Watch ’71, an excellent British war film, on Netflix or Amazon

Every Monday, Art House Film Wire looks for great movies that you can watch from home, and with Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” storming into theatres on July 21, let’s look at another excellent British war film, “’71” (2015).   “’71” (2015) – Tensions between Ireland and Great Britain, of course, have been well-documented for hundreds of years, but director Yann Demange focuses his time on a conflict just 46 years into the past. A ground-level street war in the battered and beaten down brick of Belfast brings violence and anger between Catholics and…

‘A Ghost Story’ does not scare, but it deeply haunts

“A Ghost Story” – “Enjoy life.  There’s plenty of time to be dead.” – Hans Christian Anderson Although writer/director David Lowery’s new film contains one arguably scary moment – in which several dishes fly around an ordinary kitchen – ironically, “A Ghost Story” is not a horror film.  Not at all. Instead, it best resembles a 1-hour 32-minute lesson:  to embrace, savor and enjoy the time that we have on this planet…while we are alive.  Heaven forbid if one carries significant, unfinished business at the time of death, because the…

Remember Martin Landau in ‘Remember’ on Amazon Prime

Oscar winner Martin Landau passed away on July 15 at the age of 89, and his long, distinguished career spanned 64 years and over 170 roles in film and television.  A character actor by trade, he always seem to add intrigue to a picture by bringing a distinct flair of gravitas to his supporting performances.  One usually sat up a bit more in the theatre seat and paid stricter attention to the words spoken, when Landau appeared on screen.  Typically, his characters seem to carry more knowledge and comprehension of the given cinematic surroundings than…

Five excellent Donald Sutherland performances to watch at home

Every Monday, ArtHouseFilmWire looks for movies for you to watch at home, and since Donald Sutherland celebrates his 82nd birthday on July 17, let’s turn to the man who is much, much, much more than President Snow of “The Hunger Games” series. He has starred in over 100 feature-length films to date and just completed filming “The Leisure Seeker” (2018) with Helen Mirren, so Mr. Sutherland is not slowing down. Let’s look back at some classic Sutherland performances!  There are so many to choose from, but here are five of…

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ prefers less combat, more drama

“War for the Planet of the Apes” – Lions may be the kings of the jungle, but apes are the animal rulers of dystopian civilization cinema.   Hands – with opposable thumbs – down.  Six films and two television series donned the big and small screens, respectively, before director Rupert Wyatt resurrected the franchise in 2011 with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”.   Wyatt did not monkey around (sorry, I couldn’t resist), as he opened a prequel-door to reveal key moments that led to the apes’ rise.  The pronounced bond…

Georg Elser’s biopic ‘13 Minutes’ is more than worth your time

“13 Minutes” –  Johann Georg Elser (Christian Friedel) lived a content, happy existence in Germany.  Born in 1903, this carpenter and accordion player embraced life and seem to enjoy small moments, like playing music near a lake in the summertime and spontaneously dancing the tango with a pretty woman.  Something dark and spooky, however, began encroaching on his easy going days, as this particular form slowly changed minds within the local, modest neighborhoods in which he inhabits.  Comparable to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956), some friends, acquaintances and many…

Get musical with three John Carney gems on Netflix

It is no secret that some of director John Carney’s films own musical themes.  This former bass player from The Frames has carried his musical beat to the big screen, and the transition from stage to movies has been seamless. If you are sitting at home, your toes are a tapping and the wish for a great movie is rushing over you, look no further than Netflix and these Carney gems.  All three pictures are not traditional musicals, but their central themes revolve around music and song.   Oh, after viewing…

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ kicks this reboot into high gear

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” – Without watching “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), the thought of another Spider-Man reboot screams the words: completely unnecessary.  On the other hand, Tom Holland’s playful performance as your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man in the aforementioned Captain America picture did lend plenty of excitement for a new big screen adventure with the famous wall crawler.  “Spider-Man: Homecoming” does not disappoint, and for Marvel fans, it is deeply intertwined with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). As the film opens, we are taken back eight years into the past just after…

Five memorable patriotic movies on Amazon Streaming

Millions of July 4th celebrations all over the United States include steady diets of barbecues, pool parties, fireworks, and laughter, but this holiday is also a great day for a movie!  Well, that’s because every day is a great day for a movie, of course. If you find a few spare hours on Independence Day, why not catch a movie at home?  Here are five films which pay homage to the U.S.A. in various ways, and you can stream them one or all via Amazon for a few dollars each.…