By Sean AxmakerTop streams for the week
Chadwick Boseman as Prince T’Challa, aka “Black Panther” (2018, PG-13), in the first Marvel superhero movie built around 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. Now streaming on Netflix.
“Hereditary” (2018, R) spins a family psychodrama of grief and guilt into an eerie horror film with supernatural overtones. Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne star in the sleeper hit of the summer, a rare thriller that favors mood and unease over shock value. On Cable On Demand and VOD, also on DVD and at Redbox.
The life and legacy of Fred Rogers is honored in “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (2018, PG-13), a documentary that celebrates a man devoted to helping guide children through the emotional minefields of growing up. This portrait of selflessness and humility is reassuring in this cultural climate. VOD, DVD, and at Redbox.
Jon Hamm is a disillusioned diplomat pulled back in to service to save the life of a friend in “Beirut” (2018, R), a smart thriller set in the violence of the undeclared warzone of 1982 Beirut. Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
“Adrift” (2018, PG-13) stars Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin as a young couple whose solo sailing adventure becomes a survival odyssey when they are caught in a hurricane. Also new: UK thriller “Beast” (2017, R), set in a rural community on the Isle of Jersey, and post-apocalypse thriller “Hostile” (2017, France, not rated).
The family friendly animated robot-buddy adventure “Next Gen” (2018, not rated) is a China-Canada coproduction making its debut on Netflix. John Krasinski and Jason Sudeikis headline the voice cast. Also debuting direct-to-Netflix is high school comedy “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser” (2018, PG-13).
Some movies are worth watching again and again. “Groundhog Day” (1993, PG), starring Bill Murray as a smug, self-centered weatherman doomed to relive the same day over and over and over again, literally invites it. It’s a rare comedy that is both hilarious and heartfelt, an almost spiritual story of rebirth refreshingly free of preachy moralizing and mawkish sentimentality.
Streaming TV: The Australian comedy “Sisters: Season 1,” about a woman who discovers that she has more than 100 brothers and two sisters thanks to her father’s sperm donations, makes its stateside debut on Netflix. Also new are the Netflix Originals “Atypical: Season 2” and “Iron Fist: Season 2.”
True stories: “City of Joy” profiles a center in war-torn Congo that helps women who have been sexually assaulted regain a sense of self and empowerment and the non-fiction series “First and Last: Season 1” follows new and veteran inmates in Georgia’s Gwinnett County Jail.
Foreign affairs: “The Most Assassinated Woman in the World” (Belgium, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) is a thriller about an actress in the legendary Grand Guignol Theater facing a real life killer stalker in 1930s Paris.
More streaming TV: prime time fantasy “Once Upon a Time: Season 7” and FBI thriller “Quantico: Season 3” present the respective final seasons of these two network shows. Also new: SyFy supernatural thriller “Van Helsing: Season 2” and Australian women in prison drama “Wentworth: Season 6.”
Foreign TV: “Cathedral of the Sea: Season 1” (Spain, with subtitles) follows a serf’s climb to wealth and freedom in 14th-century Barcelona. Also new:
“Monkey Twins: Season 1” (Thailand, with subtitles), about a fighter and cop joining forces to battle an organized crime ring;
high school drama “Age of Rebellion: Season 1” (Taiwan, with subtitles);
“Cable Girls: Season 3 (Spain), set in 1920s Madrid.
Kid stuff: the animated Disney comedies “Lilo & Stitch” (2002, PG), set in contemporary Hawaii, and “The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000, G) are among the last of Disney’s old-school animated features. Also new: animated superhero series “Stretch Armstrong & the Flex Fighters: Season 2” for young viewers.
More new arrivals: Clint Eastwood won his first Academy Award for directing “Unforgiven” (1992, R), a western with Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman. Also new:
superhero hit “Spider-Man 3” (2007, PG-13) with Tobey Maguire and James Franco;
heart-tugging drama “Martian Child” (2007, PG) with John Cusack;
high school film noir “Brick” (2005, R) with Joseph Gordon-Levitt;
Peter Jackson’s remake of “King Kong” (2005, PG-13);
video game action movie “Doom” (2005, R) with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Karl Urban;
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (2005, PG) with Martin Freeman and Mos Def;
Oscar-winner “A Beautiful Mind” (2001, PG-13) with Russell Crowe;
Oscar-winner “The Cider House Rules” (1999, PG-13) with Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine;
Brian De Palma’s “Scarface” (1983, R) with Al Pacino.
Amazon Prime Video
The horror sequel “The Strangers: Prey at Night” (2018, R) stars Christina Hendricks and Martin Henderson as parents protecting their family from masked psychopaths.
Canadian indie drama “Luk’Luk’I” (2017, not rated) follows the lives of five Vancouver residents on the fringes of society during the 2010 Winter Olympics. It comes to Prime Video after making the film festival rounds.
Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” (1974, R), starring Jack Nicholson as private eye J.J. Gittes in 1930s and Faye Dunaway as a tragic femme fatale, is a neo-noir classic and one of the masterpieces
of American cinema.
True stories: the documentary “Wait For Your Laugh” (2018, not rated) looks at the life and career of Rose Marie, from child performer to vaudeville, radio, and TV star famed for “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Also newly arrived:
“Life and Debt” (2001, not rated), a study of Jamaica’s economic decline in the age of globalization;
“Rivers and Tides” (2003, not rated), a look at natural sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.
Kid stuff: the animated Prime Original series “Pete the Cat: Season 1” and “Wishenpoof: Season 2” are now streaming.
heist drama “The Score” (2001, R) with Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando;
“Jerry Maguire” (1996, R) with Tom Cruise and an Oscar-winning performance by Cuba Gooding Jr.;
offbeat western “The Missouri Breaks” (1976, PG) with Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson;
Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” (1980, R) with Robert De Niro
surreal western “Greaser’s Palace” (1972, not rated).
Prime Video and Hulu
Brian De Palma’s “Dressed to Kill” (1980, R), a sleek, sexy twist on “Psycho” with Michael Caine and Angie Dickinson (Prime Video and Hulu), and conspiracy thriller “Blow Out” (1981, R) with John Travolta and Nancy Allen (Prime Video and Hulu), are two of the director’s best films. Follow-up up with the documentary “De Palma” (2016, R) streaming on Prime Video.
Also new: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-winning “There Will Be Blood” (2007, R) with Daniel Day-Lewis (Prime Video and Hulu) and prison sports comedy/drama “The Longest Yard” (1974, R) with Burt Reynolds (Prime Video and Hulu).
“The English Patient” (1996, R), the romantic World War II drama starring Ralph Fiennes as a mysterious patient who confesses a terrible tale of passion, tragedy, and treason to an angelic nurse (Juliette Binoche), won nine Academy Awards.
New episodes of Sarah Silverman’s “I Love You, America” arrive on Thursday nights.
“Daphne & Velma” (2018, G), a live-action “Scooby-Doo” prequel, imagines the first case of the
future Mystery Inc. investigators.
Also new: Oscar-winning music documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” (2012, PG-13);
Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky” (2008, R) with Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan;
“Adaptation” (2002, R) with Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep;
Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore” (1998, R) with Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray;
David Cronenberg’s superb remake of “The Fly” (1986, R) with Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis.
The animated comedy “Ferdinand” (2017, PG) features the voice of John Cena as the peace-loving bull.
From Japan comes “Miss Sherlock,” a mystery series that offers a new take on Doyle’s characters with a female detective duo.
Tom Cruise meets “The Mummy” (2017, PG-13) in the reboot of the classic horror film as a big-budget action spectacle. It was a box office flop that ended plans for an interconnected monster movie franchise. More fun are the earlier, more lighthearted remakes “The Mummy” (1999, PG-13) and “The Mummy Returns” (2001, PG-13) with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Also newly arrived:
“Sherlock Holmes” (2009, PG-13) with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law;
“Ronin” (1998, R) with Robert De Niro;
Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” (1990, R) with Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro.
Starting Sunday night is the second season of the HBO Original series “The Deuce: Season 2” from creator David Simon.
“Star of the Week: Paul Newman” is showcased with fourteen films, including the newly-added society drama “The Young Philadelphians” (1959), breezy thriller “The Prize” (1963), and iconic chain gang drama “Cool Hand Luke” (1967).
TCM Select Pick of the Week is “Captains Courageous” (1937) with Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, and Mickey Rooney. Streaming through December 27
Also new: “Director of the Week: Alejandro Jodorowsky” presents five features from the defiantly independent filmmaker, from his cult classic “El Topo” (Mexico, 1970, with subtitles) to his autobiographical “Endless Poetry” (Chile, 2016, with subtitles) all streaming through February 28, and “Cartoon Roots,” a collection of 15 animated shorts produced between 1907 and 1932.
Streaming for the month of September only at Criterion Channel is Roman Polanski’s “Cul-de-sac” (1966, not rated), an absurdist crime thriller as psychological chamber piece, and Ken Loach’s “Kes” (1969, PG-13), a small, tender British drama about a fatherless teenager who bonds with a young kestrel.
All three seasons of the British crime drama “WPC 56” (2013-2015), starring Jennie Jacques as the first police woman to serve in the chauvinistic force of West Midlands in the 1950s, debut on BritBox.
Fandango tries to recreate something of the old video store experience with their VOD rental “Binge Bundles” of double features, movie packages, and franchise collections at a bargain price. Browse the deals at Fandangonow.com.
New on disc this week:
“Hereditary,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” “Adrift,” “Ideal Home,” “Godard, Mon Amour”
Now available at Redbox:
“Hereditary,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” “Adrift,” “Ideal Home,” “I Kill Giants”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.