Top streams for the week
The post-apocalyptic survival thriller "The Last of Us: Season 1" (TV-MA) stars Pedro Pascal as a hardened outlaw smuggler and Bella Ramsey as a teenage girl who immunity to the deadly fungal plague may hold the key of humanity's survival. But first they have to survive the journey through the badlands, filled with both the infected and sometimes dangerous human survivors. It's based on the popular video game and Emmy-winning writer/producer Craig Mazin collaborates with game designer Neil Druckmann for the adaptation. Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett, Melanie Lynskey, and Storm Reid are among the guest stars this season. New episodes on Sundays. (HBO Max)
Hello Wisconsin! Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith are back as Kitty and Red Foreman, now empty nesters, and Callie Haverda is their granddaughter Leia, who comes to visit in "That '90s Show: Season 1" (TV-14). She brings a new group of kids to the cozy basement hang-out in this spin-off set in the summer of 1995. Original series stars Laura Prepon, Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Wilmer Valderrama all make appearances. (Netflix)
More streaming TV: the revival of eighties hit sitcom "Night Court" with Melissa Rauch and John Larroquette is on Peacock and the fourth season of "9-1-1: Lone Star" (TV-14) on Hulu. New episodes on Wednesdays.
Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan play New York Times journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor in "She Said" (2022, R), a real-life drama based on their investigation of decades of sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Maria Schrader takes a deliberate, dispassionate approach to the painstaking investigative process while exposing both Weinstein's heinous crimes and the system that protected him for decades. Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle, and Samantha Morton costar and Ashley Judd plays herself. (Peacock)
International pick: the limited series "Women at War" (France, TV-MA, with subtitles) follows four French women (Audrey Fleurot, Julie de Bona, Camille Lou, and Sofia Essaïdi) forced to defend themselves when the men leave for the front lines of World War I. Sandrine Bonnaire, Tchéky Karyo, Grégoire Colin costar. (Netflix)
Classic pick: John Wayne and James Stewart star in John Ford's classic western "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962), recently featured in Steven Spielberg's autobiographical "The Fabelmans." It also gave us the iconic line: "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." (Prime Video)
News: HBO Max raises the price of its ad-free monthly subscription $1 this week, its first increase since launching in 2020.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Dwayne Johnson is "Black Adam" (2022, PG-13) in the DCU superhero movie about an ancient god who becomes a dark hero on his mission of vengeance and Joseph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy star in "The Menu" (2022, R), a darkly comic satire of foodie culture. Also on HBO Max.
From "Train to Busan" director Yeon Sang-ho comes the cyberpunk thriller "JUNG_E" (2023, South Korea, TV-14, with subtitles), about a scientist (Kang Soo-youn in her final screen role) who clones her late mother (Kim Hyun-joo), a legendary warrior, to create an army of robot soldiers.
True stories: "The Pez Outlaw" (2022, TV-PG) recounts the story of the American who made millions in the collector's market by smuggling rare pez dispensers from Eastern Europe in the 1990s.
International TV: French comedy star Jean-Pascal Zadi creates and stars in the political satire "Represent: Season 1" (France, TV-MA, with subtitles) as a social worker in the suburbs of Paris who becomes an underdog candidate in the presidential election. Also new:
- "Şahmaran: Season 1" (Turkey, TV-MA, with subtitles), a romantic fantasy about a scholar who stumbles upon an ancient myth;
- crime thriller "Awaken: Season 1" (South Korea, TV-14, with subtitles) about a detective who links mysterious events from 26 years apart in a small village;
- "Quartet: Season 1" (Japan, TV-PG, with subtitles), a romantic mystery about four musician sharing a villa.
Animation: "Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre" (Japan, TV-MA, with subtitles) presents an anthology of horror tales from manga maestro Junji Ito.
International passport: award-winning director Jacques Audiard adapts the stories of Adrian Tomine in romantic drama "Paris, 13th District" (France, 2021, R, with subtitles), centered on the complicated love lives of four young adults in Paris.
True stories: the limited series "Web of Death" (not rated) follows the work of online sleuths who solve bizarre murder cases with tools available through the Internet.
The animated feature "Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons" (2022, PG-13) sends the second generation of heroes to save their superhero fathers.
Amazon Prime Video
B.J. Novak writes, directs, and stars in the dark comedy "Vengeance" (2022, R) as an aspiring New York podcaster who follows a story to a remote Texas town.
"The Steve Harvey Show: Complete Series" (1996-2002, TV-PG) stars the famous comedian as a professional musician who takes a teaching position at a tough urban high school.
"Mayor of Kingstown" (TV-MA) with Jeremy Renner returns for a second season.
"Sick" (2022, TV-MA), written by "Scream" creator Kevin Williamson, reworks slasher horror for the era of COVID quarantining.
Octavia Spencer returns for "Truth Be Told: Season 3" (TV-MA) set in the world of true crime podcasts.
Kid stuff: the animated "Shape Island: Season 1" (TV-G), based on the Shapes picture books by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, features the voices of Yvette Nicole Brown, Harvey Guillen, and Scott Adsit.
Lost hitchhiker meets reclusive hermit in "Old Man" (2022, not rated), a horror film from cult director Lucky McKee. (AMC+)
Gérard Depardieu is "Cyrano de Bergerac" (France, 1990, with subtitles) in Jean-Paul Rappeneau's award-winning film of the legendary play. (Criterion Channel)
Cinema documentarian Bill Morrison's "The Village Detective: A Song Cycle" (2021) uses a recovered print of a popular 1969 Soviet feature to tell the story of Russian actor Mikhail Zharov, whose career spanned over 50 years of Soviet film history. (Criterion Channel)
Claude Chabrol directs Isabelle Huppert in the literary adaptation "Madame Bovary" (France, 1991, PG-13, with subtitles) and Nathalie Baye in in the thriller "The Flower of Evil" (France, 2003, R, with subtitles) in this double feature. (MUBI)
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at https://streamondemandathome.com.
Copyright © 2023 by Sean Axmaker