Tim Blake Nelson plays one of the deadliest and happiest men in the West in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Buster Scruggs isn’t a gunslinger who growls and grimaces, but instead sings and dances and enjoys every moment without thinking it’ll be his last. Everything is just sunny to the titular character of Joel and Ethan Coen‘s six-part anthology film, which is a western with all of the joy and misery we love from those filmmakers.
Happiness is hard to come by in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, but Buster Scruggs finds it everywhere he goes. Since the character is a big talker and opens the story, it all begins invitingly with a loquacious character delivering a whole lot of pleasing Coen Brothers’ dialogue. During a recent phone interview, Nelson told us about the eloquent character, the experience of working with the Coen Brothers, what he may direct next, and the challenges of HBO’s Watchmen series.
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(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)
There’s a very long holiday weekend on the way. That means one thing: spending time with family! Just kidding – it actually means you now have an excuse to stay inside and stream some movies. Thank heavens I’m here to steer you in the right direction. In this edition of Now Stream This, you’ll find not one, not two, not three, but four of the year’s best films; a weirdo Western; a classic thriller; a somewhat forgotten Bill Murray movie; a great new horror TV series; and more.
These are the best movies streaming right now (and beyond). Let’s get streaming!
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I could not help but snicker, seated at a screening of the new Netflix film Outlaw King, as one of the studio logos appeared on screen. The studio name is Anonymous Content; in and of itself, it’s not a funny name, but over the last few years, if there’s anything truly consistent about Netflix Original Movies, it’s that they feel like…well, anonymous content. It’s hard for a week to go by without Netflix just dropping a new movie on its service, seemingly at random: here’s a new romantic comedy! Here’s a new David Wain film! How about a dystopian sci-fi pet project from Duncan Jones? And hey, we’re going to just release the new Cloverfield movie on Super Bowl Sunday, too, just to keep you on your toes.
Netflix’s choice to disrupt how movies are released and made is all well and good, but for a long time, their only pattern was randomly throwing tons of things at the wall (rather, the cloud) and hoping something stuck. But things may be changing. Somewhat.
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Alfonso Cuaron‘s acclaimed drama Roma is doing more than shaking up the Oscar race, it’s potentially shaking up Netflix’s entire approach to exclusive theatrical releases. After making a hard stance on day-and-date releases, Netflix finally conceded this year by granting its Oscar darling Roma a three-week theatrical release ahead of its streaming debut, alongside two other Oscar contenders, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Bird Box.
But the question remained: Would this be a one-time thing to help Netflix score a much-coveted Oscar? Or could Roma‘s potential success change the business model for Netflix theatrical releases as we know it? The latter is entirely possible, as behind-the-scenes at Netflix, filmmakers are already reportedly jostling for “the Cuaron treatment.”
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Awards season is heating up, and that means the movies making the push for Academy Awards are starting to hit theaters. Even Netflix is bringing some of their movies to theaters again in the hopes that they’ll catch they eye of Academy voters this time.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is one of the prestige pictures coming from Netflix this year, and with Joel & Ethan Coen behind the camera, who can blame the streaming service for vying after some golden trophies? This time, the Coen Brothers are tackling the classic genre of the western, and they’re not just doing it with one story, but six different tales wrapped in one cinematic package.
Watch the latest The Ballad of Buster Scruggs trailer to see the all-star cast and hear what critics have been saying. Read More »
The critical hype around Roma is driving Netflix to break its own rules on theatrical releases. The streaming giant, which was once so uncompromising about its day-and-date theatrical and online release stance that it got banned from the Cannes Film Festival, is making a dramatic move for three of its biggest Oscar contenders this year.
The Netflix theatrical releases for Roma, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Bird Box have be set several weeks before the three films’ streaming debuts.
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Most of the big movies of the fall have now premiered (although a few obvious exceptions remain to be unveiled) after their bows at Venice, Telluride and Toronto. Now it’s time for smaller, regional festivals to help further sort the wheat from the chaff. The New York Film Festival (NYFF), which kicks off this week, provides a perfect bridge to this next stage of the season. The festival features no world premieres, just a tightly curated slate of what the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s programmers determine are among the year’s best.
/Film will be in attendance at the New York Film Festival catching up with some of 2018’s best festival bows. But for those who can’t make it up to the Big Apple, you can craft a miniature festival in your own living room based around the NYFF lineup. Here are 10 films you can stream to get you hyped up for some of the eventual release of the festival’s selections. (All streaming availability is accurate as of publication and subject to change.) Read More »
Fresh off debuting at the Venice Film Festival, where it won Best Screenplay, Netflix has released the first trailer for Joel & Ethan Coen‘s Western anthology film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. What started out as a Netflix series became an anthology film starring the likes of James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Kazan, Tom Waits, Stephen Root and many more. Get a taste of each of the stories in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs trailer below. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The Coen Brothers are back with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Originally planned as an anthology TV series, the Coens re-edited Buster into a film, which just debuted at the Venice Film Festival. Reviews of the Western comedy are flooding in, and they hint at a movie that will wow Coen Brothers fans, and possibly perplex everyone else. See the Ballad of Buster Scruggs early buzz below.
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A day after it was reported that Netflix was considering theatrical releases for its highly anticipated prestige pictures, it has been confirmed that the streaming giant will give limited theatrical runs to Alfonso Cuaron‘s Roma, Joel and Ethan Coen‘s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Paul Greengrass‘ 22 July.
However, these awards-season runs aren’t a sign of changing ways for Netflix — this day-and-date release for awards-friendly films is a strategy that the streaming service has practiced since 2015’s Beasts of No Nation.
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