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New to Streaming: ‘Her,’ ‘Kill Bill,’ ‘Anatomy of a Murder,’ ‘Autumn Sonata,’ and More

Written by on May 2, 2014 

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 recent, recommended titles that have recently hit the interwebs. 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 Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below, and shoot over suggestions to @TheFilmStage

Broadway Idiot (Doug Hamilton)

With unfettered access throughout the pitch phase, rehearsals before the band gives their ok, and rehearsals afterwards for a Berkley Repertory Theatre, opening to the whirlwind of emotions that lead to a cast recording of “21 Guns,” a Grammy performance, and a Broadway pick-up at St. James Theatre in New York, we get to witness firsthand all the trials and tribulations that go into the creation of the Broadway Idiot musical. Or at least we would have if any presented themselves because this must have been one of the easiest germination periods for a Tony nominated show in history. Honestly, from Green Day’s stamp of approval to opening curtain, this thing was smooth sailing. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Her (Spike Jonze)

I expected a lot of things from Spike Jonze’s quirky tale of an emotionally vulnerable man dating his computer, but what I wasn’t prepared for was just how gently accurate it is when dealing with the reality of human relationships, both on small, personal levels and at larger social ones too. Without ever really stopping to explain exactly how this near future operates, or what the parameters of its technology actually are, we are dropped into Theodore’s (Joaquin Phoenix) life and made to feel the loneliness and vulnerability while expressing our own wonder at new wrinkles in this reality. Phoenix gives one of his finest and sure to be most underrated performances as a guy who is trying to recover from a broken heart while learning that he’s not nearly as connected to others as he expected. Awards or no, Scarlett Johansson is astonishing in what she accomplishes with only voice-work. Samantha, the operating system that nabs Theo’s heart, is an original and compelling creation and Jonze does her justice by structuring his film around the various evolving stages of her awareness. This is a brilliant and complex tale about the future of our technology, a spiritual exploration about what makes us tick as humans in the act of being. – Nathan B.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2 (Quentin Tarantino)

Celebrating their 10th anniversary within the last year, Quentin Tarantino‘s double dose of Kill Bill landed on Netflix this week. While we imagine any diehard fan of the director already owns this (or you’re waiting out for the eventual Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair or even Kill Bill Vol. 3), it’s an ideal time to revisit the Uma Thurman-led revenge epic as the helmer figures out exactly what he’ll shoot next.

Where to Stream: Netflix

Metallica Through the Never (Nimrod Antal)

There’s no getting around Metallica‘s status as legends, even if, over the years — after millions upon millions of the group’s albums have sold since they broke out of the heavy metal scene — they’ve garnered an increasing reputation for not being quite what they were in the old days. One thing is certain: these guys can still put on a hell of a show. Enter Metallica Through the Never, a hybrid of the concert film and traditional narrative that utilizes IMAX 3D to be bigger, badder, and louder than ever before. For a loyal fan, this is something of a godsend. – Bill G. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Muscle Shoals (Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier)

Matching the passion of the music it covers, this documentary explores a small town in Alabama where much of the great blues/rock ‘n’ roll we still listen to was recorded. The place is run by Rick Hall, a fascinating real-life character with an equal serving of personal tragedy and professional success. Engaging and determined, Hall anchors the doc as the life-force of his studio and the musical collaboration that stems from the space, which is deemed “magical” by more than a few landmark musicians.  And while we hear of the greatness of the place from rock stars like  Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, The Staples Singers, The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Simon and Garfunkel and more, it’s the people working at the FAME recording studio we fall in love with. – Dan M.

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Pervet’s Guide to Ideology (Sophie Fiennes)

Few (if any) modern intellectuals have the public profile of Slavoj Žižek, a man whose long-form thoughts on everything from The Wire to modern Marxisim are consumed in equal amounts — and, no less, with as many lengthy responses. Those occasional dips into moving images come to this writer’s attention more strongly than, say, a battle with Noam Chomsky, so what follows, here, is of genuine interest: The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, a sequel of sorts to 2006′s The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema — i.e., a reunion with director Sophie Fiennes — that, again, brings the philosopher into recreations of famous films. – Nick N.

Where to Stream: Netflix

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