Over the long, Memorial Day weekend, you might be ready to kick back and enjoy the sunshine. To that our contributors say, “A pox on thy respite!” Spend your weekend and the extra day enjoying the sweet, REM-destroying glow of your television as you indulge the best of what the major streaming services have to offer. Enjoy their recommendations and have a happy movie-watching and Memorial Day weekend!
via Daniel Melvill Jones
Tramps (Netflix) – Netflix is being criticized for its new habit of buying celebrated festival films and then burying these titles amongst its vast library. Seeking out these hidden gems gives us the chance to catch some of the best indie films of the year. One of these Netflix exclusives well worth your time is Tramps, a sure-footed crime caper that’s got heart. When the awkwardly affable Danny fumbles a shady package drop, he gets stuck in greater New York City for two days and a night with the hardened Ellie. As they desperately try to repair the mistake, their understanding and affections for each other begin to unfold. The film’s 82 minutes move nimbly and with confidence, like a welcomed summer breeze on a hot subway platform. The story regularly surprises (except for the predictable final 15 minutes), and the acting is endearing and memorable. The focus on the value of genuine human connection and its portrayal of modern New York makes this a delightful movie worth enjoying.
via The Film Avenger
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Netflix) Who would have thought that a movie based on a theme-park ride would be any good, let alone spawn three other films (and a fifth film coming this month). This film was a real gamble when it was released in 2003: the pirate genre was pretty much dead, director Gore Verbinski was untested, and star Johnny Depp was not the biggest box office draw. But this movie had an amazing combination of satirical self-awareness, visual effects wizardry and swashbuckling fun – which millions of people responded to. Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow turned the entire idea of a pirate on its head with his original take on the material. It’s a movie one can watch over and over again and never tire of. I personally think Walt Disney would be very proud of what his work inspired. Now the sequels…that’s a different story.
Also, if you have the opportunity, you can listen to the latest episode of Reel World Rewind about this very movie!
via Josh Crabb
The Keepers (Netflix) – Another serial-ed true crime story in the same vein as the highly-acclaimed Making of a Murderer, Netflix returns with a series investigating a 1969 murder of a Catholic Nun and school teacher, Sister Cathy Sesnik, in Baltimore. Told from the perspective of a handful of Sesnik’s former high school students who have taken up the case to hopefully solve this mysterious case. The first episode deals mostly with the strange details around her disappearance and death. However, like the previous series, this case goes much deeper and is more sinister than it appears on the surface. The second episode will break your heart, the remaining episodes will have you taking heart as these women show their resolve and determination to find justice for Sister Cathy. It’s not as good and compelling as the previous iteration, lacking the same crazy group of characters, but the stories are incredible and have as much to say about “the bad old days” as it does about our current cultural climate. It’s great storytelling and you’ll find yourself rooting for this group of grandmas to crack the case wide open.