Top streams for the week
Benedict Cumberbatch is "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" (2022, PG-13), jumping through alternate realities to protect a gifted teenager (Xochitl Gomez) from a ruthlessly driven Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Director Sam Raimi helped define the 21st century superhero spectacle with the original "Spider-Man" movies and he fills this odyssey with wild imagery along with his brand of offbeat humor. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and Hayley Atwell costar. Arrives on VOD at the end of July. (Disney+)
In "Downton Abbey: A New Era" (2022, PG), the second feature film spinoff of the hit TV series, the Grantham clan host a movie production shooting in their manor home before traveling to the South of France to visit the villa that the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) has unexpectedly inherited. Pretty much the entire cast of the show returns for the adventure. Arrives on VOD at the end of July. (Peacock)
The animated comedy "The Bad Guys" (2022, PG) follows a team of notorious criminal animals (voiced by Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, and Anthony Ramos) as they try their hand at being good, with wildly chaotic results. The feature debut of French animation director Pierre Perifel adopts a sketchy, stylized look and zippy sight gags that stands out from Pixar style. (Peacock)
"Last Night in Soho" (2021, R) transports a naïve small-town girl (Thomasin McKenzie) attending fashion school in modern London back to swinging sixties Soho and the life of a glamorous aspiring singer (Anya Taylor-Joy). Edgar Wright's colorful odyssey is part time travel adventure and part ghost story thriller and it costars British sixties icons Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp, and Rita Tushingham. (HBO Max)
Joey King is "The Princess" (2022, R) in this action thriller about a medieval princess who turns warrior to save herself and her family from a sociopathic king (Dominic Cooper). This bloody action film is no Disney Princess fantasy. (Hulu)
Chris Pratt plays a Navy SEAL officer whose platoon is ambushed during a high-stakes covert mission in the limited series "The Terminal List" (TV-MA). When he returns stateside, he starts uncovering evidence of a conspiracy and makes it his mission to solve the mystery after he survives an assassin attempt. Constance Wu, Taylor Kitsch, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Riley Keough costar, based on the novel by Jack Carr. (Prime Video)
Three highly-anticipated streaming shows return this week. "Only Murders in the Building: Season 2" (TV-MA) finds the three amateur detective podcasters (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez) the prime suspects in a new murder. Amy Schumer and Shirley MacLaine guest star this season. New episodes on Tuesdays. (Hulu)
Also new is the fourth season of the dense science fiction series "Westworld" (TV-MA) starring Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright (HBO Max, new episodes on Sundays) and the final episodes of "Stranger Things: Season 4" (TV-14) (Netflix).
Classic pick: The all-star MGM adaptation of Charles Dickens' "David Copperfield" (1935) is handsome, entertaining, and a prime example of Hollywood filmmaking of the thirties at its best. (HBO Max)
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
A housemaid (Odessa Young) visits her secret lover (Josh O’Connor) while her employers are away in "Mothering Sunday" (2021, R), a drama set in 1920s England. Also on DVD.
Iranian road-trip movie "Hit the Road" (Iran, 2002, not rated, with subtitles) is the debut feature from Panah Panahi, son of renowned filmmaker Jafar Panahi.
Available some day as select theaters nationwide is the documentary "Accepted" (2022, not rated) about four high school seniors from an unconventional school struggling to get into college after their school closes.
A young singer (Grace Marie Bradley) on the brink of stardom is torn between her domineering family and her queer identity in "BEAUTY" (2022, R), a drama set in the 1980s.
Idriss Elba is Nelson Mandela in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" (2013, PG-13), a drama about the life of the South African activist.
The World War II espionage thriller "A Call to Spy" (2019, PG-13) dramatizes the creation of a female spy network in Nazi-occupied France.
"Falls Around Her" (2018, TV-MA) stars Tantoo Cardinal as a successful singer who leaves everything behind to return to her reservation.
True stories: the docuseries "Sea Power: Season 1" (TV-14) looks at the battleships, submarines, and aircraft carriers that changed modern warfare.
International passport: childhood friends and one-time lasertag champions lean on their gaming skills when aliens invade in the science fiction action comedy "Blasted" (Norway, 2022, TV-MA).
International TV: "Cafe Minamdang: Season 1" (South Korea, TV-MA, with subtitles) follows stories of the patrons of a suspicious café and "Extraordinary Attorney Woo:
Season 1" (South Korea, TV-14) is a legal drama about a brilliant young attorney with Asperger's syndrome. New episodes of both weekly.
Stand-up: "Cristela Alonzo: Middle Classy" (TV-MA)
The documentary "Machine Gun Kelly's Life in Pink" (2022, TV-MA) take viewers into the studio between snapshots of successful rap-rocker's life.
Rami Malek won an Academy Award playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody" (2018, PG-13).
Streaming TV: Jessica Lange is Joan Crawford and Susan Sarandon is Bette Davis in "Feud: Bette and Joan" (2017, TV-MA), the first installment of the FX anthology series from Ryan Murphy.
"Doctor Who: Eve of Daleks" (TV-PG) is the latest holiday special in the cult science fiction series.
True stories: the documentary "Julia" (2021, PG-13) profiles legendary cookbook author and TV host Julia Child.
Kid stuff: inspired by the children's book by Mo Willems, the animated musical special "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience" (TV-Y) features the voices of Jordan Fisher, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Carol Kane.
"Baymax!: Season 1" (TV-G), created by "Big Hero 6" director Don Hall, gives the inflatable healthcare companion robot his own animated series.
Amazon Prime Video
Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson star in the romantic comedy "Marry Me" (2022, PG-13), also streaming on Peacock.
"A Hologram for the King" (2016, R), adapted from the novel by Dave Eggars, stars Tom Hanks as a businessman facing a mid-life crisis while trying to sell cutting-edge technology in Saudi Arabia.
The comedy special "Would It Kill You To Laugh?" (2022, TV-MA) features Kate Berlant and John Early in absurdist sketches. (Peacock)
"Secrets of the Oligarch Wives" (2022, TV-14) helps paint a picture of Putin as a vengeful petty tyrant. (Paramount+)
"All Star Shore: Season 1" (not rated) gathers 14 of the world’s biggest reality superstars to compete in a variety of epic party-style challenges. (Paramount+)
The New Zealand crime series "The Brokenwood Mysteries" (not rated) returns for a new season with new episodes on Mondays. (Acorn TV)
"Shark Week" (not rated) documentary series and specials stream the day after they show on cable. (Discovery+)
"Setsuko Hara: Japan’s Most Beloved Star" showcases eleven films from the great Japanese actress, including Akira Kurosawa's "No Regrets for Our Youth" (1946), Mikio Naruse's "Repast" (1951), and numerous collaborations with Yasujiro Ozu, including his masterpiece "Tokyo Story" (1953). All from Japan, with subtitles. (Criterion Channel)
Free with ads (AVOD)
"Bones: Complete Series" (2005-2017, TV-14) stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz as a forensic scientist and an FBI agent who work together solving murders. (Amazon Freevee)
New on disc and at Redbox:
"Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore," "Firestarter"
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