Friday, May 10, 2019

I Stream, You Stream Vol. 110

by Patrick Bromley
Some very special and underrated movies have hit streaming this week.

The Sisters Brothers (2018, dir. Jacques Audiard) I placed this offbeat western on my Top 10 movies of last year, and I'm not still sure it would have a spot. I liked it a lot, though, and wanted to champion a movie not enough people were seeing. John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix play the titular Sisters brothers, a pair of lawless murderers who go looking for gold with Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed. That cast alone should be enough to convince you to watch, but there's also gorgeous location photography and an odd sense of humor throughout the whole thing that make it special. This is a movie I think will find an audience in time. Might as well get in on that early. (Watch on Hulu)
The Ranger (2018, dir. Jenn Wexler) This was one of my favorite horror movies of last year, an '80s slasher throwback from first time director Jenn Wexler that's all rough edges and attitude. A group of punks run afoul of a psychotic park ranger. Killings ensue. I know that everyone is going to respond favorable to The Ranger because the characters can often be unlikable and the filmmaking lacks polish, but it has such an energy and conviction to it and finds such interesting things to say about the relationship between killer and Final Girl that it wins me over every time I watch it. (Watch on Shudder)
Cat o'Nine Tails (1971, dir. Dario Argento) Not my favorite Argento film -- not even in my top five favorite Argentos -- but free early Argento is too good to pass up. Karl Malden plays a blind man who gets caught up in a murder plot to which he may or may not be witness. The pacing isn't always great and the movie lacks the dazzling set pieces of Argento's best work, but it's a different sort of movie for him and worth watching for completists. (Watch free with ads on Tubi TV)
Viva (2007, dir. Anna Biller) I was an early fan of writer/director Anna Biller's The Love Witch, and I very nearly love her first feature Viva just as much. She plays a bored housewife in the late 1960s or early '70s (I'm due for a revisit) who discovers herself after getting caught up in the sexual revolution. Just like with The Love Witch, the period details are so exact and specific that it's remarkable this is a movie made in the 2000s. It's not just kitsch, either; Biller has a real point of view and a purpose to her aesthetic. What a voice she is. (Watch on the Criterion Channel)

13 comments:

  1. I really liked The Love Witch. Even bought the blu-ray. I need to see Viva

    Also, you never go wrong with Dario

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  2. Cat O Nine Tails was the first Argento I ever saw and was the first movie where I noticed other movies referencing past films. I swear the close up of the killer's eye is directly referenced in The Crow when Eric Draven uses his crow to survey the scene.

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  3. Sisters Brothers is SOOOOOOOO good.

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    1. Indeed, it wasn't on my list for 2018, but that was only because I didn't see it until sometime in 2019. I loved it, especially how it mixed the humour and drama. Although all the characters were great, it was Reilly that really stood out.

      It would definitely be on my top 10 if I made my list now (Among many others I've seen recently, Widows (#1 of 2018?), The Favourite, and the hilarious The Death Of Stalin.) I really should wait an extra year before considering making a list, considering how few movies I see at the theatre.

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  4. That's funny, just watched The Cat o' Nine Tales yesterday. Probably my least favorite of the few Argento's I've seen but still kinda entertaining. And The Sisters Brothers only came out in theaters over here a month ago, and the only reason I went was because I had a vague memory of Patrick mentioning it on the year end episode. It's excellent.

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  5. Definitely going to check out Viva. The Love Witch is also on the Criterion Channel

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  6. Despite the fact that Biller did everything on Viva, the most remarkable aspect of it is how respectfully Biller channels the sexploitation films of the 1960s. The characters, themes, and acting style come straight from those films. There is also a striking homage to Radley Metzger, whose film Camille 2000 is referenced with the mirror scene.

    The only thing I remember well from Cat o'Nine Tails well is Ennio Morricone's score.

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  7. A notable streaming watch for me this week is THE LADY HERMIT, a 1971 Shaw Brothers production available on Prime. Beyond being an immensely entertaining action film, the stars are two women who bring a lot energy and charisma to their roles. The great Lo Lieh plays main male protagonist. Though the plot is a little awkward at moments, there are plenty of fight scenes and intriguing visuals to enjoy.

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    1. I'm looking forward to delving into more Shaw Brothers movies this Junesploitation. I had let my Prime subscription lapse, and will it my "library" of Shaw Brothers, but I'm going to sign up again.

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  8. I just saw The Ranger tonight on a whim and I was pretty sure I loved it. Then I came here and noticed I wasn't the only one. Always a good feeling.

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