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Netflix

#StreamingScene by M.G. Mailloux Film

High Flying Bird | Steven Soderbergh

February 10, 2019
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It is the proclivity of many a film-watcher to make a director’s body of work conform to a linear narrative — and while it isn’t rare that a filmmaker winks at, and plays with, this supposition, in our postmodern era, it is rare that a filmmaker chooses projects for the specific purpose that they reverse-engineer that narrative. Steven Soderbergh seems to be such a filmmaker,…

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#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

Revenger | Seung-Won Lee

January 25, 2019
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Through its ongoing effort to inundate viewers with as much content as possible, Netflix presents Revenger, a mostly boring action movie starring Bruce Khan, a stunt man and former Jackie Chan double who hasn’t had an IMDb credit since 2005. Khan plays Kim, a former cop or agent or whatever who gets himself transported to a prison island to hunt down Kuhn (Park Hee-soon), the man who killed his wife and daughter. Once on the island, Kim finds himself in the middle of a battle…

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#StreamingScene by Matthew Lucas Film

Bird Box | Susanne Bier

January 3, 2019
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The central premise of Susanne Bier’s Bird Box sounds like some unholy (and unlikely) mashup of John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, without the stylistic freshness of the former or the go-for-broke battiness of the latter. If we’re playing a game of This-or-That, Bird Box is worse than A Quiet Place but better…

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by Matt Lynch Film

Roma | Alfonso Cuarón

December 7, 2018
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Although a bit of a scaling down from his previous tech-heavy outings, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is nothing if not a fully realized vision: a deeply felt black and white love letter to the director’s youth, and more specifically, to the young maid who raised him. But the film lacks much in the way of insight beyond trite platitudes regarding class separation and blunt allusions to lost innocence. Cleo (Yalitza Aparacio), the younger of two maids, works for an upper-class Mexico City family.…

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#StreamingScene by Kenji Fujishima Film

Happy as Lazzaro | Alice Rohrwacher

December 5, 2018
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For the most part, Alice Rohrwacher’s third feature Happy as Lazzaro plays as yet another Italian working-class neorealist drama, this one focusing on the inhabitants of Inviolata, an isolated farming village high up in the mountains. The Italian writer-director focuses on quotidian details of these peasants’ everyday lives—daily habits, social customs, and so on—which cinematographer Hélène Louvart captures in 16mm, with a roving kino-eye that feels like it’s merely happening upon such privileged moments of existence. Even amid its generally naturalistic tenor,…

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#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

Dovlatov | Alexey German Jr.

December 3, 2018
Dovlatov

Dovlatov observes six days in the life of the eponymous Russian writer (here played by Milan Marić), beginning on November 1, 1971. That compressed timeline suggests a film of granular detail, a work attuned to the quotidian ins and outs of Sergei Dovlatov’s daily existence living under a regime which cared little for him and his fellow artists. And Alexey German Jr.’s film, though nominally an artist-biopic, is precisely that. Mostly, the camera floats languidly about Leningrad’s wintry spaces…

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#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

The Other Side of the Wind, from Both Sides Now: Orson Welles Comes to Netflix

December 2, 2018
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For Orson Welles aficionados, the director’s incomplete films have long been viewed as a kind of elusive dream — a parallel body of work to his official releases, which themselves have been distorted by various forces. Within this phantom oeuvre, Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind is the most tantalizing prospect. This is largely because Jonathan Rosenbaum and Peter Bogdanovich and Gary Graver and Joseph McBride have been talking about the film for so long that it’s come to…

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#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs | Joel & Ethan Coen

November 19, 2018
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Composed of six dime-store tales from the frontier — complete with color plates! — and boasting an appropriately storybook feel (courtesy of cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, who helms this first foray into digital), The Ballad of Buster Scruggs articulates, with ruthless efficiency, Joel and Ethan Coen’s bleak, sobering worldview. The result is “downright Archimedean,” to borrow from Buster Scruggs himself (Tim Blake Nelson), a preternaturally jolly psycho-killer who wreaks gleeful havoc all over the film’s first episode.…

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#StreamingScene by Matthew Lucas Film

Cam | Daniel Goldhaber

November 19, 2018
Cam

A suspicious charge on a credit card, a call from the bank — few among us haven’t experienced this. Mostly the notifications cause minor inconvenience, but that isn’t always the case. Set in the world of “cam-girls” — women who perform sexual acts in online chat rooms for money — Daniel Goldhaber’s feature debut, Cam, derives its horror from the all-too-real idea of a total identity theft, enacted through means of the digital world.…

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#StreamingScene by Matthew Lucas Film

Shirkers | Sandi Tan

November 16, 2018
Shirkers

In 1992, a group of teenage cinephiles in Singapore set out to make a film, gathering their friends and neighbors to assert their country’s place in the cinema world at large. That film, Shirkers, was written by aspiring filmmaker and critic Sandi Tan — whose friendship with a mysterious, married, middle-aged American ex-pat named Georges would have a lasting impact on her life. A film professor full of tall-tales and dubious motives, Georges eventually absconded with the complete footage…

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#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman

Outlaw King | David Mackenzie

November 15, 2018
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Outlaw King cribs elements from every other medieval epic you’ve seen before — and that pandering is probably the point. It’s safe to assume that Netflix is backing this film in the first place because of the successes of Starz’s Outlander and HBO’s Game of Thrones; their algorithm must’ve crunched some numbers, cross-referenced demographic information, and — voila. What’s less obvious is why David Mackenzie would choose to helm this project.…

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#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

The Night Comes for Us | Timo Tjahjanto

October 29, 2018
Night Comes

Genre fans tend to experience a palpable delight the first time they lay their eyes on a new classic, getting them thinking about the first time they saw, say, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2, John Carpenter’s The Thing, John Woo’s holy trinity of A Better Tomorrow, The Killer and Hard Boiled, Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive, or Dario Argento’s Suspiria. Timo Tjahjanto’s The Night Comes for Us may not be quite at that lofty level, but damned if it doesn’t feel like it gets close.…

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