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New To Streaming: ‘Spring Breakers,’ ‘The Avengers,’ ‘Happy People’ & More

Written by , on June 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm 

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we believe it’s our duty to highlight the best titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and more. Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below, and shoot over suggestions to @TheFilmStage.

Any Day Now (Travis Fine)

Mature, yet far from subtle, Travis Fine’s Any Day Now is a strong portrait of an improbably gay couple, a drag queen (played by Alan Cumming) and a junior associate DA (Garret Dillahunt) who take in a mentally handicapped teen, Marco (Isaac Leyva, in his first role). Marco has abandoned after his mother is arrested on a drug charge – wondering around 1970s LA until Rudy (Cumming) takes him in, doing the best he can. After a tryst with Paul (Dillahunt) leads to a more domestic situation, they attempt to adopt Marco, jumping through several political hoops with no end in sight. The story’s ending strikes the right cord and is an parallel to the current gay marriage debate. Rachel Morrison’s cinematography is brilliant, along with strong performances, Any Day Now is an entertaining exploration of loneliness, joy and pain. – John F.

Where to Watch: Netflix

The Avengers (Joss Whedon)

After raking in over $1.5 billion, chances are if you’ve wanted to see this superhero team-up, then you’ve done so by now. But for those wanting revisit Joss Whedon‘s blockbuster, the film has recently hit Netflix’s streaming platform. Having recently taken the opportunity to do so myself, it certainly loses a great deal of appeal on the small screen, but Whedon’s energetic dialogue and the team’s camaraderie during extended action scenes warrants a re-watch for fans. While I much prefer another Marvel actioner that’s currently streaming, this one makes for fitting lazy Sunday afternoon screening. – Jordan R.

Where to Watch: Netflix

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (Werner Herzog and Dmitry Vasyukov)

A pleasant B-side to 2005’s man-versus-nature doc Grizzly Man, this Werner Herzog effort has him returning to similar thematic territory, albeit with less complexity and investigative energy. In fact, Happy People’s one-note quality (which is a pleasurable note, to be sure) can perhaps be explained through its production: Herzog didn’t actually shoot the footage himself, but instead stumbled upon a few films made by the Russian filmmaker Dmitry Vasyukov and was compelled to shuffle them into a standalone feature. Unsurprisingly, the snowy glimpses of the village of Bakhtia are gorgeous, and the detailed craftsmanship of the film’s subjects are often transcendent. But whereas Grizzly Man generated a lot of tension out of Herzog’s disagreements with Timothy Treadwell, Happy People features a Herzog completely enamored with the wilderness existence of the people he’s studying. If this ultimately makes for a rather breezy exercise, well, Herzog’s voice is still irresistible. – Danny K.

Where to Watch: Netflix

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