Top streams for the week
Adam Sandler gives one his finest performances as a New York jeweler and gambling addict in “Uncut Gems” (2019, R), an indie drama and character piece from the Safdie Bros. driven by adrenaline and nervous energy. Though overlooked for Oscar nominations, it won acclaim for Sandler’s performance and numerous awards from critics groups. Idina Menzel, Eric Bogosian, The Weeknd, and NBA center Kevin Garnett costar. It makes its streaming debut on Netflix.
“Spider-Man: Far from Home” (2019, PG) sends the web-slinging teenage superhero (played by Tom Holland) to Europe, where he takes on a new supervillain with a little help from his friends. The first Marvel movie to take place after the epic “Avengers: Endgame” is a spirited, good-natured adventure with plenty of humor. Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury and Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, and Jake Gyllenhaal costar. It makes its streaming debut on all Starz platforms.
Oscar nominee Florence Pugh plays a young woman in working class English wrestling family who gets a shot at the WWE in “Fighting with My Family” (2019, PG-13), a scrappy comedy based on a true story. Dwayne Johnson is a producer and costars as himself. On Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
“Miss Americana” (2020, not rated), a documentary from acclaimed director Lana Wilson, takes us behind the scenes of the life and career of Taylor Swift as she changes the direction of her public image. It debuts on Netflix.
Two more Oscar nominated features arrive on Cable On Demand and VOD this week. Park Chan-wook’s sharp social “Parasite” (South Korea, 2019, R, with subtitles) was a hit in theaters and nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture. Cynthia Erivo earned nominations for best actress and original song for “Harriet” (2019, PG-13), based on the life of Harriet Tubman. Both on DVD, the latter also at Redbox.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Edward Norton directs and stars as a detective with Tourette’s in “Motherless Brooklyn” (2019, R), adapted by Norton from the award-winning novel by Jonatan Lethem and set in the corruption of 1950s New York City. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, and Willem Dafoe costar. Also on DVD and at Redbox. Also new:
- “Terminator: Dark Fate” (2019, R), the first sequel since 1991 to star both Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger;
- indie comedy “Above the Clouds” (2018, not rated) from England;
- documentary “Flint” (2019, not rated) on the lead crisis that still plagues the city’s water system.
The natural history documentary series “Night on Earth” uses state-of-the-art technology to explore the nocturnal world. Six episodes.
The secret lives of suburban families are laid bare in “The Stranger,” a British mystery miniseries based on the novel by Harlan Coben.
High school melodrama meets Norse mythology in the fantasy thriller “Ragnarok: Season 1” (Norway, with subtitles).
A widower fights for custody in “Menashe” (2017, PG, with subtitles), an American indie drama set in the ultra-orthodox Hassidic community
“Bojack Horseman: Season 6 (Part B)” brings the animated comedy to an end, making it one of the longest-running original shows on Netflix.
Streaming TV: Fashion designer Tan France and style icon Alexa Chung host the competition series “Next in Fashion: Season 1.”
International affairs: A young woman with cerebral palsy pursues her dream to become a manga artist in “37 Seconds” (Japan, 2019, not rated, with subtitles) and Matthias Schoenaerts and Reda Kateb star in the crime thriller “Close Enemies” (France, 2018, with subtitles). Also new:
- romantic comedy “Airplane Mode” (Brazil, 2020, TV-PG, with subtitles), about a social media addict;
- dry deadpan comedy “Whisky” (Uruguay, 2004, not rated, with subtitles), which won a prize at Cannes.
International TV: a teenage girl in 17th century Italy discovers she comes from a family of witches in “Luna Nera: Season 1” (Italy, with subtitles). Also new:
- “Omniscient: Season 1” (Brazil, with subtitles), a science fiction thriller set in a future of total surveillance;
- reality series “Ainori Love Wagon: African Journey” (Japan, with subtitles);
- supernatural thriller “Diablero: Season 2” (Mexico, with subtitles).
True stories: the documentary “The Queen” (1968, TV-14) goes behind the scenes at a 1967 drag queen pageant in New York City.
Amazon Prime Video
The nonfiction docuseries “Ted Bundy: Falling For a Killer” offers new perspectives on the infamous serial killer through interviews with Bundy’s girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall, her daughter Molly, and other survivors speaking publically for the first time.
A Palestinian writer on a nighttime soap opera gets tips from an Israeli border official in the comedy “Tel Aviv on Fire” (Israel, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), a social satire that uses humor to look at the tensions in modern Israel. It won the best film award at SIFF last year.
Sergio Castellitto plays “Enzo Ferrari” (Italy, 2003, with subtitles) in the biographical drama from director Carlo Carlei.
Mario Bava’s stylish horror classic “Blood and Black Lace” (Italy, 1964) is one of the most influential films of the genre. It’s now on Amazon Prime, along with Italian horrors “Hitch Hike” (Italy, 1977, not rated) with Franco Nero and Corinne Clery, and Ricard Freda’s “Murder Obsession” (Italy, 1981, not rated).
Aldis Hodge is “Brian Banks” (2019, PG-13) in the drama based on the true story of the star football player trying to clear his name after serving time for a crime he didn’t commit.
Protective parents clash with a high school teacher over their adopted son, a star student, in “Luce” (2019, R), a drama about race, perception, and privilege starring Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, and Tim Roth.
Streaming TV: “The Terror: Infamy” (2019), the second season of the AMC anthology horror series, is a ghost story thriller in a community of Japanese Americans imprisoned in an internment camp during World War II.
Criterion Channel presents the streaming debut of the director’s cut of Wim Wender’s globetrotting science fiction epic “Until the End of the World” (1991/2015, R), along with a selection of supplementary materials from the special edition disc release. You can see new and archival interviews with filmmaker Wim Wenders, a conversation between Wenders and musician David Byrne, deleted scenes, featurettes and more.
Also on Criterion Channel is a selection of five features “Directed by Paul Schrader,” along with “Meet the Filmmakers: Paul Schrader,” an original featurette directed by Alex Ross Perry, and Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” (1976, R), written by Schrader. On Saturday, February 1, three more films join the collection, including “American Gigolo” (1980, R) with Richard Gere and “Light Sleeper” (1992, R) with Willem Dafoe and Susan Sarandon.
The documentary series “The Circus: Season 5” covers the current political landscape. New episodes on all Showtime platforms on Sunday nights. Also new to Showtime:
- “Green Book” (2018, PG-13), winner of last year’s Oscar for best picture;
- romantic comedy “Second Act” (2018, PG-13) with Jennifer Lopez;
- young adult romantic drama “Five Feet Apart” (2019, PG-13).
Shudder presents “The Dead Lands” (2020), a series from New Zealand about a warrior sent back from the Afterlife to find redemption, with new episodes each Thursday. Also new is the horror film “Bliss” (2019, not rated).
Alfred Molina plays abstract expressionist Mark Rothko in “Red” (2010), the six-time Tony Award nominated play by John Logan filmed at London’s West End, now on BroadwayHD. Also new:
- Donmar Warehouse’s all-female stage production of “Henry IV” (2015) with Dame Harriet Walter;
- “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” (2010) from Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht.
New on disc this week:
“Parasite,” “Harriet,” “Motherless Brooklyn,” “Terminator: Dark Fate”
Now available at Redbox:
“Harriet,” “Motherless Brooklyn,” “Terminator: Dark Fate”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.