Top streams for the week
Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star in "The Tragedy of Macbeth" (2021, R), Joel Coen's stark black-and-white screen adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy. Shot on austere, minimalist sets and fog-strewn spaces, it sets the Scottish Play in a world out of time and place. Brendan Gleeson and Corey Hawkins costar and Kathryn Hunter plays all three witches. (Apple TV+)
"Eternals" (2021, PG-13), among the least familiar of Marvel Comics characters, are brought to the big screen as the most diverse team of heroes yet. Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, and Salma Hayek are among the cast playing immortals roused from retirement to save the world. It's the first Marvel superhero movie directed by an Oscar-winning filmmaker: Chloe Zhao. (Disney+)
A quietly perceptive drama of relationships, creativity, and commitment, "Bergman Island" (2021, R) stars Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth as filmmakers and unmarried life partners whose partnership undergoes a little turbulence during a summer retreat on the island home where Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman made some of his most personal films. Mia Hansen-Løve writes and directs. (Hulu)
Filmmaking also plays a role in "Black Bear" (2020, R), a comic drama starring Aubrey Plaza as a director on vacation whose presence stirs ups tensions between a married couple (Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon). (Hulu and Paramount+)
"Hotel Transylvania: Transformania" (2021, PG) is the fourth (and apparently final) film in the animated comedy series set in the world of classic movie monsters. Adam Sandler and Kevin James are gone but Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, and Molly Shannon all return to voice their characters one last time. (Amazon Prime Video)
"Peacemaker: Season 1" (TV-MA), a spinoff of James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad," gives the violent, sexist, would-be superhero played by John Cena his own series. Gunn also writes and directs the extremely bloody action comedy. New episodes on Thursdays. (HBO Max)
Isla Fisher is a woman with a secret and Josh Gad a single father with a troubled daughter, adults whose lives collide (quite literally) in "Wolf Like Me: Season 1" (TV-MA), a mix of romantic comedy, mystery, and horror. (Peacock)
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
"Dune" (2021, PG-13), Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's landmark science fiction novel, is an interstellar epic of royal intrigue, betrayal, rebellion, colonialism, and ecology starring Timothée Chalamet Rebecca Ferguson, and Oscar Isaac. Also on DVD and at Redbox.
"Halloween Kills" (2021, R), the sequel to the 2018 revival, continues the horror franchise with Jamie Curtis back in the role of Laurie Strode. Also on DVD and at Redbox.
- Ryûsuke Hamaguchi's romantic drama "Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy" (Japan, 2021, not rated, with subtitles), which has placed on numerous Top Ten lists;
- horror film "Antlers" (2021, R) with Keri Russell;
- "Borrego" (2021, R), a thriller with Lucy Hale from director Jesse Harris, founder of NFFTY.
Alyssa Milano stars in "Brazen" (2022, TV-MA), based on the mystery novel by Nora Roberts. Expect sequels if it's a hit.
The animated musical "Riverdance: The Animated Adventure" (2022, TV-G) features magical deer and the voices of Pierce Brosnan and Lilly Singh.
The murder mystery "Archive 81: Season 1" (TV-MA) follows an archivist (Mamoudou Athie) reconstructing an investigation into a dangerous cult. More streaming TV:
- "The House: Season 1" (TV-MA), an anthology of offbeat stop-motion animation shorts;
- the third season of "After Life" (TV-MA) from creator/star Ricky Gervais.
International passport: the epic crime drama "How I Fell in Love with a Gangster" (Poland, 2022, TV-MA, with subtitles) dramatizes the rise and fall of real-life gangster Nikodem "Nikoś" Skotarczak. Also new:
- "Dear Mother" (France, 2021, TV-MA, with subtitles), a comedy of life and death with Laurent Lafitte and Karin Viard;
- When Jean-Louis' heart stops beating, he must confront his Oedipal issues — and ask his mother an unthinkable question — or he'll be dead in three days.
- "This Is Not a Comedy" (Mexico, 2022, TV-MA, with subtitles) starring Gabriel Nuncio as a comedian as a crossroads in life.
International TV: a maverick reporter (Ryôko Yonekura) digs into a corruption scandal in the thriller "The Journalist: Season 1" (Japan, TV-14, with subtitles). Also new:
- teen sci-fi thriller "Chosen: Season 1" (Denmark, TV-MA, with subtitles) from the creators of "The Rain";
- "Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein: Season 1" (India, TV-MA, with subtitles), a crime thriller about an obsessive politician’s daughter and the man trying escape her.
Amazon Prime Video
"The Intouchables" (France, 2012, R, with subtitles) stars Omar Sy ("Lupin") as a brash Senegalese man who becomes caregiver to the rich, cultured, and paralyzed man (François Cluzet).
A scientist (Maren Eggert) lives with an experimental humanoid robot (Dan Stevens) designed to be her perfect romantic partner in the sci-fi romcom "I'm Your Man" (Germany, 2021, R, with subtitles).
Mika Abdalla plays an overachiever in the raunchy teen comedy "Sex Appeal" (2022, TV-MA).
True stories: "Ailey" (2021, PG-13) profiles the trailblazing choreographer Alvin Ailey.
Streaming TV: after "The Golden Girls" ended, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty reunited for the short-lived sitcom "The Golden Palace: Complete Series" (1992, TV-PG), also featuring Don Cheadle and Cheech Marin. Also new:
- the new Fox comedy "Pivoting" (TV-14) with Eliza Coupe, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Maggie Q and the second season of "Call Me Kat" (TV-PG) (new episodes a days after network premier);
- British comedy "Ladhood: Season 2" (not rated).
Liev Schreiber returns as TV's most tormented fixer in "Ray Donovan: The Movie" (2022, TV-MA), taking on his father (Jon Voight) in the feature-length finale to the series. (Showtime Anytime)
The third and final season of "A Discovery of Witches" (TV-MA) brings its lovers (Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer) back from 1590 to the present for the final battle with their enemies. (AMC+ and Sundance Now and Shudder)
The cozy British mystery series "Queens of Mystery" (TV-14) returns for a second seasons of three two-part mysteries, new each Monday through the month. (Acorn TV)
The documentary "Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror" (2021, not rated) explores the unique horror subgenre from "Witchfinder General" and "The Wicker Man" to "The Witch" and "Midsommer." It won awards at SXSW and Fantasia International. (AMC+ and Shudder)
The three-part documentary "King of the Con" (not rated) explores the life of Barry Minkow and his story of deception, redemption and deception again spans four decades of criminal schemes. (Discovery+)
Criterion Channel puts a spotlight on the "French New Wave" with 44 features and 25 short films spanning thirty years. This epic curated collection (most of them part of the channel's permanent library) include the essentials of the movement, from François Truffaut's "The 400 Blows" (1959), Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" (1960), Alain Resnais' "Hiroshima mon amour" (1959), and Agnès Varda's "Cléo from 5 to 7" (1962) to Jacques Demy's bittersweet musical "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (1964), Jacques Rivette's playful metaphysical mystery adventure "Céline and Julie Go Boating" (1974), and Chris Marker's influential sci-fi short "La Jetée" (1963). This presentation goes beyond these celebrated classics and features some less well known films deserving attention. Here are a few I'd like to recommend:
- Claude Chabrol's second feature "Les cousins" (1959) with Jean-Claude Brialy and Gerard Blain;
- Louis Malle's lively adolescent romp "Zazie dans le metro" (1960);
- "Chronicle of a Summer" (1961), a landmark cinema verite documentary snapshot of Paris from Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin;
- Jacques Rivette's "Paris Belongs to Us" (1961), his first drama of youth, theater, and mystery;
- Alain Resnais' "My American Uncle" (1980) with Gerard Depardieu.
All with subtitles. (Criterion Channel)
New on disc and at Redbox:
"Dune," "Halloween Kills"
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Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at https://streamondemandathome.com.
Copyright © 2022 by Sean Axmaker