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New to Streaming: ‘Double Lover,’ ‘Blockers,’ ‘In Bruges,’ ‘The Watermelon Woman,’ and More

Written by on June 22, 2018 

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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.

A Skin So Soft (Denis Côté)

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There is a problem with A Skin So Soft and it goes somewhat deeper than the very thing that that title so poetically calls to mind. The work of Canadian filmmaker Denis Côté could, without great effort, be organized into two distinct types: narrative dramas that focus on human relationships under duress and hyper-real, video installation-styled documentaries (Bestaire, Joy of Man’s Desiring). His latest is of the latter variety, a slightly surreal anthropological study of one of mankind’s oddest subcultures: bodybuilding or, perhaps more accurately in this case, male bodybuilding. That’s all well and good. The troublesome part is that instead of taking the familiar and subverting it — as in his previous documentaries — A Skin So Soft takes an already alien world and dehumanizes it further. However, if audiences can forgive that — and that might be a big ask for some, not to mention a little unsympathetic — then Côté’s film does work very well for the most part as a somewhat cold, ornamental study of what our epidermal tissue looks like at terminal mass. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Blockers (Kay Cannon)

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Blockers doesn’t pull off the impossible so much as it turns the tables on a common formula, finding something fresh, empowering, and hilarious in that time-old story of a group of friends making a pact to lose their V-card on prom night. Directed by Kay Cannon, there are a few more real-world complications for our leads, including Lisa (Leslie Mann), a single mother with an unhealthy obsession with her daughter; Mitchell (John Cena), a buff yet sensitive dad in a committed marriage; and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), a party boy with surprising depth. This studio comedy even finds room for a tender (yet still very funny) coming out story to overbearing parents. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Cardinals (Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley)

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The big story surrounding Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley’s feature debut Cardinals playing the Toronto International Film Festival stems from the fact that both men graduated from the city’s own Ryerson University. As a longtime festival venue/partner, this premiere will inevitably be treated as a homecoming. But don’t let that fool you into screaming “favoritism!” while dismissing it as a “homer” pick: it’s the real deal. Stripping away the college they graduated from, the knowledge that both are TIFF alumni after screening their short Boxing, and their Canadian nationalities still leaves you with a singular work of devastating emotional psychology and infectiously biting wit. So remove the local fanfare and judge it on its own merits because it earns that right and deserves any accolade bestowed upon it. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Double Lover (François Ozon)

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L’amant double is the sort of film you wouldn’t mind seeing Roman Polanski take a stab at. Shot in chic but soulless Parisian interiors, it’s the type of thing that controversial figure tends to relish: all claustrophobia, body horror and pseudo Freudian sexual nightmares. Instead it’s in the hands of its writer-director François Ozon, who never quite manages to lift his material above the realm of psychosexual camp. Then again, perhaps his aim isn’t any higher. It’s the story of a beautiful young woman who loses herself in an erotic love triangle with a pair of opposing twins, both of whom are psychoanalysts. Depending on what you’re into, it’s about as fun as that sounds. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)

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After a hitman (Colin Farrell) botches the murder of a priest by accidentally also killing a young boy, he and his older mentor (Brendan Gleeson) go to Bruges, where the mentor may have to kill him if the hitman doesn’t commit suicide first. Are you laughing yet? Writer-director Martin McDonagh sets himself a difficult task by injecting a heavy dose of black humor into what could be a staid drama, but his hard work pays off by creating the century’s best comedy thus far. The humor lets us see the humanity underneath two men who have made murder their lives, and that human investment means the drama becomes all the more affecting as an inevitable climax takes hold. – Brian R.

Where to Stream: Netflix

Mrs. Hyde (Serge Bozon)

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Mrs. Géquil is a delicate woman, at least in the eyes of her patronizing husband (played by José Garcia) as well as, perhaps, in the eyes of her boss and the vast majority of the students in her class. However, if the Robert Louis Stevenson reference in the title hasn’t led you to this conclusion already, then perhaps the casting of Isabelle Huppert in the lead role just might: she will not be referred to as delicate for very long. Mrs. Hyde, a socially bellicose, darkly humorous farce with aesthetic and spiritual echoes of both giallo horror and recent Kaurismäki, is the latest work of film critic-turned-actor-turned-director Serge Bozon. He’s a filmmaker who has, in the past, used similarly absurdist tropes — although never through such a playfully pseudo-supernatural façade — to talk about issues of class and gender politics in contemporary France, evidenced in Tip Top (also with Huppert) and La France. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye)

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Twenty years ago, Cheryl Dunye made history as the first African-American lesbian to direct a feature-length film. Now that film, The Watermelon Woman, has was giving a proper DVD release, courtesy of First Run Features, and is now available to stream on FilmStruck. To mark the occasion, we spoke with Dunye about the film, history, performance, and authenticity.

Where to Stream: FilmStruck

The Workshop (Laurent Cantet)

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Laurent Cantet has been a bit absent in the international cinema scene ever since winning the Palme d’Or for 2008’s The Class. It’s not for a lack of trying, of course. He’s released two feature since then (Foxfire and Return to Ithaca), but they just didn’t catch on the way his best movies (Time Out, Human Resources) have in the past. He’s now back at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section with The Workshop, (L’Atelier), which has Cantet’s gift of mixing social relevance through wordy dialogue with nail-biting tension, and is as relevant as anything playing at the festival. The tension takes time to build, but when it finally explodes, it brings a whiplash one never sees coming. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

Beirut (review)
Keep the Change
The Yellow Birds (review)

Amazon Prime

Nostalgia (review)

MUBI (free for 30 days)

The Maggie
Júlia Ist
Dieste [Uruguay]
Streetscapes [Dialogue]
The Square
Liza
Convoy

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.


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