Top streams for the week
Colin Firth and Toni Collette star as Michael and Kathleen Peterson, an apparently happily married couple and parents of a sprawling North Carolina family, in "The Staircase" (TV-MA). This limited series crime thriller is based on the true story of the death of Kathleen and the secrets that coming spilling out about Michael during the investigation, which previously inspired a riveting documentary series. Tfis dramatic take from creator/director Antonio Campos incorporates the media scrutiny in its exploration of what we know, what we don't know, and what is ultimately unknowable after all these years. Michael Stuhlbarg, Juliette Binoche, Dane DeHaan, and Parker Posey costar. Three episodes available, new episodes on Thursdays. (HBO Max)
The original documentary series, also called "The Staircase" (2004-2013, TV-MA), streams on Netflix.
Titus Welliver returns as Harry Bosch in "Bosch: Legacy: Season 1" (TV-MA), a sequel series that follows the former LAPD homicide detective as begins a new life as a private investigator while his daughter (Madison Lintz) joins the force as a rookie patrol officer. Mimi Rogers costars as high-powered attorney Honey Chandler, who hires the services of Bosch on select cases. It's great to see longtime character actor Welliver back in the role that he was born to play. Like the original "Bosch," it's based on the novels by Michael Connelly, who developed the series with co-creator Eric Ellis Overmyer, and features much of the production team of that superb series. Four episodes available, new episodes on Fridays. Free with ads. (Amazon Freevee)
"The Outfit" (2022, R) stars Mark Rylance as a British tailor (or rather, a cutter, as he insists) in 1950s Chicago who has to outwit violent gangsters when they take refuge in his shop during a mob war. Clever and suspenseful, this is a marvelously entertaining mix of American gangster thriller and British drawing room psychodrama that keeps reframing the story with each fresh revelation. Dylan O'Brien, Zoey Deutch, and Johnny Flynn costar. (Peacock)
Bill Skarsgård plays real-life criminal Clark Olofsson in "Clark" (Sweden, TV-MA, with subtitles), a wildly over-the-top limited series action comedy about the notorious gangster who inspired the term "Stockholm syndrome." Swedish music video wunderkind Jonas Åkerlund directs and cowrites the six episode series about the flamboyant career criminal who conned the Swedish public into falling in love with him. (Neflix)
Classic pick: the film noir classic "The Big Sleep" (1946) stars Humphrey Bogart as the screen's smoothest Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as his match as the spoiled socialite daughter of his client. It's snappy, sexy, and witty. (HBO Max)
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
In "Blacklight" (2022, PG-13), Liam Neeson plays a government fixer who becomes a target after he stumbles onto a covert program.
Mike Myers created and stars in multiple roles in "The Pentaverate: Season 1" (TV-MA), an irreverent comedy about a Canadian journalist on the trail of a centuries-old secret society. Jennifer Saunders, Keegan-Michael Key, Ken Jeong, and Lydia West costar and Jeremy Irons narrates.
Based on the long running comic about a big, lovable dog, the animated comedy "Marmaduke" (2022, TV-Y7) features the voices of Pete Davidson, J.K. Simmons, and David Koechner.
Streaming TV: "Wild Babies: Season 1" (TV-PG) is a new natural history series that casts its lens on the babies of the wild.
True stories: the four-part documentary series "Meltdown: Three Mile Island" (TV-MA) looks back on the biggest nuclear disaster on American soil and the people it impacted. Also new:
- "Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive" (TV-PG) about free diver Johanna Nordblad's attempt to break the world record for distance traveled under ice with one breath;
- "Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres" (2022, TV-MA), a portrait of the music journalist and "Rolling Stone" editor.
International TV: a group of young adults who find a tropical paradise in anything but in the science fiction thriller "Welcome to Eden: Season 1" (Spain, TV-MA, with subtitles).
International passport: Omar Sy reunites with his "Lupin" director Louis Leterrier in "The Takedown" (France, 2022, TV-MA, with subtitles), a cop comedy costarring Laurent Lafitte as his mismatched partner. Also new is the crime drama "Thar" (India, 2022, TV-MA, with subtitles) starring Anil Kapoor, best known stateside for "Slumdog Millionaire."
"42" (2013, PG-13) features Chadwick Boseman in his first feature film lead as Jackie Robinson and costars Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey. Also new:
- Guy Ritchie's gangster comedy "The Gentlemen" (2020, R) with Matthew McConaughey as an American crime boss in London;
- second act comedy "Hello, My Name Is Doris" (2015, R) with Sally Field;
- Sergio Leone's gangster epic "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984, R) with Robert DeNiro and James Woods;
- and a pair of beloved romantic comedies from writer/director Nora Ephron and star Meg Ryan, "When Harry Met Sally" (1989, R) with Billy Crystal and "You've Got Mail" (1998, PG) with Tom Hanks.
"Last Survivors" (2020, PG-13), originally titled "Escape from Pretoria," stars Daniel Radcliffe as Tim Jenkin, a real-life ANC activist who escaped from a South African prison after being convicted as a terrorist.
Julianne Moore won the Academy Award for her devastating performance in "Still Alice" (2014, PG-13) as a renowned linguistics professor who is diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart costar.
Streaming TV: reality TV and true crime meet in "Who Do You Believe?: Season 1" (TV-PG) as viewers listen to competing narratives in real-life cases. New episodes on Wednesdays.
Also arriving this week are new seasons of the animated Fox comedy "Duncanville" (TV-14) and the ABC reality shows "The Chase" (TV-PG) and "Holey Moley: Fore-Ever" (TV-PG). Episodes available a day after their respective network debuts.
International passport: a 12-year-old girl cares for a strange egg that gives birth to a very strange creature in the horror film "Hatching" (Finland, 2022, not rated, with subtitles).
"Hot Fuzz" (2007, R), from the creators of "Shaun of the Dead," is the funniest film you'll ever see that combines American action movie clichés with British small town murder mysteries.
Also newly arrived:
- Sergio Leone's gangster epic "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984, R) with Robert DeNiro and James Woods;
- international martial arts action hit "Ong Bak" (Thailand, 2003, R, with subtitles) with Tony Jaa.
"Dear Evan Hansen" (2021, PG-13) brings the hit Broadway musical to the screen with Ben Platt reprising his stage role as an isolated high school kid suddenly accepted because of a lie.
True stories: "Spring Awakening: Those You've Know" (2022, TV-14) revisits the Tony-winning musical with a remembrance timed to a 15th anniversary reunion concert and "Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood" (2019, TV-MA), well, it's all there in the title.
Among the older films arriving this month are classics by Japanese masters Yasujiro Ozu ("Dragnet Girl," 1933; "Floating Weeds," 1959) and Akira Kurosawa ("High and Low," 1963; "Red Beard," 1965) and Hong Kong New Wave legend Wong Kar-wai ("Chungking Express," 1994, PG-13; "Fallen Angels," 1995, R). All with subtitles.
Amazon Prime Video
“Bill & Ted Face the Music" (2020, PG-13) reunites Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as the fun-loving duo as middle-aged father in arrested adolescence who go on a new excellent adventure with their teenage daughters (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine). Also streaming on Paramount+.
True stories: the four-part limited series "The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith" (2022, TV-MA) is another true crime documentary about a murky case. Also new is "Day Zero" (2022, PG), a documentary on the threat to the global fresh water supply.
Streaming TV: the second season of "The Wilds" (2022, TV-14) continues the young adult thriller about a group of teenage girls stranded on deserted island for an insidious social experiment.
The new season of "Girls5eva" (TV-MA) begins with new episodes on Tuesdays.
Kevin Costner made his first foray into TV in the historical limited series "Hatfields & McCoys" (2012, TV-14), costarring Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, and Jena Malone.
"Signora Volpe: Season 1" (not rated) stars Emilia Fox as a burned-out British MI6 agent who moves to small Italian town and starts solving mysteries with the help of her estranged sister (Tara Fitzgerald). Giovanni Cirfiera and Jamie Bamber costar. New episodes on Mondays. (Acorn TV)
Grieving parents (Teresa Palmer and Steven Cree) relocate to Finland after the death of a child but don't escape the horror that follows their surviving son in the horror film "The Twin" (2022, not rated). Streams same day as limited theatrical release. (AMC+ and Shudder)
The documentary "Sheryl" (2022, TV-PG) profiles popular music star Sheryl Crow and her battles with battling sexism, depression, and cancer in her personal and professional life. (Showtime Anytime)
The spotlight "Directed by Richard Linklater" collects ten films from across the career of the filmmaker who moves between independent productions and studio projects, from his breakthrough "Slacker" (1991, not rated) to his award-winning "Boyhood" (2014, R). Also includes three short films and two documentaries. (Criterion Channel)
Two Japanese filmmaker are also celebrated this month. "Death and Taxes: 11 Satires by Juzo Itami" spans the filmmakers career, from his breakthrough films "Tampopo" (1985) and "A Taxing Woman" (1987) to his final feature "Woman in Witness Protection" (1997), most starring his wife and frequent star Nobuko Miyamoto. Four films "Directed by Naomi Kawase" offer "fiction with a documentarian’s gaze," from the coming-of-age drama "Still the Water" (2014) to the streaming premiere of her award-winning drama "True Mothers" (2020) All from Japan, not rated, with subtitles. (Criterion Channel)
The Franz Rogowski retrospective comes to a conclusion with three films starring the acclaimed German actor: "Transit" (Germany, 2018, not rated) from director Christian Petzold, the indie drama "Love Steaks" (Germany, 2013, not rated), and "Great Freedom" (Austria, 2021, with subtitles), an historical drama about life as a gay man in post-war Germany under a repressive law that made homosexuality grounds for imprisonment. It won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes. All three with subtitles. (MUBI)
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“Mamas: Season 1" (not rated) looks at how matriarchs of the animal kingdom protect their young in the wild in a series of short featurettes narrated by Connie Britton in English and Zoë Saldaña in Spanish. (The Roku Channel)
New on disc and available at Redbox:
"The Outfit," "Blacklight," "Without Remorse"
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