What to stream: Pilot season on Amazon and ‘The Most Hated Woman’ on Netflix

Pilot Season is back on Amazon Prime, which means viewers can watch and vote on five shows under consideration for futures Amazon Prime series. And remember, you don’t have to be a member to watch the pilots. You can treat it as a free sample. The most promising is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Amy Sherman-Palladino […]

William Shatner in the film director Robert Meyer Burnett and co-writer Mark A. Altman

‘Free Enterprise’ – It’s a geek world on Amazon Prime

Free Enterprise (1999) is in some ways yet another Gen-X Peter Pan story of young adults living their lives through pop culture references while avoiding real world responsibility, but director Robert Meyer Burnett and co-writer Mark A. Altman definitely know their world of movie and media saturated SF geeks with dreams of making it in […]

František Vláčil directs this epic from Czechoslovakia

‘Marketa Lazarova’ – Czech epic on Criterion Channel

Marketa Lazarova (Czechoslovakia, 1967), an epic based on one of the revered masterpieces of Czech literature (considered unfilmmable by many), was voted the greatest Czech film ever made in a 1998 poll of Czechoslovakian film critics and professionals. Yet it is all but unknown in the U.S., rarely revived and never on home video before […]

Nathan Fillion leads the crew in Joss Whedon's short-lived series 'Firefly.'

Last Chance: ‘Firefly’ leaving Netflix (but it’s still on Hulu)

Firefly: The Complete Series, Joss Whedon’s short-lived foray into sci-fi television, was (purposely or not) sabotaged by Fox when it finally premiered on network TV. The 14 episodes (that’s counting the movie-length pilot as a single episode) were rearranged by the network brain trust, completely disrupting the carefully constructed narrative that he wove through the […]

Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl, and Brendan Fehr in the UPN series 'Roswell'

Last Chance: ‘Roswell’ leaving Netflix April 1 (but still on Hulu)

Roswell: Seasons 1-3 (1999-2002) – You could call it X-Files meets Dawson’s Creek, but this mix of teen melodrama, UFOlogy, and deadly government conspiracies (based on the Roswell High series of young adult novels) has more in common with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Like that show, Roswell tackles the usual problems of growing up—changing hormones, […]

Simon Yam stars in the South Korean heist thriller

‘The Thieves’ – Korean high tech heist on Hulu

The Thieves (South Korea, 2012) is Asia’s answer to the Ocean’s films, a sleek, snappy heist movie with plenty of working parts, eccentric personalities, and convoluted plotlines complicated even more by a confusing flashback structure more entertaining than elucidating and more twists than you can easily track. The basic premise brings together two separate crack […]

Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw star in the great NYC subway heist

‘The Taking of Pelham One Two Three’ – The great subway heist on Amazon Prime and Hulu

The original The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) hasn’t the credentials of Dog Day Afternoon or The French Connection but this ingenious crime caper / hostage drama is one of the great New York crime films of the 1970s. Walter Matthau is the everyman head of the transit police who takes charge of […]

Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer star in Rob Reiner's 'This is Spinal Tap'

‘This Is Spinal Tap’ on Netflix

“It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.” – Nigel Tufnel Rob Reiner walks that fine line in his hilarious mockrockumentary This Is Spinal Tap (1984), ostensibly the portrait of a has-been metal band resurrected from a well-deserved obscurity for a disastrous comeback tour. Improv comedy veterans Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer don’t […]