Digital video streaming services are still trying to find the right business model to follow. Netflix, for example, has significantly invested in original content for the purpose of selling more subscriptions, but market analysts are not convinced that this is the best way to go for this particular company. Amazon is trying a similar approach with Prime Video; however, many members prefer the old model of browsing a film catalog and paying for the right to watch a title of their choice without a subscription.
One of the great advantages of having access to massive film libraries is that you can always find underrated gems that for some reason flew under the radar upon release. Some overlooked movies find a second life as cult films years after their underwhelming box office ventures; others become streaming favorites that appeal to certain audiences who for some reason missed them during their theatrical run. Whatever the case may have been, the films below flew under the radar despite their greatness, and they are worth searching for in your streaming service catalog:
Warrior – 2011
Similar to the movie that launched the Rocky Balboa film franchise, “Warrior” is a Mimran Schur pictures production that tells a gritty story about broken family bonds and overcoming personal struggles. British actor Tom Hardy stars as a war veteran who trains as a mixed martial arts fighter only to end up in a brutal match against his own brother.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia – 1974
Long before the Sundance Film Festival made independent films cool, renegade American director Sam Peckinpah moved to Mexico for the purpose of getting away from Hollywood and making films the way he wanted to make them: violent, strange, visually striking, and masterful. If you have ever wondered where Quentin Tarantino really got his stylistic inspiration from, you need to watch this film.
The Truth About Cats and Dogs – 1996
In recent years, popular culture has been flooded with commentary about how the internet helps to enable duplicity and deception. Falling for a catfish scheme in the 21st century is not rare, but it does bring up an interesting question: How did people catfish each other before the advent of the internet? This romantic comedy was dismissed as just another chick-flick in 1996, but these days it has resurfaced as a funny manual for deceit, and it also rides a wave of nostalgia for the mid-90s period of American prosperity.
Computer Chess – 2013
The first thing viewers notice about this quirky art house film is how much it feels like a documentary from the early 1980s, and this is because director Andrew Bujalsky actually went through the trouble of locating analog video cameras from the period. “Computer Chess” is not only extremely interesting but also very funny in a philosophical way, particularly when the socially awkward programmers participating in a tech tournament run into a self-improvement group meeting at the same hotel, and they start discussing the future of human-computer interaction.