Each week within this column we strive to pair the latest in theatrical releases to worthwhile titles currently streaming on Netflix Instant Watch. This week we offer alternatives to Wanderlust, Gone and The Forgiveness of Blood.
Coming to theaters tomorrow, a big-eyed blonde will face down the man who once tried to kill her, while a pack of hippies welcome two uptight New Yorkers and a teen boy is forced to face the claustrophobic consequences of a old-school blood feud. But if these features won’t satisfy your cravings for havoc, slapstick and drama, we’ve got you covered with the best of titles Now Streaming.
A Manhattan couple leaves the rat race begin when they embrace the life of a commune in this wacky comedy from The State’s David Wain and Ken Marino.
Looking for more from Marino and Wain?
Wet Hot American Summer (2001) This cult classic not only spoofs ’80s camp-set comedies with a wild and irreverent glee but also boasts a cast that includes Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Banks, and Bradley Cooper. David Wain directs, Ken Marino co-stars.
The Ten (2006) Wain and Marino weave together 10 short stories inspired by the 10 Commandments in this iconoclastic comedy. This star-studded skewering of morality also features Paul Rudd, Winona Ryder, Jessica Alba, Liev Schreiber, and Oliver Platt.
Diggers (2006) Marino scribed this wonderfully funny dramedy that centers on four friends and clam diggers who are struggling to cope with adulthood. It’s a change of pace for Marino, and Paul Rudd is a moody yet affecting lead man, while Marino, Ron Eldard, Maura Tierney and Lauren Ambrose deliver solid supporting turns.
Amanda Seyfried stars as a woman compelled to face down her the serial killer who once abducted her. Wes Bentley co-stars.
Seeking more female-fronted thrillers?
Love Crime (2010) This French mystery centers on the complicated and sexually fraught working relationship between a ruthless executive and her ambitious young assistant. Business, pleasure and duplicity collide in this chilling crime drama. Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier co-star; Alain Corneau directs.
Fay Grim (2006) In this strange follow-up to the acclaimed indie Henry Fool, the story picks up years later when Fay (Parker Posey) unexpectedly becomes the central figure in the web of conspiracy and intrigue when she’s asked to uncover some of her husband’s missing manuscripts. Jeff Goldblum and James Urbaniak co-star.
The Lady Vanishes (1938) In this lesser-known Hitchcock offering, Margaret Lockwood stars as a wealthy young woman on a strange transcontinental train ride. When she discovers that her former governess (Dame Mae Whitty) has gone missing, she demands the crew and other passengers help in the search effort. But no one else remembers seeing the old woman. Nobody believes her save for a debonair academic (Michael Redgrave), who follows her on her treacherous trek to the truth.
Set in contemporary Albania, this critically cheered drama centers on a shocking feud that forces Nik and all the males of his family to hold up in their home to avoid a bloody vengeance. This obliges his 15-year-old sister to leave school behind and become the family’s sole provider. But this mandated setup proves too confining for Nik to take for long. Joshua Marston directs.
Want more eye-opening social issues dramas?
Neds (2010) Short for Non-Educated Deliquents, this gritty Scottish drama reveals the machismo and rage-fueled violence that flooded the streets of 1970s Glasgow through the coming of age tale of a bright young man, surrounded by bad influences. Peter Mullan writes, directs and co-stars this harrowing feature inspired by his own adolescence.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007) This haunting Palme d’Or winner tackles the controversial issue of women’s reproductive rights by following a young woman’s quest to get an abortion in 1980s Romania, where the procedure is a criminal offense. Anamaria Marinca stars; Cristian Mungiu directs.
Bliss (2007) Adapted from the internationally acclaimed novel Mutluluk, this troubling Turkish drama tackles the taboo of honor killings through the story of a young woman named Meryem (Özgü Namal) whose rape spurs her father to decide she must be murdered to maintain the family’s honor. Luckily, he asks a noble war vet called Cemal (Murat Han) to carry out the killing and instead Cemal and Meryem choose to flee. Abdullah Oguz directs.
TFS contributor Jonathan Sullivan offers this week’s Wild Card:
BASEketball (1998) Witty and verbose comedies are great and all, but sometimes you just need a movie filled with dumb humor and over the top antics after a long week. For those of you looking to just sit back and laugh, I submit to you this wild card pick: BASEketball, a 1997 sports comedy/parody from spoof impresario David Zucker and starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park/Book of Mormon fame. Following players from the fictional sport of BASEketball, which is essentially basketball played with baseball rules (wait, come back!), BASEketball is filled with the over the top humor you expect in a Zucker movie with a little vulgarity for flavor. And with any other cast, it would be a recipe for disaster but Parker and Stone bring their own unique brand of humor into the mix and help the movie rise above its dumb premise. The interactions between the two are priceless, especially when dealing with third man Dian Bachar (a friend of the two that they had Zucker write a part for as a condition for their involvement) who steals the show as their whipping boy. The true highlight, however are the psych outs where the three go to great lengths to make their opponents to miss their shots (here’s an example). People overlook BASEketball when it comes to the work of Parker and Stone (including the two themselves) but I can’t think of a better example of their prodigious comedic talents. Not just anyone could have made this work.
For more picks, check our Now Streaming archive.
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, Danny King, Amanda Waltz, and I discuss Don Hertzfeldt’s new short film World of Tomorrow, which will be released on March 31st on VOD (or stream below). Then we dive into a feature review of David Robert Mitchell‘s horror film It Follows, which […]
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