By Sean Axmaker
Top streams for the week
Viggo Mortensen is an Italian-American bouncer who signs on as driver and bodyguard to African-American jazz musician Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) in his tour through the deep South in “Green Book” (2018, PG-13), the Academy Award winner for best picture, original screenplay, and supporting actor Ali. On Cable On Demand, VOD, and DVD, and at Redbox.
“Triple Frontier” (2019, R) stars Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, and Oscar Isaac as Special Forces soldiers who reunite with their buddies to rob a South American drug lord in the heist thriller from director J.C. Chandor and writer Mark Boal. The Netflix Original thriller streams a week after opening in select theaters.
“Saturday Night Live” veteran Aidy Bryant stars in the comedy “Shrill,” a new Hulu Original series that takes on fat-shaming, body image, and self-worth with humor. Set in Portland, it’s based on the memoir by Lindy West, a former writer and editor at the Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger, who developed the series with Bryant. Six episodes streaming on Hulu.
Foreign language pick: “Shoplifters” (Japan, 2018, R, with subtitles), a warm but complicated drama of a family of outcasts and small time crooks from filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. On Hulu.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Also new: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (2018, PG-13) with Eddie Redmayne and Johnny Depp;
- “Mortal Engines” (2018, PG-13), based on the steampunk novel by Philip Reeve;
- “Piercing” (2018, R), a horror film with Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowska.
All also on DVD and at Redbox.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the caper action film “Finding Steve McQueen” (2019, R), based on a real-life heist from the seventies and starring William Fichtner, Rachael Taylor, and Forest Whitaker. Also new:
- survival drama “Iceman” (Germany, 2018, with subtitles) set 5300 years ago:
- science fiction thriller “Chimera Strain” (2019, R) with Henry Ian Cusick.
Idris Elba stars as a down-and-out hip-hop DJ who takes a job as a manny to his celebrity best friend’s problem-child daughter in the Netflix Original comedy series “Turn Up Charlie.”
“Girl” (Belgium, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), a coming of age drama about a teenage transgender ballerina in training (Victor Polster) as she prepares for her upcoming transitional surgery, earned four awards at Cannes and a Golden Globe nomination.
Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation” (Iran, 2011, PG-13, not rated, with subtitles) and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s “The Lives of Others” (Germany, 2006, R, with subtitles) both won Oscars in the foreign language film category.
Also new: Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (2009, PG-13), starring Christopher Plummer and Heath Ledger in his final performance, and the sci-fi horror film “Apollo 18” (2011, PG-13).
True stories: “Social Animals” (2018, not rated) looks at Instagram has impacted the lives of three American teenagers.
More streaming TV: “Love, Death + Robots: Season 1,” from producers Tim Miller and David Fincher, is an anthology of original animated short films for adult audiences. Also new:
- the third and final season of AMC action series “Into the Badlands 3“;
- Netflix reality show reboot “Queer Eye: Season 3.”
More foreign affairs: crime thriller “Burn Out” (France, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) with François Civil as a motorcycle racer turned drug runner;
- romantic drama “Dry Martina” (Chile, 2018, not rated, with subtitles);
- military action thriller “Paskal” (Malaysia, 2018, not rated, with subtitles);
- Stephen Chow’s hit action comedy “Kung Fu Hustle” (Hong Kong, 2004, R, with subtitles).
Foreign language TV: a grieving husband and father travels to a parallel universe where his family never died in the sci-fi drama “If I Hadn’t Met You: Season 1” (Spain, with subtitles). Also new:
- telenovela “Las muñecas de la mafia: Season 2” (Colombia, with subtitles) about the women involved with Colombia’s drug lords;
- romantic reality series “Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 6” (Japan, with subtitles).
Netflix also adds four new shows from the Middle East: social dramas “This Evening: Season 1” (Egypt, with subtitles) and “The Confrontation: Season 1” (Kuwait, with subtitles), crime drama “Disappearance: Season 1” (Kuwait, with subtitles), and romantic drama “Eugenie Nights: Season 1” (Egypt, with subtitles).
Stand-up: “Jimmy Carr: The Best of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits” presents the Irish comedian in concert in Dublin.
Amazon Prime Video
Vanessa Redgrave is radiant as “Mrs. Dalloway” (1997, PG-13), an aging social matron in 1923 whose mind floats back to a summer day 30 years before as she prepares for an elegant party, in the adaptation of the Virginia Woolf novel from filmmaker Marleen Gorris.
Mia Wasikowska is “Madame Bovary” (2015, R) in Sophie Barthes’ adaptation of Flaubert’s novel.
Cult: Guy Maddin’s “Careful” (1992, not rated) is an utterly surreal tale of the repressed residents of a small alpine village who live in virtual silence for fear that the slightest sound could trigger an avalanche and “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” (1979, PG) is a teen rebel classic starring The Ramones.
Streaming TV: “Made in Heaven: Season 1” (India, with subtitles) is a romantic drama about two wedding planners who navigate the tensions between modern life and old traditions in Dehli. Also new:
- comedy “Catastrophe: Season 4” with Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney;
- E! Channel satire “The Royals: Season 4” with Elizabeth Hurley.
True stories: “Time for Ilhan” (2018, not rated), a documentary on the campaign of
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and “Garbo the Spy” (2009, not rated), about the World War II double agent.
Prime Video and Hulu
“Middle Men” (2009, R) stars Luke Wilson as a small-time businessman who sees the profit potential in Internet porn and ends up in bed with mobsters, con artists, and porn stars (Prime Video and Hulu).
“Wings of the Dove” (1997, R), based on the Henry James novel, stars Helena Bonham Carter as a British society woman who schemes a way for her lover (Linus Roache) to inherit a fortune by romancing with a dying American heiress.
“Like Water for Chocolate” (Mexico, 1992, R, with subtitles), based on the novel by Laura Esquivel, is a delirious romantic drama strewn through with magic realism.
The four-part documentary series “The Case Against Adnan Syed” (2019, not rated) looks into the murder case explored in the hit podcast “Serial” and brings it up to date with new developments as the retrial nears. New episodes every Saturday night.
Chris Pratt and Bruce Dallas Howard save the dinosaurs in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018, R). Also new is the kid-friendly animated superhero comedy “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” (2018, PG).
Available on Saturday night is “The First Purge” (2018, R), the prequel to the hit horror franchise.
Helen Mirren stars in horror film “Winchester” (2018, PG-13), based on the American legend of a haunted mansion inspired by a true story. Streaming on Showtime Anytime.
Martin Clunes stars as a police detective pursuing a serial killer in “Manhunt,” a British crime drama making its American debut streaming on Acorn TV.
“Bastards of Pizzofalcone: Season 1” (Italy, with subtitles), based on the novels by Maurizio de Giovanni, follows a team of misfit police detective in Naples. New episodes each Tuesday on MHz.
New on disc this week:
“Green Book,” “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Mortal Engines,” “Piercing,” “The Magic Flute”
Now available at Redbox:
“Green Book,” “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Mortal Engines,” “London Fields,” “Vox Lux”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.