By Sean Axmaker
Top streams for the week
“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018, PG-13) is the biggest, most sprawling superhero epic yet, a comic book apocalypse that pits almost every character in the big screen Marvel Comics Universe—Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and more—against cosmic supervillain Thanos (Josh Brolin). On Cable On Demand, VOD, and disc.
The animated “Disenchantment” from “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening is a fantasy comedy about a hard-drinking, bar-brawling princess (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) who hits the road for a quest with her personal demon and a naive elf. Filled with gruesome gags and raunchy humor, it’s Groening without the constraints of network television. 10 episodes streaming on Netflix.
Also on Netflix is the Coen Bros.’s Oscar-winning “No Country for Old Men” (2007, R) with Tommy Lee Jones as an aging lawman and Javier Bardem as a cold-blooded hitman.
Amazon Prime Video adds to its growing collection of noir classics with two of the all-time greats: “Nightmare Alley” (1947) with Tyrone Power as a carny who becomes a society blackmailer and “Ride the Pink Horse” (1947) with Robert Montgomery as a small-time hood taking on a crime boss during a southwest carnival.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Asa Butterfield and Alex Wolff star in the coming-of-age drama “The House of Tomorrow” (2017, not rated). Also new: medieval fantasy adventure “The Last Warrior” (Russian, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) and documentary “King Cohen” (2017, not rated) about maverick filmmaker Larry Cohen.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is dark comedy “Breaking & Exiting” (2018, not rated) and horror film “Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich” (2018, not rated), a new chapter in the B-movie franchise featuring Thomas Lennon, Michael Pare, Barbara Crampton, and Udo Kier.
Christian Bale is a cavalry officer who has to overcome his own hatred to escort an Apache chief (Wes Studi) and his family back to their Montana home in “Hostiles” (2018, R), a violent frontier western with Rosamund Pike and Adam Beach.
Two high school comedies: a teenage girl’s secret love letters are accidentally mailed out in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” (2018, not rated) and a socially-awkward home-schooled kid gets a crash course in high school culture in “Adventures in Public School” (2017, not rated).
Also new: “Wish I Was Here” (2014, R) directed by and starring Zach Braff;
- animated comedy “The Nut Job” (2014, PG);
- comedy “Evan Almighty” (2007, PG) with Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman as God;
- Oliver Stone’s “Alexander: The Ultimate Cut” (2005/2014, R) with Colin Farrell.
- “Ultraviolet: Season 1” (Poland, with subtitles), about an eccentric team of amateur sleuths;
- CW’s post-apocalypse survival thriller “The 100: Season 5.”
Foreign affairs: an aspiring writer manipulates the lives of his neighbors for inspiration in the dark comedy “The Motive” (Spain, 2017, not rated, with subtitles).
Kid stuff: the animated “Pinky Malinky: Season 1” follows a spirited hot dog in the human world. Also new is “Splash and Bubbles: Season 2,” an educational show about undersea life, and the animated “Spirit Riding Free: Season 6.”
Amazon Prime Video
David Oyelowo is a mild-mannered businessman caught between corporate backstabbers and drug cartels in “Gringo” (2018, R), a comic crime thriller with Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Sharlto Copley, and Amanda Seyfried.
Robert Downey Jr. earned his first Oscar nomination in “Chaplin” (1993, PG-13) playing the legendary silent star.
Anne Parillaud is a suicidal street punk turned professional assassin in Luc Besson’s original “La Femme Nikita” (France, 1990, R, with subtitles), a sleek action thriller that spawned remakes, copycats, and two TV shows.
Classics: John Wayne and Dean Martin are “The Sons of Katie Elder” (1965, not rated) in the classics revenge western. Also new:
- romantic fantasy “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid” (1948) with William Powell;
- “The Black Swan” (1942) with Tyrone Power as a swashbuckling pirate;
- World War II resistance drama “Edge of Darkness” (1943) with Errol Flynn;
- “Internes Can’t Take Money” (1937) with Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea as young Dr. Kildare;
- sexy pre-code musical mystery “Murder at the Vanities” (1934) with Jack Oakie and Victor McLaglen;
- John Ford’s prison comedy “Up the River” (1930) with Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart.
More film noir: Gothic noir “Hangover Square” (1945) with Laird Cregar as a psychotic composer;
- “Pushover” (1954) with Fred MacMurray as cop in love with suspect Kim Novak;
- “Women’s Prison” (1955) with Ida Lupino as a sadistic warden;
- Brit-noir “Yield to the Night” (1956) with Diana Dors as a woman scorned;
- neo-noir “Farewell My Lovely” (1975, R) with Robert Mitchum as an aged Philip Marlowe.
Cult movies: Ben Wheatley’s “A Field in England” (2012, not rated) is a 17th century psychedelic supernatural thriller. Also new:
- brutal Australian black comedy “Wake in Fright” (1971, R) with Gary Bond and Donald Pleasance;
- sexy Hammer horror film “Countess Dracula” (1972, PG) with Ingrid Pitt;
- British spy spoof “Deadlier Than the Male” (1967) with Richard Johnson and Elke Sommer.
Streaming TV: the half-hour western “The Rebel: Season 1” (1959-1960) stars Nick Adams as former Confederate soldier turned wandering cowboy Johnny Yuma.
Kid stuff: “The Stinky & Dirty Show: Season 2, Part 2.”
The award-winning documentary “Minding the Gap,” which looks at the three childhood friends from troubled families navigating the choppy waters of adulthood, comes to Hulu direct from the film festival circuit.
60 championship episodes from recent seasons of the quiz show “Jeopardy!” are now streaming.
Foreign affairs: Chinese matinee idol stars in the fantasy “The Monkey King 3” (China, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) and Richard Dormer stars in Jerzy Skolimowski’s “11 Minutes” (Poland, 2016, not rated, with subtitles).
More true stories: “The Cage Fighter” (2017, not rated) follows blue collar worker Joe Carman as he continues the punishing sport to the neglect of his family and his own well-being.
- horror film “Marrowbone” (2017, R) with Anna Taylor-Joy;
- coming-of-age drama “Very Good Girls” (2013, not rated) with Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen;
- comedies “Role Models” (2008, R) with Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott and “Duplex” (2003, PG-13) comedy with Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore;
- romantic comedy “America’s Sweethearts” (2001, PG-13) with Julia Roberts and Billy Crystal.
Streaming TV: Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford take over the roles created by Danny Glover and Mel Gibson in “Lethal Weapon: Seasons 1 & 2.” Also new:
- action fantasy “Stan Against Evil: Season 2“;
- Starz crime drama “Power: Season 4“;
- animated revival “The Powerpuff Girls: Season 2” from Cartoon Network.
Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in “Murder on the Orient Express” (2017, PG-13 as Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot investigating a star-studded cast of suspects (among them Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley).
Available Saturday night is “Darkest Hour” (2017, PG-13), starring Gary Oldman in an Oscar-winning performance as Winston Churchill.
There are 20 features by “Director of the Week: William Wellman,” from his landmark gangster film “The Public Enemy” (1931) to World War II drama “Darby’s Rangers” (1958) and featuring some of the greatest movies from the wild pre-code era of early sound movies, including “Night Nurse” (1931) with Barbara Stanwyck, “Safe in Hell” (1931), “Heroes for Sale” (1933), and “Wild Boys of the Road” (1933).
TCM Select Pick of the Week: Greer Garson is Elizabeth Bennet and Laurence Olivier her Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice” (1940), the classic Hollywood version of the Jane Austen novel adapted by Aldous Huxley. Streaming until December 27.
Also new: “Star of the Week: Frank Sinatra” spotlights 20 films, from his first leading role in “Higher and Higher” (1943) to his final featured performance in “The First Deadly Sin” (1980, R), and “Emerging Filmmakers: Jim Cummings” with 9 short films.
Suranne Jones and David Morrissey are detectives investigating a suicide that may be connected to an abandoned baby on a train in the British mystery miniseries “Five Days: The Train.” All five episodes now streaming. Also new:
- New Zealand family drama “800 Words: Season 3, Part 2,” with new episodes arriving on Wednesdays;
- British police procedural “Murder Investigation Team: Complete Series” (2003-2005).
Heather Graham and Stephen Mangan star in the British comedy “Bliss” about a travel writer juggling a double life with two families. Written and directed by David Cross.
New on disc this week:
“Avengers: Infinity War,” “Shock and Awe,” “The Yellow Birds, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” “Bad Samaritan”
Now available at Redbox:
“Shock and Awe,” “The Yellow Birds,” “China Salesman”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.