Entertainment


‘Zero’ opens weird world

FRIDAY, AUG. 22, 2014

What’s new to watch this week on pay-per-view and streaming services:

Pay-per-view

Terry Gilliam, the former Monty Python animator who created “Brazil” and “12 Monkeys,” directs “The Zero Theorem,” a dark science-fiction comedy starring Christoph Waltz (who won Oscars for “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained”) as a neurotic computer genius trying to find the meaning of life in a future under the thumb of Big Brother. This is for fans of Gilliam’s weird worlds only, and it debuts via pay-per-view before theaters.

The superhero sequel “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is big and busy but something of a disappointment compared to the energetic earlier trilogy, but web-slinging fans will nonetheless want to catch up with this one, which features Jamie Foxx as guest villain Electro and up-and-comer Dane DeHaan (“Chronicle”) as the Green Goblin.

Viewers with more adventurous tastes might be interested in “Only Lovers Left Alive,” a dreamy romance from eccentric filmmaker Jim Jarmusch starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as eternal vampire lovers in a world that is increasingly toxic to them. The supernatural thriller “The Quiet Ones” offers a more traditional kind of horror film.

The documentary “To Be Takei,” a profile of the “Star Trek” actor who became an unexpected media star and gay rights icon, is available on pay-per-view the same day it opens in New York and Los Angeles.

Also new this week: the comedies “Fading Gigolo,” with John Turturro and Woody Allen; “The Trip to Italy,” with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon; and “Are You Here,” from “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner and starring Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler, and Zach Galifianakis.

Netflix

The cable series “From Dusk Till Dawn,” Robert Rodriguez’s small-screen spinoff of the cult film written by Quentin Tarantino, ran on the El Ray channel, which isn’t carried by a lot of cable systems yet. If you’re hungry for some vampire action with a Southwest flavor, you can now stream the first season on Netflix.

Netflix also recently added the first six seasons of the unsinkable profiler drama “Criminal Minds” and the complete run of the much lighter British mystery series “Rosemary & Thyme,” about professional gardeners who become amateur sleuths.

Also new this week: “Thanks for Sharing,” a comedy about (no kidding) sex addiction, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo.

Other streams

Crackle’s original series “Cleaners,” starring Emmanuelle Chriqui and Emily Osment as sexy contract killers, begins its second season this week.

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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