By Rob Hunter · Published January 5, 2022
Crossing the Streams is our series of guides that look at all the deals that hit the major streaming services each month. This time we check out what’s new in streaming on Amazon Prime in January 2022.
First choice of the month on Amazon for January 2022
It does not get much attention, but once you have seen all the end of the year, you may need to take some time to visit Tender Bar (premieres January 7). The talent is undeniable – it’s based on JR Moehringer’s bestselling memoir, adapted by William Monahan, directed by George Clooney and starring Ben Affleck – and it’s a sweet little drama about a boy who is essentially raised by his bartender. -uncle and the customers at the bar. It will not blow you away, but it is a solid tale of human connection in unlikely places. Affleck does a great job here and he gets the company of Tye Sheridan, Lily Rabe, Max Martini, Christopher Lloyd and more.
A Tony Scott dual function!
Tony Scott’s filmography is too damn short, and while not all titles are a banger, you can be sure that each title is an entertaining and engaging watch. Déjà vu (2006) is a big, messy slice of action / sci-fi with a nonsense plot and lots of explosions, and it’s amazing. Denzel Washington stars as an ATF agent investigating a terrorist attack that has been initiated into some high-tech, experimental surveillance equipment – tighten because it will fill your ears with nonsense while filling your eyes with wonder. Massive scenery, huge explosions and a super intense Washington guarantee a great time, and you can not go wrong with a supporting role that includes Val Kilmer and Paula Patton.
See, The Intake of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009) can not touch the 1974 adaptation of John Godey’s novel, but one can not deny the appeal by watching Denzel Washington match the minds of an unrelated John Travolta with a screenplay written by Brian Helgeland. The story is the same, but Scott increases the action beats and visual intensity through his love of quick edits and such. Add James Gandolfini, Luis Guzman, John Turturro and Aunjanue Ellis and you’re having a great time in the cinema.
An author-friendly franchise!
Most movie franchises feel part of the same thing both because of the content and the internal style – the MCU is a great example of this – but some avoid that aspect in impressive ways. Brian De Palma Impossible mission (1996) starts the franchise with what now looks like a nice little action / thriller. I’m not the biggest fan, but there are some solid moments and set pieces here as Tom Cruise steps in and makes the main character Ethan Hunt his own with the help of Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Beart, the great Henry Czerny, Jean Reno, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ving Rhames.
While De Palma’s unique touch is smaller in the first film, John Woos Mission: Impossible II (2000) could not have been made by anyone else. Pigeons, big ridiculous action beats, style and kinetic splendor to spare – this is a John Woo movie, all the way through. Cruise returns with floating locks, bumps into the chest with Dougray Scott at 100 mph, gets naughty with Thandie Newton and drives lots of vehicles very, very fast. It’s a nonsense movie, a big piece of bombastic pie that delivers some silly fun, even if it fades next to the franchise as a whole.
JJ Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III (2006) – still my favorite throughout the franchise, and I do not care who knows – takes the outward-looking energy and turns it inward for the most emotionally grounded and influential access. Tom Cruise finds the heart beating under Ethan Hunt’s super spy chest and lets it get a little bit crushed. A terrific opening sequence that kills an Abrams-stable player, an amazing bridge scene, a series-best villain in Philip Seymour Hoffman, the arrival of Michelle Monaghan and Billy Crudup … those are amazing things, folks!
The last director to get a solo contribution is Brad Bird – he of the greatly underrated Tomorrowland – and he delivers a winner with Mission: Impossible IV: Ghost Protocol (2011). Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner team up with Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt to defeat a Russian villain, and the result is some really amazing work. The sequence in and out of the Burj Khalifa still amazes as Cruise climbs outside the building – the tallest in the world – showing incredible stunt work and commitment along the way. The remaining films in the franchise are all directed by one man, Christopher McQuarrie, and they are excellent, but this four-film series shows a real rarity in allowing a large-budget franchise to showcase different styles from great directors.
Movies you may have missed
Jean-Jacques Annauds Enemy at the gates (2001) is a great movie that enjoys the quiet, intimate moments. Part of it comes in the character work and performances of Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Bob Hoskins and others, but a large part of it also comes in the premise. It takes place during World War II and follows an ongoing “battle” between two enemy snipers. It is not a single encounter and is instead scattered across skirmishes, but a sniper works in relative solitude (despite spotters) and provides an introspective approach to war.
Kasi Lemmons’ Eva is Bayou (1997) – a film she both writes and directs – is a deliciously evocative tale of family dysfunction and melodrama, and it is fantastic. Samuel L. Jackson plays the big, bad patriarch in a family ruled by secrets, lies and something … extra, but it’s the film’s female characters and artists that shine most clearly through the pain and drama. Lynn Whitfield, Meagan Good and a young Jurnee Smollett are trapped in man-made problems, but they have no plans to stay that long.
Movies about “serious” issues can sometimes get lost in the message, but Luis Mandokis When a man loves a woman (1994) tackle the great burden of alcoholism by really influencing fashion. Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia star as a young couple in love, but the honeymoon phase hits hard as her addiction raises its ugly head. The film explores the gaps it causes, but the focus is on the ability of love – as in a person who feels so strongly for you that they refuse to lose you to something beyond your control – to help people come through difficult times. It’s not pretty, and the film does not shy away from the ugliness of it all, though it does find beauty in the chemistry and performance of its protagonists. It’s a teardrop, folks, but it’s January 2022 too, so I know you’m ready to cry.
The complete Amazon Prime List for January 2022
|1/1||127 hours (2010)|
|Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)|
|Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)|
|Alien vs. Predator – Requiem (2007)|
|Alien vs. Predator – Requiem (Uncut) (2008)|
|Beasts Of The Southern Wild (2012)|
|Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011)|
|Bringing Down The House (2003)|
|Crazy Heart (2009)|
|Deja Vu (2006)|
|The Descendants (2011)|
|Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999)|
|Enemy At The Gates (2001)|
|Eve’s Bayou (1997)|
|Facing Ali (2009)|
|Family Stones (2005)|
|Fat Albert (2004)|
|Good hair (2009)|
|The great debaters (2013)|
|I Think I Love My Wife (2007)|
|John Tucker Must Die (2006)|
|Judge Dredd (1995)|
|Kevin Hart Let Me Explain (2013)|
|Like Mike (2002)|
|Crazy Money (2008)|
|Made Of Honor (2008)|
|The Missing (2003)|
|Mission: Impossible (1996)|
|Mission: Impossible II (2000)|
|Mission: Impossible III (2006)|
|Mission: Impossible IV Ghost Protocol (2011)|
|More than one game (2009)|
|Mr. 3000 (2004)|
|My week with Marilyn (2011)|
|Mystery Team (2009)|
|Napoleon Dynamite (2004)|
|Poetic Justice (1993)|
|The Preacher’s Wife (1996)|
|The Prestige (2006)|
|Red Tails (2012)|
|Runaway Bride (1999)|
|The Sapphires (2013)|
|Saving Private Ryan (1998)|
|Secrets In The Water (2020)|
|Shallow Hal (2001)|
|Sister Act (1992)|
|Something’s Gotta Give (2003)|
|Super Troopers (2002)|
|The Take Of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)|
|The Village (2004)|
|When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)|
|Words and pictures (2014)|
|1/5||Fatal Detention (2017)|
|The Student (2017)|
|1/7||The Tender Bar (2021)||Amazon original movie|
|1/12||The Intouchables (2012)|
|A kind of homecoming (2016)|
|1/14||Do, Re & Mi||Amazon Original Series|
|Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (2021)||Amazon original movie|
|1/21||As we see it – season 1||Amazon Original Series|
|1/18||Needle In A Timestack (2021)|
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Related topics: Amazon Prime, Crossing the Streams
Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird since he’s so damn young. He is our chief film critic and associate editor and lists ‘Broadcast News’ as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hello if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.