The best new movies now streaming evoke worlds of yesterday and tomorrow

The long and short of it

This week Netflix debuts one of this year’s Oscar-nominated animated short films, though it’s sure to have a life well beyond awards season. Meanwhile, Fandor offers up a classic short film from the 1940s. Who says long movies are better? Certainly Straight Outta Compton (now on Vudu) could have been shorter, although what’s there is still very much worth seeing.

Then there’s Red Riding Trilogy, available on Hulu, a film that runs more than six hours and doesn’t seem to waste a moment. Steve Martin’s Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (catch it on Crackle) is less than 90 minutes, while fun, feels stretched thin in places.

In the end, whether a movie is 14 minutes or six hours, the showbiz rule has always been “always leave ‘em wanting more!” Happily, quite a few of this weeks’ other movies, ranging from comedies to horror films, from imports to domestic, feel just about right: neither too long nor too short.