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New to Streaming: ‘Hungry Hearts,’ ‘The Aviator,’ ‘The Nightmare,’ ‘Run All Night’, and More

Written by on June 5, 2015 

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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 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.

54: Director’s Cut (Mark Christopher)

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A critical and commercial failure upon its release late in the summer of 1998, not many can probably remember Mark Christopher‘s directorial debut, 54 (this writer’s Proust-ian childhood memory of it being its soundtrack on display as a reward in the arcade of a Dave & Buster’s type establishment). Yet with the quite belated release of its director’s cut, which premiered at Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, the film finally has a chance at another life as it’s now available on Digital HD. I also sat down with its creator to discuss this lucky break, and you can read it here. – Ethan V.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Aviator (Martin Scorsese)

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While not initially regarded as one of Martin Scorsese‘s better films, in the ten or so years since its release, The Aviator has seemed to gain due traction. With one of Leonardo DiCaprio‘s most complex performances at the center, the immaculately designed Howard Hughes drama often feels like more of an ode to classic Hollywood than his cinema-obsessed Hugo. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Netflix

Hits (David Cross)

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Comedian David Cross, best known for his work on Mr. Show and his role as Tobias Bluth in Arrested Development, makes his directorial debut with Hits, a scornful satire about hipsters and fame-seeking idiots. Set in upstate New York, the film weaves together several different characters who have unusual expectations of reality and what they are entitled to simply by being American. This film is a scathing critique of modern society in the post-internet era, where people are utterly obsessed with instant gratification. While this seems like a promising milieu for Cross to exercise his wit as both a writer and director, Hits flounders in its slow pace while spending too much building up to one payoff joke in the end. – Raffi A. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Hungry Hearts (Saverio Costanzo)

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My only piece of advice: don’t watch the trailer. Such is the power of co-writer and director Saverio Costanzo’s work that those who go in knowing nothing are going in unprepared. Third-act issues notwithstanding, this is a terrifying, brutal film that aspires to the close-quarter tension of Polanski and, at certain turns, can consider itself worthy of such company. It’s also a great actor’s showcase — Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher, who are often the only people on-screen, won Venice’s prestigious Volpi Cup for Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively — visually and structurally defined by dream- and nightmare-like ellipses, off-center angles, wide-angle lenses, and grainy 16mm stock. Hungry Hearts is a film that will be both remembered and discovered for years to come. – Nick N.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Li’l Quinquin (Bruno Dumont)

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It’s difficult not to be impressed by the subtlety of what Dumont has done here. He parodies a procedural without taking weight away from the actual crime at hand, and he allows characters to slowly show themselves to us — not through a series of escalating events, but rather by riffing on the same thing repeatedly. A body turns up, the cops do their questioning and theorize, barely making visible progress; Quinquin passes time with Eve and bullies those he can with his buddies, never actually getting into hot water or seeming particularly threatening. He lets a scene play out a little longer than is narratively necessary to showcase character habits: Van der Weyden always announces that it’s time to exit by telling Carpentier “let’s roll,” while Carpentier prefers to drive in a complete circle when making that exit. They also tend to refer to “The Devil,” but one can’t help but wonder if Dumont’s Atheist side is using the title “Allahu Akbar” to suggest that it may be the old-testament God, punishing residents — and France, by extension — for its vices. Whatever the case, Li’l Quinquin exists to suggest and provoke rather than declare, and is all the better for it. – Forrest C. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Nightmare (Rodney Ascher)

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With Room 237, director Rodney Ascher provided a highly entertaining exploration of over-analyzation as it pertains to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. He now returns to Sundance Film Festival a few years later aiming to petrify with a perhaps more relatable documentary for some scourged individuals. The Nightmare, which explores the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, is an intriguing feature, but one that ends up dulling your senses with repetitive talking heads and recreated scenarios. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

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