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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Streaming Consumer Guide: June 19, 2014

This week's Streaming Consumer Guide may be a little late but we had a birthday to celebrate and a Dream Emmy Ballot to put together so I'm sure you were occupied. No? Looking desperately for something to watch on Netflix or On Demand? Well, now we can guide the way. Sorta. It's been awfully quiet out there in the world of Netflix New Releases. I think the service is relying on the wild success of "Orange is the New Black" to drive its subscribers. "You don't need a movie! Watch our show!" And even some of the most exciting On Demand releases are a ways off, including At-Home options for Joe Swanberg's "Happy Christmas," David Wain's hysterical "They Came Together," and, of course, the movie event of the year, Steve James' "Life Itself." Until then, let's find something to watch that you may not know is out there given our streaming service's general ineptitude at showcasing new releases.

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TEN NEW TO NETFLIX

"Almost Human"
"Blood Brother"
"Grand Piano"
"Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction"
"Jane Eyre"
"Jug Face"
"The Muppet Movie"
"Stories We Tell"
"What About Bob?"
"World War Z"

THREE NEW TO ON DEMAND

The latest On Demand titles include a film that seems to exist solely to enhance clip reels of Nicolas Cage overacting, the latest from Roman Polanski (which Matt Zoller Seitz will review tomorrow, the same day it hits theaters and On Demand), and Sundance/SXSW hit "Hellion," a film I personally loved (you'll see my quote on the trailer below) and Sheila O'Malley really liked when it was reviewed for its theatrical release last week.

"Hellion"

"Rage"

"Venus in Fur"

THE BEST OF THE REST

Hulu Plus has been busy, adding the hysterical "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil," Steven Sodebergh's fantastic "The Girlfriend Experience," the interesting "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop," Takashi Miike's "13 Assassins," Neil Marshall's "Centurion," and the devastating "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days" since we last spoke. Seriously, if you have Netflix and Hulu Plus, this is the rare event when the latter wins the battle for interesting new releases. Not to be forgotten, Amazon has added a few flicks to distract you from the HBO programs that Prime members are surely working through as you read this. They also have "World War Z," and recently added "Blade Runner," "The Neverending Story," "The Polar Express," "Amadeus," and "The Getaway," the McQueen version, not the Baldwin.


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