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What to stream: Sundance edition

By Jeff Peterson

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Jan. 23 2014 5:50 p.m. MST

“Whale Rider” — Keisha Castle-Hughes became for a time, at least, the youngest leading actress ever nominated for an Oscar for her role in this film, which was also one of the big hits from the 2003 festival. Set among the Maori of New Zealand, it effectively dramatizes the struggle to preserve local traditions against the threat of modernization. A very, very mild PG-13, this one would probably be suitable for most younger viewers.

Rating: PG-13

Available on: Hulu Plus

“Teddy Bear” — A low-key Danish film about a professional bodybuilder who goes to Thailand in hopes of finding love. “Teddy Bear” snagged filmmaker Mads Matthiesen the Best Director award in the World Cinema category at the 2012 festival, and it put its hulking star, real-life bodybuilder Kim Kold, on Hollywood’s radar. Viewers might recognize him from “Fast & Furious 6” as the guy who makes even The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) look small. Here, though, Kold delivers a remarkably thoughtful, sensitive performance.

Rating: Not rated (probable PG-13)

Available on: Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus

New TV series to stream

“Veronica Mars” — In preparation for the March 14 release of the Veronica Mars movie, Amazon is streaming all three seasons of the cult TV series about a high school girl (Kristen Bell) moonlighting as a private investigator while simultaneously trying to solve the murder of her best friend (played by Amanda Seyfried). Since premiering in 2004, “Veronica Mars” has earned a devoted following, and not without reason.

Rating: TV-14

Available on: Amazon Prime Instant

“Masterpiece Mystery!: Endeavour” – A prequel series based on Colin Dexter’s novels starring Shaun Evans as a young Detective Endeavour Morse. The first season proved to be a big hit in its native England. For fans of other British mystery series like “Sherlock” or “Luther,” this might be a good fit.

Rating: Not rated

Available on: Netflix Instant, Amazon Prime Instant

“Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness” – For younger audiences, Amazon has added the first two seasons of this “Kung Fu Panda” spin-off series, which originally premiered on Nickelodeon. Perfect for fans of the movies (who probably won’t even notice that Jack Black has been replaced by a soundalike).

Rating: TV-PG

Available on: Amazon Prime Instant

A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff Peterson is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.

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