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Friday, April 26, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A&E >  Movies

Stream on Demand: ‘Black Mirror’ offers a disturbing, brilliant trip to the ‘Twilight Zone’

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 3, 2018, 10:59 a.m.

By Sean Axmaker For The Spokesman-Review

What’s new for home viewing on video-on-demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services.

Top streams for the week

Black Mirror,” dark, disturbing, brilliant the 21st century answer to “The Twilight Zone,” is back for a fourth season on Netflix, and creator Charlie Booker makes the most of his bigger budget with more visually lavish episodes, opening with an inspired “Star Trek” twist. Six episodes now streaming on Netflix.

HBO launches 2018 with the entire cinematic Harry Potter saga: all eight films based on the books by J.K. Rowling, from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001, PG) through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011, PG-13), available to binge or watch at your leisure on all HBO streaming platforms.

An offer you can’t refuse: Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning The Godfather (1972, R) and The Godfather: Part II (1974, R) and his Oscar-nominated follow-upThe Godfather: Part III (1990, R), all starring Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, are now streaming on Netflix.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Emma Stone and Steve Carell play Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes (2017, PG-13), the story behind the legendary tennis match of the 1970s and a look at a defining public moment in the equal rights movement. Also on DVD and Blu-ray.

Also based on a true story areAmerican Made (2017, R), with Tom Cruise as a pilot flying weapons and drugs for the CIA in the 1980s, and Breathe (2017, PG-13) with Andrew Garfield as Robin Cavendish, the man who revolutionized the way polio patients are treated. Also on DVD and Blu-ray.

Also new: the dramedy Brad’s Status(2017, R) with Ben Stiller and Michael Sheen; indie drama Lucky (2017, not rated) featuring Harry Dean Stanton in only his second leading role; religious drama A Question of Faith (2017, PG) with Richard T. Jones; and the thriller Una(2016, R) with Rooney Mara.

Available Friday, the same day as in select theaters nationwide, is road movie thriller The Strange Ones (2017, R) with Alex Pettyfer.


Johnny Depp sails the haunted seas once again in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales(2017, PG-13), the fifth film in the series.

Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane star in the horror film Before I Wake (2016, PG-13), which makes its US debut on Netflix.

Christian Bale is the Dark Knight in Batman Begins (2005, PG-13), the first film in Christopher Nolan’s superb superhero trilogy, but for nostalgia you can rewind back to Tim Burton’s Batman (1989, PG-13) and Batman Returns (1992, PG-13) with Michael Keaton.

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover play good cop-crazy cop (you know which is which) in the buddy cop action hit Lethal Weapon (1987, R) and the three sequels.

Foreign affairs: Age of Shadows(South Korea, 2016, not rated, with subtitles) is a spy thriller set during the Japanese occupation of Korea.

Classics: Audrey Hepburn is Holly Golightly inBreakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), which won two Oscars for composer Henry Mancini.

Kid stuff: the animated Monsters vs. Aliens (2009, PG) is pretty self-explanatory, and Gene Wilder invites you into a world of pure imagination in the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971, G).

Shut up and dance: We Speak Dance (2018) is a five-episode series that travels the globe exploring the way move to music. On the fictional side of things is the Australian musical comedy Strictly Ballroom (1992, PG), the cheerleader competition comedy Bring It On(2000, PG-13), andRent (2005, PG-13), the big screen version of the hit Broadway musical.

Two high school rebels hit the road in The End of the F***ing World: Season 1,” a dark comedy of teen confusion from Great Britain, based on a graphic novel. Episodes episodes on Netflix.

Jerry Seinfeld launches the 10th season of his interview series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee on Netflix.

Stand-up: Dave Chappelle: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation offers two complete stand-up comedy performances, and Chonda Pierce: Enough presents comedy from inspirational faith-based perspective.

More streaming TV: the funny and touching romantic comedy Lovesick: Season 3 from Great Britain; animated supernatural thriller DEVILMAN crybaby: Season 1from Japan; homegrownRotten,” a non fiction series on food production in America.

More movies: Owen Wilson is transported in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011, PG-13); Kirsten Dunst is Marie Antoinette (2006, PG-13) in Sofia Coppola’s historical drama; George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, and Jeff Bridges are The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009, R); Peter Jackson directs King Kong (2005, PG-13), the second remake of the giant ape classic; Training Day (2001, R) earned Denzel Washington his second Academy Award; The Truman Show (1998, PG), starring Jim Carrey as an unwitting hero, is as timely as ever in its satire of “reality TV”; and it’s snobs vs. slobs in the hit comedy Caddyshack (1980, R) with Chevy Chase and Bill Murray.

Amazon Prime Video

Revisit the final adventures of Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who: Season 10 (2017) before the new Doctor takes charge of the TARDIS.

The 2018 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish features Will Farrell and Molly Shannon goofing it up as your hosts and commentators.

Dominic Cooper plays The Devil’s Double (2011, R) as an Iranian soldier coerced into portraying the decoy for Saddam Hussein’s sadistic son.

Amazon Prime / Hulu

Robert Redford gives a nearly wordless performance in the survival drama “All is Lost” (2013, PG-13) (Amazon Prime and Hulu).

It’s hard out there for a pimp in “Hustle & Flow” (2005, R) with Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson (Amazon Prime and Hulu) and love means never having to say you’re sorry in “Love Story” (1970, PG) with Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal (Amazon Prime and Hulu).

Also new: David Fincher’s “Zodiac” (2007, R) with Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. (Amazon Prime and Hulu); the sprawling “Babel” (2006, R) stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett (Amazon Prime and Hulu); Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar starring in “Capote” (2005, R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu); “Freedom Writers” (2007, PG-13) with Hilary Swank as an inspirational teacher of at-risk high school students (Amazon Prime and Hulu); “Six Degrees of Separation“ (1993, R) with Will Smith (Amazon Prime and Hulu); and drama “Street Smart“ (1987, R) with Christopher Reeve and Morgan Freeman (Amazon Prime and Hulu).


Paul Thomas Anderson wrote “Punch Drunk Love” (2002, R) for Adam Sandler and directed him to one of his best performances.

Tom Hanks gets top billing in “A League of Their Own” (1992, PG) but Geena Davis is the real star of Penny Marshall’s film about the real life All-American Girls Baseball League.

Kid stuff: Hayley Mills plays twins determined to reunite divorced parents in the original Disney comedy “The Parent Trap” (1961, G) and young Lindsay Lohan takes over in the 1998 remake “The Parent Trap” (PG).

Also new: “The Future” (2011, R), Miranda July’s offbeat drama narrated by a cat; Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star in “Revolutionary Road” (2008, R) with Oscar-nominated Michael Shannon; Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Total Recall” (1990, R), a sci-fi thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven; and “Spaceballs” (1987, PG), Mel Brooks’ spoof of the “Star Wars” franchise.


Guy Ritchie adds monsters to the great British myth in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017, PG-13) starring Charlie Hunnam. A little closer to home is the Western “In a Valley of Violence (2016) with Ethan Hawke and John Travolta.

Among the older films now available on HBO streaming services are The Informant! (2009, R) with Matt Damon, the modern romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer (2009, PG-13) with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, and the Back to the Future trilogy (1985-1990) with Michael J. Fox.

Kid stuff: for the younger crowd are the animated features How to Train Your Dragon (2010, PG) and Shrek Forever After (2010, PG) and the partly animated Cats & Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010, PG).

Arriving Saturday night is the young adult romantic drama Everything, Everything (2017, PG-13).

Showtime Anytime

Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander star in the literary tearjerker The Light Between Oceans (2016, PG-13), andAlone in Berlin (2017, R) stars Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson as Germans defying Hitler in 1940 Berlin.

Also new: Terrence Howard stars in Pride (2007, PG) based on the true story of an urban swim team in 1970s Philadelphia.

Stand-up: Unsportsmanlike Comedy with Rob Gronkowski.”

FilmStruck / Criterion Channel

FilmStruck’s director of the week is Frank Borzage and the collection includes the gloriously romantic History is Made at Night (1937) with Jean Arthur and Charles Boyer, and Strange Cargo(1940) with Clark Gable and Joan Crawford.

If you’ve a taste for crime cinema, queue up the French neo-noir Serie Noire (France, 1979, not rated, with subtitles) or Fernando Di Leo’s Milieu Trilogy, three mob movies from Italy.

New to the Criterion Channel are Billy Wilder’sThe Apartment (1960) with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, Otto Preminger’s classic courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder (1951) with James Stewart and Lee Remick, and the Coen Bros.’s Oscar-winning thriller No Country for Old Men (2007, R).

At Redbox

“Despicable Me 3,” “American Made,” “The Mountain Between Us,” “Brad’s Status”

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at

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