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Sunday, January 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stream On Demand: Marvel demands some buzz with ‘Ant-Man’ sequel

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

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018, PG-13) lightens the apocalyptic tone of Marvel’s big screen superhero universe with this comic adventure starring Evangeline Lilly in the shrinking suit partnering with Paul Rudd’s disaster prone superhero. Director Peyton Reed has a lot of fun with the incredible shrinking (and growing) spectacle and balances the heroics with deft character humor and visual gags. Cable On Demand and VOD, also on DVD and at Redbox.

Wanderlust: Season 1 stars Toni Collette as a therapist who tries to recharge her midlife sexual doldrums with an experiment in open marriage. Steven Mackintosh co-stars in the Netflix coproduction with BBC. All six episodes now streaming.

Also on Netflix are returning showsDaredevil: Season 3,” with Vincent D’Onofrio returning as crime boss Wilson Fisk, and non-fiction series Making a Murderer: Season 2.”

The Prime Original series Lore: Season 2 returns with more dramatizations of real-life horrors drawn from history. Six episodes now streaming on Amazon Prime in time for Halloween.

Classic pick: Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot(1959), starring Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as hapless musicians hiding from mobsters in an all-girl band and Marilyn Monroe as the band’s bubbly singer, was chosen as the best American comedy in a poll by the American Film Institute. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The free streaming service Kanopy (available through most library systems, including Spokane’s) has a month-long tribute to German cinema in a partnership with the Goethe Institute. The line-up of 48 features films spans from such silent movie landmarks as the original Nosferatu (1922) and the restored version of Metropolis (1927) through Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) to award-winning contemporary movies Barbara (2012, PG-13), A Coffee in Berlin(2012, not rated), and Victoria (2015, not rated). Browse the complete line-up here. All with subtitles.

Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand

The documentary Whitney (2018, R) profiles the life and music of the recording superstar.

Also new: horror sequel Unfriended: Dark Web (2018, R) and road movie drama Boundaries (2018, R) with Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the documentary Transformer (2018, not rated) about Janae Marie Kroczaleski, a trans woman who was once the world record holder in men’s powerlifting.

Also debuting is indie drama Nigerian Prince (2018, not rated), funded by a Nigerian-American teen who teams up in a scam with his Nigerian cousin, and Galveston (2018, not rated), a thriller starring Ben Foster and Elle Fanning and directed by Mélanie Laurent.

Netflix

Best.Worst.Weekend.Ever.: Limited Series is a comedy for teens and tween from New Zealand about best friends facing one crazy mishap after another in their final week of high school. It makes its US debut on Netflix.

Illusionist Derren Brown puts his mix of psychology and sleight of hand to work in the specialDerren Brown: Sacrifice.”

Streaming TV: Knightfall: Season 1 is a drama from The History Channel set in the final days of Knights Templar in 14th century.

True stories: Haunted: Season 1 interviews people who have witnessed supernatural events and other unexplained phenomenon. Also new:

Ask the Doctor: Season 1,” from exercise to infertility to sleep, a team of doctors share expert advice, bust medical myths and test the latest treatments.

Hip-Hop Evolution: Season 2,” which traces the growth of hip-hop subcultures in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Foreign affairs: the thriller The Night Comes For Us (Indonesia, with subtitles, not rated) sends a Triad killer on the run for showing mercy during an assignment and Wild District: Season 1 (Colombia, with subtitles) follows a former guerrilla soldier as he tries to reintegrate into Colombian society.

Kid stuff: the Netflix Original animated feature Gnome Alone (2018, not rated) teams up a high school boy with living garden gnomes to save the world. Also new:

animated showsLarva Island: Season 1 and Octonauts: Season 4 for pre-schoolers;

live action adventure Power Rangers Ninja Steel: Season 2.”

Stand-up: Ron White: If You Quit Listening, I’ll Shut Up (2018)

Amazon Prime Video

Slice (2018, R) is a horror comedy with extra toppings starring Chance Bennett (aka Chance the Rapper), Zazie Beetz, and Paul Scheer.

Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig star in The Humbling (2014, R), based on the Philip Roth novel.

Cult: Jake Gyllenhaal is Donnie Darko (2001, R), a weird, darkly oddball high school student who starts to see the fabric of the universe after surviving a freak near-death disaster. Prime Video presents the original theatrical cut.

Also new: science fiction action spectacle Bleeding Steel (China, 2017, R, with subtitles) with an aging Jackie Chan;

war drama The Yellow Birds(2017, R) with Alden Ehrenreich and Jennifer Aniston;

high school mystery Assassination of a High School President (2008, R) with Bruce Willis and Mischa Barton;

thriller Mr. Brooks(2007, R) with Kevin Costner as a family man hiding a secret life as a serial killer;

Find Me Guilty(2006, R) with Vin Diesel as a low-level mobster pressured to rat on his bosses;

modern comedy classic A Fish Called Wanda(1988, R) written by and starring John Cleese;

Oscar-winning romantic comedy Moonstruck (1987, PG) with Cher and Nicolas Cage;

Movie Movie(1979, PG), a loving spoof of old Hollywood double features starring George C. Scott;

epic war drama A Bridge Too Far (1977, PG) with Sean Connery and Robert Redford.

Western classics: John Wayne and William Holden star in the Civil War drama The Horse Soldiers (1959) directed by John Ford;

sweeping cattle country epic The Big Country (1958) with Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, and Burl Ives;

Anthony Mann’s stark outlaw drama Man of the West (1958) with Gary Cooper;

Vera Cruz (1954) with Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper as American mercenaries in Mexico.

Horror: M. Night Shyamalan produces Devil (2010, PG-13), a horror film set in the confines of an elevator. Also new for the Halloween season:

The Exorcist III (1990, R), a terrific sequel directed by author William Peter Blatty;

Slumber Party Massacre (1982, R), a cult slasher film with a feminist twist from director Amy Holden Jones and author Rita Mae Brown;

Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979, PG) with Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani;

Hammer Films horrors Vampire Circus (1972, PG) and Twins of Evil (1971, R);

killer rat horror Ben (1972, PG) with a theme song by little Michael Jackson;

William Castle’s “Psycho” knock-off Homicidal (1961).

Kid stuff: the animated Tumble Leaf: Trick-or-Treat Trek (2018) and The Daniel Tiger Movie: Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?(2012) are for preschool-age kids.

Hulu

Helen Hunt stars in “The Miracle Season“ (2018, PG), an inspirational sports drama based on a true story. Also new:

Spokane- and Pullman-filmed romantic drama At Middleton(2014, R) with Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga as strangers who connect when they visit the college campus of their respective children;

thriller Birthday Girl(2002, R) with Nicole Kidman as a Russian mail-order bride;

romantic comedy Next Stop Wonderland (1998, R) with Hope Davis.

Streaming TV: Ioan Gruffudd is a maverick doctor in the Australian medical drama Harrow: Season 1.” Also new:

Antonio Banderas is Genius: Picasso in the second season of the National Geographic anthology series;

the complete run of the sitcomThe Bernie Max Show from the 2000s;

the offbeat comedy Wilfred: Complete Series with Elijah Wood;

Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots: Season 5from the cable channel OWN.

HBO Now

Maze Runner: The Death Cure(2018, PG-13) completes the young adult trilogy starring Dylan O’Brien as a teenager fighting the adults who made him a lab rat in the dystopian future.

The HBO original series Camping,” a comedy starring Jennifer Garner and David Tennant as a longtime married couple on a disastrous birthday weekend trip, rolls out new episodes every Sunday.

The documentary The Sentence (2018, not rated) takes on the effects of mandatory minimum sentencing.

Arriving Saturday night is the HBO Original movie My Dinner with Hervé (2018, TV-MA) starring Peter Dinklage as actor Hervé Villechaize.

Showtime Anytime

Stand-up: Finesse Mitchell: The Spirit Told Me To Tell You (2018, TV-MA)

FilmStruck

TCM Select Pick of the Week is the original King Kong (1933), king of the jungle of giant creature features. Real-life adventure filmmaking pioneers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack created a spectacle the likes audiences had never seen, and if the acting and the dialogue verges on kitsch, the production is still awe-inspiring and the special effects of Willis O’Brien, groundbreaking in their day, are beautifully crafted. Movie magic elevates this puppet into a towering beast who fights giant predators in primeval battles over blonde beauty Fay Wray and wreaks havoc in the urban jungle of New York to find her once again. Like Frankenstein’s monster, Kong was ostensibly the monster of the movie, but the power of his presence made him a tragic hero in the greatest beauty and the beast tale in the movies. After all these years, Kong still reigns supreme. Streaming through December 27.

Star of the Week: Lon Chaney” gathers 16 films featuring the Man of a Thousand faces, from his legendary performances in The Hunchback of Notre Dame(1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925) to lesser-known classics He Who Gets Slapped (1924) with John Gilbert and Norma Shearer and The Unknown (1927) with Joan Crawford. All silent with musical score.

Spotlight: Women Directors” features over 20 films spanning 100 years, among them:

pioneering silent director Alice Guy-Blaché’s The Ocean Waif(1916)

animation landmark The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) from Lotte Reiniger;

Shirley Clarke’s non-fiction classicPortrait of Jason (1967);

Oscar-winner Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976, not rated) from Barbara Kopple;

Claire Denis’ intense drama Nenette et Boni (France, 1996, not rated, with subtitles);

Agnés Jaoui’s romantic drama The Taste of Others(France, 2000, not rated, with subtitles).

Also new: four films from “Director of the Week: Jerry Schatzberg“ and “The Young and the Restless,” a collection that includes Quadrophenia (1979, R) and Drugstore Cowboy(1989, R).

Other streams

The Off-Broadway “Harry Potter” spoof Puffs finds comedy among the students of a certain school of magic who are *not* destined to become heroes. Available to stream on BroadwayHD while the play continues its run in New York.

The Canadian crime drama Bang: Series 1 makes its U.S. debut on Acorn TV. All eight episodes now streaming.

All eight episodes of the 2006 British detective series The Gil Mayo Mysteriesare streaming on BritBox.

Criterion Channel presents Olympic Glory,” a collection of dozens of short films and features chronicling over 100 years of the Olympic Games.

New on disc

“Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Whitney,” “Unfriended: Dark Web,” “Boundaries,” “Down a Dark Hall”

Now available at Redbox: “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Unfriended: Dark Web,” “Arizona,” “Down a Dark Hall,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

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

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