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New to Streaming: ‘Columbus,’ ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,’ ‘Wind River,’ Alex Ross Perry, and More

Written by on November 3, 2017 

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With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

The Films of Alex Ross Perry

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As we await distribution for Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, FilmStruck is presenting a selection of his first three features, Implox, The Color Wheel, and Listen Up Philip. Also streaming is a master class with Perry’s frequent editor (and excellent director in his own right) Robert Greene.

Where to Stream: FilmStruck

Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)

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Within the alien subgenre, there lies another. Therein, knowledge is treasure and the fifth dimension is love. The major rule: once the mystery and the chills have subsided, the revelations are enlightening and the welcomes warm. Thankfully, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is more worthwhile than that. The film juggles a bit of world-building with meaty, compelling characters while trying to make linguistics look cool. No easy task, but the film does so in a breeze that feels light enough to digest (props to some stellar chemistry between its leads), yet brooding enough to resonate. With some brilliant editing and narrative structure, the result is perhaps more interesting to discuss than to watch — and it’s really, really interesting to watch. – Conor O.

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Columbus (kogonada)

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The path to becoming a director is one generally accompanied by a profound knowledge of film history, but that passion is rarely more public then when it comes to kogonada. After years of working on visually detailed video essays for The Criterion Collection, Sight & Sound, and more, he’s now made his directorial debut with Columbus, an impeccably composed drama of quiet humanity and curiosity. If his nickname wasn’t enough of a hint, traces of Yasujirō Ozu’s influence can be found, but this first-time director has created something distinctly his own. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: iTunes

The Departed (Martin Scorsese)

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In the Boston-set Departed, it is the dialectic between identity and social performance that takes center stage, and it does so in the most dramatic way possible: Billy Costigan and Colin Sullivan, as the police mole in the mob and the mob mole in the police department, respectively, lead lives of deception, 24/7, for years. Though their allegiances and sense of self-identity seem clear at first — Billy is a cop playing mobster, Colin a mobster playing cop — the buffer of performance separating individual identity from environment begins to feel suspiciously thin as the film progresses. As part of Billy’s initiation into the mob, he needs to commit criminal acts to dispel suspicions that he’s an undercover cop, but some moments of violent acting-out (pun-intended) feel organic and expressive rather than calculated. On Colin’s end, the role of police officer is meant to be a cover, but, more often than not, his enjoyment of his job perks seems genuine. To Scorsese’s credit, the film refuses to fully answer the question of when characters are performing and when they are not. After all, performativity operates on a spectrum, not through an on-off switch. – Jonah J. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black)

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Shane Black made a name for himself with witty scripts that merged action and comedy and character. He made his name as a director with one such script, the one that might be remembered as his absolute best once the dust settles. A story that at first seems shambolic and a little too zany slowly winds itself up into a tight, tense ball, with lives and honor on the line. All the while, we get to spend time with Harry (Robert Downey Jr.), Gay Perry (Val Kilmer), and Harmony (Michelle Monaghan) as they get shot, dress like a sexy Santa, and lose fingers… and not in that respective order. The velocity of its plot verges on being too fast, but the actors and the script keep pace perfectly. – Brian R.

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Split (M. Night Shyamalan)

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M. Night Shyamalan movies are almost always better when he’s having fun. Like The Visit, Split makes mischief out of the balance between horror and comedy, continually throwing up situations that are simultaneously absurd and terrifying. The Visit exploited fears of the elderly, while Split goes to the popular well of insanity – specifically, dissociative identity disorder (better known as multiple personality disorder). There’s still controversy over whether DID is, in fact, a legitimate mental illness, but fiction loves it. Yet while Split takes DID to a more ridiculous extreme than most other depictions, the movie has a sympathetic core. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Go

Wind River (Taylor Sheridan)

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Why You Should See It:  With the strongest one-two punch of first produced scripts in Hollywood the past few years, Taylor Sheridan has emerged as a distinctive voice in revitalizing tired (or all but dormant) genres. After scripting Sicario and Hell or High Water, he’s now gone fully behind the camera for his directorial debut Wind River, which blends both crime and western elements. I said in my review, “Let down by muddy characterization and a choppy directorial style, the drama finally coheres in its final act to deliver the uncompromising thrills that have been Sheridan’s trademark.” – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Also New to Streaming

Amazon Prime

James Bond Films
Speed Racer

FilmStruck

Utamaro and His Five Women
The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family
Burden of Life
Black Lizard
Ronin-Gai
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Swallowed

MUBI (free 30-day trial)

The Seasons un Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger
Hot Thrills and Warm Chills
Evil Dead II
Fantasy Sentences
The Five Obstructions
The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds
The Small Back Room

Netflix

Chappie (review)
Heal the Living
Michael Clayton

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