It’s a new year and our content calendar is filling up with streaming opportunities. While recuperating from impaling my face (long story), I had the time to sit down and watch a ton of streaming options. This includes things widely available and the various indie upcoming streaming films that get shared with the site.
First Blush is about a young couple forming a triad with another woman. Everything is good at first, then things start getting real. This one comes up first in my streaming pile, because how unique its subject matter felt. Mainly because polyamory in cinema is somewhere around how homosexuality was handled in 1980 cinema.
People know it exists, but very few know how to successfully show it onscreen. While watching First Blush, I kept thinking about Personal Best. Personal Best isn’t available on streaming services, but I’m sure you can pick up a copy on Amazon. Anyways, let’s get back to the point.
First Blush means well and I loved the acting. However, the tone of the film never strikes somewhere that is mature enough to be compassionate to the people that live the lifestyle and interesting enough to us casual viewers. There are moments of greatness during the film, but not enough for a whole recommendation.
Young Hearts is a film that I think I would appreciate more if I was in High School. Unfortunately, I’m a sullen older man whose tastes don’t match those of our social shouter young folks. While tales about young people finding each other is heavy on the acting and dialogue, I didn’t remember any of it.
Some of that is on me, some of that is on the fact that material like this has a fixed audience appeal window. It’s not the worst thing, but Young Hearts feels like it was trying to do something bigger.
Breaking Surface proved one thing to me. Norway is kicking the hell out of American cinema in terms of disaster movies. Well, not in the Roland Emmerich sense. I’m talking about movies where some freak accident happens and people have to survive it or rescue others from the event.
The last American film I remember getting a wide release in that milieu has to be Daylight. But, I feel like I’m glossing over a lot. Watching two sisters fight against a rock cave-in, ocean pressures and the immense cold is impressive to watch. Hell, things like this are why I take chances on streaming options.
There is something to the immediate access of watching something you normally wouldn’t seek out. In that sense, streaming is great for discovery. But, I still prefer physical for things I want to keep long term.
Breaking Fast is a film about two gay guys finding love during Ramadan. While there is a portion of the readership who will enjoy the film based off that logline, I didn’t enjoy it. Shocking, I know. But, the problem when watching stuff on streaming is that it has to be different and hold my attention.
While I can watch things, I don’t relate to…they at least have to be interesting. At no time during Breaking Fast did I feel like anything about the movie was interesting enough to keep watching it. So, it took me about 10 days to get through the film.
#Like is about one teen girl’s efforts to avenge her cyber bullied sister’s death. When it turns out that a pederast contributed to her death, we get to watch yet another woman try to undertake her personal Death Wish adventure. The result was lacking, but I dug the cast.
For a streaming film that a lot of people referred me to watch, I’m getting shocked by how the Pandemic is ruining the recommendations of others. Quit blowing up perfectly average movies.
Brothers by Blood
Brothers by Blood is so generic of a family crime saga that I thought I was watching cutscenes from an early 00s PS2 game. I like the cast, but there is finally a dramatic movie that I find more ridiculous than Southpaw. I do not recommend at all.
Little Fish is a film that I feel like I’ve seen already. For some reason, I keep getting it confused with Little Joe which is entirely different. As Valentine’s Day rages on, this is the kind of movie I wish we had more of now. A memory erasing virus is running rampant, while two young lovers fight to keep the memories of their love.
It’s a basic tale with Sci-Fi flourish, but it features such smart writing. Special films like this are why I bother with streaming. Too often smaller films like this rarely get the physical media love they deserve. So, it’s up to streaming to pick up the slack.
Beyond Hell was another fascinating streaming jaunt. A young woman finds a new psychotropic drug that seems to be sending her to Hell. While she trips out, she murders her friends and creates more horror. It’s a fun little movie with an ending I never saw coming. Maybe I was just being lazy. But, I enjoyed it.
Evergreen is the kind of film that would make some your relatives proud. It’s a religious streaming option without being aggressively in your face about it. What we get are two young kids desperately trying to do the right thing in their young relationship. One wants to move fast, the other in a far more traditional sense.
The family supports them and it’s more about young kids finding themselves with a religious bent. When I first wrote the streaming film’s title in my notes, I called it Happy Incels.
Bring Me A Dream
Bring Me A Dream was a horror film that I was interested in checking out back in January. It only took me several weeks and three viewings to actually get it covered. I like the Kove double team of acting. But, I think I was supposed to focus on the girl on the lam for a dream killer’s actions.
Borrowing heavily from so many other films, Bring Me A Dream doesn’t really succeed on any of the prior films’ fronts. Whether streaming or not, this one was a hard sit through the last 30 minutes. Maybe I should give it another shot in a few months?
4×4 is a bait car innovative horror film. Or is it more of a thriller I caught via streaming? For a film out of Argentina, I wasn’t quite ready for something brutal. Hell, I’d expect a streaming option like this to be Russian in nature. Still, I feel like I’ve seen this kind of film before.
I’d still recommend 4×4 for a curious streaming.
Amazon sent a screener for Yearly Departed during one the busiest times of our year. Then, I watched it and groaned. We had a specific spoiler warning not to reveal that Christina Aguilera is in the special for two minutes. I don’t know how that was going to ruin the streaming experience for anyone.
What is cool about Yearly Departed is how the film was shot COVID safe and then all of the comediennes were CG’d into the same scene. Everything else is a mixture of Twitter hot takes, old set ups, people that don’t normally do stand up and everyone else just throwing shit at a screen to see what sticks.
I was confused by who this was for, that I stalked out Amazon’s socials to see who got excited for this streaming comedy special. There were a few girl groups and Pinot & Paint clubs, but that was about it. I guess if you know your audience, you know your audience. But, I’ve got other streaming options.
Welcome to Chechnya
Welcome to Chechnya answers one major question for me. Do I really need another documentary about how Russia is barbaric towards their LGBTQIA citizens? The answer is No. But, you might. Check out the Music Box documentary that is streaming now.
A Cold Hard Truth
A Cold Hard Truth is the second streaming movie I watched where unlikely people use the Internet for shaming and bad deeds. What follows is an investigation to find out what’s going wrong in the local Church. The lady from Shameless stars in a movie that I could barely finish.
No Man’s Land
No Man’s Land is another one of those fun IFC releases that I end up seeing when it’s streaming. I love how the modern day western is having a comeback. Plus, the cast on this one is super stellar. George Lopez deserves a lot of attention for what he does here, but I’m sure it’s going to go unsung.
If you can catch it on streaming, give it a shot. Otherwise, I feel that this is the kind of sleeper movie that you can recommend to a friend and look like a cineaste genius.
MLK/FBI is a documentary I’m surely going to cover more in depth come Oscar time. Yeah, this is one is pulling down a nomination, I’m calling it now. IFC released this one On Demand/Streaming/whatever almost a month ago and I can’t stop watching it.
What annoys me is that it has to edit itself to fit a feature length. This could easily be a streaming series that focuses on all of the evil that the FBI committed against American leaders.
Vinyl Generation was the kind of documentary that I ended up watching in high volume in a year. Lydia Lunch, Frank Zappa and others represented the Rock revolution that shook the Eastern bloc to its core. I love watching how the freedom of popular music can change a people.
Honestly, there isn’t enough documentaries like this streaming out there.
Narratives of Modern Genocide
Narratives of Modern Genocide is like a more somber The Act of Killing. If you can handle a documentary that is nothing but survivors of mass genocide telling you about their struggles and using animation to show it off, then you’re going to love this. But, there are far less depressing streaming options out there.
So, what do you do? I say suck it up and watch something that matters.
Flack: Season 1
The first season of Flack has started airing on Amazon. As much as I love Anna Paquin, this feels like a retread of Dirt. For the young among us, Dirt was an FX show about a tabloid ran by Courtney Cox. But, this show is different. Flack is British and everyone loves that.
You get the single liberal female checklist of streaming show cliches marked off pretty well with this streaming treat. Bradley Whitford guest stars, it had success on Pop before streaming and it’s British. Maybe Fleabag and Miranda will show up for some saucy PR action?
The Brits might even bake a cake on it. Anything is possible! Wanda Maximoff is going to tear the lid off the Multiverse. Anything is possible! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
Netflix’s recent Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer was everything I wanted in a serial killer docuseries. A horrifying look at how a serial killer is created and how the police are usually pretty stupid and powerless to stop them until real law enforcement gets involved.
Then, there’s my favorite moment in streaming for 2021. When the Ramirez’s community just beats him up. I’ve known that’s what happened forever, but just seeing it and hearing about it was something else.
The Night Stalker doc comes on the heels of that documentary that Netflix dropped back in October about the mommy blogger and her kids that got whacked. Forget Investigation Discovery, Netflix is becoming my new favorite killer crime streaming hangout site.