Top streams for the week
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018, PG-13) has been criticized for it simplistic (and in some places inaccurate) portrait of the life of singer and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, but it is a rousing, lively film and it earned five Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best actor for Rami Malek’s performance. It’s new on Cable On Demand and VOD along with “At Eternity’s Gate” (2018, PG-13), featuring Williem Dafoe in an Oscar-nominated performance as Vincent Van Gogh. Both are also on DVD and at Redbox.
A notable oversight in this year’s nomination is Morgan Neville’s documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (2018, PG-13), a touching tribute to the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, a man who for decades devoted himself to helping guide children through the emotional minefields of growing up. This portrait of selflessness and humility is reassuring in this cultural climate and it is astounding that it was not nominated for an Oscar. On HBO cable and streaming services.
Netflix strikes out from the Marvel Comics Universe with “The Umbrella Academy: Season 1,” an offbeat superhero drama based on a cult comic book series (created by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance) about a team of adopted, estranged siblings with odd powers who reunite to save the world after the death of their eccentric adoptive father (Colm Fiore). Ellen Page and Tom Hopper are two of siblings and Mary J. Blige and Cameron Britton co-star as assassins on their trail. 10 episodes on Netflix.
Another misfit crew debuts on DC Universe, a service with live action and animated shows featuring the DC Comics superheroes. “Doom Patrol: Season 1,” based on the cult comic book about a team of offbeat, tormented heroes, stars Matt Bomer, Brendan Frasier, and Timothy Dalton. New episodes roll out each Friday on DC Universe.
The four-part documentary miniseries “Lorena” reclaims the story of Lorena Bobbitt, reminding audiences that behind tabloid stories and sick jokes is an abuse survivor who devoted the rest of her life to protecting abused women. On Amazon Prime Video.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Tiffany Haddish stars in the comedy “Nobody’s Fool” (2018, R), written and directed by Tyler Perry, and Hugh Jackman is presidential hopeful Gary Hart in the political drama “The Front Runner” (2018, R). Also on DVD and at Redbox. Also new:
- “Anna and the Apocalypse” (2018, R), a zombie comedy with a Christmas setting;
- “The Happy Prince” (2018, R) starring director Rupert as Oscar Wilde;
- documentaries “One Million American Dreams” (2018, not rated), about New York’s cemetery for the unclaimed and forgotten, and “Among Wolves” (2016, not rated, with subtitles), about Bosnian war veterans finding purpose protecting a herd of wild horses.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is romantic comedy “Under the Eiffel Tower” (2019, not rated) with Matt Walsh and Judith Godrèche and sci-fi comedy “Mega Time Squad” (2019, not rated) from New Zealand.
“The Breaker Upperers” (2018, not rated) stars New Zealand comedians Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek as partners in a business that helps clients break up with their romantic partners. It comes to Netflix from a successful theatrical run in New Zealand and Australia.
Non-fiction series “Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy: Season 1” explores the comedy culture in such disparate countries as Russia, China, India, Iran, Nigeria, and Turkey, places where jokes can be genuinely dangerous, with filmmaker and comedy writer Larry Charles (“Seinfeld,” “Borat”).
More streaming TV: “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” returns with new episodes streaming every Sunday. Also new:
Foreign language TV: “Flavorful Origins: Chaoshan Cuisine” (China, with subtitles) explores the flavors and cooking traditions of the coastal region of Eastern China in 20 short episodes. Also new: crime thriller “The Break: Season 2” (Belgium, with subtitles).
Foreign affairs: “Yucatán” (Spain, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) is a con-artist comedy that plays out on a cruise from Spain to Mexico and “Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings” (Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang) (China, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) is the third film in the magic-strewn movie mysteries from filmmaker Tsui Hark.
Also new: father-son reunion comedy “The Confirmation” (2016, PG-13) with Clive Owen;
- David Fincher’s “Zodiac” (2007, R) with Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr.;
- Gillian Armstrong’s Oscar-nominated “Little Women” (1994, PG) with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon.
Stand-up: “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho.”
Amazon Prime Video
Oscar Isaac and Charlotte Le Bon play lovers caught in the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the historical drama “The Promise” (2017, PG-13).
Foreign affairs: celebrated Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda directs the twisty courtroom drama “The Third Murder” (Japan, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) starring Koji Yakusho (“Shall We Dance,” “Babel”). Also new: “1945” (Hungary, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), a drama about a Hungarian town’s response to two Orthodox Jews who arrive in the weeks after World War II.
Streaming TV: “Salem: Complete Series” (2014-2017), starring Janet Montgomery as a powerful sorceress feeding the hysteria among the Puritans, takes a different approach to the infamous witch trials in 17th century colonial America.
True stories: “Hal” (2018, not rated) looks at the life, career, and cinematic legacy of filmmaker Hal Ashby, the Oscar-nominated director of such modern classics as “Harold and Maude,” “Bound for Glory,” and “Being There.”
More movies: Revisit the original “Child’s Play” (1988, R), the horror film about a murderous doll that launched an entire franchise, before the new remake hits theaters. Also newly arrived:
- small town basketball drama “Hoosiers” (1986, PG) with Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper;
- western comedy “Support Your Local Gunfighter” (1971, G) with James Garner;
- film noir “Shockproof” (1949) with Cornel Wilde.
The documentary “Whitney” (2018, R) profiles the life and music of recording superstar Whitney Houston.
Streaming TV: “Dharma & Greg: Complete Series,” the sitcom starring Jenna Elfman as a free spirited hippy child and Thomas Gibson as a blueblood conservative attorney who marry after their first date, makes its streaming debut on Hulu.
Foodie TV: from Australia comes “Bondi Harvest: Season 1” (Fremantle) and Jamie Oliver hosts “Jamie’s Quick and Easy Food: Seasons 1-2” (Fremantle), which emphasizes simple recipes with a handful of ingredients.
Trues stories: “The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti” profiles the football star and philanthropist.
Available Saturday night is “Deadpool 2 (Super Duper Cut)” (2018, not rated), a longer cut of the cheeky, super-violent Ryan Reynolds superhero hit that includes footage unseen in theaters.
The drama “A Kid Like Jake” (2018, R) stars Claire Danes and Jim Parsons as parents of a four-year-old son who identifies more as a girl.
The crime miniseries “The Library Thief” (Sweden, 2011, with subtitles), based on a true story, and the miniseries drama “Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves” (Sweden, 2012, with subtitles), about the AIDS crisis in 1980s Stockholm, are new to MHz.
The British romantic comedy “Boy Meets Girl: Complete Series” with Harry Hepple and Rebecca Root is centered on a transgendered romance. Now streaming on BritBox.
Facebook Watch presents the interactive competition series “World’s Most Amazing Dog,” where viewers vote on their favorite videos.
New on disc this week:
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Nobody’s Fool,” “At Eternity’s Gate,” “The Front Runner,” “The Happy Prince”
Now available at Redbox:
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Nobody’s Fool,” “At Eternity’s Gate,” “The Front Runner,” “The Long Dumb Road”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.