By Sean AxmakerWhat’s new for home viewing on Video on Demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming services.
Top streams for the week
Chadwick Boseman as Prince T’Challa, aka “Black Panther” (2018, PG-13), in the first Marvel superhero movie built around a black hero. Director Ryan Coogler adds his own sensibility with his creation of a hidden Africa kingdom that honors the past and pushes technology into the future. Michael B. Jordan is the villain who wants to use the resources of his mother nation to foment worldwide revolution and Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira co-star as fierce warriors. Both politically engaged and visually exciting, it broke box-office records on its release. It’s now available on Cable On Demand and VOD, as well as DVD and Blu-ray.
Martin Freeman is a father trying to save his infant daughter from a zombie pandemic and the humans preying on survivors and infected alike in “Cargo” (2017), a survival thriller set in the desolation of the Australian outback. It comes to Netflix after earning solid reviews on the film festival circuit.
Diane Kruger won the best actress prize at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival for her performance as a grieving wife and mother in Fatih Akin’s “In the Fade” (Germany, 2017, with subtitles, R), an intimate thriller that plays out against the culture of white nationalism in Germany. Streaming on Hulu.
The fifth and final season of “Orphan Black” brings closure to the story of clone sisters (all played by Tatiana Maslany in an Emmy-winning performance) who discover they are part of an insidious experiment. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video along with all previous seasons.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
The producers of “God’s Not Dead” takes on the Biblical epic with the low-budget, faith-based production “Samson” (2018, PG-13) and “1987: When the Day Comes” (South Korea, 2017, not rated, with subtitles) dramatizes the historic public outcry against the military dictatorship that led to the birth of South Korean democracy.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the thriller “Dark Crimes” (2018, R) with Jim Carrey in a change-of-pace role as a police detective on the trail of a brutal killer.
From South Africa comes the comedy “Catching Feelings” (South Africa, 2017, not rated) about a Johannesburg novelist and teacher (writer/director Kagiso Ledigo) whose life and marriage are turned upside when he invites a hedonistic writer into his home.
Steve Carrell is “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005, R) in the hit comedy from director Judd Apatow. Also new:
- action thriller “Wanted” (2008, R) with James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie;
- military thriller “The Kingdom” (2007, R) with Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner;
- musical “Mamma Mia!” (2008, PG-13) with Meryl Streep, which streaming before the sequel arrives in theaters;
- “The Phantom of the Opera” (2004, PG-13), the big screen version of the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical.
Kid stuff: the lighthearted animated adventure “Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro” (Japan, 1973, PG-13, dubbed and subtitled versions) is the first feature by the great Hayao Miyazaka. Presented with original Japanese and English dubbed soundtracks.
Stand-up: “Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife” presents the comedian ruminating on marriage and parenthood while 7 ½ months pregnant.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon adds the complete runs of the classic “Kung Fu” (1972-1975) starring David Carradine as a martial arts master traveling the American West and the BBC take on the Arthurian legends “Merlin” with Colin Morgan as the young sorcerer who befriends Prince Arthur in Camelot before he becomes king.
True stories: “La Maison de la Radio” (2013, not rated, with subtitles) chronicles 24 hours in the life of Radio France and “L7: Pretend We’re Dead” (2016, not rated) profiles the hard-rocking pre-grunge Seattle band.
More streaming TV: “You Are Wanted: Season 2” (Germany, with subtitles) continues the Prime Original cyber thriller produced in Germany.
Amazon Prime and Hulu
“Baywatch” (2017, R) revives the surf, sand, and swimsuits of the eighties TV series as an action movie comedy on the beach starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, and Priyanka Chopra (Prime Video and Hulu). Also new:
- comedy “How to Be a Latin Lover” (2017, PG-13) with Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek (Prime Video and Hulu);
- Canadian drama “Still Mine” (2012, PG-13) with James Cromwell and Geneviève Bujold (Prime Video and Hulu).
Patricia Rozema’s adaptation of “Mansfield Park” (1999, PG-13) combines Jane Austen’s novel with elements of her letters and journals to turn heroine Fanny Price, a lower class cousin living with her snooty rich relatives, into a woman of self-possession and confidence. Rozema’s script is at times too modern for its period but her direction is rich and vivid and Frances O’Conner delightfully brings Fanny to life with charm and intelligence.
Vincent Ward’s visually magnificent love story “Map of the Human Heart” (1992, R) stars Jason Scott Lee as an Inuit boy taken from his Arctic home to the city for medical attention by a British mapmaker (Patrick Bergin), where he falls in love with half-Indian girl Anne Parillaud and spends the rest of his life trying to reunite with her.
“My Name is Earl: The Complete Series” (2005-2009) features all four seasons of the sitcom starring Jason Lee as lifetime reprobate who decides to make amends to everyone he wronged after he wins the lottery.
More streaming TV: From England comes the sitcom “Friday Night Dinner: Seasons 1-4” with Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird, and a family dinner that inevitably ends in disaster every single week. Also new:
- “X Company: Season 1,” a World War II spy drama from Canada;
- time-travel drama “12 Monkeys: Season 3” from SyFy, inspired by the 1995 film;
- the fourth and final season of “The Strain: Season 4,” the vampire apocalypse series developed by Guillermo del Toro from the novels of Chuck Hogan.
True stories: “Frank Serpico” (2017, not rated) profiles the real-life New York cop who inspired the 1973 movie starring Al Pacino and foodie documentary “Soul of a Banquet” (2014) spotlights Cecilia Chiang, who introduced authentic Chinese food to America in the 1960s.
“Dunkirk” (2017, PG-13), Christopher Nolan’s immersive drama of the British army’s evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940 with the help of civilian ships ferrying soldiers across the English Channel, as an epic experimental film with minimal dialogue, juggled timelines, and intimate scenes that share the experience of the soldiers and civilians. It’s unique and immediate and striking and won three Academy Awards.
Arriving Saturday night is “Fahrenheit 451” (2018, TV-14), the new adaptation of the classic Ray Bradbury novel starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon is “firemen” in a future where their job is to burn books.
“The Royal Wedding Live with Cord and Tish!,” a comic spin performed live by Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon, comes to HBO Now and HBO Go on Saturday morning and HBO On Demand on Sunday.
Benedict Cumberbatch produces and stars in the five-part miniseries “Patrick Melrose,” a coproduction with UK’s Sky Atlantic based on the novels by Edward St. Aubyn. New episodes arrive Saturday nights.
The American live-action version of “Ghost in the Shell” (2017, PG-13), based on the Japanese animated feature and set in a “Blade Runner”-esque future, stars Scarlett Johansson as a cybernetically-enhanced government agent whose latest case leads to the secret behind her identity.
TCM Select Pick of the Week: “Some Like it Hot” (1959), Billy Wilder’s best loved film and the AFI’s number one pick for best American comedy of all time, plays the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre for farce when the two musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who witness the brutal gangland slaying elude mobsters by hiding out in an all-girl band. Lemmon hams it up in drag and Marilyn Monroe transforms her troubled real life of needy desperation, closet alcoholism, and sexy/innocent flirtations into bubbly comedy, but Tony Curtis steals the film with dead-on vamps of both Eve Arden and Cary Grant. Streaming through October 26.
Billy Wilder is also FilmStruck’s “Director of the Week” and one of 11 features available from the director, a collection that spans from his cynical classics “Sunset Boulevard” (1950) with William Holden and Gloria Swanson and the acidic “Ace in the Hole” (1951) with Kirk Douglas to the mellower and even romantic “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” (1970) with Robert Stevens and “Avanti!” (1972) with Jack Lemmon in Italy.
Lauren Bacall is the “Star of the Week” and line-up includes all of her onscreen pairing with Humphrey Bogart, from her debut in “To Have and Have Not” (1944) to “Key Largo” (1948) with Edward G. Robinson, to her supporting role in the Paul Newman private eye drama “Harper” (1966).
New on disc this week:
“Black Panther,” “Samson,” “The Other Side of Hope”
Now available at Redbox:
“Black Panther,” “Samson,” “Cocaine Godmother”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.