Gonna be honest, this is a tough week for streaming fans (we could only muster a top 4!). Outside of the latest Nicolas Winding Refn/Ryan Gosling collaboration, "Only God Forgives" (which is available the same day as it hits theaters), it’s slim pickings. To get you through the week, we’ve also included some gems available on Netflix Instant.
1. 'Only God Forgives'
Out same day as it hits theaters, the collaboration of Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn takes us to Bangkok for this highly stylized, karaoke-fueled revenge tale with Refn going back to the gore we saw in "Valhalla Rising" and Gosling continuing his brooding acting phase. Not as high octane as "Drive," but with Cliff Martinez’s patented eerie score and striking visuals, Refn fans should be pleased.
Why Watch It: Refn challenges the audience with this one, but half way through things take off.
Available On 7/19: Cable On Demand
This horror comedy from across the pond found a positive response when it premiered at Sundance on 2012. Directed by Jon Wright, the film is set on a sleepy island town off the coast of Ireland that has suddenly become inundated with bloodsucking aliens. What do they find is the best means of survival? Getting drunk. We follow the townspeople as they try to defeat these beings while a little tipsy.
Why Watch It: Have to respect the creative scares and solid story.
Available On 7/19: Cable On Demand
If you ever said to yourself, "Aaron Eckhart should headline an action movie," then your prayers have been answered. In "Erased," Eckhart plays a kind of poor man’s Jason Bourne; a CIA agent who works on the engineering side who unleashes his black ops bad-ass self after being double crossed. It may take some time to get comfortable in Eckhart playing the role, but it’s a fun ride if you buy into it.
Why Watch It: If you’re dying for an espionage thriller, you can do worse.
4. 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'
It’s never a good sign when a movie’s release date is pushed back, and that certainly was the case when "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (the follow up to 2009’s "G.I. Jose: The Rise of Cobra") finally opened in March to poor reviews and dismal box office. Yes, not even Channing Tatum (who starred in both) and adding Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis was enough to put some life in this wannabe second tier franchise. But if you’re a dedicated G.I. Joe fan go forth and be merry.
Why Watch It: It’s hard to make a case for this one, but there are some big name actors and a few impressive fight scenes… that’s all we got.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES (Netflix Gems)
With Drafthouse Films releasing "The Act of Killing" on Friday, let’s go back to the film that gave the company industry-wide respect. "Bullhead," nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar, follows Jacky, a troubled cattle farmer whose disturbing youth has made him a human growth hormone introvert scared of women and violent to most men. When his youth comes back to haunt him, Jacky finds himself as defensive as the cows he raises.
Recently added to Netflix, Eric Stoltz plays Zed, an American safe cracker who arrives in Paris for a job with an old friend. But the job at hand doesn’t seem to be on his mind as he sleeps with prostitute Zoe (Julie Delpy) and parties the night away. Things don’t get any better the following day as the job turns out to be more than his friend can handle, leading to a bloodbath and Zed and Zoe trying to stay alive. Director Roger Avary proves he doesn’t need Tarantino to make a good genre film.
If you missed this in theaters now’s your chance to make it up. The latest feature by Sean Baker ("Prince of Broadway") is a touching tale about Jane (Dree Hemingway), a 21-year-old porn star who after discovering a large amount of money inside an object she bought at an old lady’s yard sale, decides to learn more about the reclusive woman by starting to hang out with her. The chemistry between the two women is what makes it worth watching, and leads to an emotional conclusion.