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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

what’s on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video (from May 13)

streamUSmay13

What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.

Amazon Instant Video

streaming now, while it’s still in theaters

green light
The Double: painfully funny odyssey of personal ineffectualness that is bitterly wonderful in how it revels in the decrepit horror of the everyday world [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
yellow for maybe
Devil’s Knot: Atom Egoyan is all over the real-life case of American injustice surrounding the West Memphis Three, but sadly, I’m not sure why [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]

streaming now, before it’s on dvd

yellow for maybe
Endless Love: shockingly not terrible, and says some things that need to be said more often, like how dads do not own their teenaged daughters [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
yellow for maybe
Pompeii: instantly forgettable but more than passable as a diversion; solid B-movie cheese that’s like Titanic-lite meets Gladiator-lite [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]

new to streaming

yellow for maybe
Stranger by the Lake: as an exercise in style, this minimalist noir erotic thriller is pretty cool, but it loses its way somewhere around the midpoint and never quite finds it again [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]

Prime monster

green light
Gojira: the original Japanese 1954 Godzilla film is a masterpiece, before it was turned into something campy for Western audiences; see it before you see the new Godzilla reboot [at Amazon Instant Video]

recent films new to Prime

green light
Much Ado About Nothing: pure cinematic joy from Joss Whedon and Co.; a smart, snappy adaptation of perhaps Shakespeare’s funniest play, performed by supremely talented people having an enormous amount of infectious fun [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
green light
Pain and Gain: a bleak, bitter, wicked pleasure that holds up the underpinnings of modern America — self-help, Jesus, and violence — for ridicule [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]

classic films new to Prime

green light
Boys Don’t Cry: fascinating and deeply disturbing true story of gendered violence, with a virtuoso performance from Hilary Swank [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
yellow for maybe
The Jewel of the Nile: the sequel to Romancing the Stone may not be as charming as the original, but it’s still goofy good fun [at Amazon Instant Video]

Netflix

recent films new to stream

green light
Much Ado About Nothing: pure cinematic joy from Joss Whedon and Co.; a smart, snappy adaptation of perhaps Shakespeare’s funniest play, performed by supremely talented people having an enormous amount of infectious fun [my review] [at Netflix]
green light
Pain and Gain: a bleak, bitter, wicked pleasure that holds up the underpinnings of modern America — self-help, Jesus, and violence — for ridicule [my review] [at Netflix]

classic films new to stream

green light
Boys Don’t Cry: fascinating and deeply disturbing true story of gendered violence, with a virtuoso performance from Hilary Swank [my review] [at Netflix]
green light
Romancing the Stone: Robert Zemeckis’s first hit throws Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and a treasure map into a stew of jungle adventure and, inevitably, romance [at Netflix]
green light
Starman: John Carpenter’s wonderful science fiction romance; Jeff Bridges is one of the most charming alien visitors to Earth ever [at Netflix]
yellow for maybe
The Jewel of the Nile: the sequel to Romancing the Stone may not be as charming as the original, but it’s still goofy good fun [at Netflix]


  • Bluejay

    Starman, streaming at last! Hooray!

  • Yet again showing that Amazon Instant Video gets all the good stuff, and Netflix just gets the left overs. I suppose it’s high time I sign up for Amazon Prime, and get in on some of this action.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Starman has been on and off of Netflix for years. It keeps popping in and out of my queue, and yet I never bother to watch it.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    For the sake of clarity, the only Amazon Prime movie listed today not also available on Nexflix is Gojira.

    Also, I find the free shipping via Amazon Prime more than pays for the cost of the service. The video streaming is a bonus.

  • Bluejay

    I find Amazon Prime is worth it for the stuff it has (e.g. The Americans), but Prime doesn’t mean you get to stream everything Amazon has for free; and Netflix is hardly just “leftovers.” To pick just a couple of examples from my queue, Sherlock and Arrow are available to stream with a Netflix account; on Amazon, you still have to pay for every episode, whether you have Prime or not. There’s also still a lot to enjoy in Netflix’s physical DVD selection; I just saw Attack the Block, for which I would have had to pay at least $9.99 to stream from Amazon. I also enjoy the Netflix originals, like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black (and I’m looking forward to the Marvel Netflix shows for Daredevil etc).

    Depending on what you’re looking for — and, of course, if you can afford it — I think it’s good to have both.

  • Ah, see, I thought Prime meant you got to stream everything without any additional charge. Well, that sucks.
    I’m mainly talking movies here. It always seems like Amazon has the best ones, with Netflix getting them way later, or never. I’m only referring to streaming here. I’m also signed up for the dvd/Blu plan, but even then I often have to wait a bit for things to become available.
    On the whole, it’s not a big deal, and totally counts as #Firstworldproblems.

  • If you want to stream films as soon as they’re available to stream, you’re gonna be using Amazon, and paying per movie.

  • Well, I’m stuck waiting then. No way am I blowing $4.99(and up) a pop to stream a movie if I’m already paying for 2 netflix movie services.

    There must be a lot of impatient people out there.

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