Weekend Streaming Recommendations: Hoop Dreams, Spring Breakers, & More
Welcome the feature where I recommend 4-5 under watched, under-appreciated or films that I just personally love. My goal is to take the hassle out of deciding on which film to stream on the plethora of streaming sites that populate the internet. To make your streaming life easier, I include which streaming platform each film is available on along with a link to the trailer. Now sit back, relax, and click on play!
If not the best documentary ever made, surely the best sports documentary ever, Hoop Dreams is one of my favorite films, period. Director Steve James follows two inner city basketball prodigies for nearly all of their high school years as we watch the boys, William Gates and Arthur Agee (and their families), struggle through practices, games and everything that life throws at them. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your fists in anger and eventually you’ll jump up and cheer. What makes Hoop Dreams so good is how the filmmakers are allowed to get so close to the families and see their day to day struggles. Yes, the film is 3 hours long, but they fly by and you’ll hardly notice. I’ve seen the film 3 times now and I can’t wait to see it again. – Watch the trailer
By now you’ve probably seen this thrilling master class from South Korea about a man who is released after 15 years of imprisonment (for reasons unknown) only to be told he has 3 days to figure out why he was locked up. Chan Wook Park lit the world afire when he released this astonishing thriller back in 2003. But since Spike Lee, in all of his infinite wisdom, decided to remake it, I felt like it was a good time to remind people of the brilliant original. If you haven’t seen Oldboy yet, stop reading anything about the film and watch it now. The final 30 minutes will blow your mind. Rarely am I as devastated after a movie as the time when I finished Oldboy. – Watch the trailer
I’m not entirely sure I even like Mystery Team. But what I am sure of is that I love the concept the film presents. The film also made me laugh A LOT. We’ve all seen the kid’s movies where a 10 year old has a detective service where he is hired by neighborhood kids to find their lost teddy bears. Ok, how about a movie that takes that same idea but ages the kid detectives to their late teens but they still have the same innocent childish mentality of a 9 year old? That’s Mystery Team. Donald Glover (Community) stars as the leader of the Mystery Team, a trio of completely innocuous “detectives” who are trying to solve a local mystery that is completely over their heads. While the film has a lot of great (and VERY funny) moments, I’m not entirely sure the film works overall. I still think the film is worth seeking out; especially if you’re looking for something slightly different from normal comedic fare. – Watch the trailer
Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers about four girls who travel to Florida to take part in America’s annual festival of sex, drugs and dub step is a full on assault on the senses. He takes Spring break to the extreme. Everything that happens during the two week escape for college kids is on full display. Korine shies away from nothing; his film is FILLED with gratuitous female nudity, drug use, drinking and even shootouts. At the core of all this is an unbelievable performance by James Franco as a rapper/gangster who goes by the name, Alien. By far his best performance; he steals every scene he’s in. Another highlight is a montage of Alien and his four new friends as they beat up and rob innocent people in a slow motion montage set to Britney Spears’ “Everytime”. It’s a scene that has to be seen to be believed. Korine pushes all the extremities of Spring break to its limits. And you’ll be watching mouth gaping until the end while Korine sits in the corner smiling as you pick your mouth up off the floor. – Watch the trailer