By Sean AxmakerWhat’s new for home viewing on Video on Demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming services, starting Friday.
Top streams for the week
The handsome British mystery “Crooked House” (2017, PG-13), based on the Agatha Christie novel, features Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, and Christina Hendricks as prime suspects in the murder of a business tycoon. Max Irons stars a former spy turned London P.I. dropped into a mansion filled with resentful relatives and Terence Stamp is a Scotland Yard inspector. Set in the 1950s (complete with early blasts of rock and roll), it plays like a big-budget “Masterpiece Mystery” and it was barely released in the U.S. Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
“Roxanne Roxanne” (2017, not rated) won a special jury prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival for the breakthrough performance by Chanté Adams, who plays real-life ’80s rapper Roxanne Shanté. It debuts on Netflix.
Also new on Netflix is “Game Over, Man!” (2018, not rated), an action movie comedy that reunites “Workaholics” stars Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, and Blake Anderson.
Not your usual origin story, “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” (2017, R) finds the birth of the first female comic book superhero mixed in with feminism, kinky sex, and a polyamorous relationship. Luke Evans and Rebecca Hall star. Now streaming on Hulu, which also presents the U.S. debut of the documentary sequel “March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step” (2017, not rated).
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Matt Damon gets small in “Downsizing” (2017, R), a comedy that uses the incredible shrinking people gimmick for a social satire of class, economic anxiety, conservation, personal responsibility, and human nature. Also on DVD and at Redbox.
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (2017, PG-13) transports teenagers into the bodies of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan to play a magical video game. Also on DVD and at Redbox.
Also new: “Pitch Perfect 3” (2017, PG-13) with Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and the a cappella gang back for one more chorus and “Novitiate” (2017, R), a drama about a young nun in America during the era of Vatican II reforms.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is comedy “Madame” (2017, not rated) with Toni Collette and Harvey Keitel as rich Americans in Paris, and drama “I Kill Giants” (2017, not rated) about a girl who escapes loneliness in a world of fantasy.
The animated feature “In This Corner of the World (Japan, 2016, PG-13, English dub and subtitled versions) is a delicate and moving portrait of civilian life in rural Japan during World War II that largely avoids politics in its humane portrait of those who survive.
A shy American girl flies to Italy “In Search of Fellini” (2017, R) in this mix of travel film and cinematic love letter.
Foreign affairs: two physically disabled young men discover hidden talents assisting a hitman in “Kills on Wheels” (Hungary, 2016, not rated, with subtitles) and a young Muslim woman in Europe finds refuge from bigotry in a community of Islamic radicals in “Layla M.” (Netherlands, 2016, not rated, with subtitles).
Streaming TV: Drew Barrymore is back on the “Santa Clarita Diet” in the second season of the suburban satire zombie comedy with Timothy Olyphant, and teen dramedy “Alexa & Katie” follows best friends facing high school and cancer together. Also new:
- British thriller “Requiem: Season 1” about a mystery in a small Welsh town;
- “The Mechanism: Season 1,” a thriller from Brazil inspired by a real-life investigation of government corruption;
- “SWORDGAI The Animation: Part 1” from Japan;
- “The Standups: Season 2” featuring a new crop of young comedians;
- and “Mystery Science Theater 3000: Collection” featuring 20 episodes of the original incarnation of the comedy built on heckling bad movies.
Stand-up: from South Korea comes “Yoo Byung Jae: Too Much Information” (2018, with subtitles)
Amazon Prime Video
“Hugo” (2011, PG), Martin Scorsese’s love letter to the magic of cinema set in a fantastical recreation of 1920s Paris, is also his first family film and it won five Oscars.
Susan Sarandon won an Oscar for “Dead Man Walking” (1995, R), based on the non-fiction book by Sister Helen Prejean.
Foreign affairs: World War II resistance drama “The King’s Choice” (Norway, 2017, with subtitles) was Norway’s official submission to the Academy Awards.
Streaming TV: “Romanzo Criminale: The Complete Series” (Italy, 2008-2010, with subtitles) is one of the most popular TV shows ever made in Italy, a real-life crime story turned into a sleek but rough gangster saga of Rome in the 1980s.
True stories: “Finders Keepers” (2015, R) follows the stranger than fiction story about the legal battle over a severed human leg and Ken Burns profiles “Jackie Robinson” (2016) in the 4-hour production made for PBS.
“Force Majeure” (Sweden, 2014, R, with subtitles), from the director of the Oscar-nominated “The Square,” is a painfully funny satirical dramedy.
True stories: “Life Itself” (2014, not rated) is a loving portrait of film critic Roger Ebert by director Steve James, who started out adapting Ebert’s memoir and ended up chronicling the final months of his life.
Also new: “Love and Saucers” (2017, not rated) tells the strange story of David Huggins who claims to have been abducted numerous times by aliens.
Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Colin Farrell star in Sofia Coppola’s remake of “The Beguiled” (2017, R), which won the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Filmmaker Rebecca Miller explores the life and career of her father in the documentary “Arthur Miller: Writer” (2018, not rated) with intimate interviews she conducted over the decades.
Available Saturday night is “Atomic Blonde” (2017, R) with Charlize Theron as a kick-ass spy in Cold War Germany.
FilmStruck / Criterion Channel
Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty discover “Splendor in the Grass” (1961) in the Oscar-winning drama. It’s part of a “Young Love” collection that also include the nostalgic “Summer of ’42” (1971, R) and the offbeat Scottish comedy “Gregory’s Girl” (1981, PG).
The tribute to Star of the Week: Ava Gardner includes the ravishing “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman” (1951) with James Mason, “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) with Richard Burton, and musical drama “Show Boat” (1951) and Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong is featured in collection that includes the British silent classic “Piccadilly” (1929) and the American film noir “Impact” (1949).
Director of the Week: Vera Chytilová celebrates the Czech New Wave filmmaker with five films including her masterpiece “Daisies” (Czechoslovakia, 1966, with subtitles) and “Bob Rafelson’s Hollywood” pays tribute to the producer/director with such modern classics as “Easy Rider” (1969, R) and “Five Easy Pieces” (1970, R).
New on disc this week:
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” “Downsizing,” “Pitch Perfect 3,” “Novitiate,” “Small Town Crime”
Now available at Redbox:
“The Shape of Water,” “Justice League,” “Downsizing,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” “Pitch Perfect 3”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.