August 15, 2014 in Features, Seven

Streaming: Acorn keeps ‘Poirot’ stateside

Sean Axmaker
 

What’s new this week from On Demand and various streaming services:

“Agatha Christie’s Poirot,” the “Masterpiece Mystery” favorite featuring David Suchet as the Belgian sleuth, ends on PBS, but the final three episodes are available exclusively in the U.S. on Acorn TV ( www.Acorn.TV), a subscription streaming service with a specialty in British TV programming. “Elephants Can Remember” is now available, and the others premiere later this month. Acorn is also the exclusive streaming home of “Jack Irish,”“Pie in the Sky” and “Lovejoy,” among many other British shows. It offers a free 30-day trial and charges $4.99 per month for continuing service.

Pay-Per-View

For the young, the young at heart and baby boomers with Muppet nostalgia, “Muppets Most Wanted” is now on cable pay-per-view. While it doesn’t have the heartwarming story of “The Muppets,” it is filled with the silly jokes and goofy gags that made “The Muppet Show” the funniest thing on TV.

More serious is “Locke,” essentially a one-man show with Tom Hardy (of “Dark Knight Rises” and “Inception”) facing the consequences of a life-changing decision during a night drive to London. What could have been a showy stunt becomes riveting human drama thanks to a sensitive script and a powerful performance.

Also new: the drama “The Railway Man” with Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, the comedy “The Other Woman” with Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann (plus a bonus gag reel), and the Disneynature documentary “Bears.”

Netflix

The AMC series “Low Winter Sun,” based on a British miniseries about a pair of police detectives who kill a corrupt cop, transplants the drama to the struggling city of Detroit. The bleak but interesting series ended with a superb finale that gives it a bitter sense of closure. You can see the entire series now on Netflix.

Also new: the animated heist comedy “The Nut Job” and the horror film “Stage Fright.”

Hulu

“A Hard Day’s Night,” the big screen debut of The Beatles, is arguably the greatest rock ’n’ roll movie ever made. It was recently restored for its 50th anniversary, and now Hulu Plus has it as part of its streaming catalog. You can also get it as a video on demand rental from Amazon.

Other streams

Crackle, a free streaming service with commercials, has just launched a new original series: “Sequestered,” a rapid-fire thriller with a sitcom running time (each episode is 22 minutes) set in a jury room where deliberations are complicated by plot twists. The first six episodes are now available.

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 seanax.com.


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