For the past few months, I’ve shifted our weekly “What’s Playing in Local Theaters” report to a list of Swampflix-recommended movies you can stream at home. This choice was initially a no-brainer, as the governor had ordered the closure of all Louisiana movie theaters in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. More recently, cinemas are allowed to operate again as part of the state’s gradual re-opening strategy, but I’m personally not confident that’s such a great idea yet. So, I’m still going to stick with Online Streaming options as a moviegoing substitute for the time being.
In that spirit, here are some suggestions for movies that you can stream at home while under quarantine: a grab bag of movies Swampflix has rated highly that are currently available for home viewing.
Streaming with Subscription
Jubilee (1978) – From my review: “Its sci-fi vision of London’s cracked concrete future is essentially just a portrait of its present-day moment in punk discontent, snapshotting the female teen degenerates, queer burnouts, and hedonistic vandals who defined the scene at its purest. Crass already declared that ‘Punk is dead’ in 1978, only a year after the scene had broken out of its urban subculture dungeons to reach a wider audience through proper record distribution (and magazine-promoted fashion trends). Jarman seems to be on the same page but finds his own sense of beauty while gazing at the movement’s rotting corpse.” Currently streaming on The Criterion Channel and for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy.
Citizen Ruth (1996) – From our Movie of the Month discussion: “The balance between emotional devastation and (pitch black) comedy is a major part of what struck me about Citizen Ruth (besides Laura Dern’s career-consistent brilliance, obviously). Ruth’s not a ‘bad’ person, necessarily. She’s just been turned into something of a feral animal by her addiction, making her play onscreen like a hyper-realistic version of Jerri Blank (who is a bad person, I should add) in her more amusing moments.” Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla.
Boy (2012) – From my review: “Boy is by every measurement a triumph. It’s at times hilarious, devastating, life-affirming, brutally cold, etc. Taika Waititi risked taking his time to deliver a fully-realized, personal work on his own terms and the final product moves you in the way only the best cinema can.” Currently streaming for free (with library membership) on Kanopy & Hoopla and for free (with ads) on Vudu.
Birds of Prey (2020) – From my review: “More superhero movies could stand to be this excessive in their violence, this shamelessly broad in their humor, and this fabulous in their costuming. We’d all be better off.” A $6 rental on all major VOD platforms.
Shazam! (2019) – From Boomer’s review: “A whole hell of a lot of fun, a modern day kid’s wish fulfillment film that harkens back to a time when it was still possible for such a thing to be dark, vulgar, and tongue-in-cheek. I was surprised at how much it was able to manipulate my emotions – I mean ‘move me’ – in its emotional moments. It has a lot of heart, is what I’m saying, but manages to avoid getting treacly by balancing its emotionality with good jokes and the occasional supernatural murder.” A $10 rental on all major VOD platforms (and for free with a subscription to HBOGo).
Darkman (1990) – From my review: “A comic book-inspired noir riding on the coattails of Tim Burton’s Batman, Darkman is a masterfully goofy work of genre cinema. Its comic book framing, over-the-top performances, and stray Ken Russell-esque freakouts were all perfection in terms of trashy entertainment value, pushing the lowest-common-denominator of trash media into the realm of high art. Darkman is not only the finest Sam Raimi film I’ve ever encountered, it’s also one of the most striking comic book movies ever made … which is saying a lot considering that it wasn’t even based off of a comic book.” A $3 rental on all major VOD platforms.