Criterion Comes to Hulu Plus

Criterion Comes to Hulu Plus (photo)

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Wonderful as they are, Criterion Collection DVDs and Blu-rays ain’t cheap. A single film can set you back thirty or forty bones. But now for eight bucks a month, you can have access to 150 Criterion titles via Hulu Plus, with more to be added each month. Here are some of the details from Hulu SVP Eugene Wei’s blog post about the announcement:

“Criterion has digital streaming rights to over 800 of the films in their library…We’re launching with over 150 Criterion movies today, and we’ll be adding more titles each month. Among the launch list today are so many acknowledged classics: ‘The 400 Blows,’ ‘L’Avventura,’ ‘The Battle of Algiers,’ ‘Breathless,’ ‘La Jetée,’ ‘Jules and Jim,’ ‘M,’ ‘Pickpocket,’ ‘Playtime,’ ‘Rashomon,’ ‘Seven Samurai,’ ‘La Strada,’ and ‘The Wages of Fear.’

“Just as exciting are the titles still to come. These include not just more well-known classics but also movies that have been difficult or impossible to find on video in any format. ‘Le Silence de la Mer,’ by one of my favorite directors, Jean-Pierre Melville. The extended filmography of Kenji Mizoguchi. Early shorts by Chaplin. ‘L’Assassin Habite au 21,’ Henri-Georges Clouzot’s first feature. This doesn’t even include the supplemental content Criterion is famous for and which we’ll bring to the Criterion experience on Hulu Plus over time: commentaries, documentaries, interviews, original trailers, essays, and more. Many of these will be digitized for the first time.”

Beyond the titles Wei mentioned, the first batch of Criterions on Hulu Plus also includes some films that aren’t currently available on Criterion DVD or Blu-ray, including Edward Dmytryk’s “Obsession,” Peter Weir’s “The Car That Ate Paris,” and Michael Powell’s “The Spy in Black.” Wei mentions Criterion has the streaming rights to 800 films, a figure several hundred films higher than their disc library. Intriguing.

Of course, you can already watch many Criterion titles on demand at Mubi.com and I often use my subscription to Netflix Watch Instantly to watch Criterion titles (a couple of the ones I have currently sitting in my queue, like “Jeanne Dielman,” aren’t available on Hulu Plus, either). But if the streaming quality is up to Criterion’s standards — and given Criterion’s insane levels of quality control, they have to be — this is an exciting development, particularly when Hulu starts adding Criterion’s terrific supplemental materials as well — something you can’t get through other online VOD services. I don’t know that I’m going to rush out and sign up for Hulu Plus yet. For an old-fashioned guy like myself, there’s still something pleasurable about owning a Criterion disc. But this is definitely on my radar.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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