Instant Gratification: “Pete’s Dragon” and four other good movies new to Netflix and Amazon Prime

pete_s_dragon

Pick of the week: “Pete’s Dragon” (Netflix) — I’m not sure who saw David Lowery’s ’50s crime drama “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and thought “That guy should totally reboot a ’70s Disney movie featuring an animated dragon.” But I’m glad they did, because Lowery’s take is refreshingly old-fashioned storytelling that they don’t do much in family films anymore, relying on heart and emotion as much as effects. Although that is a pretty good-looking dragon.

Bon Cop, Bad Cop” (Netflix) — This extremely Canadian send-up of buddy cop movies pairs a scruffy Quebecois cop with a by-the-book Ontario cop as they hunt down a conspiracy, which of course ends up involving pro hockey. Seeing it in a sold-out Orpheum Theatre on opening night of the Wisconsin FIlm Festival a decade ago is a favorite moviegoing memory.

Howard’s End” (Netflix)My full review is here. Ismail Merchant and James Ivory’s finally observed adaptation of the E.M. Forster shows a pair of middle-class sisters (Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter) pulled apart between the upper and lower classes, and a small disused country house becomes both the object of strife and, potentially, a symbol of how Britain’s different classes might learn to live harmoniously together. Maybe.

Everybody Wants Some!! (Amazon Prime) — After “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater apparently wanted to kick back a little with this spiritual sequel to “Dazed and Confused,” looking at a group of college baseball players in the 1980s. Along with the keg parties and team pranks, the film is kind of sweet in looking at all the possibilities open when you first arrive at college.

The Slums of Beverly Hills” (Netflix) — Natasha Lyonne is terrific as a teenager shuttled around Beverly Hills by her washed-up father (Alan Arkin) and rehab-fresh cousin (Marisa Tomei). It’s an empathetic comedy about a dysfunctional but loving family living on the margins of a world that would prefer not to see them.

 

Good Cop, Bon Cop

Howard’s End

Pete’s Dragon

Everybody Wants Some!!

Slums of Beverly Hills

 

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