Now Stream This Lost City

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) 

Is it fall yet? Summer is basically running on fumes here, people. It’s almost time to trade in those ridiculous cargo shorts for sweaters and bust out the seasonal gourds. But no matter what time of year it may be, it’s always streaming time. This latest edition of Now Stream This offers you a smattering of fine features to facilitate films into your face. There’s one of the best movies of 2017, a Japanese comedy guaranteed to make your mouth water, a new take on an old horror sub-genre, a surprisingly great remake, and more! Let’s get streaming.

1. The Lost City of Z
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video 9/15

James Gray, the best currently-working filmmaker most of you aren’t paying attention to, made one of the 2017’s best films with the haunting The Lost City of Z. Inspired by a true story, The Lost City of Z (or The Lost City of Zed, if you want to be proper) follows British explorer Percy Fawcett, who set out the prove the existence of a lost civilization in the Amazon. How good is this movie? It’s so good that even the usually wooden Charlie Hunnam, who plays Fawcett, gives a fantastic performance. Also featuring Robert Pattinson as one of Fawcett’s fellow explorers and new Spider-Man Tom Holland wearing a fake mustache.

For fans of: Fitzcarraldo, Apocalypse Now, The Immigrant.

2. Tampopo
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Juzo Itami’s utterly delightful Tampopo is now on FilmStruck, and if you’ve never experienced this 1985 Japanese film, rectify that at once. Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto) is a widow who runs a ramen noodle shop yet unfortunately can’t make ramen to save her life. Her luck changes when truck driver Gor? (Tsutomu Yamazaki) enters her life and sets about turning her into one of the best ramen makers around. Peppered with food-based vignettes that may not exactly contribute to the main story but still add plenty of flavor, Tampopo is a treat from beginning to end. Just don’t watch it on an empty stomach.  

For fans of: Tales of a Golden Geisha, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Chef.

3. I Am Not Your Negro
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Raoul Peck‘s documentary I Am Not Your Negro is from last year, but it feels even more essential here as we wind down 2017. Based on an unfinished memoir by James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro reflects on Baldwin’s life, his relationship with slain civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers, and racism as a whole in America. It’s a powerful doc that features a strong narration-based performance from Samuel L. Jackson reading Baldwin’s words. In fact, this may be one of Jackson’s very best performances. 

For fans of: 13th, O.J.: Made In America.

4. Secretary
Streaming on Hulu 9/1

This sexy, quirky rom-com is the cure for whatever it is that 50 Shades of Grey is doing. Maggie Gyllenhaal is an awkward woman who goes to work for the equally awkward James Spader. The working relationship blossoms into something far kinkier than either might have expected. There’s a lot of elements that make Secretary so unique, including Gyllenhaal’s remarkable performance, but most notable is the way it strives to show that a (healthy) BDSM-based relationship can be perfectly normal.

For fans of: The Duke of Burgundy, Belle de Jour.

5. The Trip to Italy
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

The Trip may be the first film in The Trip series (with The Trip to Spain in select theaters now), but The Trip to Italy is the best of the bunch. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play fictionalized versions of themselves as they tour restaurants in Italy and riff endlessly. It shouldn’t work as well as it does; it is, after all, just two guys talking incessantly and trying to one-up each other with Michael Caine impressions. Yet The Trip to Italy is hilarious while also containing an underbelly of melancholy that makes the film linger with you long after you’ve stopped laughing at the jokes.

For fans of: The Trip, The Trip to Spain.

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