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YouTube Red photo
YouTube Red

YouTube launching YouTube Red, a subscription service with original content

YouTube likes money
Oct 23
// Hubert Vigilla
YouTube has announced a new venture in getting all of your stupid money. It's called YouTube Red, which launches on October 28. No, this isn't a partnership with the porn streaming site RedTube, but rather a subscription serv...

The Ten Best Korean Films Streaming on Hulu (2015 Edition)

Oct 06 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
SunnyDirector: Kang Hyeong-Cheol When people ask me what my favorite Korean film is, I usually tell them Sunny. It's not necessarily true (though it might be), but I say it to gain street cred. Most people (at least in America) haven't heard of Sunny, but every Korean person I've mentioned it to has known it. A couple of them have told me I couldn't get it because I'm not Korean. I don't think that's quite fair, though I sort of understand where they're coming from. There are politics that I don't understand, but I think it's ridiculous to say that me not quite getting the context means I can't love the film for how I see it. Because even if that plays around the backdrop (or a backdrop), what matters is the human drama that plays out in the foreground. It's often hilarious, occasionally heart-breaking, but always wonderful. Sadly, the Director's Cut, which adds two scenes (one of which is arguably the most impacting in the entire film), isn't available, but even so, Sunny is a spectacular film. I fell in love with Sunny long before I saw the Director's Cut. You will too. Watch it here! MossDirector: Kang Woo-Suk  Moss was among the first Korean films I reviewed for Flixist. I wasn't quite new to Korean cinema at the time, but it was one of the catalysts for what would end up being a reasonably deep dive. It was my first introduction to actor Park Hae-Il, though, who has become one of my favorite Korean actors. He's a pretty small guy, but he more than makes up for it with an abundance of presence and talent. What I particularly enjoy about Moss is the fact that it's a film where not only was I concerned about the main character in the general "Always care about the protagonist" sense but also the "Oh shit, this guy might actually get killed by these people" sense. The intensity of it (and a history of that kind of thing in other Korean thrillers) meant that his fate wasn't all that certain. It meant that the "thriller" was particularly thrilling, and though it's a bit on the long side, it never drags. It's got you, and it keeps you right up until the end.  Watch it here! Memories of MurderDirector: Bong Joon-Ho  Here's the thing: Memories of Murder is probably the biggest item on this list, but not because I think it's the best. Everyone else thinks it's the best. This was not just Bong Joon-Ho's breakout film, but for many it was Korean cinema's breakout film. This retelling of a tragic and senseless violent act and the ensuing investigation is disturbing and intense and important in ways that I will admit to not understanding (political things again). And on those grounds alone you should watch it, and the fact that it's here is awesome. On a personal level, I think this is a far less compelling film than Bong Joon-Ho's followup, The Host. I take particular issue with the comedic aspects of the film (including a particular transition that is overtly funny to the point of being parody), because they work against an otherwise deadly serious narrative. It's an issue that plagues Korean films in general, honestly, and Bong Joon-Ho's work in particular. To be clear: I like the film quite a bit, just not quite as much as everyone else. Perhaps since it's here, I'll give it another shot. Watch it here! SilencedDirector: Gong Ji-Young In my Netflix list, I lamented the loss of Silenced from Netflix's catalog. It's a soul-crushing movie, one of those bleak looks into the evils of humanity (it's based on a true story) and the horrific things that are allowed to happen (no one was charged). To make a film about something like this requires the utmost skill and ability to navigate horrors without succumbing to them. This film could have easily turned into something truly vile, but it doesn't. It's a film that makes you angry at society, indignant about the justice system, and depressed about the future of our species. But it's also an extremely compelling drama and one that is well worth your time. Just block off a few hours afterwards. Ya know, for the sobbing. Watch it here!   Joint Security AreaDirector: Park Chan-Wook  Speaking of debuts (sort of), Park Chan-Wook's Joint Security Area is the film that put the director on the map. It may have been his third film, but JSA was the breakout movie. He would follow this up with The Vengeance Trilogy, and even though it's a very different type of film, you could see that talent in full swing. It's a fascinating film about the relationship between North and South Korea, one that is all the more poignant as tensions heat up at the border of the countries again. It's also interesting as a film that crosses cultural boundaries. It's hard to really understand what goes into the constant standoff like this (particularly for someone who wasn't around for the height of the Cold War), but the movie isn't really about that, simply using it as a backdrop for more relatable drama. The message – we're not so different, you and I – isn't the most original, but the execution is more than enough to make up for that. Watch it here! Sex is ZeroDirector:  Yoon Je-kyoon  And while we're on the topic of obscure-ish films, Sex is Zero is a film I've yet to see on other services. For a while, its sequel was available on Netflix (no longer, but it's on Hulu), but I had trouble tracking down the original. I've always found Korean romantic comedies fascinating, but the number of them available to see is always fairly low. Perhaps it's an issue of the comedy not crossing cultures (or distributors not thinking they'd cross cultures) or maybe it's something else entirely, but I see less of that than I'd like. I heard of Sex Is Zero years ago when looking up the "Best of Korean Cinema" years ago (I'm the target audience for this list, by the way) and it showed up on multiple Best Comedy lists. Is it one of the best comedies? I dunno, but it's a whole lot of fun, and the kind of thing that you should definitely check out while it's available. Watch it here! Nameless GangsterDirector: Yoon Jong-Bin  Nameless Gangster is just a great gosh darn movie. An excellent one, even. One of my favorite mob films. That's a function of a lot of things, but as always, Choi Min-sik's performance is the key thing here. Following years of the ultra-corrupt civil servant-turned gangster's life, we get to see the seedy underbelly of 1980s Korea and the role that family plays in it. Most mob movies that head this way are about the Italian mob, and obviously we know that family is a big deal there, but it seems like the blood thing runs even deeper in Korea, and that makes it a particularly interesting film to watch. The violence is intense as well, and the distinct lack of shoot-outs due to the general difficulty of procuring weapons honestly makes for far more interesting and visceral confrontations. If you're familiar with (and perhaps tired of) American mob movies, this one will serve as a breath of fresh air. Watch it here! BedevilledDirector: Jang Cheol-Soo This film sits in an odd place for me. I wrote about it at the 2011 New York Asian Film Festival. It was one of the first reviews I ever wrote. I was also fairly new to Korean cinema at the time, only having spent a couple years prior getting into it, and certainly not getting into the country's deep cuts. I gave the film a 94, which at the time was an even more significant measure of quality than the currently very-difficult-to-reach level we have now. It meant that a film had to be effectively perfect and then some. I called the film better than the Vengeance Trilogy. I think I was a little caught up in everything.  Context matters when seeing a film. I saw Bedevilled with a crowd, and that crowd was rowdy and ugly and I didn't enjoy being there with them. I was so angry at their shouting and still liking the movie quite a bit that I think I over-compensated. I loved this movie, not because it was better than the Vengeance Trilogy, but because the people who actively attempted to get in the way of my investment in the story failed. This is one of those films that I find quintessentially Korean. You're subjected to horrors, maybe you receive some catharsis, but in the end it's all meaningless. There is no victory here. Nowadays, my score would have been lower, but I still think it's a film worth seeing. Watch it here! Bleak NightDirector: Yoon Sung-Hyun  I saw Bleak Night a couple years ago. I wanted to review it. Tried to. I wrote six different introductions to the review and bits of a body, but I hated every single one. It's a hard film to talk about, because suicide is a hard topic to discuss. The name is an apt one; this film is extremely bleak, and it doesn't leave you with a whole lot of hope. But that says nothing about its quality (and it's hardly the most depressing film on this list). Films should be challenging like this, making you consider your own actions and the way you treat people. It's a film about consequences and the chain of events that could lead someone to end their life. It begins with the suicide and works its way back. You know the ending, which makes it all the more crushing to see. But as long as you go in expecting the emotional impact, you will find it more than worth your while. Watch it here! The WhistleblowerDirector: Yim Soonrye Speaking of films I saw and wanted to write about but never did, The Whistleblower is a film that I saw at the most recent New York Asian Film Festival and really, really loved. Like, it was one of my favorites at the fest, but I didn't write about it. Why? Because I didn't feel like I could do my feelings justice. Due to time and other constraints, I was forced to write mostly capsule reviews, and I refused to condense my feelings on this film into a couple hundred words. And the reason is that this film affected me less because it's a great movie (though it is) but because of the context in which I saw it. Not long before , I was internet-attacked fairly viscously for reasons too stupid to get into here. But even though my life was never actually in danger (there were some threats or at least implications of threats in there, though), much of the public smearing that the lead character undergoes while just trying to do his job resonated in a very personal way. It was the film I wanted and needed to see at that point.  You will not have that context when you see it. You'll just get an interesting thriller about an interesting historical-ish event in modern Korean history. You'll see what pride and nationalism force people to do and the struggle to combat that in the face of absolute truth. It's fascinating, and I wish I'd had time to write about it. But I got that chance here, albeit briefly. Thanks, Hulu! Watch it here!
Best Korean Movies on Hul photo
That aren't available on Netflix
Last month, we posted our list of best Korean films available on Netflix. But I made the point there that Netflix's supply has been drying up lately. Over the course of this year, the number of available films has quite liter...

Back to the Future photo
Back to the Future

Stream the Back to the Future trilogy this month on Amazon Prime

Jaws 10 still pending release
Oct 02
// John-Charles Holmes
2015 is a pretty big year for the Back to the Future movies. Not only is it the 30th anniversary of the first film, but its also the year Doc and Marty actually travel to the future, so maybe those damn hoaxes of the DeLorean...
Joe Deertay photo
Joe Deertay

Here's the first teaser trailer for Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser

Apr 15
// Nick Valdez
Despite all of my better judgement, and how many times I've reviewed terrible comedy sequels made years later, I'm actually looking forward to Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser. The first one holds a lot of memories for me as I go...


MST3K now on Vimeo

Because this really should have happened ages ago
Sep 18
// Matthew Razak
Mystery Science Theater 3000 was for some reason not readily available to stream in all its glory. Yes, Netflix had some episodes, but never the full canon. Now, thanks to Vimeo, we can all watch crappy movies get brill...

Netflix has 76,897 unique ways to describe movies

Still doesn't have that one movie you've been trying to see
Jan 06
// Matthew Razak
Alexis Madrigal over at the Atlantic went a little insane and decided to figure out just how many of those insanely precise genres Netflix has. The answer he came to, after some truly diligent work, was 76,897. In an interest...

Inside the Xbox One Launch Event in LA, is it just games?

More like Multimedia Box One
Nov 27
// Michael Jordan
Now when anyone thinks of a console launch, they think videogames. That is their primary function, but with technology making everything easier and simpler, consoles do far more than just play games. You can start to see thi...

Sony and Disney stream movies still in theaters

Movie piracy is bad, m'kay?
Jun 24
// Logan Otremba
Disney and Sony have begun testing what is basically an anti-pirating measure regarding their films in South Korea. What they are doing is testing an on-demand service which offers the ability to rent movies while they are st...

Two dozen Akira Kurosawa films free on Hulu this weekend

Classics from a master
Mar 22
// Thor Latham
If you're sitting at home wondering exactly what the hell you're going to do with yourself for the next 48 hours, you may want take Hulu up on its offer this weekend. In celebration of the acclaimed director's 103rd birthday ...
If you had plans this weekend, you no longer have them now
That's right, guys and gals. If it's a Criterion release and if it's on Hulu, you can watch it free starting now and lasting through Sunday. You know how you (meaning me) wanted to get work done over the weekend and hang out ...

Listen to Jonny Greenwood's score for The Master

Sep 11 // Hubert Vigilla

With Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master coming out this week, a treat just popped up online. You can now stream Jonny Greenwood's score for The Master in its entirety. Greenwood previously scored Anderson's There Will Be Blood...


Yesterday, Amazon announced that their online video service, Amazon Instant Video, had gone live on the PlayStation 3. Amazon Prime members, in addition to getting a few benefits like free 2-day shipping, are able to take adv...


Comcast launches Netflix/Hulu rival Xfinity Streampix

Feb 22
// Alex Katz
Comcast has been offering their Xfinity TV app on Apple products for a while, and now they're going a bit bigger. Xfinity TV is basically TV on demand on a mobile device for people who already use Comcast. Tomorrow, Comcast w...

You may recall that, many moons ago, there was a bit of a spat between Starz and Netflix. Well, now it's finally coming to a head. In one week, on February 28th, 2012, Netflix Instant subscribers will no longer be able to acc...


Verizon and Redbox combine forces to rent & stream movies

Feb 06
// Bob Muir
We knew that Verizon was planning some sort of streaming video service, and now the communications giant has shown its hand. Rather than purchasing Netflix as some rumors suggested, Verizon is teaming up with Coinstar, Inc.'s...

Terry Gilliam on The Wholly Family; watch it online 1/23

Jan 17 // Hubert Vigilla
Terry Gilliam's Nike ad # 1 - "The Secret Tournament" [embed]206592:37704[/embed] Terry Gilliam's Nike ad # 2 - "The Rematch" [embed]206592:37705[/embed]

Terry Gilliam has been playing the waiting-for-money game on two features: an adaption of Paul Auster's Mr. Vertigo and a second shot at The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Rather than sit still, he's kept busy by directing the ...


HBO doesn't like Netflix, refuses to sell DVDs

Jan 06
// Bob Muir
HBO, get over yourself. It's bad enough that you refuse to make a deal to stream your shows on Netflix. You insist on making your own service, HBO Go, that you can only access if you're buying the cable channel, stubbornly ig...

On a day when the stock market is generally down 2%, Netflix's stock is actually soaring. The rental service's shares shot up 6.8%, a big difference considering that its market value has been steadily declining for the past f...


Verizon is planning on rolling out a web-based television and movie streaming service sometime in 2012. The service will be available outside of their regular FIOS television and internet service, though I'd imagine current F...

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