Unstreamable is a weekly column that finds films and TV shows you can't watch on major streaming services in the United States. This week: Straights fret about babies in Nine Months, Dutch resistance heroes fight back in Soldier of Orange, hot ass sumo wrestlers in Sumo Do, Sumo Don't, and David Hasselhoff's leather suit isn't tight enough in Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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USA, 1995, 103 minutes, Dir. Chris Columbus
This is one of director Chris Columbus's critical duds of the mid-90s, although it certainly wasn't a financial dud. It made almost $140 million at the box office and is buoyed by a cast that's only stars: Hugh Grant, Julianne Moore, Robin Williams, Jeff Goldblum, Joan Cusack, Tom Arnold... It's Grant's first US-starring role, and his famous sex worker scandal happened in the lead-up to the film's release, which only helped the movie's buzz.
But the script is straight drivel. An offense to its gay setting of San Francisco. Grant plays a doctor who is nonsensically afraid of having a baby with his smart, compassionate, overly attractive and reasonable wife. This is their only problem. Everything else is blessed and rich. Grant's character doesn't even have vices. He's not a player. He doesn't screw anyone else. He's just afraid of having a baby with his pregnant girlfriend—until, boringly, he discovers the baby has a penis. This changes everything for him.
There are a few good scenes. There's a cute montage where Hugh Grant and Jeff Goldblum get matching earrings and go rollerblading through San Francisco. And Joan Cusack is a fucking gem. It's just the script. It's a crappy script. CHASE BURNS
Netherlands | Belgium, 1977, 155 minutes, Dir. Paul Verhoeven
Based on an autobiographical book, Hauer plays the aloof yet courageous Erik, a Dutch resistance spy who finds himself serving his exiled queen, crossing paths with fascists and hot sexually open women alike. This film helped introduce Hauer to an international (American) audience with him going on to star in one of the most iconic films in history. Though Soldier of Orange is a rather by-the-numbers affair—with a lot more tongue-in-cheek humor than you might expect—you must watch for the scene where an undercover Erik dances the tango with a university mate who went full-blown Nazi. It's a tense (and a little homoerotic) scene that realizes the stakes of the situation without being too melodramatic. And incredibly convincing of Hauer's star quality. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Japan, 1992, 105 minutes, Dir. Masayuki Suo
I've been on a bit of a Masayuki Suo kick. I've watched three of the Japanese director's biggest movies in a row, starting with Shall We Dance? (which is best known for its horrible 2004 US remake), then Fancy Dance (about a Tokyo punk rocker who becomes a monk), and then Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (about a college slacker who is forced to join his school's failing sumo team). Suo's films tend to use the same cast and conflict structure (a hip slacker must attempt to do something traditional, like become a Buddhist monk or learn the ancient art of sumo wrestling). I'd like to write about all of his films but that would be boring, so: Sumo Do, Sumo Don't.
First off, it's homoerotic. Suo combines hip young styles of the early '90s with traditional sumo, which results in his male lead often being naked except for a Keith Haring-printed baseball cap, sumo sash (mawashi), and sneakers. I would watch that porn. The plot is not too complicated. The terrible sumo club at a college has no enrollees, then it slowly gathers a few misfits, then those misfits become popular, then they get slightly better at sumo, etc, etc. The final sumo matches are genuinely exciting. So much so that I started watching sumo wrestling on YouTube. It's a sport I can understand. There are two people in a circle. They have to push each other out. That's basically it. No constant stop-and-starting, like in football. Just brute force, tradition, and a whole lot of ass. CHASE BURNS
USA, 1998, 90 minutes, Dir. Rod Hardy