Friday, January 13, 2017

I Stream, You Stream Vol. 16

by Patrick Bromley
A couple of streaming picks to celebrate today, plus a few more that don't feature a hockey mask!

The Monster (2016, dir. Bryan Bertino) The podcast this week with me and Heather Wixson covers our favorite horror movies of 2016, and while neither of us included this one we both named it as part of our potential honorable mentions. I liked it when I reviewed it late last year mostly for some really heavy emotional stuff and a great performance by Zoe Kazan as a young mother who gets stranded on a highway with her daughter when a monster attacks. I don't think all of it completely works, but it's the kind of film that horror fans should really see because it tries to do something just a little different with the genre. Between this and The Strangers, I really like how Bryan Bertino ties genre stuff into some really devastating emotional dramas. (Watch on Amazon Prime Video)
Under the Shadow (2016, dir. Babak Anvari) I saw this last spring at the Chicago Critics Film Festival and really liked its combination of family drama, political allegory and scary horror -- though it does the first two better than the second. There have been a lot of comparisons to The Babadook, and for good reason: it's a movie about a mother and her child and the horror elements clearly represent something larger. This was another one that didn't make my list of favorite 2016 horror movies on the podcast this week, but it's a really solid film that deserves to be seen. (Watch on Netflix Instant)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984, dir. Joseph Zito) Celebrate Friday the 13th by watching my favorite entry in the franchise. Then you can head over to and read the piece I just wrote about movie's (and the franchise's) most upsetting kill. And then you can be a terrible person and watch Mike's favorite entry. (Watch on Hulu)
Crystal Lake Memories (2012, dir. Daniel Farrands) After you've celebrated this Friday the 13th by watching the best of the Friday movies (and maybe A New Beginning because it's incredible [RIP Joey]), dig deep into the entirety of the franchise with this six hour documentary that covers the whole thing (even the TV series) and features interviews with nearly all of the participants. The doc is a step down from the Nightmare on Elm Street retrospective Never Sleep Again -- still the brass ring of this kind of feature -- and includes a lot of recycled material from His Name Was Jason, but as a fan of the series it's still super entertaining. (Watch on Shudder)
Dreamscape (1984, dir. Joel Ruben) It's been years since I saw this whacked out sci-fi fantasy thriller in which Dennis Quaid projects himself into the dreams of others to influence real-world events (yes, it's the original Inception!). Watching it again recently on Scream Factory's new Blu-ray reminded me that it's the kind of wonderful movie that was only possible in the '80s, when imagination and practical/optical effects collided in way unlike any period before or since. There is so much cool shit going on in Dreamscape, plus a supporting cast that includes Kate Capshaw, Max Von Sydow, Eddie Albert, Christopher Plummer, George Wendt and David Patrick Kelly in one of his best and weirdest roles this side of The Warriors. Oh, and there's a giant snake man. This was only the second movie ever released with a PG-13 rating; it missed being the first by just five days when Red Dawn beat it into theaters. By today's standards, it would probably be an R. Trivia! (Watch on ShoutFactory TV)
Hard Eight (1996, dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) While his last two movies have kept me at arm's length, there was a long period in which I would have called Paul Thomas Anderson maybe the best American filmmaker on his generation, maybe even working today (though probably not with Scorsese still making movies). I love his first five films unequivocally, and while Hard Eight (or Sydney if you're a snob) has many of the markings of a "first movie," it's still an amazing piece of work and presents one of my top five favorite movie characters ever in Phillip Baker Hall's Sydney. The fact that this is available to stream on FilmStruck, which hosts all of the Criterion Collection, makes me so, so hopeful that it will get the Criterion Blu-ray treatment sometime soon. (Watch on FilmStruck)


  1. Dreamscape was my 3rd most rented video as a kid. Just behind Buehler and Commando.

  2. Regarding Sydney (yep, snob) and what you said about PTA - who would you consider the newest "PTA" in American cinema? I'm going with Alex Ross Perry. Maybe a better question for the weekend thread, though.

  3. Tangentially, I love FilmStruck. Besides the Criterion Collection, it is also really well curated and features a bunch of movies that are not widely available on other streaming services (mostly art house and foreign). Since they're partnered with TCM, I hope they eventually do an "Underground" section, but I'm not holding my breath. Oh, and they could finish the Roku app already... But still, it's a steal to be able to watch all the Criterion films/supplements for less than $10 a month (if you pay annually). Highly recommended!
    On that note, I won't be using it tonight--no Friday the 13th movies!

  4. The Snake-man from Dreamscape haunted my nine-year-old dreams and waking hours for months after I first saw it. I couldn't even wear the pajamas I wore while watching it, ever... that was the last time I wore my E.T. full-body (with booties) pajamas, because they were a terrible reminder of the Snake-man.

  5. Kudos for the tag line, "Movie love for paid subscribers." :-)