Thanks to everyone on Twitter and Facebook who pointed out a few streaming services I’ve missed – if you’ve got others, please let me know! And thanks so much to Caeric ArcLight for the logo!
I’ve got a lot of thoughts about Netflix’s new system of binary ratings, but I’m running a bit behind, so I’ll leave that until next week. (In the meantime, don’t obsess over ‘em – Netflix ratings, by their very nature, should be treated most as noise.) Besides, I know you’re here for the movies, so scroll on down to the services you have and check out what’s new!
If a service isn’t listed this week, don’t worry, I’m still keeping tabs on them! They just didn’t have anything new and noteworthy to mention in the last few days.
There seems to be some hubbub about some show on Netflix with new episodes where robots make fun of movies or something. I wouldn’t know anything about that.
Seriously, though, the other new and notable titles on Netflix in terms of television are the second seasons of a few interesting series. Netflix’s THE GET DOWN has a new batch of episodes to binge, as does LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and the documentary parody series DOCUMENTARY NOW!, featuring takes on THE WAR ROOM, STOP MAKING SENSE, and the Maysles’ SALESMAN.
In terms of movies, the biggest title is the excellent KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, which is technically a kids’ film, but one adults can dig as well. The documentary STRIKE A POSE explores the lives of the dancers from Madonna’s TRUTH OR DARE tour, Joe Swanberg directs the Netflix-exclusive gambling comedy/drama WIN IT ALL (with Jake Johnson, Joe Lo Truglio and Keegan-Michael Key), CELLULOID MAN is a compelling-looking doc on the director of the National Film Archive of India working on Bollywood film preservation, a genre represented in the new offerings by the Bollywood horror pic HORROR STORY and the erotic thriller HATE STORY.
Brown Sugar, a streaming service emphasizing films for and about African-Americans, launched last fall, and their catalog has only gotten deeper since then. A bargain at $4.99 a month, and now with Chromecast capability, the latest titles to the service include the Bill Duke’s Chester Himes adaptation A RAGE IN HARLEM, Sidney Potier and Harry Belafonte in the 1972 western BUCK AND THE PREACHER, Gordon Parks Jr.’s 1974 gangster pic THOMASINE AND BUSHROD, John Singleton’s HIGHER LEARNING, Bruce Lee in GAME OF DEATH, the ever-welcome Blaxploitation parody/homage BLACK DYNAMITE with Michael Jai White, Wesley Snipes in the horror western GALLOWWALKERS, Michael Mann’s ALI, the Oscar-winning CHICAGO and Jim Wynorski’s STEALTH FIGHTER. Sign up for it here.
Tribeca Shortlist offers a section of curated films that serve as a good bridge between the “anything goes” services like Netflix and the exclusively art-house services like FilmStruck, without emphasizing a specific genre, all for a reasonable $4.99 a month. Among their latest additions are George C. Scott in Mike Nichols’ 1973 THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN, the excellent mockumentary satire CSA: THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, Oliver Stone’s THE DOORS, Brad Anderson’s THE MACHINIST, Faye Dunaway proclaiming her hatred for wire hangers in MOMMIE DEAREST, Jared Leto in the impressive sci-fi pic MR. NOBODY, Rock Hudson in John Frankenheimer’s classic SECONDS, P.T. Anderson’s PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, Ben Wheatley’s black-as-hell comedy THE SIGHTSEERS, CHEECH & CHONG STILL SMOKIN, the vagina dentata pic TEETH, Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in Ridley Scott’s THELMA & LOUISE and the recommended coming-of-age pic Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN. Check them out here.
Nightflight Plus, a streaming service based off of the cult TV series that exposed millions of young viewers (myself included) to the likes of awesome stuff they’d otherwise never have seen, is a bargain at $2.99, even if all you watch is old episodes of NIGHT FLIGHT itself. But they also have been accumulating a decent catalog of cult films as well, and their most recent titles include Andrew Leavold’s fantastic documentary THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG (as far as I know, this is the only streaming service on which this is currently available), Dan Kinem and Levi Peretic’s VHS fandom and history documentary ADJUST YOUR TRACKING, the zine doc $100 AND A T-SHIRT, the concert BAD BRAINS LIVE AT CBGB 1982, 1974’s martial arts pic FISTS FOR REVENGE and Kerwin Matthews in 1962’s JACK THE GIANT KILLER. Of all the streaming services, I think Nightflight would benefit the most by having a “live” channel to watch – stumbling across something new and jaw-dropping was the show’s greatest appeal.
I’m still trying to determine the best way to tell which Warner Archive titles are the newest, but the streaming service does offer a pretty solid catalog of varied titles from Warner’s vaults that change on a regular basis. (That said, having a larger, more static selection may be a better call.) In the meantime, their current promotion includes a selection of “Camp Classics” including the Ozploitation film RAZORBACK, the killer bunny pic NIGHT OF THE LEPUS, John Crawford in 1970’s TROG, killer snakes in RATTLERS, ZERO HOUR (the inspiration for AIRPLANE!), Robert Urich and Mary Crosby in 1983’s THE ICE PIRATES, the all-star cast sequel BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, Robert Clouse’s 1985 gymsploitation classic GYMKATA, dogs robbing banks in 1972’s THE DOBERMAN GANG, Albert Zugsmith’s SEX KITTENS GO TO COLLEGE with Mamie Van Doren, and the trippy sci-fi flick THE GREEN SLIME. They’ve also got a series of “Frisky Comedies” from the ‘60s and ‘70s, including Steve McQueen in 1961’s THE HONEYMOON MACHINE, Tony Curtis in 1967’s DON’T MAKE WAVES, Peter Sellers in 1968’s I LOVE YOU ALICE B. TOKLAS, 1958’s BORN RECKLESS with Mamie Van Doren, Robert Wagner and Raquel Welch in 1968’s THE BIGGEST BUNDLE OF THEM ALL and Rita Moreno in Richard Lester’s 1976’s THE RITZ.
The free-with-your-library-card service continues to roll out new titles. This week’s new additions include the classic 1986 John Stamos film NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DIE with Vanity, George Lazenby and Gene Simmons, the Greek zombie movie EVIL IN THE TIME OF HEROES starring Billy Zane (!), the documentary OUTATIME about the preservation of the DeLorean from BACK TO THE FUTURE, Johnnie To’s action thriller THREE, the Tsui Hark-produced martial arts film SWORDMASTER, and the Wyoming-shot survivalist thriller CALL OF THE WOLF.
FilmStruck (who are currently having some Chromecast issues – they’re working on it!) tends to have their additions in themed groups, which makes things pretty easy to put into paragraph form! Their new groupings include a series of documentaries by personal filmmaker Ross McElwee including BRIGHT LEAVES, SHERMAN’S MARCH, TIME INDEFINITE, SIX O’CLOCK NEWS, CHARLEEN, PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY, and BACKYARD (if you haven’t seen any, I’d suggest starting with SHERMAN’S MARCH – they’re worth your time), films on “the Lives of Actors” featuring Vincent Price in 1973’s must-see THEATER OF BLOOD, Peter Sellers in THE PARTY, Richard E. Grant drinking a lot in Bruce Robinson’s WITHNAIL AND I, and noir films SUDDEN FEAR (1952) with Jack Palance and Joan Crawford, and 1955’s THE BIG KNIFE with Palance, Ida Lupino and Rod Steiger (all of these are recommended), and a trio of films directed by Martin Ritt, including Paul Newman in 1967’s HOMBRE, Jon Voight and Paul Winfield in 1974’s CONRACK, and Joanne Woodward and Yul Brynner in the 1959 William Faulkner adaptation THE SOUND AND THE FURY.
Full Moon Streaming
Charles Band’s Full Moon Pictures has a streaming site with a roster of genre flicks both under the Band umbrella and a number of flicks from Blue Underground, Something Weird and more. The service is $6.99 a month, but if you go for the cheaper, yearly package, you get free DVDs and a gift card. The newest additions are EVIL BONG, Albert Band’s 1993 ROBOT WARS, David DeCoteau’s 1997 LURID TALES: THE CASTLE QUEEN, Peter Manoogian’s 1992 DEMONIC TOYS (written by David S. Goyer!) and new episodes of TRAILERS FROM HELL and TROPHY HEADS. Check them out here.
New additions to Shudder this week include the Swedish ghost tale SENSORIA and the French film HOSTILE.
Other additions include the 1978 martial arts film SHAOLIN MANTIS, Don Roos’ solidly twisted comedy THE OPPOSITE OF SEX, the messy 1979 John Cardos film THE DARK with William Devane and Cathy Lee Crosby, and the Christian horror-ish anthology THE DAYLIGHT ZONE. On the TV front, there’s the new Amazon original series AMERICAN PLAYBOY: THE HUGH HEFNER STORY, an odd docudrama produced by a company owned by Playboy itself, as well as season 4 of UNSOLVED MYSTERIES and season 3 of UNDER THE DOME, which really probably should not have had three seasons.
Hulu’s offerings a little lax this week, but they’ve added the isolationist sci-fi pic BEYOND THE EGDE featuring Casper Van Dien and Sean Maher (which played festivals under the title ISRA 88), Lake Bell’s solid comedic drama about voice-over work IN A WORLD… and the action drama SWELTER with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Alfred Molina. If you’ve got Showtime, you can add 2016’s impressively-creepy-for-a-while-until-it-becomes-fairly-standard horror pic THE BOY to the roster as well.
Shout Factory TV
Shout Factory has free (and void of commercials) access to a number of their great catalog titles, including some that have never been released on any format. I’ll go into detail on their catalog some other time, but their recent additions include a “VHS” version of the new horror pic FENDER BENDER and 5 additional episodes of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000; VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS, RADAR SECRET SERVICE, THE LOST CONTINENT, ROBOT MONSTER, and THE MAD MONSTER. (They’ve got plenty of other MST3K as well.) Check them out here.
Tags: Albert Band, amazon, Billy Zane, blue underground, Brown Sugar, Casper Van Dien, Charles Band, David DeCoteau, FilmStruck, Full Moon Pictures, gene simmons, George Lazenby, Hoopla, Hugh Hefner, I Wake Up Streaming, Ida Lupino, Jack Palance, jean claude van damme, Joan Crawford, Joanne Woodward, john stamos, Johnnie To, Jon Voight, Netflix, Nightfllight Plus, Paul Newman, Paul Winfield, Peter Sellers, Richard E. Grant, Robot Monsters, Rod Steiger, shout factory, Tribeca Shortlist, Tsui Hark, vanity, vincent price, warner archive, Yul Brynner