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New to Streaming: ‘The Loneliest Planet,’ ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Missing Link’ & More

Written by on July 12, 2019 

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’re highlighting the noteworthy titles that have recently hit platforms. Check out this week’s selections below and an archive of past round-ups here.

Alita: Battle Angel (Robert Rodriguez)

Alita lives and dies by its eponymous creation, and to the credit of director Robert Rodriguez, producers James Cameron and Jon Landau, and the visual effects house Weta Digital, the character represents an impressive technical feat. More so than the Na’vi in Avatar, which always had extraterrestrial origins as an out for any inhuman qualities, Alita’s humanoid nature requires a certain 1:1 realism, a sustained suspension of any and all disbelief. Alita’s eyes might be affectedly large in a manga sort of way, but they persuasively project a young person’s earnestness and vulnerability, which is no easy feat. Rosa Salazar’s motion-capture performance follows suit: it’s broadly expressive befitting the material, yet she never sacrifices her character’s raw, adolescent emotional core. Vikram M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

A Little Princess (Alfonso Cuarón)

Alfonso Cuarón’s career has been a varied one, to say the least. After his fairly wacky sex comedy debut Sólo con Tu Pareja he’s ventured to dystopias, space, adapted Dickens, went into major blockbuster territory, and got personal with his latest feature, Roma. One of his most delightful, emotional films is A Little Princess, his adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel. Following a girl in a New York City boarding school in WWI era, it mixes fantasy with an imaginative spirit for one of the best family films of the 1990s. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Hulu

Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross)

hale-county-this-morning-this-evening-1

Structurally, Hale County This Morning, This Evening does not do much to distinguish itself from other contemporary vérité documentaries which focus on quotidian details within a certain milieu. But even so, it still finds value in the unique incidents it captures. Send a hundred different filmmakers to a hundred different places, and even if their work is aesthetically identical, they’ll each document at least a few unique moments that will make each piece worth it. Beyond that, director RaMell Ross demonstrates a talent for framing a scene in a striking manner, such as shooting a trash fire so that the rays of the sun shine through the smoke. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

The Loneliest Planet (Julia Loktev)

Julia Loktev’s The Loneliest Planet, an invasive, thoroughly haunting anatomy of the vibrant bond between an engaged American couple, begins harmlessly enough. Though the instantaneously harsh work of sound designer Martín Hernández may serve as an appropriately off-putting sign of things to come, the first impressions we get of the film’s central relationship — the soon-to-be-married Alex (Gael García Bernal) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg) — are mostly inviting, and also rather convincing in their evocation of a young couple’s vividly physical attraction. (There’s a moment of foot-fetish intimacy here that would make Quentin Tarantino smile.) – Danny K. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days) (also streaming: Loktev’s Day Night Day Night)

Missing Link (Chris Butler)

The years between Laika releases–in which our eyes are exposed to hours of unimaginative, cookie-cutter Hollywood animation–always seems to be just enough time to desperately crave a new visually inventive world from the studio. Missing Link, the fifth feature film from the company, is another wondrously detailed animation feat and certainly their most epic outing with its globe-trotting story of mythic proportions–even as the script leaves something to be desired. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Thoroughbreds (Cory Finley)

thoroughbreds-1

Thoroughbreds exhibits the best and worst of both indie thrillers and comedies, and seems pitched specifically to earn attention as a first feature from “an exciting new voice!” It’s confidently made with an eye for more than workmanlike style, it’s certainly able to conjure its own original world with an accompanying tone, and it brings forward some very fun performances. It’s also overly, sometimes gratingly affected – perhaps best showcased in how it’s divided into chapters (announced with ominous title cards) for no reason and with no coherence. It’s also much better on the comedy front than as a thriller, taking 90 minutes to arrive at the point which seems like it should be the halfway mark of a truly engaged thriller. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Go

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

Darlin’
Hellboy (review)

Amazon Prime

Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Gone Baby Gone
In the Soup

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Buy Me a Gun
Love and Goodbye and Hawaii
Aloys
Apocalypse After
Islands

Netflix

Cities of Last Things
Mary Poppins Returns (review)

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.


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