Embrace of the Serpent (2015)

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu | imdb | trailer

Here’s a very well-made, history-based, dark, jungle adventure. Well, two adventures. Part of it involves a search for what they refer to in the movie as Caapi (William S. Burroughs called it Yage). If you’ve seen any of the Italian cannibal exploitation movies, this is their grown-up, arthouse descendant (with a bit of Altered States mixed in).

Available on Blu-ray from Oscilloscope.

Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine (2017)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

I felt the the need to lighten the mood a bit. Back in the ‘90 a friend brought over a VHS tape produced by Big Brother magazine. It included my introduction to Johnny Knoxville, in which the future movie star shot himself in the chest with a bulletproof vest on. They never showed that bit on the MTV.

This documentary has a lot of the same raunchy craziness as Jackass. It is also an interesting perspective on the history of the skateboarding days of the early ‘90s thru to the early ‘00s. If you’re not easily offended, Dumb is a lot of fun.

Not available on Blu-ray.

Becoming Bond (2017)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is a very entertaining Hulu original documentary on George Lazenby. It’s a funny look at his becoming James Bond for one film in spite of having zero acting experience. This is NOT a PG rated Bond film, so watch it without the kids around.

FYI – In case you think Lazenby is a one-hit wonder, check out the excellent giallo Who Saw Her Die? It’s available on Blu-ray from Arrow or streaming rental from YouTube or Apple TV.

Not available on Blu-ray.

The Guilty (2018)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

A police officer is assigned to work the emergency call center and gets involved in a crime in progress. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that the film never leaves that one location, but damn if things don’t stay intense for the duration. The Gulity is not the first single-set film ever made but it still makes for one of the most original thrillers I’ve seen in recent years.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnolia.

Burden (2016)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

Chris Burden was one of the most notorious performance artists of all time. His later career focused more on installation and sculpture but his work always remained fascinating. I saw a large exhibition of his work at The New Museum a few years back and loved it. Burden is a solid introduction to the artists’ work that I think would appeal to anyone that isn’t easily offended. I refuse to close this recommendation with “Give it a shot.” Nope. Won’t do it.

Not available on Blu-ray.

Nico, 1988 (2017)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

I have become a big fan of the music of Nico in recent years. This docudrama is very enjoyable if you are also a fan. It may not be of much interest for other people. The choice of Trine Dyrholm to play the lead was daring as she doesn’t look much Nico, and only vaguely sounds like her. However she’s a fantastic actress and did an impressive job of doing her own version of the tragic musician. A sad story, but a beautiful movie.

Not available on Blu-ray.

The Tenant (1976)

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu | imdb | trailer

Let’s get this out of the way, I’m separating the man from his art.

(Shifts collar uncomfortably)

Ahem.

Here we have Roman Polanski’s strangest film. It’s creepy, funny, and surreal but does require a bit of patience to enjoy. However when you get towards the end… blast off for Weirdsville. The Tenant was not available for ages so this 1080p HD version is a real pleasure to see (I watched it on Hulu). Do not miss.

Available on import Blu-ray from Kaleidoscope.