Top streams for the week
HBO celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with the Oscar-winning “First Man” (2018, PG-13) starring Ryan Gosling is astronaut Neil Armstrong (available Saturday night) and the Emmy-winning limited series “From the Earth to the Moon” (1998, TV-PG) from producer Tom Hanks. On all HBO platforms.
The superhero movie gets a blast of adolescent energy in “Shazam!” (2019, PG-13) when a troubled foster kid is zapped by a magical thunderbolt and transformed into a musclebound man with godlike powers (Zachary Levy) which he wields with childish glee. British baddie Mark Strong plays his big bald nemesis in this comic take on comic book superhero movies. On Cable On Demand, VOD, DVD, and at Redbox.
“Stranger Things” star David Harbour hosts “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein” (2019, not rated), a half-hour mockumentary about a lost TV-movie made by his father (also played by Harbour). Streaming on Netflix
In his follow-up to “Spamelot,” Eric Idle transforms “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” into “Not the Messiah: He’s A Very Naughty Boy” (2010, PG), a comic oratorio performed with fellow Pythons and friends. Streaming on Amazon Prime.
“The Princess and the Frog” (2009, G) updates the classic fairy tale to New Orleans in the twenties and offers Disney’s first African-American princess. It’s old-school animation from “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” directors John Musker and Ron Clements with a musical soundtrack that draws on jazz, zydeco, swing, and blues. Streaming on Netflix.
Free pick: road movie turned social satire “3 Faces” (Iran, 2019, not rated, with subtitles), the fourth feature directed by Iranian director Jafar Panahi since the government forbid him from filmmaking, takes on issues of women’s rights and cultural constraints in Iran with gentle humor. Streaming on Kanopy, available through most public library systems.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
A reclusive woman (Taylor Schilling) enters the juggalo rock and roll subculture to find her runaway niece in the offbeat comedy “Family” (2019, R), costarring Brian Tyree Henry and Kate McKinnon. Also new:
- faith-based drama “Breakthrough” (2019, PG) with Chrissy Metz and Topher Grace;
- science fiction superhero drama “Fast Color” (2019, PG-13) with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Lorraine Toussaint;
- crime drama “Little Woods” (2019, R) with Lily James and Tessa Thompson;
- animated feature “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales” (France, 2019, G) based on the popular storybook (dubbed and subtitled versions);
- romantic drama “Ash is Purest White” (China, 2018) from acclaimed filmmaker Jia Zhangke.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the drama “Bottom of the 9th” (2019, R) with Joe Manganiello and Sofía Vergara.
A woman wakes up with amnesia after a brutal assault in “Secret Obsession” (2019, not rated), a Netflix Original romantic thriller with Brenda Song and Dennis Haysbert.
Jerry Seinfeld’s talk show is back with new guests in “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: Freshly Brewed,” featuring Eddie Murphy, Ricky Gervais, Matthew Broderick, Jamie Foxx, and Martin Short in the passenger seat.
Foreign affairs: Christophe Honore directs “Sorry Angel” (France, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), a romantic drama of the sexual awakening of a young gay man.
More streaming TV: the Fab Five are back in the fourth season of the reality show “Queer Eye.” Also new:
- western/supernatural hybrid “Wynonna Earp: Season 3“;
- sports reality series “Last Chance U: INDY: Part 2.”
- foodie documentaries “Ainsley Eats the Streets: Season 1” (2014, TV-PG) and “Mega Food: Season 1” (2013, TV-G) from England;
- nonfiction series “History’s Greatest Hoaxes: Season 1” (2016, TV-PG) from Australia.
Foreign language TV: “Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung” (South Korea, with subtitles) is an historical drama about a female scholar taking a position in the royal court. New episodes arrive each Wednesday. Also new:
- ghost story thriller “Typewriter: Season 1” (India, with subtitles);
- crime drama “Money Heist: Part 3” (Spain, with subtitles).
Kid stuff: “Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac” (Japan) is a revival of the animated action fantasy. Also new are “The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants: Season 3” and “Pinky Malinky: Part 3” for young kids.
Amazon Prime Video
John Cusack is a ruthless outlaw and Emile Hirsch the mild-mannered settler who takes him on in “Never Grow Old” (2019, R), an old-fashioned western with a modern cast. Also new:
- Megan Griffiths’ harrowing but sensitive drama “Eden” (2012, R) based on the true story of a sexual slavery survivor in the U.S.;
- crime drama “Rampart” (2011, R) with Woody Harrelson as a renegade L.A. cop;
- Nicole Holofcener’s prickly comic drama “Please Give” (2010, R) with Catherine Keener and Rebecca Hall.
Foreign affairs: samurai action meets spaghetti western in Takashi Miike’s “Sukiyaki Western Django” (Japan, 2008, R) costarring Quentin Tarantino as Billy the Kid.
True stories: “Meet the Patels” (2015, PG) follows filmmaker Ravi Patel, a 30-year-old Indian-American man, who agrees to let his parents help him find a wife the old-fashioned way. Also new is “Our Nixon” (2013, not rated), created from Super 8 home movies shot by Richard Nixon’s closest aides.
Streaming TV: the first season of the Starz drama “Sweetbitter,” about a young woman in the New York restaurant culture, streams until July 28. Also new:
- Scandanavian crime drama “Trapped: Season 2” (Iceland, with subtitles);
- British comedy “The Royals: Season 4“;
- sports reality series “All or Nothing: Season 4.”
Urban street crime meets chess tactics in the Sundance award winning drama “Fresh” (1994, R) with Sean Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson.
Director Brandon Cronenberg’s science fiction thriller “Antiviral” (2012, not rated) recalls the early films of his father, David Cronenberg.
Streaming TV: the cult British young adult melodrama “Clique: Season 2,” set in the college culture of sex, drugs, and romantic jealousy, is now available. Also new:
- “Shark Week 2017” featuring 18 programs from Discovery Channel;
- “Mythbusters: Season 20” and its kid-friendly spin-off “Mythbusters Jr: Season 1.”
Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp star in the “Harry Potter” prequel “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (2018, PG-13).
The two-part documentary “Behind Closed Doors” (2019, TV-MA) examines a double murder in India that sparked a media frenzy.
The epic, Oscar-winning “War and Peace” (Soviet Union, 1966, with subtitles), a massive seven-hour production from actor/director Sergey Bondarchuk produced with the help of the Soviet army, streams on The Criterion Channel, along with bonus interviews and documentary featurettes. Also new is the restored “Babylon” (1980), Franco Rosso’s reggae drama set in the Jamaican immigrant culture of West London.
London’s West End revival of Tony Award-winning musical stage “Kinky Boots” (2019, not rated), featuring music by Cindi Lauper, played twice in theaters as a Fathom Event and now streams exclusively on BroadwayHD.
Hugo Weaving and Stephen Rea star in “Black ’47” (2018, R) a revenge thriller set in 1847 Ireland during the famine. On all Showtime platforms.
“Dr. Who and the Daleks” (1965) and “Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.” (1966), the two big screen spinoffs of the cult TV show, star Peter Cushing in his only performances as The Doctor. Both stream on Britbox.
Free on Kanopy: Keira Knightly is “Colette” (2018, R) in the biographical drama about the early years of the great French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette and Géza Röhrig and Matthew Broderick stars in “To Dust” (2019, R), a drama that deals with death, loss, and faith in the Hassidic community with an edge of offbeat humor. Also new:
- Jean-Luc Godard’s cinematic essay “The Image Book” (France, 2019, not rated, with subtitles);
- Oscar-nominated drama “The Insult” (Israel, 2018, R, with subtitles) about a feud between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee;
- historical drama “The Invisibles” (Germany, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), based on the true stories of German Jews who hid in plain sight in 1940s Berlin;
- romantic drama “Un Coeur en Hiver” (France, 1992, with subtitles) with Daniel Auteuil and Emmanuelle Béart;
- Jacques Rivette’s Cannes award winning drama “La Belle Noiseuse” (France, 1991, R, with subtitles) with Michel Piccoli and Emmanuelle Béart;
- Diane Kurys’ coming-of-age drama “Peppermint Soda” (France, 1977, PG, with subtitles) set in 1963 Paris;
- cult comedy “King of Hearts” (France, 1966, not rated, with subtitles) with Alan Bates and Geneviève Bujold.
Kanopy is available through most public library systems.
New on disc and available at Redbox this week:
“Shazam!,” “Breakthrough,” “Family”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.