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Time to brush up on original ‘Mad Max’

The first of the month brings a new batch of movies to the streaming services. This month, both Netflix and Amazon land some old favorites and cult movies. With interest building for “Mad Max: Fury Road,” due in theaters in 2015, you can revisit the film that started it all, the original 1979 “Mad Max” with Mel Gibson before his American breakthrough. Or if you prefer to remain stateside, there are the first five “Rocky” films.


“Divergent,” the latest of the teen lit dangerous future franchises to go to the big screen, stars Shailene Woodley as a teen warrior who joins the revolution against a sect in her society with master race delusions. It arrives on pay-per-view this week, as well as on disc in video stores and at Redbox.

Also new on pay-per-view this week: the revved up cross-country car chase “Need For Speed” with “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul, the faith-based drama “God’s Not Dead,” the horror film “Oculus,” and the indie dramas “Palo Alto” with James Franco and Emma Roberts, and “About Alex” with Aubrey Plaza and Jason Ritter.


Renowned (and very personable) astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson takes the helm of the ship of your imagination in “Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey,” a superb updating of Carl Sagan’s landmark science series. You can now stream the entire 13-episode series from Netflix.

Amazon Instant

Fans of “Divergent” can see stars Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller in their previous pairing in the coming-of-age drama “The Spectacular Now.”

Also new for Prime members: the psychological thriller “Enemy” with Jake Gyllenhaal, the comedy “The Girl Most Likely” with Kristen Wiig, and the based-on-a-true-story drama “The Bling Ring” with Emma Watson and Leslie Mann. And if you like your comedies pushed past the edge of good taste, then the dark, violent comedy “Cheap Thrills” may be to your taste. Everyone else should probably stay away.


Season two of “The Awesomes,” the original animated series about a misfit superhero group created for Hulu by “SNL” veteran Seth Meyers, debuts this week for Hulu Plus members.

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His work appears in Parallax View, Turner Classic Movies online and the “Today Show” website. Visit him online at

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