Remi's June Streaming Recap

The summer heatwaves of June and July have come to stay. While we rejoice in the nice warm weather, we know the frozen tundra is around the corner. As most of us seek the sweet relief of the indoors to cool off in a shady spot or breeze, here are some films and television series to catch up on that have been added to your favourite platforms in the month of June.

Trademark Directors (Netflix) 

I have been catching up with some Spike Lee films before his big Netflix release for June. There are some subgenres that work well for Lee, while other ones like the vampire genre in Da Sweet Blood of Jesus do not work well. So when we come to a war epic or even the subgenre of a Vietnam War EpicDa 5 Bloods is similar to Lee’s other films, in the sense that it portrays a fiery commentary regarding the film’s topics. The film is about a squad of African American soldiers known as Da 5 Bloods who fought for the Americans in the Vietnam war, and return to Vietnam to reclaim some buried treasures to find closure. However, they soon discover that sometimes things are best left buried. Da 5 Bloods sits well alongside it’s brotherhood of Vietnam War Epic films, but Lee still manages to give a different point of view: a fiery commentary on race and politics that 2020 so desperately needs. For these reasons, it is one of the year’s best films.

Maybe an unfamiliar director to some, Olivier Assayas (Clouds Of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper) sees his Netflix debut with Wasp Network. Based on a true story about Cuban spies that go to Miami and infiltrate exile groups to stop terrorism against the island of Cuba in the 1990s, the film stars Penélope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez, but most importantly puts director Olivier Assayas on a platform so that those unfamiliar with his works will finally discover his films. This showcases another way that Netflix is looking to diversify its repertoire, something started with films from Charlie Chaplin and Studio Ghibli.

Missing a dose of Eurovision this year? Then be sure to check out the comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams. From Director David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers), two small-town singers chase their dreams through a global music competition.

A Great Time to Catch Up on 2019 with Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime continues to roll out some of the best overlooked films of 2019. Knives Out from director Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) is a murder mystery with one of the best cast ensembles of any in 2019. The film not only provides a dose of humour within a murder mystery, but also provides an underlying social commentary about 2019 which is where the film sees its pure brilliance. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a film with plenty of emotional depth look no further than A Beautiful Day In the Neighbourhood from director Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), starring Tom Hanks as beloved television personality Fred Rogers. Finally, for the fans of action films, the underrated Gemini Man from director Ang Lee stars Will Smith finding a clone of his younger self that is trying to assassinate him.

Criterion Channel is Where It’s At 

I don’t say this lightly, but if I had to pick one streaming service over others this one would be the one. I can only describe it as a state of euphoria for the cinephile in me. One of the best films that I caught was a deep dive into the world of John Cassavetes with two of his films Faces and Husbands. Also thanks to Criterion, I got to see Daughters of the Dust from director Julie Dash and an interesting film that is a documentary within a documentary with The Watermelon Women from director Cheryl Dunye. As well there were no excuses at all to catch up with West Side Story, which is leaving the Criterion Channel this July - just in time for Steven Spielberg’s remake due out sometime for the 2020 holidays. As for the future of this streaming service, I can’t wait to share some of July’s selection later this month.

Crave Ventures into Space and Detective Films

Crave + HBO sees some new space movies this month - with some real underrated gems thrown in. Lucy In The Sky stars Natalie Portman as Lucy, an astronaut returning from a space mission that then shows her adjusting to her life on Earth upon her return, a new story style for director Noah Hawley. Furthermore, Brad Pitt jets off to the stars in search of his father (Tommy Lee Jones) that has gone rogue in space in Ad Astra from director James Grey. More than just a space movie, this is one about the relationship between a father and his son which provides another great performance from Pitt in 2019 (this includes his critically acclaimed appearance in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood). Finally, a reboot of the classic noir detective series Perry Mason arrives out as an HBO series starring Matthew Rhys as Perry Mason, alongside supporting cast John Lithgow and Tatiana Maslany.

Out of Theatres and Streaming (Disney Plus and VOD)

Theatres are still seeing uncertain reopenings which means studios are opting for other means of distribution. The ongoing saga between theatres and Universal Studios has made some recent films debut on VOD (video on demand), including Trolls World Tour. Moving forward, Judd Appatow’s latest film The King of Staten Island stars Pete Davidson as a character that is based on Appatow’s own life experiences.. The film co-stars Marisa Tomei, comedian Bill Burr, and Steve Buscemi. Furthermore, Hamilton the musical arrives out for an early release on Disney Plus, but sadly without clear release details for theatres. Rejoice in the fact that it is out for early release, and at least you can now have the opportunity to catch up with this highly-regarded musical about one of America’s founders Alexander Hamilton - starring the creative mind of Lin Manuel Miranda. This can all be done as we wait for the theatrical release of In The Heights from director Jon M. Chu due out in 2021.

Stay tuned for Remi's focus on July streaming recommendations.

Remi is the host of At The Movies which features everything new and noteworthy in the world of cinema. The show goes live every Tuesday at 8:00 AM.