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New to Streaming: ‘There Will Be Blood,’ ‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘The Bling Ring,’ ‘Stories We Tell,’ ‘The East’ & More

Written by on September 6, 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.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (Jonathan Levine; 2006)

In October of 2006, at a disastrous multiplex test screening in suburban New Jersey, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane left a mainstream audience shaken. The film had this misfortune of screening the day following a shooting that left six dead at an Amish school outside of Lancaster, PA and the audience apparently wasn’t in the mood for this brand of an intense horror. In the six years since, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane has become a heavily anticipated urban legend. I can report the film delivers what it sets out to and over half-a-decade later, I still remember it. (That that’s more than I can say for Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.) Director Jonathan Levine has since had a very diverse career including directing several notable comedies with The Wackness, 50/50 andWarm Bodies. With a hard edge including lots of blood and gore, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is a stylish exercise, at times putting style above substance. The film has now finally arrived on VOD ahead of a theatrical release, so you will have time to get in the proper mindset for what the film delivers — and it delivers in a big way. – John F.

Where to Watch: Amazon VideoiTunes

The Bling Ring (Sofia Coppola; 2013)

Arriving after her most abstract work, Somewhere, Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring is a darkly comedic send-up of reality TV and the culture of Twitter (which creates the illusion you can be BFFs with Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan). Starring Emma Watson as the ringleader’s co-hort and Leslie Mann as her mom (who eggs them on with “vision boards”), The Bling Ring perfectly captures (to a literal extent, figuring in the late Harris Savides‘ gorgeous, final work) an American subculture gone too far. – John F.

Where to Watch: Amazon VideoiTunes

The Brass Teapot (Ramaa Mosley; 2012)

A few years ago a professor of mine once cautioned that when times get tough, young people are more likely to sell their soul for cash, allowing themselves to be exploited. The Brass Teapot is a film that mixes allegories so much it refuses to be read as one thing or another; perhaps we should just consider it on the grounds that its a dark comedy presented as a fable. John (Michael Angarano) is a telemarketer with a college degree in an office of GEDs, while Alice (Juno Temple) just received a BA in Art History and submits for management positions she’s not qualified for. They live in a small, economically-divided Indiana town (where everyone gets married it would seem, at some point during college) and struggle to pay the bills. Although The Brass Teapot is about human nature, greed, and ultimately faithfulness, a story about struggling and the willingness to engage in self-exploitation could be made with a good deal of fun and social commentary. But like the couples in the film, the film itself has a fear of commitment. – John F.

Where to Watch: Netflix Instant

The East (Zal Batmanglij; 2013)

Serving as an engaging antithesis to last year’s Sound of My Voice (a cryptic piece of filmmaking that left a myriad of questions unanswered), Zal Batmanglij’s second feature The East leaves little left to the imagination. That sort of straightforward approach, while coherent and sensical, consistently hinders the film from excelling into anything more than a well-crafted and cogent thriller (which, admittedly, we’re in short supply of these days). Immediately upon getting hired by a private intelligence firm, the young, highly-skilled, and determined Sarah Moss (Brit Marling) is hired to infiltrate an environmentally motivated anarchist group called “The East.” This reckless organization, led by Izzy (a cold and calculating Ellen Page) and Benji (a reserved and persuasive Alexander Skarsgard) serve a some sort of twisted public crusaders (hidden ones at that). – Sam F.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, iTunes

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