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New to Streaming: ‘Passion,’ ‘Zodiac,’ ‘The Canyons,’ ‘Titanic,’ Spike Lee & More

Written by on August 1, 2013 

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 (or bi-weekly, depending on the worthy selection), 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, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and more. Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below, and shoot over suggestions to @TheFilmStage.

Born on the Fourth of July (Oliver Stone; 1998)

It’s so very unfortunate that the film would hold resonance to this day, though Oliver Stone’s most deeply felt work would remain a sobering experience no matter the context. For yours truly, Born on the Fourth of July is a reminder of the director’s far-better days, though such regretful nostalgia doesn’t stop at its director. Those who’ve felt a little burned by the likes of Rock of Ages and Oblivion would do themselves a big favor in picking this for an upcoming view: it has one of Tom Cruise’s greatest performances, a multi-tiered representation of how wide and deep the man’s talents can reach when given the right material to work with. – Nick N.

Where to Watch: Netflix Instant

The Canyons (Paul Schrader; 2013)

I didn’t much care for this Paul SchraderBret Easton Ellis pairing, but the discussion which it’s already beginning to stir up is more fruitful than what most 2013 releases can claim to have started. Why not be a part of all the fun discourse that’s only going to accelerate in coming weeks? As a title predominantly geared toward VOD distribution, it’s perhaps best-made for the small screen experience, warts and all. – Nick N.

Where to Watch: iTunes

Clockers (Spike Lee; 1995)

To coincide with his best-known title hitting Netflix (discussed below), this underseen, oft-forgotten entry into the Spike Lee oeuvre is available for viewing — now, more widely than ever. This fan has, admittedly, actually never seen the picture — yes, I know, time to turn in my card — making its inclusion, here, all the more enticing; better late than never, a maxim the streaming format is practically built upon. – Nick N.

Where to Watch: Netflix Instant

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee; 1989)

Not simply Spike Lee’s greatest film, but arguably one of the most powerful achievements in the medium’s history. Should that sound too strong a plaudit with which to award the film, it’s not so unlikely you just haven’t seen Do the Right Thing recently enough; the force of its construction, both as a piece of cinema and social examination, can only be felt to its proper extent when experienced in full, each carefully arranged aspect of the screenplay and formal exertions amounting piece-by-piece. No matter the tragedy of its conclusion, though, this movie’s an absolute pleasure — funny, observant, colorfully composed, and with nary a false note over its two-hour runtime. 24 years later, why fight the power when they give us Do the Right Thing on a streaming service? – Nick N.

Where to Watch: Netflix Instant

See more new streaming titles on the next page >>

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