Top streams for the weekNetflix brings its signature original series to a close with the seventh and final season of “Orange Is the New Black.” Based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, renamed Piper Chapman and played by Taylor Schilling in the series, it expanded beyond the “privileged white girl in prison” set-up to explore the lives of the most diverse cast of characters on TV or streaming and touch on issues of poverty, racial injustice, mental illness, and prison reform with humor, empathy, and moments of tragedy. 13 episodes now streaming on Netflix.
Kristen Bell is back as cynical, smart-talking private detective “Veronica Mars” in the Hulu revival of the mystery series, which reunites practically the entire cast for an even darker crime story in the corrupt California vacation town of Neptune. The fourth season, which unexpectedly debuted last week, takes the high school series into young adult territory but the chemistry between Veronica and her father (Enrico Colantoni) is as playful and clever as ever. Patton Oswalt and J.K. Simmons costar. 8 episodes on Hulu.
You could call the new Amazon Prime Original series “The Boys” an anti-superhero show. Karl Urban and Jack Quaid star as civilians who fight back against the abuses and crimes of costumed heroes, aka “supes,” who are spoiled, corrupt media stars more concerned with their brand than with justice. Based on the comic book by Garth Ennis and developed as a series by Eric Kripke (creator of “Supernatural”) with Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, it’s cynical and satirical (the supes are parodies of DC’s Justice League) and full of dark humor and splattery violence. 8 episodes on Amazon Prime Video.
As Quentin Tarantino’s new film arrives in theaters this week, revisit his Oscar-winning “Inglourious Basterds” (2009, R), starring Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender, and Christoph Waltz in a rewrite of the World War II action caper, on Netflix.
Classic pick: a disillusioned businessman gets a second chance life with a young body (Rock Hudson) in “Seconds” (1966, R), a nightmarish psychodrama with an intense feeling of paranoia from director John Frankenheimer. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and free on Kanopy.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
The violent reboot of “Hellboy” (2019, R) with David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) was a disappointment next to the original Guillermo Del Toro movies but the curious can stream it on Amazon Prime Video the same day it arrives on Cable on Demand, VOD, DVD, and at Redbox. Also new:
“Alita: Battle Angel” (2019, PG-13), the big screen adaptation of the Japanese manga from director Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron;
animated adventure comedy “Missing Link” (2019, PG) with the voices of Hugh Jackman and Zach Galifianakis;
real-life bank heist drama “Stockholm” (2019, R) with Ethan Hawke and Noomi Rapace;
“Ip Man” martial arts movie spinoff “Master Z: Ip Man Legacy” (Hong Kong/China, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) with Dave Bautista and Michelle Yeoh.
“Skin” (2019, R) with Jamie Bell as a skinhead who turns his life around;
crime thriller “The Wedding Guest” (2019, R) from filmmaker Michael Winterbottom.
Katee Sachkoff is an astronaut investigating an alien ship floating above the Earth in “Another Life: Season 1,” a new science fiction/horror series. 10 episodes.
Brie Larson stars as a counselor for kids that the foster system failed in the indie drama “Short Term 12” (2013, R).
Lily James is a Dutch Jew in the World War II occupation drama “The Exception” (2016, R) with Christopher Plummer.
True stories: “The Great Hack” (2019, not rated) looks back at how Cambridge Analytica illegally harvested private data to help the Trump and “leave E.U.” campaigns in national elections.
Foreign affairs: a volleyball team gets stranded in the French countryside in the gory horror comedy “Girls With Balls” (France, 2018, not rated, dubbed and subtitled versions). Also new:
drama “Boi” (Spain, 2019, not rated, with subtitles) about a young chauffeur drawn into a mysterious quest;
dark comedy “¡Ay, Mi madre!” (Spain, 2019, not rated, with subtitles) about a rush to meet the requirements of an inheritance;
psychological thriller “The Son” (Argentina, 2019, not rated, with subtitles) about an artist who becomes paranoid that his wife is isolating his newborn son from him.
Streaming TV: “The Worst Witch: Season 3” continues the family comedy about a young student in a magic academy. Also new:
comedy “Workin’ Moms: Season 2” from Canada;
foodie competition series “Sugar Rush: Season 2.”
foreign language romantic drama “My First First Love: Season 2” (South Korea, with subtitles).
Amazon Prime Video
Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway star in “Serenity” (2019, R), a twisty murder mystery thriller in paradise from filmmaker Steve Knight costarring Diane Lane, Jason Clarke, and Djimon Hounsou.
Streaming TV: horror anthology “Dark/Web: Season 1” is Amazon’s answer to “Black Mirror.”
Bollywood costume epic “Khuda Gawah” (aka “God is My Witness,” India, 1992, not rated, with subtitles) is a grand and gloriously-mounted romantic drama with star-crossed lover, warring tribes, musical numbers, and a revenge quest that spans two generations and three hours. It was also first film that Seattle’s Scarecrow Video released on their (long defunct) home video label.
The sophisticated animated feature “Millennium Actress” (Japan, 2001, PG) creatively weaves history and memory into a meditation on way the movies become a part of our lives. Amazon presents the English language version.
Also new: the remake of “Fame” (2009, PG) with Kelsey Grammer and Megan Mullally;
“Silence of the Lambs” sequel “Hannibal” (2001, R) with Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore;
“Fairytale: A True Story” (1997, PG) with Harvey Keitel as Harry Houdini and Peter O’Toole as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle;
Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Hard Eight” (1996, R) with Philip Baker Hall and John C. Reilly;
“Terms of Endearment” sequel “The Evening Star” (1996, PG-13) with Shirley MacLaine;
Oscar-nominated drama “The Decline of the American Empire” (1986, R, with subtitles) from Quebec;
Joe Dante’s adolescent sci-fi adventure “Explorers” (1985, PG) with Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix;
Stephen King adaptation “Cujo” (1983, R) with Dee Wallace and a killer Saint Bernard;
British rock drama “That’ll Be the Day” (1973, PG) with David Essex and Ringo Starr.
New classics include “Goodbye, Columbus” (1969, R) with Richard Benjamin and Ali MacGraw, adapted from the Philip Roth novel;
anti-James Bond spy drama “Funeral in Berlin” (1966) with Michael Caine as Harry Palmer;
the Hollywood version of “War and Peace” (1956) with Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda;
Korean drama “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” (1955) with William Holden and Grace Kelly;
Billy Wilder’s “Stalag 17” (1953) with William Holden and Peter Graves.
Prime Video and Hulu
“Time Freak” (2018, PG-13) stars Asa Butterfield as a teenager who travels back in time to stop his breakup with his girlfriend (Sophie Turner) (Prime Video and Hulu).
The documentary “Apollo 11” (2019, G) uses rare archival footage to revisit the NASA mission that put the first human on the moon. Also new:
disaster film “The Wave” (Norway, 2015, R, with subtitles) about a giant tsunami rushing through narrows valleys to a resort town;
animated comedy “Planet 51” (2009, PG);
foodie documentary “Ulam: Main Dish” (2018, PG) celebrating Filipino cuisine.
Streaming TV: the second season of the Hulu Original teen horror series “Light as a Feather” debuts. Also new: “Power: Season 5” arrives from Starz.
Jennifer Lawrence is a Russian ballerina forced to become a spy and seduce a CIA agent (Joel Edgerton) in the Cold War thriller “Red Sparrow” (2018, R).
The two-part documentary “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?” (2019, TV-MA) looks back at the 2011 murder of a 12-year-old boy and the subsequent trial of a suspect on dubious evidence.
Available Saturday night is “Widows” (2018, R), gritty drama starring Viola Davis and Elizabeth Debicki set in the corrupt culture of Chicago crime and politics.
The Criterion Channel presents eight features by director Richard Lester, including the Beatles classic “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964) and “Robin and Marian” (1976) with Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn, and four films directed by Ida Lupino, including her film noir classic “The Hitch-Hiker” (1953) and the sensitive “The Bigamist” (1953).
Also featured on Criterion this week are Steven Soderbergh’s two-art epic “Che” (2008, not rated) with a collection of bonus supplements and a double feature of bare-knuckle film noirs from Anthony Mann: “T-Men” (1947) and “Raw Deal” (1948).
Free streams: the entire “Robotech” epic, from the original 85 episodes of the animated science fiction through the sequel shows and feature film, is streaming free (with commercials) on The Roku Channel and Vudu and other ad-supported VOD channels
New on disc and at Redbox this week:
“Alita: Battle Angel,” “Missing Link,” “Hellboy,” “Stockholm,” “Master Z: Ip Man Legacy”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.