Skooby's picks: three movies to stream this weekend

There are thousands of movies available to stream all the time. This is good, but it’s also overwhelming: when you have that many options, how can you choose just one? Every Friday, I’m presenting you with just three movies available to stream that you should watch to avoid that stress. I’ll hand out different movie recommendations every week.

Punch-Drunk Love

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Available on: Netflix

The IMDb description of Punch-Drunk Love: “A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.”

Put Adam Sandler at the center of all of that and Punch-Drunk Love sounds like an unmitigated disaster. But the film is a triumph, one of the most unconventionally moving romantic comedies I’ve seen. It’s all thanks to writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, Phantom Thread), whose bizarre pacing and auteur camerawork bring it all together. Punch-Drunk Love probably also showcases Sandler’s best career performance.

Big Fish

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Available on: HBO, Amazon via IMDb Freedive

The great Albert Finney passed away Friday morning at the age of 82. Finney has had a long career stretching back to the 1950s, and a rich and diverse filmography. There could be no better sendoff, though, than Big Fish.

Big Fish tells the story of a man (Billy Crudup) trying to learn about the reality of his father’s (Finney) life in his father’s last days. Perhaps the best movie Tim Burton has ever made, Big Fish uses the director’s typical whimsy to great emotional effect. It’s a movie about storytelling and living a full life, and the final scenes are a fantastical encapsulation of those values and a perfect cinematic eulogy for Finney’s remarkable career.

The King of Comedy

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Available on: Amazon Prime

Although it was released in 1982, The King of Comedy stands as one of the best movies to explain the Trump era. The Martin Scorsese classic stars Robert De Niro as my favorite-named movie character of all time, Rupert Pupkin, an aspiring comedian whose delusions of grandeur lead him to stalk his idol. De Niro gives an iconic performance, and the dark comedy nails the American emphasis on entertainment and personal greatness better than just about any movie of the past 40 years.