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Sunday, March 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stream on Demand: Amazon’s ‘Comrade Detective’ sounds a bit bonkers

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.

Amazon Prime’s new series “Comrade Detective: Season 1” spoofs 1980s American crime TV and Cold War clichés with a mock-Bulgarian cop drama with ’80s fashions, Communist propaganda, and American dubbing from the likes of Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Nick Offerman (6 episodes).

Welcome back campers! Netflix presents “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later,” the 8-episode sequel to the summer camp comedy spoof from David Wain and Michael Showalter and a huge cast of comedy pals (among them Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, and Christopher Meloni).

The new month also brings a whole new slate of films and TV shows to stream from each service. Here are some more highlights of the new arrivals this week…

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Colossal” is one of the surprises of 2017, a mix of giant monster movie and character comedy that slowly turns into darker territory to explore alcoholism and bullying, all through the prism of a bizarre fantasy spin on “Godzilla.” Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis star (R). Also on DVD and Blu-ray and at Redbox.

Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin are retired buddies who plot a bank robbery in the comedy “Going in Style,” (PG-13) also on DVD.

Also new: “The Circle” with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in the Google culture gone bad (PG-13, also on DVD), romantic comedy “The Lovers” with Debra Winger and Tracy Letts (R), and “Afterimage,” the final film by Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda (not rated, with subtitles).

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the moms-behaving-badly comedy “Fun Mom Dinner” with Katie Aselton and Molly Shannon (R) and sci-fi-comedy “Brave New Jersey,” set during the 1937 “War of the Worlds” radio scare (not rated), plus indie romantic drama “Some Freaks,” and pitch-black crime comedy “68 Kill” (all not rated).


Sing” (2017) presents a cast of animated animals singing their hearts out with the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Seth MacFarlane, Taron Egerton, and Tori Kelly. Matthew McConaughey is your impresario and master of ceremonies for this jukebox musical and Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Saunders co-star (PG).

The Founder” (2017) dramatizes the story of how traveling salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) transformed McDonald’s into a billion-dollar franchise (PG-13).

The sprawling “Cloud Atlas’ (2012), from filmmakers Lana and Lilly Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, and others in stories across the centuries (R).

More new arrivals:

the-show-must-go-on comedy “Opening Night” (2016) with Topher Grace (not rated)

Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” (1997) with Pam Grier and Robert Forster (R)

Lord of War” (2005) with Nicolas Cage as a private arms dealer (R)

landmark cyber-thriller “The Matrix” (1999) and sequels “The Matrix Reloaded” (2003) and “The Matrix Revolutions” (2003) (all R)

raunchy comedy “Bad Santa” (2003) with Billy Bob Thornton (R)

On the family friendly side is “A Cinderella Story” (2004) with Hilary Duff (PG), and the big screen comedy “The Addams Family” (1991) with Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, and young Christina Ricci (PG-13).

More streaming TV: the sci-fi/horror series “Van Helsing: Season 1” (2016), created by Neil LaBute, arrives a month or so before season two airs on SyFy, crime drama “Hinterland: Season 3” and the complete WWII homefront drama “Landgirls” arrive from Britain, and prison thriller “Surviving Escobar - Alias JJ: Season 1” comes from Colombian and crime melodrama “Crematorium: Season 1” (2011) comes from Spain (both in Spanish with subtitles)

True stories: “Icarus” (2017) digs into the Russian sports doping conspiracy and coverup (not rated).

Stand-up: “Maz Jobrani: Immigrant” comes from the Iranian-born, American-raised actor/comedian who is part of the Axis of Evil comedy group.

Amazon Prime Video

Our Kind of Traitor” (2016), based on the John Le Carre novel, stars Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris as civilians tangled in a British intelligence operation (R).

Richard Rush’s Oscar-nominated “The Stunt Man” (1980), one of the great movies about movies, stars Peter O’Toole as a driven director and Steve Railsback as a fugitive given a new identity as a stunt man (R).

Kid stuff: the animated “Lost in Oz: Season 1” reimagines the classic story with a whole new collection of adventures.

Also new: raunchy high school comedy “Superbad” with Michael Cera and Jonah Hill (unrated version, 2007) and “Eve’s Bayou” (1997) with Samuel L. Jackson and Lynn Whitfield (R)

True stories: “Dying Laughing” (2017) profiles the lives of American comedians (not rated)

Amazon Prime / Hulu

Gary Cooper stars in “High Noon“ (1952), a lean, dusty Western classic set to the real time of a ticking clock (not rated) (Amazon Prime and Hulu).

More new arrivals:

Christian Bale is an unstable war vet knocking around Los Angeles in “Harsh Times” (2005, R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu)

Tom Cruise stars in “Valkyrie” (2008), about the real-life conspiracy to assassinate Hitler (PG-13) (Amazon Prime and Hulu)

Peter Fonda earned an Oscar nomination for “Ulee’s Gold” (1997) as a Florida beekeeper and single father (R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu)

Johnny Depp channels Buster Keaton in the offbeat romantic comedy “Benny & Joon” (1993, PG) that was filmed in Spokane (Amazon Prime and Hulu)

|Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter travel through time in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure“ (1989, PG) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) and meet death in “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey“ (1991, PG-13) (Amazon Prime and Hulu)


Tobey Maguire was the first big screen webslinger in “Spider-Man” (2002) and “Spider-Man 2” (2004), Sam Raimi’s spirited take on the iconic comic book (PG-13).

More new arrivals:

Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married” (2008) with Anne Hathaway (R)

Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning war drama “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) with Tom Hanks (R)

the original “Arthur” (1981) with Dudley Moore (R)

Oscar-winner “As Good as it Gets” (1997) with Jack Nicholson (PG-13)

the incredible shrinking family comedy “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” (1989) is fine for kids (PG)

Streaming TV: Hulu now has the complete runs of the Fox forensic mystery “Bones” (12 seasons, 245 episodes), high school musical “Glee” (six seasons, 121 episodes), and dysfunctional family sitcom “Raising Hope” (four seasons, 88 episodes).


Danny Glover and Omar Epps star in the family holiday comedy “Almost Christmas” (2016, PG-13) and “Emelie” (2015) stars Sarah Bolger as an unhinged babysitter (not rated).

Older films returning this month:

The Incredible Hulk” (2008) with Edward Norton (PG-13)

Oscar-nominated “Frost / Nixon” with Michael Sheen and Frank Langella (R)

Oscar-nominated “Girl with a Pearl Earring” with Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson (PG-13)

Oscar-winner “Adaptation” with Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep (R)

action thrillers “RocknRolla” with Gerard Butler (R) and “Max Payne“ with Mark Wahlberg (unrated extended version)

Changing Lanes“ with Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson (R)

Arriving Saturday night is “Collateral Beauty“ (2016) with Will Smith (PG-13) and on Sunday you can stream the stand-up special “George Lopez: The Wall — Live from Washington, D.C.“ (not rated).


Golden Years” (2016) is a lighthearted TV movie about a group of British pensioners who turn to robbing banks after bankers lose their pensions in bad investments. Bernard Hill, Phil Davis, Una Stubbs, and Alun Armstrong star (not rated).

New on disc this week:

“Colossal,” “Going in Style,” “The Circle,” “The Lovers,” “Shin Godzilla”

At Redbox:

“The Boss Baby,” “Colossal,” “The Circle,” “Gifted,” “Unforgettable”

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

Anne Hathaway stars in “Colossal.” Photo credit: Neon

The animated musical “Sing.” Photo credit: Universal Pictures

“Comrade Detective.” Photo credit: Amazon Studios

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