After months of covering Amazon Prime Streaming’s new releases, we think we’ve finally figured out their angle. Every month, the team at Amazon puts together a pretty massive list of some rather intriguing titles that include a couple blockbuster hits, some solid original content, and a bunch of obscure documentaries, older classics, and interesting experimental stuff. It’s like that weird rock and roll bar that has a new band playing every night. Sometimes the bands are good, sometimes they’re awful, and sometimes you get something that makes slogging through everything else worthwhile.
This month, we have the obvious heavy hitters on our list, but we also dug real deep to find a few titles we think are exceptionally interesting and worthy of your attention. We hope you agree. Here are the nine best things coming to Amazon Prime Streaming in September.
We’re not usually up for comedy blockbusters, but Wedding Crashers is a movie that makes us laugh no matter how often we watch it—and its 75% Rotten Tomatoes rating vouches for us. The film stars Owen Wilson as John Beckwith and Vince Vaughn as Jeremy Grey, two friends who specialize in the age-old practice (and lost art) of crashing weddings—they spend their weekends gorging on free food and booze at other people’s weddings, seduce the bridesmaids, have a lot of fun, etc. They have a very cynical view of marriage, probably because they both work for the same divorce law firm, so neither is particularly enthusiastic about getting married themselves. That is, until one of them meets “the right one” at another crash-worthy wedding, and the other meets a Stage 5 Clinger. Watch
And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird
It’s a dream every normal kid has. Your dad dies, and then miraculously, two years later, he comes back in the form of a robot that looks suspiciously like an indoor-outdoor vacuum. Just kidding; that’s no one’s dream, and the premise is absolutely ridiculous—which is exactly why it made our list.
And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird is a quintessential early ‘90s family-fun drama about two boys who decide to finish one of the inventions of their tragically deceased father and sell it in order to keep their mother from losing her house. When they power on the robot, they come to learn that their father’s spirit has somehow inhabited the contraption (naturally), and things take a turn for the worse (naturally) when an evil electronics company comes to scoop up the robot and sell it out from under the kids (naturally). It stars no one you’ve ever heard of, its premise is ridiculous, and the early ‘90s fashion and culture prevalent throughout the film is cringe-worthy, but damned if it isn’t a surprisingly entertaining movie. Watch
Carrie is an excellent addition to the Amazon roster in September, not only is it one of the top-grossing and most well regarded horror films ever made (a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score!), but it’s also based on Stephen King’s very first novel. Carrie White is a shy teenager who gets bullied in school, who also coincidentally discovers she has telekinetic powers—that she eventually uses to really fuck up her classmates. It’s kind of like an afterschool special, exploring teenage romance, bullying, female menstruation, and prom anxiety, but, way more metal than they ever let afterschool specials get. It’s an absolute must-watch, especially as we ramp up for Halloween season. Watch
Gogol Bordello: Non-Stop
For those who don’t know, Gogol Bordello is an American “gypsy punk” band that formed in New York City in the late ‘90s. The documentary follows them from 2001 to 2007, on their rise to stardom and from the back-alley basements of New York to the international main stage. The film also incorporates heavy dialogue from the band’s frontman, Eugene Hütz, who lends a reverent kind of credibility to everything going on in the background. Even if you’re not into punk rock music, the film is excellent because it’s so heavily peppered with the Ukrainian/Romani gypsy culture that it makes it look more like a documentary about a band of traveling circus performers than a band of punk rockers with accordions. Watch
Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film
The philosophy of the “experimental film” is one rooted in rejection. Artists, poets, and creators have—for as long as there’ve been cameras—created film that doesn’t quite fit into art galleries, but also can’t be played on the big screen for money. These people and their films subscribe to a particular style of creativity that doesn’t often see the light of day, but have accumulated over time into a huge body of work that all too often goes ignored. Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film delves deep into the What, Why, and How of the genre, and provides insight into some of the world’s most interesting and criminally underrepresented artwork, while exploring some of the free thinkers and radical artists who created it. Watch
Holes in My Shoes
Jack Beers might be the baddest mother fucker ever to have walked the Earth. Holes in My Shoes covers Beers’ life from his childhood growing up in New York City’s Lower East Side in the early 20th century, up through receiving a formal commendation from then-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg at age 94. Holes in My Shoes is a wonderful documentary about the quintessential New York City resident—a man who earned the title of “New York City’s Strongest Boy, helped built some of the city’s greatest landmarks, trained boxers, acted in over 200 films, and even did his part in the Second World War. It’s inspiring to witness Beers’ charisma even in his older age, and his story is nothing short of extraordinary. Watch
Manuscripts Don’t Burn
Amazon’s team has excelled recently in finding compelling foreign films, and Manuscripts Don’t Burn is another big acquisition for the streaming service. Unfortunately based on a true series of events, Manuscripts Don’t Burn is a political thriller that tells the story of Kasra, an Iranian author being watched by the Iranian government. Kasra’s memoir tells the story of his time in an Iranian prison, and more importantly, a failed government attempt in the mid-‘90s to kill an entire busload of Iranian writers. The manuscript is deemed problematic for the government, who learns of Kasra’s plans to publish the memoir and flee the country. The film won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and has received massive critical praise (96% Rotten Tomatoes score). Watch
The new-age remake of the Oscar-winning and much beloved classic, Ben-Hur was an admitted Box Office flop. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an all-star cast, or that the team from Paramount didn’t throw over $100 million at it to make it a visually stunning hit, or that, under its own weight, it’s actually a pretty good film. If you decided against seeing it in theaters (eh, we won’t blame you), check it out this month on Amazon Prime Streaming—we think it’s worth it. Watch
The Magnificent Seven (2016)
A loose remake of a looser remake, The Magnificent Seven is a Wild West action drama that centers around a team of righteous rogue cowboys trying to defend a town beseiged by a real evil dickhead (Peter Sarsgaard as Bartholomew Bogue—ugh, even his name makes us cringe). The film itself has all the grit and balls of a Wild West film, but also the kind of badassery and comedic timing you could only expect from a cast that includes Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Vincent D’Onofrio. Watch
While you’re here, why not check out what’s coming to Netflix this month?