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A&E >  Entertainment

Summer camp comedy hits Netflix

Sean Axmaker

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


Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (2015) is a prequel of sorts to the 2001 spoof of summer camp comedies with Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd (among others) playing long-past-pull-date teenagers. They’re all back (and even older) in T-shirts and cut-offs for the Netflix original comedy mini-series. The original Wet Hot American Summer is also on Netflix, and it’s R for language and teen sex jokes.

“Staten Island Summer” is a coming-of-age comedy of high school buddies working as lifeguards in their last summer together before college. It features a raft of “Saturday Night Live” cameos and it splashes down on Netflix a week after debuting in select theaters nationwide. Rated R for all the reasons you’d expect.

“The Wrecking Crew” profiles the great Los Angeles studio musicians who supplied the soundtrack of the ’60s and created the West Coast sound without receiving their due credit. If you like stories behind the songs, this is for you. Plus it has an amazing score.

For the kids there are new seasons of the animated series Turbo Fast: Season 2and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Season 5.”

Amazon Instant Prime

Entourage: The Complete Series,” HBO’s bro-centric movie star fantasy with Adrien Grenier and Jeremy Piven, is now available to Amazon Prime subscribers. All that sex and drugs and salty language makes this immature series for mature audiences.

Behind the Candelabra”  (2013), Steven Soderberg’s take on the queasily strange but true story of Scott Thorson, Liberace’s lover and boy-toy (and, creepily enough, his adopted son) for five years, won 11 Emmy Awards. Made for HBO, it is for mature audiences.

Song of the Sea(2014), an animated Irish fairy tale drawn in storybook images, earned an Oscar nomination. It’s PG and kid friendly.

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles,” Chuck Workman’s documentary on the legendary filmmaker, is a brief but entertaining tour through an amazing career.

Pay-per-view / video on demand

Russell Crowe directs and stars in “The Water Diviner” as an Australian farmer in search of his sons after the Battle of Gallipoli in World War II. Rated R for war violence. Also on DVD and Blu-ray.

“White God,” a drama about abandoned dogs on the streets of Prague, was Hungary’s official submission to the Academy Awards. Not for kids, this is R for violent imagery. Also on DVD and Blu-ray.

“Home,” an animated comedy about a misfit alien (voice of Jim Parsons) and an adventurous human girl (Rihanna) on an interstellar journey to find their respective homes, offers G-rated fun for young kids. Also on DVD and Blu-ray.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is “A LEGO Brickumentary,” a documentary with a kid-friendly G-rating.

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His work appears in Parallax View, Turner Classic Movies online, Keyframe and at
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