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Thursday, April 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stream on Demand: Netflix helps finish Orson Welles movie

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

The Other Side of the Wind” (2018, not rated), starring John Huston as an aging filmmaker trying to stay relevant in the changing landscape of 1970s cinema, was left unfinished and in limbo when Orson Welles died in 1985. Netflix helped finance the completion and clear up the legal tangles and streams the debut of the film the same day it plays select theaters. Also on Netflix today is “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” (2018, not rated), a documentary on the film’s history by Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville.

Julia Roberts stars in “Homecoming: Season 1,” her first series. Adapted by creators Micah Bloomberg and Eli Horowitz from their podcast and directed by “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Ismail, it’s a mystery set at a center for soldiers readjusting to civilian life. Ten episodes on Amazon Prime Video.

Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) takes charge as the first woman president in the sixth and final season of “House of Cards,” which brings Netflix’s first bona-fide original hit to a close without Kevin Spacey. All 13 episodes on Netflix.

Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson are protective parents of a child (Jacob Tremblay) with facial deformities in “Wonder” (2017, PG), the family drama based on the best-selling children’s novel by R.J. Palacio. On Prime Video and Hulu.

Classic pick: John Boorman’s magnificent and magical “Excalibur“ (1981, R) is the richest screen incarnation of the oft-told Arthurian legend. On Prime Video.

Foreign pick: People on Sunday” (Germany, 1930, with subtitles), a lovely silent film that offers a snapshot of life in Weimar Germany, launched the careers of some of Hollywood’s great filmmakers. On Prime Video.

After two years as the premium streaming service for classic American and foreign movies, and just a few weeks after parent company WarnerMedia merged with AT&T, FilmStruck announced that it is shutting down as of Nov. 29, 2018. Annual subscribers will be given pro-rated refunds for the balance of their subscriptions.

Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon star in “The Spy Who Dumped Me” (2018, R) as best friends who inadvertently get caught up in international intrigue.

Also new: the animated “Teen Titans Go! To The Movies” (2018, PG) and teen science-fiction adventure “The Darkest Minds” (2018, PG-13) with Gwendoline Christie and Mandy Moore.


Halloween is over, which means that the Netflix Christmas movie originals are already arriving. Now available is the romantic drama “The Holiday Calendar” with “The Vampire Diaries” star Kat Graham and the animated “Angela’s Christmas” (2018, not rated), based on a story by Frank McCourt.

Foreign affairs: South African filmmaker and actor Akin Omotoso developed “Vaya” (South Africa, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), a fictional drama of rural folk in facing the big city culture of Johannesburg, from real-life experiences shared in story workshops. Also new is “Gun City

(Spain, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), a crime thriller set in the underworld of 1921 Barcelona.

Fair Game: Director’s Cut” (2010/2018, PG-13) is a revised version of Doug Liman’s drama about Valerie Plame starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

Halle Berry and Daniel Craig star in “Kings” (2017, R), a drama set in the midst of the Rodney King riots, and “Equals” (2015, PG-13) features Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult as people in love in a world without emotions.

Kid stuff:Brainchild: Season 1” is new science series designed for young school kids.

Streaming TV:Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” takes on politics, culture, and the news with a sense of humor. New episodes arrive each Sunday. Also new is the third collection of “Follow This” mini-documentaries from BuzzFeed reporters.

Foreign language TV: From Thailand comes the high school revenge drama “Girl from Nowhere: Season 1” (Thailand, with subtitles) and the college drama “The Judgement: Season 1” (Thailand, with subtitles). Also new: “The Sound of Your Heart Reboot: Season 1” (South Korea, with subtitles) revives the 2016 comedy of a webtoonist and his eccentric family with a new cast.

True stories: “ReMastered: Tricky Dick & The Man in Black” chronicles Johnny Cash’s 1970 visit to the White House. Also new: “Stink!“ (2015, not rated), a documentary on chemical industry; “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin” (2017, not rated), a profile of the author and gay rights activist.

Stand-up:The Degenerates“ is a series spotlighting rising young comics.

A new month, a new batch of older films cycled through the library, including Oscar-winners “Good Will Hunting” (1997, R) and “The English Patient” (1996, R). Other newly arrived titles include: “Julie & Julia” (2009, PG-13) with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams; “Sex and the City: The Movie“ (2008, R), the big screen sequel to the HBO series; the family-friendly adventure “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep“ (2007, PG) about a boy and his mythical sea serpent; dystopian drama “Children of Men” (2006, R) with Clive Owen in future without children; “Fearless” (China, 2006, PG-13, with subtitles) with Jet Li as Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia; “Bram Stoker’s Dracula“ (1992, R) from Francis Ford Coppola with Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder; John Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles” (1984, PG) with Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall; the comedy “Animal House” (1978, R) with John Belushi, filmed at the University of Oregon; and Steven Spielberg’s wondrous science fiction odyssey “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977, PG).

Amazon Prime Video

The Adventures of Tintin” (2011), Steven Spielberg’s first foray into motion capture filmmaking, turns the legendary boy journalist and globe-trotting adventurer from the early graphic novels of Herge into a big screen hero. Jamie Bell stars with Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock.

The animated fantasy “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (Japan, 1984, PG, with subtitles), the second feature from Hayao Miyazaki and the feature debut of Studio Ghibli, is set on a faraway world of medieval castles and massive airships and splintered kingdoms.

Also new this month: The cop drama “Rampart“ (2011, R) with Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster; inspired-by-a-true-story drama “Stuck” (2008, R) with Mena Suvari and Stephen Rea; the college gambling drama “21” (2008, PG-13) with Jim Sturgess and Kevin Spacey; “Michael Clayton” (2007, R), a political thriller with George Clooney; Australian western “The Proposition” (2006, R) with Guy Pierce and Kenneth Branagh; “Assault on Precinct 13” (2005, R), a remake with Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne; “The Motorcycle Diaries” (Argentina, 2004, R, with subtitles) with Gael Garcia Bernal as young Che Guevara; the far north survival drama “The Snow Walker” (2004, PG) with Barry Pepper; the crime comedy “The Mexican” (2001, R) with Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt; “My Girl” (1991, PG-13) with Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky as adolescent best friends; and the Oscar-winning mother-daughter drama “Terms of Endearment” (1983, PG) with Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger.

True stories: Ron Mann’s “Grass” (1999, R) looks at the history and culture of marijuana in America. Woody Harrelson narrates.

Prime Video and Hulu

Samuel L. Jackson stars in the gorgeous musical drama “The Red Violin” (1998, R), which follows the journey of a legendary instrument as it passes through many hands over the course of three centuries. On Prime Video and Hulu. Also new: “Lord of War” (2005, R) with Nicolas Cage (Prime Video and Hulu); “The Birdcage” (1996, R), with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane (Prime Video and Hulu); “Mulholland Falls” (1996, R) with Nick Nolte as a cop in 1950s Los Angeles (Prime Video and Hulu).


It only lasted a single season on AMC but “Dietland,” an ingenious social satire that tackles feminism, body image, and corporate culture, is well worth seeing.

Also new: “Flesh & Blood,” the second feature-length episode of the anthology horror series “Into the Dark,” and the European crime drama “Racer and the Jailbird“ (Belgium, 2018, R, with subtitles); the conspiracy thriller “The Interpreter” (2005, PG-13) with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn; Vin Diesel is “xXx” (2002, PG-13); the offbeat romantic comedy “Italian for Beginners” (Denmark, 2000, R, with subtitles); David Cronenberg’s science-fiction headgame “eXistenZ” (1999, R); cult comedy “The Big Lebowski” (1998, R) with Jeff Bridges and John Goodman; the action spectacle “Supercop” (Hong Kong, 1992, R) with Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh; the Australian road comedy “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (1994) with Terence Stamp and Hugo Weaving; and the family drama “Searching for Bobby Fischer” (1993, PG) with Joe Mantegna and Ben Kinglsey.


The Oscar-nominated drama “The Post” (2017, PG-13) takes on the responsibility of journalists to speak truth to power with the story of the stakes behind The Washington Post’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star in the old school newspaper drama directed by Steven Spielberg.

Older films returning to HBO this month include “Cop Car”(2015, R) with Kevin Bacon as a corrupt sheriff; crime drama “Edge of Darkness”(2010, R) with Mel Gibson; spy adventure “Knight and Day” (2010, PG-13) with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz; “Invictus” (2009, PG-13) with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandella; comedy “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004, PG-13) with Will Ferrell; action film “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” (2003, PG-13) to Angelina Jolie; drama “In the Name of the Father” (1993) with Daniel Day-Lewis.

Available Saturday night is an extended, unrated version of the R-rated “Fifty Shades Freed”(2018, not rated)

Showtime Anytime

Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton star in the action thriller “American Assassin” (2017, R), and Ansel Elgourt and Taron Egerton star with Kevin Spacey in “Billionaire Boys Club” (2018, R), a crime drama based on a true story.

Also new: “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007, PG-13) with Matt Damon; Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” (2001, PG-13) with Haley Joel Osmet; “True Romance” (1993, R) from an original screenplay by Quentin Tarantino; “Black Rain” (1989, R) with Michael Douglas; Oscar-nominated “Field of Dreams” (1989, PG) with Kevin Costner.


TCM Select Pick of the Week is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1945), Albert Lewin’s handsome 1945 adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s novel of a man who remains eternally young and increasingly damned while his portrait reflects his true age and corrupt soul. Hurd Hatfield plays the eternally young Dorian, George Sanders plays Wilde’s stand-in, offering dryly witty commentary with a cultured purr, and Donna Reed and Anglela Lansbury co-star as two of Gray’s victims.

Director of the Week: Jacques Tourneur” presents a collection of his early short films along with such horror classics as “Cat People” (1942) and “I Walked With a Zombie” (1943) and the film noir masterpiece “Out of the Past” (1947) with Robert Mitchum. “Star of the Week: Jacqueline Bisset” features American action classic “Bullitt” (1968, PG) and French dramas “Day for Night” (France, 1973, PG, with subtitles) and “La Cérémonie” (France, 1995, with subtitles).

New on disc

“The Spy Who Dumped Me,” “The Darkest Minds,” “Mandy,” “Teen Titans Go! To The Movies,” “The Padre”

At Redbox: “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “Mandy,” “Teen Titans Go! To The Movies,” “The Padre”

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

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