Straight to streaming films and how to watch them

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The last two years have not been easy for film producers and movie theatres. Due to the Covid pandemic many films scheduled for 2020 have had their theatrical debuts postponed or outright cancelled. Streaming platforms began replacing movie theatres releasing movies directly to streaming platforms. Will this be a consistent thing even post pandemic or only a temporary change ? Only time will tell but for the mean time look below for some of the most popular straight to streaming films of the last two years.

The Father (2020) – Amazon Prime

Synopsis: Anthony an 81 year old man lives alone in his London apartment, and refuses all the caregivers his daughter Anne tries to impose on him. But this becomes a greater necessity when his daughter decides to move to Paris with a man she just met, and she won’t be able to care for her father. Strange events begin to occur and nothing seems to make sense in Anthony’s mind. Is he going crazy, or was is his daughter’s plan to get him out of the house ?

Judas and the black Messiah (2021) – Amazon Prime

Synopsis: Judas and the Black Messiah is the story of the rise and fall of Fred Hampton, the civil rights activist and revolutionary leader of the Black Panthers party. A prominent young man in politics, he attracts the attention of the FBI, who with the help of William O’Neal ends up infiltrating the Panthers.

Mank (2020) – Netflix

Synopsis: The tumultuous story of Herman J. Mankiewicz, screenwriter of Orson Welles’ iconic masterpiece “Citizen Kane” and his fight against Welles for receiving a  writing credit for the grandiose feature.

The feature film is much more theoretical than practical. Despite casting Gary Oldman in the role of the protagonist Herman Mankiewicz it fails to captivate audiences. The film alternates back and fourth between 1940 when Mank is writing the award-winning screenplay for “Citizen Kane ” and 1934 when he joins MGM. The film feels 20 minutes to long and could have removed much of the politically driven scenes

It is a film that has much more to add to film scholars than to ordinary viewers. Perfect photography, the feature is all in black and white on purpose to match the look of that era’s movies.

Minari (2020) – Amazon Prime Video

Synopsis: Minari takes place in the 1980s. David, a seven-year-old Korean-American boy, is faced with a new environment and a different way of life when his father, Jacob, moves his family from the west coast to the Arkansas countryside. Bored with his new routine, David only begins to adapt with the arrival of his grandmother. Meanwhile, Jacob, determined to create a farm on unexplored soil, risks his finances, his marriage and the stability of his family.

The film’s pace is slow, but it relates very sensitively to the issues and the difficulty of starting a new life in an unknown setting.

Nomadland (2020) – Hulu

Synopsis: After the economic collapse of an industrial colony in rural Nevada (USA), Fern gathers his things in a van and sets off on an exploratory journey, outside the dominant society, like a modern-day nomad. Chloé Zhao’s third film features real nomads as Fern’s and his companions go on a journey of exploration across the vast landscape of the American West.

The film’s documentary style vibe may not appeal to the general public, but it has its moments. Even more when you mix actors and nomads together. This film offers a deep look into often overlooked real American nomads, people who live on the bare minimum in small communities that move from one place to another.

Promising Young Woman – Amazon Prime Video and Netflix

Synopsis: Cassie is a woman with many past traumas. She goes to bars every night and pretends to be drunk. When malicious men approach her with the excuse that they are going to help her, Cassie takes action and takes revenge on the predators who had the misfortune to meet her.

Despite being sold as a modern horror movie, don’t expect scares . The main character is perfect, gaining strength throughout the film. Also, Carey Mulligan does very well in this  role .So much so that she was nominated for the Best Actress category  and, honestly, in my opinion she deserves the statuette. It’s a movie best viewed with friends.

Dune  (2021) – HBOMAX

Synopsis: Paul Atreides, a brave young man destined for greatness beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the galaxy to ensure the future of his people. As evil forces explode into conflict over the planet’s resources in existence, only the strongest will survive .

Clifford The Big Red Dog – Paramount +

Synopsis: When Emily meets a mysterious animal rescuer who gives her a red puppy, she wakes up to find a giant, 10-foot red hound in her New York City apartment. With her mother away on business, Emily and her uncle set out on an exciting adventure throughout the Big Apple.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) – Netflix

Synopsis: A peaceful protest against the Vietnam war in Chicago, in 1968, turns into a violent confrontation with the police. The following year, seven people were charged with conspiracy by the US federal government. A must watch for historians and anyone interested in the civil rights era. 

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