Up Stream: The Best New Stuff On Demand for the Week of December 11

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Adam Sandler and his wife, Jackie, attend the premiere of "The Ridiculous 6" in Universal City, California. Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Up Stream is a weekly roundup at Newsweek where, in addition to cataloging all the newest additions to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Google Play, HBO Go and beyond, we've hand-picked a few highlights for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own bed, couch or toilet.

The Best

When you sit down for a Christopher Nolan film that isn't about vigilante crime fighters modeled after nocturnal critters, you're agreeing to stomach a certain measure of claptrap. And Interstellar, available starting Saturday to stream on Prime and Hulu, contains more than the usual helping of Nolan claptrap. (If we wanted a lesson in theoretical physics, we'd have just gone to grad school like Mom kept insisting.)

But all claptrap notwithstanding, Interstellar is still an estimable technical achievement and a must-see expression of Nolan's immense vision. Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are intrepid travelers through space, time and a bunch of dimensions our puny human brains could never comprehend. Jessica Chastain plays McConaughey's daughter, but in the future, where McConaughey is still regularly aged because of quantum mechanics, or scriptwriting, or maybe just because love is stronger than the space-time continuum. It's easy to poke fun at the bogus profundity of the script (by Nolan and his brother, Jonathan), but the director does deserve commendation for taking on the monumental challenge of visualizing concepts like being and nothingness—and for nearly pulling it off. 2001: A Space Odyssey this ain't, but if it's 1 a.m. and you're in the mood to discuss Life, the Universe and Everything with the other guys who live in your dorm, you can't find a much better backdrop.

A woman (Nina Hoss, performing as if her very life depended on it) returns to her hometown after surviving the horrors of the Holocaust. Reconstructive surgery tending to facial disfigurement has left her unrecognizable, and so she uses this anonymity to investigate her husband (Ronald Zehrfeld), who she fears may have sold her out to the SS. That's the setup of Christian Petzold's excellent 2014 film, Phoenix (available to stream on Netflix), which places our leads in a dark pas de deux from which only pain and heartbreak can result. There are just so many ways to approach this affecting piece of work: as a commentary on Germany's long, slow, reluctant acceptance of the horrors they perpetrated during World War II (time to work the word Vergangenheitsbewältigung into your next cocktail-party conversation); as a Hitchcockian yarn of suspense and obsession; as a brutal portrait of a marriage that might be built on lies. Watch it, watch it, watch it, if for no other reason than the jaw-dropping final scene, surely among the greatest sequences committed to film in recent memory.

When Netflix announced that they had signed an exclusive four-picture deal with Adam Sandler, we said, "Wow, that sounds like a bad idea." When Sandler revealed that his first film with Netflix would be a Western-comedy hybrid about a group of half brothers tracking down their wayward dad, we said, "Wow, that sounds like a bad idea." When reports of virulent racism in the script and walkouts from actual Native Americans on set came to light, we said, "Wow, this sounds like a really, really bad idea." And when the trailer for the film surfaced a few weeks ago, all we could say was, "This idea is more identified with the quality of badness, and of being bad, than we as a culture had previously imagined to be possible."

So now that The Ridiculous 6 is finally available to stream on Netflix in its entirety, the time has come for a hero to step up and boldly venture into this dank cave of badness to confirm just how bad it really is. Will it be you? Should you choose to take on this sacred and dangerous task, may God have mercy on your soul. All of which is to say, this one will probably be fun to goof on with your friends after very many beverages.

The funniest comedy of 2015 unjustly flew under most viewers' radars, but thankfully HBO Go has made the New Zealand mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows available for anyone who might've missed it. Like a diabolical fusion of The Real World, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Flight of the Conchords (the film was written and directed by Taika Waititi and Conchords' Jemaine Clement), the uproarious comedy treats four ages-old vampires who haunt a single Gothic mansion as roommates fed up with one another's peccadilloes. Besides a cavalcade of endlessly quotable one-liners—the leader of a lupine gang scolds one of his foulmouthed charges, "Hey now, we're werewolves, not swearwolves!"—the film finds banal humanity in the debonair undead. Vampires are still susceptible to the annoyances of roommates, whether it's overcurious types who interrupt your dark bidding (on eBay) or the Count Orlok deadbeat who doesn't hold up his end of the chore bargain. Bursting with delirious comic brilliance, this tone-perfect genre parody holds up just fine as a nonstop barrage of inspired puns and sight gags.

The Rest

The Angel's Share (Hulu)
Ant-Man (Prime)
Ciudad Delirio (HBO Go)
The Da Vinci Code (Netflix)
Drown (Netflix)
Fresh Dressed (Netflix)
Get Hard (HBO Go)
Meet Me in Montenegro (Prime)
Minions (Prime)
One and Two (Netflix)
Time Out of Mind (Netflix)
Trailer Park Boys: Drunk, High and Unemployed Live in Austin (Netflix)
Vampire Academy (Netflix)
War Room (Prime)