best foreign movies and tv streaming

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best, wackiest, and weirdest foreign-language movies and TV shows streaming right now.)

I’m doing something a little different this week in honor of a titan of streaming services. Earlier this week, we learned that the cinephile’s dream service and home of the beloved Criterion Collection, Filmstruck, is set to close down at the end of this month. Which means you have a ton of classic films on your watch queue to speed through over the next 27 days — many of which are probably some foreign films that you never got around to.

I’m dedicating this week’s column to Filmstruck by listing five essential classic foreign films to watch before the service shutters on November 29, 2018.

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Best Movies Streaming

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

Summer is over. Good riddance, I say! Bring on chilly weather, heavy jackets and pumpkins as far as the eye can see. I’m talking thousands of pumpkins here, people. As the warm weather subsides and the cooler weather prevails, it’s time to once again shun the outdoors, bundle up with your blankets and stream some movies. In this edition of Now Stream This, we have a classic from Akira Kurosawa, a spy thriller for people who have no interest in seeing the new Kingsman movie, Al Pacino hamming up, the best horror-comedy in film history, and more! Let’s get streaming

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The Good Dinosaur

Last month I had the opportunity to visit Pixar Animation Studios and preview the company’s next film The Good Dinosaur. You can read what I learned about the making of The Good Dinosaur here. While at Pixar, I had that opportunity to sit down with a bunch of the creatives behind the film.

After the jump you will find my interview with director Peter Sohn, who I’ve talked to a few times over the years and seems like a great and talented guy. In the interview, Pete talks about some of his favorite movies he recommends to friends, the evolution of the project over the years, how he got involved as a director, his vision behind the stark contrast between the beautiful, almost photo realistic backgrounds and the cartoony characters, a scene from the film that I felt was a homage to Jaws, the 1400 kid search for the main star of this film, how directing the voice actors for the English version of Miyazaki’s Ponyo helped him in making this film, and find out who directs Peter Sohn when he performs in his own film. All this and more in our Peter Sohn Good Dinosaur interview, after the jump.

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13 Films Never Nominated for Best Picture


The Oscars inevitably bring a lot of grumbling about which films the Academy has overlooked. But if one of your favorites is among them, perhaps you can at least take heart in the fact that it’s in great company. The Oscars have a very long history of backing the wrong horse. Some of what we now view as unimpeachable classics weren’t even seen as Best Picture nomination-worthy at the time.

Hit the jump for a list of films never nominated for Best Picture.

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The three thematically-related films in Park Chan-Wook‘s so-called Vengeance Trilogy helped the director gain worldwide attention. The series’ middle chapter, Oldboy, is the film that really elevated Park’s status, and it has already been remade. (Spike Lee’s version of Oldboy opens in October.) The third “Vengeance” film, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, has also been optioned for a remake, with Charlize Theron producing and possibly starring as a woman who enacts a complex, patient plan to exact revenge.

But the first film in the loose trilogy, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, has so far escaped remake efforts. Now Silver Reel and Lotus Entertainment have partnered with di Bonaventura Pictures and CJ Entertainment to make an English-language version. There is an extensive set of producers on the film, but no writer, director, or cast at this point. The key person to pay attention to might be di Bonaventura, who is a producer on the Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Red film series.

The original film followed a deaf-mute factory worker who goes to extreme lengths to help his sister attain a kidney transplant, and who is drawn into a complex web of crime and revenge plots as a result. Deadline says the remake follows ” two men who are bound by their common sense of loss and headed on a collision course of revenge,” which could certainly describe the original plot. Some details will almost certainly change, however.

After the break, details emerge about the Poltergeist remake that will be directed by Gil Kenan (Monster House), and there’s a shred of info about the possible Seven Samurai remake. Read More »

UPDATE: As expected, Zack Snyder’s representatives told The Hollywood Reporter the following information is untrue. The original story follows with the addendum. 

As Zack Snyder is busy finishing a film in the DC Universe, news has now been revealed he’ll move over to the Star Wars universe soon after. Though the director of 300 and Watchmen won’t be directing Star Wars Episode VII, Vulture reports he’s quietly developing a standalone Star Wars film inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. His film would featuring a group of Jedi warriors going on a mission. Read more after the jump. Read More »

I’m not going to say that remaking a stone-cold classic like Akira Kurosawa‘s Seven Samurai is a fool’s errand. After all, some guy named Sergio Leone remade another Kurosawa classic, Yojimbo, and produced a classic of his own, A Fistful of Dollars, in doing so. Still, does it seem like a good idea? Not so much.  The Weinstein Company has been mulling over a Seven Samurai remake for some time, and now the company has set a director: Scott Mann, who last directed the action/fight film The Tournament. Read More »