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Thursday, April 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stream on Demand: ‘Altered Carbon,’ ‘Absentia’ kick off runs on Netflix, Prime

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

Joel Kinnaman stars as a detective resurrected in a new body in the 25th century to solve a murder in Altered Carbon.” The Netflix original science-fiction series is based on the cyberpunk novel by Richard K. Morgan and looks like it’s modeled on “Blade Runner.” Ten episodes now streaming on Netflix.

Stana Katic is an FBI agent with no memory of being held captive for six years in the spy thriller Absentia.” The twisty mind-game mystery sends her seeking answers while she becomes a suspect in a serial killer case. Ten episodes on Amazon Prime.

On Body and Soul (Hungary, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), nominated for an Oscar in the foreign language film category, makes its U.S. debut on Netflix.

And for kids and families, Cars 3 (2017, G) takes one more lap with Lighting McQueen around Pixar’s animated franchise of talking race cars on Netflix.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, (2017, R) about the creator of first female comic book superhero, is a different kind of origin story that encompasses feminism, kinky sex and a polyamorous relationship. Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcoate star.

Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne are three Vietnam vets on a road trip to bury the son of a friend killed in combat in Last Flag Flying (2017, R) from director Richard Linklater.

Also new: Tyler Perry’s comedyBoo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017, PG-13), the English romantic drama God’s Own Country (2017, not rated), with Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu, and the foreign language Oscar nominee and Cannes award winnerThe Square (Sweden, 2017, R, with subtitles).

Available same day as select theaters nationwide are the action dramas Lies We Tell (2018, not rated) with Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel, and Braven (2018, R) with Jason Momoa.


Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for direction with The Hurt Locker (2008, R), the Iraq war drama that won a total of six Oscars. It’s also new to Hulu.

The scope of international TV continues to expand on Netflix with the stateside debuts of Babylon Berlin (Germany, with subtitles), a lavish limited series crime drama set in the decadence and depression 1929 Weimar Germany (16 episodes), and Retribution: Season 1,” a British crime drama of feuding families set in Scotland.

Also new: Nonfiction series Coach Snoop: Season 1; animatedLuna Petunia: Return to Amazia: Season 1; Z Nation: Season 4,” the American zombie action comedy filmed in Spokane.

A new batch of films were added to the library on the first of the month. Here are a few notable titles: cyberpunk superhero film Aeon Flux (2005, PG-13) with Charlize Theron; Steven Soderbergh’s all-star caper comedy Ocean’s Eleven (2001, PG-13) and sequels Ocean’s Twelve(2004, PG-13) and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007, PG-13); comedies Meet the Parents (2000, PG-13) and Meet the Fockers (2004, PG-13) with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro; teen sex comedies American Pie (1999, R) and American Pie 2 (2001, R); musical biopic parody Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007, R) with John C. Reilly.

True stories: The Force(2017, not rated) looks at efforts to reform Oakland’s police department, and How the Beatles Changed the World (2017, TV-PG) looks at the social, cultural and musical impact of the Fab Four.

Stand-up: from Malaysia comes Fakkah Fuzz: Almost Banned Singapore (in English), and Kavin Jay: Everybody Calm Down!(in Malay with subtitles).

Amazon Prime Video

A widower (Menashe Lustig) in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community battles custom and Talmudic law for custody of his son in the Yiddish-language drama Menashe (2017, PG, with subtitles).

Afternoon Delight (2013, R), a comedy by “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway, stars Kathryn Hahn as a suburban mom who adopts a young stripper (Juno Temple) as a live-in nanny.

True stories: California Typewriter(2017, TV-PG) celebrates the analog pleasures of the 20th century device.

Nostalgia: The long-running comic strip Blondie was brought to the big screen with Penny Singleton as Blondie and Arthur Lake as Dagwood in Blondie (1938), the first in a long-running series of B-movie comedies for Columbia Pictures. Amazon Prime has almost a dozen of the comedies, including Blondie on a Budget(1940) co-starring Rita Hayworth and Blondie Plays Cupid (1940) with Glenn Ford.

Streaming TV: Ray Winstone is a private investigator in the British mystery series Vincent: Season 1 (2005) and Roger Moore is the dashing international adventurer in The Saint: Season 1 (1962). Also new: the Britcom Two’s Company: Seasons 1-3 with Elaine Stritch and Donald Sinden;Tales of the Unexpected: Seasons 1-3,” the 1970s anthology series from Britain based on the stories of Roald Dahl; Breathe: Season 1 (India, with subtitles), a drama about a cop searching for an organ donor for his dying son.

Amazon Prime and Hulu

A clever twist on the vampire movie, “Daybreakers” (2009, R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) offers a world where the vampires rule as their blood supply (the human race) is dying off. Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe star.

Brian Cox was the first actor to portray Hannibal Lecter on the screen in “Manhunter” (1986, R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu), Michael Mann’s adaptation of “Red Dragon” starring William Petersen as Will Graham.

Comedy: John Cleese is a proper British barrister tangled up with conniving jewel thieves in “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988, R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu), and Tom Berenger is a B-movie cowboy riding into modern Western complications in the affectionate parody “Rustlers’ Rhapsody” (1985, PG) (Amazon Prime and Hulu).

Cult: Walter Hill’s “The Warriors” (1979, R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) is the ultimate gang movie odyssey, and “Red Dawn” (1984, PG-13) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) turns all-American kids into guerilla soldiers fighting a Soviet invasion.


Mel Brooks’ wildly funny spoof of American Westerns Blazing Saddles (1974, R) spins movie parody, cartoon slapstick and bathroom humor into comic gold. Watch it. You’d do it for Randolph Scott!

Foreign affairs: Nine Queens (Argentina, 2000, R, with subtitles) is one of the sharpest and most satisfyingly devious con artist films you’ll ever see, and Amelie (France, 2001, R, with subtitles) made a star of Audrey Tautou.

Streaming TV: the complete runs of young adult soap opera One Tree Hill,” small town family drama Everwood,” suburban sitcom Cougar Town,” and celebrity tabloid satire Dirt are now a part of the Hulu television catalog. Also new: “Walking Dead” spin-off/prequel Fear the Walking Dead: Season 3 from AMC and the complete Real Humans from Sweden, which inspired the British-American remake “Humans.”

True stories: Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story(2017, not rated) delves into the guitarist’s contribution to David Bowie’s classic albums of the early 1970s.


Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson are 2 Dope Queensin the four-part comedy series inspired by their hit podcast. New episodes every Friday night in February.

Demetrius Shipp Jr. is Tupac Shakur in the musical biopic All Eyez on Me (2017, R).

For families: the comedy Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul(2017, PG) sends the Heffley clan on a road trip, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial(1982, PG) gives audiences another chance to phone home.

True stories: May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers (2018, not rated) profiles the Grammy-nominated folk rock/Americana band, and the documentary short The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm (2018, not rated) offers a personal perspective on the Holocaust.

Older films returning to HBO include the original Alien and sequels (including the kick-ass Aliens), Predator and Predator 2,” and the crossover showdown AVP: Alien vs. Predator,” Man on the Moon with Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman, the 2013 version of Romeo and Juliet with Hailee Steinfeld, and the Oscar-winning musical reworking of ShakespeareWest Side Story.”

Arriving Saturday night is Gifted (2017, PG-13) with Chris Evans as a single father raising a child prodigy.

Showtime Anytime

Zoe Lister-Jones and Adam Pally star in Band Aid (2017, R), a comedy about a married couple who start a band as a form of therapy.

Also new: action thriller Collide (2017, PG-13) with Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones, the first big screen film of The Hulk (2003, PG-13) with Eric Bana, Todd Haynes’ Bowie-inspired Velvet Goldmine(1998, R) with Christian Slater, and John Carpenter’s Starman (1984, PG) with Jeff Bridges.

FilmStruck / Criterion Channel

Classics can be fun. Lose yourself in four screwball comedies by Howard Hawks featured on FilmStruck. Cary Grant is straight man to Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby (1938) and con man to Rosalind Russell in “His Girl Friday” (1940), plus there’s Twentieth Century (1934) with Carole Lombard and John Barrymore and Ball of Fire (1941) with Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper. They’ll be around for the next six months.

Luis Buñuel is FilmStruck’s Director of the Week and nine of his films join the collection, from his English language adaptation of Robinson Crusoe(Mexico, 1954) to the notorious Belle de Jour (France, 1967, not rated, with subtitles) with Catherine Deneuve to the Oscar-nominated surreal satiresThe Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (France, 1972, not rated, with subtitles) and That Obscure Object of Desire(France/Spain, 1977, not rated, with subtitles).

Chantal Akerman’s landmark Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Buxelles (France, 1975, not rated, with subtitles) is part of a collection celebrating the cinema of Belgium.


“Last Flag Flying,” “Geostorm,” “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween,” “Trafficked”

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

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