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 […]

Richard Linklater's 'Everybody Wants Some'

‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ – Richard Linklater goes to college on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Filmmaker and chronicler of growing up in America Richard Linklater describes Everybody Wants Some!! (2015) as the “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, his 1993 coming of age (or perhaps more accurately coming of self) classic. Set four years after Dazed and centered on a high school baseball all-star on a sports scholarship arriving on […]

The stop-motion animation dark fairy tale 'Coraline' directed by Henry Selick

‘Coraline’ on Netflix

Coraline (2009) opens on a rag doll efficiently taken apart by hands of skeletal steel (like Edward Scissorhands but with menacing needles for fingers) and then turned inside out and recreated in the image of the blue-haired heroine Coraline. It’s produced in the old-school stop motion animation style of articulated dolls and hand-crafted props increasingly […]

Richard Roxburgh is Cleaver Greene in Rake.

‘Rake: Series 1’ on Netflix and AcornTV

Rake is a pretty fair description of Richard Roxburgh’s Cleaver Greene, an Australian criminal barrister who tends toward unconventional methods in the courtroom and self-destructive behavior outside the courts. He’s once divorced, with a string of failed relationships (one with a former hooker now dating the tax attorney prosecuting him) and affairs, and it’s left […]

Felix E. Feist's 1933 'Deluge,' the first end-of-the-world disaster movie

Blu-ray: ‘Deluge’ – The original end-of-the-world disaster movie restored

Deluge (1933) (Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Blu-ray, DVD), the original end-of-the-world thriller, is a curious and often fascinating artifact. Produced in 1933, before the production code came down on Hollywood, on a relatively modest budget, it imagines not just the destruction of civilization in (unexplained) earthquakes and cataclysmic storms but life after the flood, so […]

Ken Burns’s ‘Prohibition’ on Netflix

Prohibition (2011), Ken Burns’ portrait of “the Noble Experiment” turned American disaster, follows Burns’s trademark approach to American history by putting big events into perspective through the personal stories of both significant historical figures and the everyday citizens. That’s particularly effective in the story of prohibition, which traditionally is presented in terms of the activism […]