'Face/Off' Remake Means It's Time to Rewatch the Original. How to Stream It
Hustlers, the movie based on this incredible New York magazine feature, opens in theaters this weekend, but there’s plenty to watch at home, too. This is Multiverse, your essential source for the best streaming content from Inverse.
There’s Undone on Amazon, The I-Land on Netflix, or the Room 104 Season 3 premiere on HBO. But let’s talk about a movie from the last century that’s getting a remake.
We’re only talking about Face/Off, the 11th highest-grossing movie of 1997. Keep scrolling to read why it’s worth a revisit.
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The Smartest Star Trek Film Returns to Theaters — But It’s Already on Amazon Prime?
In the late ‘70s, Robert Wise, who had directed The Sound of Music and The Day the Earth Stood Still, attempted to make a movie about a giant cloud of space brain consuming everything in its path. Based on a story by Alan Dean Foster (you know, George Lucas’ ghostwriter for the first Star Wars book), this story also features a bald alien woman who is compelled into celibacy to become an astronaut. There’s also a spaceship with a permanently broken teleportation device. Is this a Douglas Adams thing? Nope, it’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, a movie that is sometimes considered to be the “worst” of all the Trek films. But if you like Star Trek, I ask you, how bad can that be?
For those who prefer thoughtful, ruminative science fiction over a bunch of pew-pew ‘splosions, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a window into what big-budget mainstream sci-fi movies could have been like in the ‘70s and ‘80s. This Star Trek film asks: What if 2001: A Space Odyssey was a little bit more rock ‘n’ roll, the artificial intelligence was simply misunderstood, and the whole thing just happened to be a really long episode of that weirdo ‘60s show called Star Trek?
If you’ve heard this movie isn’t a great way to start your Star Trek experience, you’re wrong. The Motion Picture is so bizarrely all over the place, it’s the perfect way to beam into the franchise with fresh eyes. This is Trek at its best and worst, at the same time, a confusing experience that also makes perfect sense. The award-winning score by Jerry Goldsmith makes the whole thing worth a watch several times over. The human adventure is just beginning! — Ryan
- Watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture on Amazon Prime.
Let Mark Duplass Creep You Out This Weekend With Creep and Creep 2
The Duplass Brothers’ sometimes-spooky HBO anthology Room 104 returns on Friday for a third season. The show veers from classic horror (the season premiere is chilling) to funny and weird; there’s even the occasional musical episode. But if you’re looking for something downright scary, I strongly recommend Creep and Creep 2, the first two entries in a found-footage horror series starring Mark Duplass as an unhinged killer who lures documentarians into his home.
The best part of these lo-fi thrillers is Duplass, who gives incredible back-to-back performances as a horror villain unlike any you’ve seen before. Each film begins as an unsuspecting victim shows up, camera in hand, to help Duplass’ character film some project he’s advertised online, but things quickly turn dark from there.
The original Creep does an impressive job of introducing Duplass as an affable weirdo gradually transforming into a monster just slowly enough that you don’t notice until it’s too late. To Creep’s credit, the scariest scene is one where Duplass is totally absent and his panicked victim searches the house. It’s shown from the perspective of their shaky camcorder. Creep 2 is slightly less scary but manages to raise the stakes. It makes you wonder who the villain really is: Duplass, or the wannabe YouTuber he’s lured into his home? — Jake
- Creep and Creep 2 are both available to stream on Netflix, and they’re well worth your time if you’re looking for a good scare this weekend.
Take a Trip Back to the English Countryside With Downton Abbey
Everyone’s favorite delicious period drama is making a comeback in theaters with a feature film due out in theaters September 20, which means you have a full week to refresh yourself on the lives of the Crawley family by bingeing the series on Amazon Prime. While not technically genre fiction, this PBS Masterpiece classic feels much like a decadent piece of time travel into some alternate reality where everything is pleasant and the biggest drama comes from a piece of misplaced silverware. (Fans of Outlander will appreciate the fanfare that goes down in this English countryside mansion.)
The lives of the Crawley family members are forever changed after news arrives of the Titanic disaster — and the drama only starts there. As is the style of British TV, the humor is subtle and the drama less in your face than, well, Outlander, but that’s where the series shines. The absurdness of their everyday life gradually unfolds over six seasons of eavesdropping and dramatic group meetups in the library. I mean, can we just take a moment to remember the Turkish corpse? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I won’t spoil it for you, but just know it’s an absolutely ridiculous moment from Season 1 that will be talked about for years to come.)
If murder mystery-style plots and illicit romances aren’t your thing, then watch it for the incomparable Dame Maggie Smith, who serves up the kind of one-liners that rival the best zingers a show like Fleabag has to offer. Downton is soapy and downright smutty in the best, most lavish way. But hey, if you don’t believe me, maybe their three Golden Globe wins will be enough to convince you. — Chelsea
- Watch all six seasons of Downton Abbey on Amazon Prime. The Downton Abbey movie will be released in theaters on September 20.
Don’t Undo Your Weekend — Binge Undone on Amazon
What if you had power over time and space? That’s the question that drives Amazon’s newest and most exciting series, Undone, a stylish sci-fi drama unlike anything you’ve seen before. (Or, maybe you have if you’ve seen A Scanner Darkly. Fun fact: same animation team!) On September 13, the adult animated series Undone will begin streaming on Prime, and it’s not one you’ll want to miss.
Starring Rosa Salazar (Alita: Battle Angel) and Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul), the series follows apathetic millennial Alma, a 28-year-old survivor of an accident who wakes up with time-bending superpowers. While Alma struggles to grasp what’s real and what’s a vision of the past or future, she begins using her powers to investigate the circumstances behind her father’s mysterious death.
Filmed in live action and reanimated through rotoscoping techniques (essentially “drawing on top of video,” explains rotoscope director Craig Staggs in a behind the scenes special on YouTube), plus a bevy of oil paintings and 2D animation, Undone is a visually arresting adventure that resides in the valley between uncanny reality and unreality. The result is a feeling of otherworldliness that illustrates, literally and metaphorically, Alma’s mental and emotional state. — Eric
- Undone begins streaming on Amazon Prime September 13.
Face Off Against Nicolas Cage in Face/Off This Weekend
Earlier this week, Deadline reported that Paramount Pictures is developing a remake of director John Woo’s 1997 insane and amazing action thriller Face/Off that originally starred John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. Travolta plays FBI agent Sean Archer and Cage plays homicidal maniac and occasional terrorist Castor Troy. Get this: Using pseudoscientific medical technology, they swap faces.
The late ‘90s was peak Nic Cage era in Hollywood. Con Air had just come out, and The Rock just before that, in 1996. City of Angels would be his next release a year after Face/Off. It really isn’t fair to call him an actor when he’s more like a force of nature. Face/Off puts this rather insane distinction on display, ratcheting up the intensity to maximum. Cage has been in some horrible movies, but Face/Off is not one of them.
For most of the film, Travolta plays a crazy villain inhabiting the body of the FBI’s most beloved and heroic agent. Cage plays the actual FBI agent, emotionally damaged by the murder of his son, struggling to maintain his composure and his cover so he can stop a terrorist plot. But the world sees Travolta’s face as the good guy and Cage’s as the bad guy, so the whole thing is a delightful, action-packed mess of action, drugs, and big guns.
Face/Off is the pinnacle of ‘90s action movies, and you can tell that Travolta and Cage are having a blast in every single scene.
Face/Off isn’t available on any traditional streaming services, but you won’t regret dropping $4.99 to buy the HD version on Amazon.
Who do you think should star in the Face/Off remake? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your dream casting!
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