Every month, we get a list of great movies and shows that are available for streaming. Writer Mark Jordan Legan is our guide.
This week we did something a little different. Let's call it Six Degrees of Jeremy Saulnier.
Saulnier is a filmmaker who's been making movies since 2007 with his high school friend Macon Blair, an incredibly talented actor and budding filmmaker in his own right. So we're looking at two films by Saulnier that star Blair, 2013's 'Blue Ruin' and 2016's 'Green Room,' and a new film that was written and directed by Blair himself, 'I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore.'
BLUE RUIN (Amazon Prime)
In our first film, 'Blue Ruin,' Blair plays a beach vagrant whose life is forever changed when he learns that a person responsible for a family tragedy is getting out of prison.
One of the inspiring things about this film was that Saulnier used Kickstarter to raise money to fund the film, and it did some business in limited release but it received high critical praise – it currently has a 96% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
GREEN ROOM (Amazon Prime)
And on the strength of that, Saulnier was able to make his next project, 'Green Room,' which came out in 2016. It also got incredibly strong reviews.
It's a dark and violent film that focuses on a struggling punk rock band trying to get through a hellish tour of dive bars and ratty clubs. But on a last minute gig, they see something that they're not supposed to - and the film becomes this taut, suspenseful cat and mouse game as the band tries and figures out how to escape.
Green Room jumps from dark humor to sheer terror in the blink of an eye. It is highly recommended, but be advised it is violent and a bit gory.
Our last film is Blair's first feature film for Netflix, this year's 'I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore.'
Melanie Lynskey is splendid in the lead role of Ruth, a young woman who is having a bad go of things and what finally pushes her over the edge is when she comes home after a particularly bad day to discover her place has been burglarized.
It's full of clever insights and wry observations about today’s society and just like the other two films, there is a Coen Brothers/Quentin Tarantino feeling pulsating through all three of these movies.
Mark Jordan Legan is a writer living in Los Angeles. If you want to catch up on past segments, click here.