigates conflicted feelings towards his assistant while a mute loner tries to make it in the world after getting out of prison. Synopsis: Watching the mid 1990s films of Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai is a bit like a reading a collection of poetry. The final output isn’t necessarily meant to be understood or figured out. There can be a theme or feeling that runs through the finished piece, but there’s always a different reading out there, a new angle to look at. There might be an odd...

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Now Available on Netflix Instant Streaming: Raw May Be the Year’s Best Horror Film

Originally published on June 9, 2017. Raw is now available on Netflix instant streaming. Overview: A gifted veterinarian student finds her dietary and personal values challenged through a triggering event at college. Petit Film; 2016; Rated R; 99 minutes. Let it Sink In: Raw bared its flesh at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Adding to its critical success in Europe was the story that several audience members at the Toronto International Film Festival had to receive medical attention after fainting, a tried and true horror marketing ploy that, no matter how valid, always gets my attention. It delivers on...

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Nightbreed and the Majesty of Monsters

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with monsters? I do. It was somewhere in the midst of Frankenstein, Goosebumps, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and War of the Colossal Beast that I came to love them. I researched them. I wrote about them. I drew them on every blank piece of paper I could find and turned many a school art project into a monstrous vision of blood and blisters, much to the disgust of my teachers. I was separated from my peers for monsters. I went to detention for monsters. My parents were called...

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New on Amazon Prime: The Lost City of Z Discovers the Lost Vision of David Lean

Originally published on April 13, 2017. The Lost City of Z is now available on Amazon Prime instant streaming. Overview: In the early 20th Century, a determined explorer makes three separate journeys into the Amazon in hopes of finding a lost civilization. Bleecker Street/Amazon Studios; 2016; PG-13; 140 minutes. This Time, It’s True: I never liked that old dismissal, “They don’t make movies like that any more.” The sentence is almost always cheap and empty, and frequently a testament only to its speaker’s nostalgic hindsightedness. Most of the things that were great about movies then, no matter where in...

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Mubi Hidden Gem #2 – Hello Destroyer

Hello Destroyer Kevan Funk Drama Synopsis: After almost killing a rival hockey team’s player during a match, Tyson Burr struggles to rebuild his life.  Overall: It would be a gross oversimplification to say that Kevan Funk’s Hello Destroyer is a film about violence, much as it would be a gross oversimplification to say that it’s a film about hockey. Yes, the film follows Tyson Burr (Jared Abrahamson), a professional hockey enforcer who gets dropped from his team after hitting an opposing player so hard he shattered one of his vertebrae and hemorrhaged his brain. Hello Destroyer is a film...

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Netflix Hidden Gem: Carnage Park

Carnage Park (2016) Director: Mickey Keating Genre: Horror IFC Midnight Synopsis: Psychotic Vietnam war veteran Wyatt Moss (Pat Healy) terrorizes a young woman named Vivian Fontaine (Ashley Young) in a deadly game of cat and mouse in the California desert. Overview: Written and directed by Mickey Keating as a thematic and aesthetic throwback to classic 1970s exploitation films, Carnage Park sees Pat Healy flexing all of his character actor chops as a supremely deranged central antagonist. After a hapless bank robber mistakenly makes his way into a stretch of privately owned California desert, Wyatt makes short work of ‘Scorpion’ Joe Clay (James...

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Carrie White Burns in Hell: Carrie’s 40th Anniversary

Originally published on October 26, 2016. Carrie is now available on Hulu treaming. Forty years later, Carrie is still one of the most popular horror movies of its time. As is the case with any successful adaptation, it would be a disservice to neglect to consider the source material. 1976: In the middle of one of the hottest decades for horror, Stephen King’s first film adaptation was born. This would spark the beginning of a successful book to film career that took King from a job making $1.60 an hour in a laundry to where he is today as one...

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Mubi Hidden Gem: Three Lives and Only One Death

Three Lives and Only One Death Raúl Ruiz Fantasy   Synopsis: Four or five Marcello Mastroianni’s have four or five unusual days. Overall: Is it possible to appreciate a puzzle more for its individual pieces than for the picture it makes when you put it all back together? I’m sure there’s an overarching plot in Raúl Ruiz’s Three Lives and Only One Death. At least, you could probably decipher one if you meticulously combed through its two hour runtime of self-reflective whimsy. Unlike many films that revel in their own opacity, there’s an underlying rhythm and purpose at work...

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Netflix Hidden Gem: Donald Cried

Donald Cried (2017) Director: Kristopher Avedisian Genre: Comedy The Orchard Overveiw: A frazzled man returns home when his grandmother dies only to find himself beset upon by a troubled acquaintance that he soon becomes indebted to. Synopsis: Following its premiere at South by Southwest in 2016, Donald Cried saw theatrical release earlier this year. Serving as the directorial debut of lead actor and screenwriter Kristopher Avedisian, Donald Cried is an unsettling dark comedy about fraternal friendship. As Donald Treebeck, Avedisian has crafted one of the most accurate portrayals of the surreal nature beholden to an inherently juvenile intimacy. When...

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Netflix Hidden Gem: Goon

Goon (2011) Director: Michael Dowse Genre: Comedy Magnet Releasing Synopsis: A simple-minded bouncer, who is professionally and emotionally adrift, inadvertently winds up becoming an enforcer for a minor league ice hockey team. Overview: Like the thematically akin sports comedy cult-classic Slap Shot from 1977 starring Paul Newman, director Michael Dowse offers a light-hearted send up of some of the more brutal aspects of professional ice hockey as the other great contact sport beside American football. With American Pie alumnus Seann William Scott in the lead role as the charmingly dimwitted Doug “The Thug” Glatt, Goon blends several sub-categories of...

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New on Netflix Instant Streaming: The Transfiguration Explores Black Mental Illness Through Vampirism

Originally published on August 4, 2017. The Transfiguration is now available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Overview: A black teenager with an irresistible urge and a fascination with vampires meets a troubled girl who changes his self-perspective. Strand Releasing; 2017; NR; 97 minutes. Lost Boy: When we first meet Milo (Eric Ruffin) he’s sucking blood out of a dead man’s neck in a subway bathroom stall. It’s a grisly first encounter that quickly forfeits any notion that this film will toy with the with ‘is he or isn’t he a vampire?’ Milo believes he’s a vampire, and that’s what...

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Now Available on Amazon Prime Instant Streaming: Faults

Originally published on May 13, 2015. Faults is now available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Overview: A financially strapped cult expert is hired to deprogram a young woman, but he soon finds himself in new territory when her beliefs prove far more dangerous than he suspected. 2014; Screen Media Films; NR; 89 minutes. Indoctrination: A large part of what makes Faults such a unique look at cult behavior is screenwriter/director Riley Stearns’ delicate tonal balance. Advertised as a film from the producers of The Guest, Faults has a similar multi-genre feel, though I think the transitions between genres in...

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Filmstruck Hidden Gem: Germany Year Zero

Germany Year Zero Director: Roberto Rossellini Genre: Drama G.D.B. Films Synopsis: A young boy in post-WWII Germany struggles to help his family survive food shortage and illness. The third film in Roberto Rossellini’s “War Trilogy” (connected by themes and time, not by characters or plot, cf. Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy,” Luhrmann’s “Red Curtain Trilogy,” Renoir’s “Trilogy of Spectacle,” etc.), Germany Year Zero is the first to consider the side of the Germans themselves. While the earlier films, Rome Open City and Paisan, dealt with victims and fighters of Nazi oppression, this concluding chapter focuses on the devastation that German citizens...

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New on Netflix Instant Streaming: The Founder is Almost Golden

Originally published January 23, 2017. The Founder is now available on Netflix Instant streaming. Overview: Ray Kroc turns a single hamburger stand into one of the most successful business models ever—often at the expense of those along the way who help him. The Weinstein Company; 2016; Rated PG-13; 115 minutes. American Dreams: Rarely do the trailers before a film factor into its review, but it was impossible to miss something interesting that was happening in the 15 minutes before The Founder began. If film is a kind of projection of our collective psyche, right now we’re awfully anxious. And the...

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New on Netflix Instant Streaming: The Devil’s Candy Hits the Sweet Spot

Originally published April 5, 2017. The Devil’s Candy is now available on Netflix Instant streaming. Overview: A heavy-metal loving painter and his family move into a house that promises tranquility and inspiration, but offers so much more when the hellish visions begin and the previous occupant comes knocking. IFC Midnight; 2017; Not Rated; 79 minutes. Moth into Flame: Horror iconography has always been a staple of heavy metal, and in turn much of contemporary horror has become infused with heavy metal through soundtrack and aesthetic. Metal has been used as a doorway to satanic forces, playing on the fears...

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