Young & Beautiful

Macon Blair in

From the very start, the thesis of this monthly column has been that there’s plenty of great stuff always being added to Netflix, if you just dig for it a little. While we still stand by that statement, it’s also true that the last few weeks worth of new additions have felt a little light—not quite up to the standards of recent months. N ot to worry though, as we’ve still been able to sort through the rubble and find 16 good movies to stream that all range from being worth your time to downright exceptional, so we should all be able to survive until the next big title dump. As always, click on the movie’s title to be taken to its Netflix page. Pick of the Month: Blue Ruin (2013) Most revenge movies are escapist stories that deal in a black and white, eye for an eye morality and feature over-the-top protagonists who go to extreme lengths in order to avenge wrongs that have been done to them. They’re pretty simple, but they’re pretty satisfying. Blue Ruin isn’t like those movies. While it is, essentially, a revenge movie, it manages to raises itself a step or two above the rest of the rabble by being smarter and more interesting than the films that stick to the usual formula. First off, the protagonist here isn’t a killing machine. He’s an in-over-his-head everyman who’s reacting to his situation more like a wounded animal than a terminator. And the revenge he takes isn’t treated like […]

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Scream Factory

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Legend of Hell House The Belasco House had seen its fair share of tragedy and carnality even before the man who had it built disappeared, but the years since have seen a continuation of death and terror. It’s known as Hell House, the Mt. Everest of haunted houses, and now a team consisting of a scientist, his wife and two mediums is going in to prove once and for all whether or not ghosts and the afterlife exist. Two of them are going to find out first hand before the week is out. Richard Matheson’s novel (Hell House) was adapted to the screen way back in ’73, but it remains one of the best haunted house flicks out there. There are legitimate chills throughout, some PG-rated sexiness and a wonderfully intense performance from Roddy McDowall too. Even better, at least for someone like myself who favors grounded explanations, the script gives nods to both the supernatural and the scientific. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: interviews, trailer]

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young and beautiful 02

François Ozon arguably let audiences off a little easy with his last two films, the amiably light Potiche and the wryly witty yet discursive In The House. But the director, known for piercing deep into the nature of sexual mores, is back with a doozy in the form of Young & Beautiful. It’s part coming-of-age drama, part thigh-slapping family satire and part morality fable. Fans of the director craving another toothed, bracing effort will find themselves very much at home here. Isabelle (Marine Vacth) is a 17-year-old girl who has developed a natural curiosity about sex and soon enough endures an awkward encounter in which she loses her virgnity (when are they not?) to a local boy. Soon enough Isabelle decides, of her own volition, to become a prostitute. How this will affect both her clients and her family, she is oblivious to until her wild new life eventually — and some might say inevitably — comes suddenly crashing down.

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