Stream Police: Vacation Edition

Posted in Screening Room by - August 24, 2015

If you’re reading this, then I’m already on vacation. But, since I’m on vacation, I figured I’d leave you, our loyal readers, with some of my suggestions for these last couple days of summer. 

Lord of War

My dislike of Nicolas Cage is well documented, but Lord of War might be my favorite film that he has starred in. It features Cage as Yuri Orlov, a family man who moonlights as a gun runner. He sells guns all over the world, pursued by Ethan Hawke, who plays an Interpol agent. Jared Leto plays a supporting role as Cage’s brother, Vitaly, and is quite good as the troubled, drug-addled character. Uncharacteristic of Cage, his performance is surprisingly reserved and calculating compared to some of his other more manic roles. It’s a stylistic approach to a character drama, and a Nic Cage movie worth watching. 

For Fans Of: Gun running, Nic Cage, stylish drama

Wet Hot American Summer

Wet Hot American Summer is one of those films that went over poorly when if first came out but slowly gathered a very devoted cult following. It’s a send up of the 80’s camp movies that came out with relative frequency but done in a smart way. That can be credited to Michael Showalter, along with David Wain, who make up two-thirds of the comedy troupe Stella. It also helps that the film features a cast of what ended up being some of Hollywood’s biggest names: Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, and Elizabeth Banks. It’s the ensemble cast that truly makes the film, with each character being really memorable, even the smallest ones. It struck a nerve with viewers in the early 2000’s, and is still a popular cult comedy, which brings me to…

For Fans Of: Camp movies, Stella, short shorts 

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

A movie must be particularly significant for Netflix to resurrect it for the streaming service, and Wet Hot American Summer got that treatment earlier this summer. While everyone involved is clearly 14 years older than they used to be, making this as prequel to the original film further exaggerates the ridiculousness. It’s as funny as the original film, with some really great callbacks. Some of the actors are clearly wearing terrible wigs, and others look downright hilarious as 40 year olds in short shorts. The series does a great job of explaining some of the more bizarre aspects of the original, such as the talking vegetable can, while also subverting and retconning other character’s stories completely. It’s a love letter to die hard fans of the original film, while also being accessible to newer fans. 

For Fans Of: Wet Hot American Summer, Netflix Originals, bad wigs 

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is totally one of the best shows ever made. It features a totally innovative story, an absolutely not recycled anti-hero, and some truly awesome supporting characters. It’s really unlike any other television series ever made due to the use of a anti-hero and the excellent acting by Bryan Cranston. The hype is real when people tell you its the best show ever; there are no other shows that even remotely come close to the genius of the show. It’s an innovative look at what happens when you lose yourself trying to provide for your family, and become the villain in the process. 

For Fans Of: Innovative TV, Bryan Cranston, Sarcasm

Batman & Robin

Batman & Robin is one of the worst comic book movies ever made, but it is a glorious failure, mostly due to the inclusion of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. During the 90’s, Batman was recast twice, both times with varying degrees of success, with Clooney being the least successful. He seems to be going through the motions as Batman, wanting more to be a parody rather than a faithful adaption of the beloved character. There are nipples on the Robin and Batgirl costumes, a Bat-credit card, and just a general sense of humor that doesn’t feel welcome when it comes to Batman. That being said, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the only reason worth watching this nightmare of a film. He hams it up as Mr. Freeze, dropping ice puns at every turn, and just bringing a general sense of camp to the film. It’s a great example of what happens when Hollywood executives want to exploit a franchise for solely monetary reasons. Here’s lookin at you Fantastic Four.

For Fans Of: Camp, Ice Puns, Bat Nipples

This post was written by
Chris Stachiw is the Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Kulturecast. He's a native Californian with a penchant for sarcasm and a taste for the cinematic bizarre. You'll often find him wandering the wasteland of Nebraska searching for the meaning of life and possibly another rare Pokemon.
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