Top streams for the week
Taron Egerton plays Elton John in “Rocketman” (2019, R), a biographical drama that takes on the rock legend’s rise, his collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell), and his drug addiction with movie musical flair. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, who took over “Bohemian Rhapsody” without credit, and written by “Billy Elliot” and “War Horse” screenwriter Lee Hall.
Smaller and more intimate is “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” (2019, R), a poetic and personal drama about family, identity, and legacy in the era of gentrification. It won two awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Both films on Cable On Demand, VOD, DVD, and at Redbox.
Orlando Bloom is a police detective and Cara Delevingne a fairy warrior in exile in “Carnival Row” (TV-MA), an Amazon Prime Original series that mixes murder mystery, dark fantasy, and social commentary in culture similar to Victorian England. It’s dense and slow moving but visually impressive. Eight episodes streaming on Prime Video.
“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” (TV-PG), a new Netflix Original limited series from The Jim Henson company, is an epic prequel to the 1982 fantasy performed entirely by elaborate Muppet creations. Louis Letterier directs the odyssey of the innocent Gelflings to discover the secrets of the power-hungry Skeksis and the impressive voice cast includes Taron Egerton, Nathalie Emmanuel, Alicia Vikander, Awkwafina, Mark Hamill, and Simon Pegg. Not for young children. Ten episodes on Netflix.
Kirsten Dunst stars in “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” a satirical look at the American Dream and the con of multilevel marketing. New episodes arrive on all Showtime platforms on Sunday nights.
Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts and Jean Smart play TV’s favorite interior decorator decorators in “Designing Women” (1986-1993). All seven seasons of the hit sitcom created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason now stream exclusively on Hulu.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (2019, PG-13) continues the American take on the Japanese giant monster franchise with battles against Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. Also new:
- animated sequel “The Secret Life of Pets 2” (2019, PG)
- direct-to-video horror comedy “The Banana Splits Movie” (2019, R);
- documentary “5B” (2019, not rated) about the patients and hospital staff of first AIDS ward in the U.S.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the horror film “Itsy Bitsy” (2019, not rated) with Elizabeth Roberts, Bruce Davison, and Denise Crosby.
Christina Milian is an American executive who wins a rundown New Zealand inn in “Falling Inn Love” (2019, TV-PG), the latest Netflix Original to feed the hunger for old fashioned romantic comedy. From “Cruel Intentions” director Roger Kummel.
“The Congress” (2013, not rated), starring Robin Wright as an aging actress who sells her likeness to a film studio, is a science-fiction satire that uses a mix of animation and live action to explore identity, image and moviemaking in the modern era.
True stories: “Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly” (2019, not rated) follows the Houston rapper’s rise to fame.
Streaming TV: “The A List: Season 1,” a British supernatural mystery for young adults, comes to Netflix from BBC. Also new:
- “The Good Place: Season 3” arrives a month before the final season debuts on TV;
- “Styling Hollywood: Season 1” with fashion and home designers Jason Bolden and Adair Curtis ;
- lifestyle reality show “Droppin’ Cash: Season 2“;
- British foodie series “Million Pound Menu: Season 2“;
- Canadian comedy “Workin’ Moms: Season 3.”
International affairs: “Kardec” (Brazil, 2019, not rated, with subtitles) dramatizes the story of Allan Kardec, the founder of Spiritism. Also new:
- raunchy comedy “Back to School” (France, with subtitles);
- teen romance “The Girl Allergic to WiFi” (Philippines, 2018, not rated, with subtitles).
International TV: two young musicians team up in the animated musical drama “Carole & Tuesday: Season 1” (Japan, with subtitles). Also new:
- telenovella “The Good Bandit: Season 1” (Colombia, with subtitles), a comedy about a drug lord who vows to change his ways;
- prison drama “Locked Up: Season 3” (Spain, with subtitles).
Kid stuff: “True and the Rainbow Kingdom: Wild Wild Yetis,” the third season of the animated fantasy series for young kids, along with new seasons of “Trolls: The Beat Goes On!” and “Mighty Little Bheem: Season 2.”
Stand-up: “Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones” (2019, TV-MA). Stick around after the credits for bonus footage.
Amazon Prime Video
Angourie Rice is a teenage department store clerk in Bruce Beresford’s “Ladies in Black” (2018, PG), a coming of age drama set in 1959 Australia costarring Julia Ormond and Rachael Taylor.
Sofia Boutella stars in the hallucinatory horror film “Climax” (2019, R) from boundary-pushing filmmaker Gaspar Noe
Oscar Isaac stars as a Mossad agent assigned to bring Adolph Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) to trial for war crimes in “Operation Finale” (2018, PG-13), based on a true story.
Also new: Martin Scorsese’s family friendly “Hugo” (2011, PG) with Asa Butterfield and Ben Kingsley;
- comedy “Dinner for Schmucks” (2010, PG-13) with Paul Rudd and Steve Carell;
- Robert Altman’s “Dr. T and the Women” (2000, R) with Richard Gere and Laura Dern;
- vintage detective movies “Bulldog Drummond Escapes” (1937) with Ray Milland and “Bulldog Drummond’s Secret Police” (1939) with John Howard.
True stories: the documentary “Trumbo” (2008, PG-13) weaves archival clips with dramatic readings from the letters of the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
Prime Video and Hulu
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” (2018, PG), the third film in the animated fantasy series, sends its young heroes to save a secret society of dragons.
Matt Smith plays controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in “Mapplethorpe” (2018, not rated).
“Captain Fantastic” (2016, R) earned Viggo Mortensen an Oscar nomination as a devoted father of a family coming off the grid to come to grips with the world outside their little Walden.
More streaming TV: action drama “S.W.A.T.: Season 2” with Shemar Moore;
- sitcom “Mom: Season 6” with Anna Faris and Emmy-winner Allison Janney;
- AMC frontier drama “The Son: Season 2” with Pierce Brosnan;
- British comedy “Gameface: Season 2” with Roison Conaty.
“Mortal Engines” (2018, PG-13), based on the young adult steampunk novel by Philip Reeve, is a post-apocalyptic spectacle where cities have become war machines on wheels. Produced and co-written by Peter Jackson.
Available Saturday night is “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (2018, R), an offbeat drama based a true story starring Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant in Oscar-nominated performances.
The sixth and final season of “Power” with Omari Hardwick is now running on Starz. New episodes each Sunday.
“Keeping Faith: Series 2,” the mystery series from BBC Wales original starring Eve Myles, makes its U.S. debut on Acorn with new episodes each Friday. Also new is “Thorne: Complete Series” (2010) with David Morrissey.
“British Hitchcock” on The Criterion Channel spotlights the early career of Alfred Hitchcock with 13 features, including his silent masterpiece “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog” (1927), his debut sound film “Blackmail” (1929), and little-seen classics “Rich and Strange” (1931) and “Young and Innocent” (1937).
New on disc and at Redbox this week:
“Rocketman,” “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.