(Welcome to Small-Screen Stream, a feature where we share the best television shows streaming and where you can watch them.)
Hi nerds! I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking over the Small-Screen Stream column from here on out. We’ve had a bit of a hiatus, which means the world of streaming has gotten even bigger since we last visited it over here at /Film! Giants like Apple and Disney have joined the fray, while DC’s already basically come and gone with their streaming offerings.
We’ll be kicking off the resurrection with exceptional superhero fare streaming through the internet tubes for a couple of reasons. The first being that nothing says “can’t stay dead” like the superhero genre. The second? Well, I do have a brand to maintain. Just keep in mind that this isn’t a ranking. Think of it more as a collection of fun, dark, and inspiring shows for those days where you just need a hero.
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Posted on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 by Rob Hunter
(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week’s column is a response to the recent shelving of a movie that’s been made previously many, many times before.)
As you’ve undoubtedly heard, a studio film scheduled for nation-wide release was recently pulled from Universal’s schedule in response to a tweet by the president and a vocal outcry by conservative pundits and followers. The detractors are misinformed as to the point of The Hunt (2019?) – and they seem to be equally oblivious as to how these films end (ie the intended targets defeat the merciless killers) – but the bigger head-scratcher is their general obliviousness that the film is just the latest variation in a long line of adaptations of “The Most Dangerous Game.”
Richard Connell’s acclaimed short story was published in 1924, and its tale of a man captured by a mad aristocratic sportsman and hunted as the most challenging prey quickly caught the public’s attention. The first adaptation for the screen arrived eight years later, and many more followed both official and unofficial including John Woo’s ridiculously fun Hard Target (1993), the soft-ish-core porn of The Suckers (1972), the Rutger Hauer-starring Surviving the Game (1994), and the gloriously bonkers Turkey Shoot (1982).
You know those, though, so I’m here to introduce some entertaining and/or engaging examples that you’ve probably missed over the years. The connective line between them is that, unlike a slasher where a killer stalks and kills unknowing victims, these Game riffs see people target and alert their prey for the clear intention of enjoying a hunt. So keep reading for the best “adaptations” of The Most Dangerous Game that you’ve probably never seen.
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(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)
The world seems to feel like it’s on fire right now (and some parts of it are), but why not turn to foreign films and television to remind you of how dire things really are? No, it’s not all doom and gloom in this week’s Pop Culture Imports, but some of the best foreign movies and TV streaming now are so successful because of how powerful and timely they are. The first of which is HBO’s Israeli limited series Our Boys, which is based on the true events which led to the outbreak of war in Gaza. On the somewhat lighter side — but no less relevant — is the recent French comedy Non-Fiction in which director Oliver Assayas tears down our current digital landscape. Rounding out this week’s column is a tender Indian romance film from Amazon Studios, a haunting Italian crime drama, and a wacky Netflix fantasy anime series.
Let’s fire up those subtitles and get streaming.
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I saw Twilight of the Cockroaches when I was six and thought about it on and off for the next 27 years. I still think about it. I can’t remember where I saw Hiroaki Yoshida’s beautiful, weird insect-human drama, and neither can my mother, who took me; a cursory Internet search revealed that in 1991 it was playing at the Roxie, but we know we didn’t see it there. The Roxie was small and dark and close; the place where we saw it was light and airy. (If you are reading this and know where it played, please reach out.) The movie is not light and airy. It is a film of close spaces, tunnels, the greasy, crumb-filled corner in a crinkling packet of chips.
I loved it, a lot, but it is not the best movie. It is good in the way cult classics are: something in them strikes a chord with viewers, again and again, but something about them keep them from being hits. They are often too much or too little, too slow or too fast, too intense or too bland, too pristine or too primitive; they are not for everyone and often imperfect, but they stick out. Life is like this too, or at least my life is: it happens in fits and starts, rarely at the speed or temperature I want. But like the cockroach, it persists. It is said that cockroaches will survive a nuclear apocalypse. I will not. But as long as I’m around, I continue to come back to this movie, and try to figure out why. Something about Twilight of the Cockroaches got in early and stayed, gathering new meaning and layers as I age and the world changes.
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Bill Tench looks like he has the world weighing on his shoulders in season two of Mindhunter. The hunch, the looks of worry and distress, you can feel the restrained F.B.I. agent often coming so close to breaking, especially during a stunning scene in which he confronts, not questions, Charles Manson. The character remains endlessly fascinating to watch, as does the rest of Mindhunter.
Season two marks another one of the many collaborations between actor Holt McCallany and director David Fincher, which is a relationship going back to Alien 3. In-person, McCallany is just as captivating as he is on screen. He has such a great voice, so after hanging onto his every word during our interview with him, I left the Mindhunter junket thinking, “No wonder David Fincher loves filming this guy.” Today, he’s perhaps the closest we have to old school actors like, to name an example, Burt Lancaster, sharing a similar combination of authority and vulnerability. McCallany looks and sounds like a movie star straight out of the ’50s, making him all the more perfect for Bill Tench.
I only saw a handful of episodes before speaking with the actor, hence no questions about the scene with Charles Manson, but he discussed with us the Son of Sam sequence, his longtime collaboration with David Fincher, and Bill Tench’s worldview.
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At a time when cries of “eat the rich” are more welcome and necessary than ever – here comes Ready or Not. This bloody, funny horror-comedy takes direct aim at the ludicrously wealthy 1% who are happy to make others suffer in order to maintain their opulence. The script is never as clever as it could be, but that’s not an issue. Situations like this sometimes call for the blunt force trauma of a sledgehammer blow rather than a light elbow nudge to the ribs.
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Posted on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 by Jacob Hall
Update: If you’re wondering what’s going on with Morpheus in this story, a new report indicates that we could see a younger version of that character pop up in this film. Our original report continues, and you can read the Morpheus-related update embedded within.
The Matrix turned 20 years old this year and here’s one way to celebrate: Warner Bros. has announced that The Matrix 4 is officially in the works. After years of rumors and tales of reboots and a revolving door of talented folks all taking a crack at this iconic and mind-bending universe, the new film will return to where it all began. Keanu Reeves will return as Neo, Carrie-Anne Moss will return as Trinity, and Lana Wachowski, who co-wrote and co-directed the original trilogy with her sister Lilly, will co-write, produce, and direct. Whoa, indeed.
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On the August 20 episode of /Film Daily, /Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta is joined by /film senior writer Ben Pearson and writers Chris Evangelista and Hoai-Tran Bui to discuss the latest film and TV news, including Bond 25’s title, Spider-Man: Far From Home and BREAKING NEWS that Marvel Studios is no longer producing Spider-Man movies and The Matrix 4 is happening with Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne Moss and Lana Wachowski returning.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.” –Cheryl Strayed
“That it will never come again makes life so sweet.” –Emily Dickinson
There are a lot of uncertainties in life, but the only constant and known fact is that we all die. Despite this collective, inevitable experience that will eventually happen to everyone on the planet, we tend to avoid this fact altogether. It’s a painful topic, death. A fickle, unfair shadow that situates itself deep in the recesses of our minds; and when brought to the forefront, it usually initiates debilitating emotions and forces actions that the majority of us are not prepared to deal with. Our affairs are not in order; our options for burials are limited and at the mercy of a funeral director; and we are forced to make finite decisions while experiencing agonizing grief. Despite our culture’s adoration for Halloween and horror films, death is still a subject that many prefer to view as an abstract concept. It’s cathartic and safe to embrace the grim reaper within a holiday or cinematic context, but when it comes to our own mortality we recoil at the thought.
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The Handmaid’s Tale season three finale “Mayday” is miraculous in believability as the rebellion against Gilead pulls off its own Great Escape.
Let’s talk about spoilers for the episode, along with some overall thoughts about the season.
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