Jul 1, 2017

The Best Streaming Titles for July 2017: Rogue One, Punch-Drunk Love, Castlevania, Dark City, Mr. Robot & more

Coming soon: “Star Wars,” Adam Sandler’s finest role, vampire hunters, dark sci-fi mysteries, TV hacktivists, and more.

Rogue One

As Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services begin to offer increasing amounts of content every month, it can be difficult to sift through all of the upcoming titles and know what to look out for. I’ve compiled a list of particularly noteworthy titles to add to your queues in the coming month.

Netflix

The Truth Is in the Stars (July 1)
In this documentary hosted by the original Captain Kirk himself, various scientists, celebrities, and politicians discuss the legacy of Star Trek — and whether the human race is capable of living up to the series’ optimistic vision of humanity’s future.

Delicatessen (July 1)
In this post-apocalyptic black comedy, the landlord of an apartment complex lures unsuspecting folks to their death in order to supply his tenants with meat. Did I mention it’s a comedy? Oh, and given the fact that it’s directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who also directed 1995’s wonderful The City of Lost Children, it’s also packed with clever and inventive visuals.

Punch-Drunk Love (July 1)
After directing the sprawling masterpiece that was Magnolia, Paul Thomas Anderson returned with Punch-Drunk Love. Those expecting more of Magnolia’s moral quandaries and gut-wrenching performances were probably thrown for a loop by the presence of Adam Sandler in the lead role. But Punch-Drunk Love is a delightful film about an intensely angry and confused man who has a sudden encounter with grace and love… and a harmonium.

Police Academy (July 1)
Maybe this is just my inner-junior higher talking, but Police Academy is one of the greatest films ever made… and it’s about time that it started streaming on Netflix.

Castlevania, Season 1 (July 7)
Netflix returns with yet another original anime title. This time, it’s an adaptation of the classic Nintendo video game Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, in which whip-wielding vampire hunter Trevor Belmont tries to save 15th century Europe from Dracula himself. The series’ producer has described it as “Castlevania done in the vein of Game of Thrones,” so this one’s for mature audiences only.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (July 18)
The first Star Wars anthology film follows a ragtag group of Rebel fighters on a mission to steal something that could bring the Empire to its knees: the plans for a new battle station called the Death Star. The film’s cast includes Felicity Jones as the group’s leader, Donnie Yen as a zen-like fighting master, Mads Mikkelsen as a brilliant weapons designer, and Alan Tudyk, who steals the show as the misanthropic droid K-2SO.

Click here for a complete list of everything arriving and leaving Netflix in July 2017.


Hulu

Dark City (July 1)
Dark City was one of my first film obsessions. After Alex Proyas’ mysterious sci-fi film came to theatres, I was so enamored with its stylish visuals and dream-like storyline that I saw it multiple times. In Dark City, a group of mysterious strangers twist and rebuild a city every night, using its citizens as unknowing pawns in bizarre, nightmarish experiments — until one man wakes up to the truth.

The Hunt for Red October (July 1)
This is one of those movies that I’ll pull up every now and then just because it’s so solidly made and entertaining. Based on the best-selling Tom Clancy novel about an experimental Russian submarine, and starring Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery, The Hunt for Red October is classic Cold War action/intrigue that is eminently watchable. (But what else would you expect from director John McTiernan?)

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (July 1)
The Final Fantasy franchise has spawned numerous video games, and many of them sport numerous tie-ins. In this case, Kingsglaive is a computer animated film with a storyline that parallels that of the actual Final Fantasy XV video game, as a group of super-powered soldiers try to defend the small nation of Lucis from invaders. Aaron Paul, Lena Headey, and Sean Bean contributed their voices to the film.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Star Trek: Insurrection (July 1)
We recently started watching Star Trek as a family, and my son’s eyes practically lit up when I told him there were also Star Trek movies. So imagine how excited he’ll be when Hulu starts streaming nearly all of the Star Trek movies. (Although we might skip Star Trek V: The Final Frontier for the time being; I’d rather focus on the good, even-numbered titles.)

Suicide Kings (July 1)
In this dark comedy/suspense film, a group of young men kidnap a retired mob boss (played by the great Christopher Walken) and torture him to get ransom money for a kidnapped girl. But when the mob boss begins pitting the friends against each other, that’s when things start to get interesting. Suicide Kings is perhaps a little too indebted to Quentin Tarantino for its own good, but it’s still a good bit of twisted fun.

The Olympic Channel (July 15)
I’m a sucker for the Olympics. As such, I’m intrigued by this new cable channel that will feature, among other things, “year-round programming of Olympic Sports from around the world, with a focus on American athletes and teams,” original Olympics-inspired films, archival footage and documentaries, “athlete-focused coverage of the Olympic Movement in the United States.”

Click here for a complete list of everything arriving and leaving Hulu in July 2017.


Amazon Prime

The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (July 1)
Who knows, maybe it’s time to reevaluate the second and third Matrix films, which were pretty universally panned following the break-out success of the first Matrix film. If nothing else, watch them for the freeway chase scene, for which the filmmakers built more than a mile of their own freeway system. Just skip the underground rave/orgy scene… unless you want to cheer on the machines, that is.

Pi (July 1)
On paper, Darren Aronosfky’s Pi doesn’t much make much sense, seeing as how it combines chaos theory, advanced mathematics, and Jewish mysticism. But on film, Pi is pretty mind-blowing. Much of that is due to its stark black-and-white visuals and haunting electronic score, as Aronofsky skillfully blends some pretty lofty concepts into a completely original and captivating debut feature.

Mr. Robot, Season 2 (July 13)
In the first season or Mr. Robot, a mentally disturbed and deluded young hacker named Elliot is recruited by a secretive hacktivist group called “fsociety” to help them destroy a massive corporation. Suffice to say, the second season of the USA Network’s acclaimed hacker show will have even more conspiracies, twists, and turns — all enhanced by the show’s distinctive visual style.

Click here for a complete list of everything arriving and leaving Amazon Prime in July 2017.

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