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Tuesday, April 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A&E >  TV

Stream On Demand: Forte stars as National Lampoon’s Kenney in new biopic

By Sean Axmaker For The Spokesman-Review

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

Top streams for the week

Will Forte plays Doug Kenney in A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018, not rated) a comic biopic of the co-creator of National Lampoon. It debuts on Netflix direct from its world premiere at Sundance 2018. Pair it with the Netflix documentaryDrunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon(2015, not rated) for a double feature.

The new Amazon Prime series Britannia is a sprawling mix of myth and history surrounding the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD featuring Celtic warrior queens, Druid mages, and big, bloody battle scenes. David Morrissey, Kelly Reilly, Zoë Wanamaker, and Mackenzie Crook star in the 10 episode debut season on Amazon Prime.

Timothy Olyphant is a U.S. Marshall with a frontier approach to justice in Justified,” a crime drama as modern Western based on an Elmore Leonard short story. All six seasons streaming on Amazon Prime.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Jane (2017, PG) profiles primatologist Jane Goodall and her groundbreaking work studying chimpanzees in Tanzania in the 1960s with never-before-seen film footage of her early expeditions.

BPM (Beats Per Minute) (France, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), a drama of the lives of ACT UP activists in Paris during the AIDS epidemic early 1990s, is social history with a heartbeat.

Also new: biopicGoodbye Christopher Robin(2017, PG) with Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie; service drama Thank You for Your Service (2017, R) with Miles Teller; disaster movie Geostorm (2017, PG-13) with Gerard Butler; horror film Jigsaw (2017, R),

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is road movie comedy Please Stand By (2017, PG-13) with Dakota Fanning as an autistic Trekkie.


Megalyn Echikunwoke takes on a rhythmically-challenged crew in the college step dance comedy Step Sisters (2017, PG-13).

Return to the wondrous world of J.R.R. Tolkein in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001, PG-13), the first film in Peter Jackson’s dazzling fantasy epic.

Streaming TV: the nonfiction series Dirty Money: Season 1 from Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney digs up stories of scandal and corruption in the world of business. Also new: Netflix reboot One Day at a Time: Season 2; fantasy The Shannara Chronicles: Season 2 based on the Terry Brooks novels; animated Llama Llama: Season 1,” based on the popular children’s’ book series; animated The Adventures of Puss in Boots: Season 6.”

Stand-up: Todd Glass: Act Happy toplines an international line-up of comedians this week that includes: Harith Iskander: I Told You So (2018) from Malaysia (in English); the Spanish language Mau Nieto: Viviendo sobrio… desde el barfrom Mexico; Ricardo Quevedo: Hay gente asífrom Colombia; and Sebastián Marcelo Wainraich from Argentina (all with subtitles).

Amazon Prime Video

Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning are Oregon eco-terrorists in Night Moves (2013, R), a drama about the collision of social action and personal guilt.

The tender and touching drama Short Term 12 (2013, R) gave Brie Larson her breakout role as a counselor at a facility for homeless teens and Jolene (2008, R), adapted from the E.L. Doctorow short story, presents Jessica Chastain in her film debut.

Classics: Lawrence of Arabia (1962, PG-13) is better served as a big-screen experience but Amazon Prime is now streaming the gorgeous 50th anniversary restoration. Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn both won Oscars for On Golden Pond (1982, PG).

True stories: the Oscar-nominated Cartel Land(2015, R) looks at Mexican vigilante groups fighting back against the drug cartels.

Streaming TV: From Russia comes the 8-part miniseries Night Swallows (Russia, 2013, with subtitles) about a real-life all-female air force squadron in World War II.

Foreign affairs: the democratic process is tested in the satire Newton (India, 2017, not rated, with subtitles) and a hitman looks for redemption after killing an innocent child in No Tears for the Dead (South Korea, 2014, not rated, with subtitles)


Aubrey Plaza is a quirky but troubled stalker in the social media satire Ingrid Goes West (2017, R), a timely comedy about confusing “likes” for human connection.

Streaming TV: Eliza Dushku is the super spy of Joss Whedon’s high concept Dollhouse: Complete Series.” Also new: The Glades: Complete Serieswith Matt Passmore as a Chicago cop in Florida and the third season of the Emmy-winning comedy Baskets from Zach Galifianakis.

True stories: School Life (2017, not rated) follows a year in the life of two passionate teachers in an Irish primary boarding school while Barista (2015, not rated) goes behind the scenes at the National Barista Championship.


Steven Soderbergh’s Mosaic (2018), a murder mystery starring Garrett Hedlund and Sharon Stone, reworks his interactive storytelling experiment as a six-part series.

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn areSnatched (2017, R) in the comedy of a South American vacation gone horribly wrong.

Available Saturday night is All Eyez on Me (2017, R) starring Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac Shakur and documentary short The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm (2018, not rated).

FilmStruck / Criterion Channel

Jules Dassin, the American filmmaker who fled the Blacklist and reinvented his career in Europe, is FilmStruck’s Director of the Week and their line-up of films includes the documentary-influenced film noir The Naked City (1948), the London-set Night and the City (1950) with Richard Widmark, and the heist classic Rififi (France, 1955, with subtitles).

The films of Vanessa Redgrave also get a spotlight with collection that includes the Oscar-winning A Man for All Seasons (1966, G) with Paul Scofield, David Hare’s Wetherby (1985, R), and James Ivory’s The White Countess (2005, PG-13), where she co-stars with daughter Natasha Richardson and sister Lynn Redgrave.

Acorn TV

From New Zealand comes the five-part miniseries Dear Murderer(2017), based on the notorious life and times of the colourful defence attorney Mike Bungay.


“Blade Runner 2049,” “Goodbye Christopher Robin,” “Thank You for Your Service,” “Jigsaw,” “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”

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

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