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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

what’s on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix (from Aug 05)

streamUSaug5

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

itunes

streaming now, before it’s on dvd

green light
Coherence: deploys twisty sci-fi concepts to warp the almost-clichéd dinner-party soap opera into a horror story of the human condition in the face of quantum philosophy [my review] [iTunes US]
green light
Locke: we say things like, “Oh, I’d watch that guy read the phone book,” and this is almost that, except it really is absolutely riveting, and that’s no joke; a tour de force for Tom Hardy [my review] [iTunes US]
yellow for maybe
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: suffers badly by comparison with the cogent, witty Avengers flicks — this feels like a campy Saturday-morning cartoon left over from the 1970s [my review] [iTunes US]
yellow for maybe
The Quiet Ones: there aren’t many outright scares here, and when they do come, they are curiously circumspect, but the old-fashioned Hammer Horror atmosphere is appealingly spooky [my review] [iTunes US]
yellow for maybe
The Railway Man: almost entirely ignores the amazing aspect of this true story that makes it worth telling, and even the very good performances point us in another direction than the intended one [my review] [iTunes US]

new to stream

yellow for maybe
Around the Block: appealing performances, a few tweaks to the clichés of the inspiring-teacher genre, and a sincere desire to counter outrageous racism go a long way toward making this worth a look [my review] [iTunes US]

Amazon Instant Video

streaming now, before it’s on dvd

green light
Coherence: deploys twisty sci-fi concepts to warp the almost-clichéd dinner-party soap opera into a horror story of the human condition in the face of quantum philosophy [my review] [Amazon Instant Video]
green light
Locke: we say things like, “Oh, I’d watch that guy read the phone book,” and this is almost that, except it really is absolutely riveting, and that’s no joke [my review] [Amazon Instant Video]
yellow for maybe
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: suffers badly by comparison with the cogent, witty Avengers flicks — this feels like a campy Saturday-morning cartoon left over from the 1970s [my review] [Amazon Instant Video]
yellow for maybe
The Quiet Ones: there aren’t many outright scares here, and when they do come, they are curiously circumspect, but the old-fashioned Hammer Horror atmosphere is appealingly spooky [my review] [Amazon Instant Video]
yellow for maybe
The Railway Man: almost entirely ignores the amazing aspect of this true story that makes it worth telling, and even the very good performances point us in another direction than the intended one [my review] [Amazon Instant Video]

new to stream

green light
Half of a Yellow Sun: oh what a lovely film! as romance and history, this is by turns funny and tragic, suspenseful and celebratory, and never less than solidly entertaining [my review] [Amazon Instant Video]
yellow for maybe
Around the Block: appealing performances, a few tweaks to the clichés of the inspiring-teacher genre, and a sincere desire to counter outrageous racism go a long way toward making this worth a look [my review] [Amazon Instant Video]

new to Prime

green light
Layer Cake: Matthew “Kick-Ass” Vaughn’s electrifying directorial debut, with a kick-ass performance from Daniel Craig as a London cocaine dealer looking to retire from the business after one last job [Amazon Instant Video]
green light
Rocky: fun fact: Sylvester Stallone is only the third person (after Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles) in Oscar history to be nominated for both writing and acting for this 1976 Best Picture [my review] [Amazon Instant Video]

Netflix

recent film new to stream

green light
Hawking: engaging documentary about the world-famous physicist that emphasizes the challenges of his personal life and the resilience of his humor and spirit [my review] [Netflix]

older films new to stream

green light
Freaky Friday: the spiffy and thoroughly charming 2003 update of the 1976 Disney classic, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan [my review] [Netflix]
green light
Kinky Boots: shoe-factory owner looking for an edge Joel Edgerton makes strong, sexy footware for strapping drag queen Chiwetel Ejiofor in this sweet-natured and pleasantly naughty British comedy [Netflix]
green light
Mad Max: the original, now classic 1979 sci-fi action drama, always worth revisiting [Netflix]
green light
Mean Creek: a terrible and compelling journey through the emotional landscape of kids, with the mundane meanness of even “good” kids at the core [my review] [Netflix]


  • Bluejay

    Re Hawking: So, HOW many films do we have about this guy? There’s this, and the Benedict Cumberbatch film from years ago, and coming up is The Theory of Everything with Eddie Redmayne… He deserves all the recognition, of course. But where are the biopics on other scientists and science popularizers, like Carl Sagan, Annie Jump Cannon, Henrietta Swan Leavitt — heck, Einstein?* Here’s hoping they get a turn in the cinema spotlight as well.

    *Young Einstein doesn’t count.

  • Well, there *is* the Alan Turing movie (starring Cumberbatch) coming this fall.

  • Bluejay

    IS there, now! Cool.

  • Oh yes.

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