What to stream for every possible mood (including dread) on January 1

12.31.15 1 year ago

2016 is coming. No matter what your mood is when the clock strikes midnight, we've got your streaming needs covered for that cold, cold morning of January 1. 

Lighthearted acceptance: “Meet the Fockers” (Netflix)

I prefer to think of “Meet the Fockers” as a tag team Celebrity Deathmatch: Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner vs. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand. Whose wisecracks land hardest? Whose anxiety-inducing jabs make Greg Focker tweak hardest? It's hard to say. I feel like conventional wisdom tells you this movie is inferior to the original, but Dustin and Barbra are wholly original, hilarious characters. Along with “The Guilt Trip,” this makes two times Barbra Streisand has played believable, quirky Jewish mothers who don't seem all that much like Barbra Streisand.

Unthinkable devastation: “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (Netflix)

Tilda Swinton's kid is a born psychopath. I know we're supposed to find his wrath horrifying, but my lasting memory of this movie is an opening scene where Tilda — a new mother to an impossible infant — finds a moment of solitude listening to a nearby jackhammer.

Paranoia: “The Parallax View” (Hulu)

My favorite paranoid thriller of the mid '70s is… “The Conversation”! And then… “Three Days of the Condor”! And THEN “The Parallax View.” Warren Beatty is bewildered and gorgeous as a reporter wrapped up in the intrigue of a presidential candidate's assassination while William Daniels (Mr. Feeny to you kids) is the candidate's former aide. 

Christmas hangover: “Scrooged” (Hulu)

Arguably the grittiest re-telling of “A Christmas Carol” we have. And yes, I remember “A Diva's Christmas Carol” starring Vanessa Williams on VH1. 

Rage: “Serpico” (Hulu)

Sometimes we forget to acknowledge that “Serpico” is the Pacino-iest Pacino role of all time. He's an outstanding cop who gains enemies within the force as he threatens to expose corruption among his colleagues. Spoiler: He is also shot in the face. Watch it! 

Classic whimsy with a touch of yellowface: “Breakfast at Tiffany's” (Hulu)

Audrey Hepburn has become an icon of freshman dorm rooms, but please remember her endless charisma and true talent with blithe, fun dialogue — and also that Patricia Neal looks un-effing-believable in this movie. 

Mourning Alec Baldwin's unbelievable hotness: “Miami Blues (Hulu)

Still mourning this in a big, big way.

Sarcasm: “Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid” (Crackle)

Have we attempted to parody film noir in any committed way since “Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid”? I'm ready for it. It's fitting that “Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid,” an homage to old Hollywood, was legendary costume designer Edith Head's last film. 

Torrid yearning: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (Crackle)

It is downright impossible to pick Kate Winslet's best performance. Her energy and unpretentious intelligence light up the screen, even when she's depressing us in “Little Children.” But this may be her coolest role ever. Clementine forever. 

Dread: “Margin Call” (Amazon Prime)

Zachary Quinto and Penn Badgley are good. Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany are great. But wait until Jeremy Irons steps in to announce economic doom in “Margin Call.” You'll freeze. 

Understated confidence: “I'll See You In My Dreams” (Amazon Prime)

It's Blythe Danner (again!) playing a dynamic and optimistic woman trying to recapture the fun of life. She strikes up an unlikely friendship (Martin Starr) and a rad paramour (Sam Elliott), but it's her relationship with herself that proves most fascinating. Guys, this movie is lovely. Blythe gives a performance to break and rebuild and your heart. It should be called “Meet the Parent's Inner Life.” 

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