5 Best New Films on Netflix Instant Streaming: Barton Fink, Gattaca, Chinatown and More

Having survived the long, cold winter scowl, April brings us the beginnings of renewal and rebirth, you know, all that crap. But that doesn’t mean you should drop your home film and TV binging, no sir, not on our watch. Behold some of the glory newly available to you from your Netflix streaming account.

Looking to see something good in theaters? The Philadelphia Film Society just announced its upcoming mini spring film festival. Find more details and a screening schedule here.

Philadelphia Film Society Announces Spring Showcase

Romain Duris and Audrey Tatour in Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo

Romain Duris and Audrey Tatour in Michel Gondry’s “Mood Indigo.”

As an addendum to its annual film festival, Philadelphia Film Society introduces its Spring Showcase, showing at the PFS Theater at the Roxy April 11-17th. The diverse programming of the Philadelphia Film Festival spills over into this new forum, featuring the same expert curation of oldies but goodies and fresh-from-the-film-circuit flicks. With over 20 new and retrospective films, the PFF spring lineup has plenty of fresh cuts and budding classics. The festival culminates with highlights from this year’s Best Director winner, Alfonso Cuarón, including Y Tu Mamá TambiénChildren of Menand Gravity.

See the itinerary after the jump:

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NEW MOVIE SPOTLIGHT: The Bible Meets Metaphysics in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah

Every Friday we spotlight a buzz-worthy new movie opening in Philadelphia.

noah movie review

Name: Noah
Genre: Biblical adventure/metaphysical rumination
Logline: The Poseidon Adventure meets Doctor Doolittle

Quick Review: In what Paramount must now view as a huge risk, they entrusted (reportedly) $125 million into the hands of maverick indie auteur Darren Aronofsky, known for his incredible visuals and an uncompromising (if not, at times, incomprehensible) vision. For their troubles, they’ve gotten a very peculiar amalgamation of heavy CGI action flick, biblical allegory, and metaphysical meditation on the nature of man’s evil. It is auspicious, sometimes even inspiring, but I fear it won’t please any of the film’s constituency: Bible scholars will scoff at the liberties the plot takes, action fans will wonder what in the hell all the weird photo-montages of sprawling lakes and valleys and birds are all about, and Aronofsky fans (guilty as charged) will feel as if the studio interference kept him from making the quirky art-house film he probably had planned.

Best Element: Hard to condemn any movie that has Jennifer Connelly it in (okay, except for The Dilemma, not even she could save that one), and not just because she’s one of the most beautiful actresses of our time. She’s a wonderful talent as well, we just have to hope a director will eventually give her another role truly worthy of her skills.

Worst Element: I can take Russell Crowe as yet another leader of men, but his three sons, who grow in the course of the film from children to young adults, are pretty thoroughly unconvincing at any age.

Sample Dialogue: “We are men! We decide if we live or die. We are invincible!” and/or “A man isn’t ruled by the heavens, he’s ruled by his own will!” NOTE: It should be pointed out that neither quote comes from Noah.

Should I See It?: Tough call. If you want to see it, it would be best on the big screen, what with the epic flood and giant ark and whatnot; but I can’t say it’s a film you should drop everything to go check out. It feels far too compromised as both an action flick and as a philosophical treatise.

Playing Now: UA Riverview

LAST CHANCE: Catch These 3 Great Films Before They Leave Philly Big Screens

Each Friday, a new slew of movies comes in to replace what’s already been playing. In order to keep you fully abreast of what you might be missing on the big screen, we offer a quick round-up of films about to move on to that great home video warehouse in the sky. This week: 

5 Gay Things to Do This Week in Philly: Miss Fish 2014, Get Rammed at the
NSFW Dance Party and More


Looking for something else? Check Philly Mag’s constantly updated Philadelphia Event Listings for a rundown of local haps now through early-June. 

Kathryn Hahn to Star in M. Night Shyamalan’s Locally Shot Sundowning

m night shyamalan kathryn hahnWe have a little more information about M. Night Shyamalan’s Sundowning — the director’s “microfilm” we reported he was shooting on the outskirts of Philly last month. Apparently the film will star Kathryn Hahn, the actress who’s played small but hilarious roles in films and TV shows like We’re the Millers and Parks and Recreation.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

elaine stritch shoot me

There’s a certain irony when Elaine Stritch sings the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here” from the musical Follies: “Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all and, my dear, I’m still here.”

Yes, Stritch has, indeed, seen it all — a show business career that has spanned over half a century, Broadway and film credits to boot, a drinking problem, Tony and Emmy Awards, dates with JFK and Marlon Brando, and a vicious case of diabetes.  Yet, the emotional and masterfully crafted documentary Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, which plays at Ritz at the Bourse for a limited engagement through March, highlights the one role Stritch hasn’t been able to adequately prepare for: the end of her life.

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