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Tuesday, August 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stream on Demand: Netflix’s ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ puts a different twist on the teenage witch

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

Keirnan Shipka plays a very different version of the teenage witch introduced in “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” a Netflix Original series from “Riverdale” creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with nods to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” This Sabrina is caught between human high school melodrama and a devil worshipping coven that wants her eternal soul, and while it’s well-timed for Halloween, it’s not for younger kids. 10 episodes now streaming on Netflix.

The hit BBC drama “Bodyguard: Season 1,” starring Richard Madden as a war veteran now serving as a Specialist Protection Officer and Keeley Hawes as the British Home Secretary he’s assigned to protect, is a dark crime show that makes its U.S. debut on Netflix. Six episodes now streaming.

Joaquin Phoenix won the acting prize at the Cannes Film Festival playing an assassin hired to track a missing girl in Lynn Ramsay’s dark, brutal neo-noir “You Were Never Really Here” (2017, R). Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video .

Sorry To Bother You” (2018, R), starring Lakeith Stanfield as a telemarketer who rises up the ladder of a soulless corporation, is a social satire as comic fantasy. The feature debut of hip-hop artist turned filmmaker Boots Riley co-stars Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Terry Crews, Danny Glover, and Armie Hammer. On Cable On Demand and VOD, also on DVD and at Redbox.

Classic pick: While waiting for the next season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” check out Dustin Hoffman as taboo-breaking comedian Lenny Bruce in the Oscar-nominated “Lenny” (1974, R) from director Bob Fosse. On Prime Video.

Foreign language pick: Cedric Klapisch’s “Back to Burgundy” (France, 2017, not rated, with subtitles) is a sunny drama about three siblings running their family winery over the course of a year. It makes for a lovely cinematic vacation from the increasingly gray autumn days. On Prime Video.

Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” (2018, PG-13) is both sequel and prequel to the hit musical with Amanda Seyfried and new cast members Lily James and Cher. Also on DVD and at Redbox.

Also new is “A Happening of Monumental Proportions” (2018, R), a comedy with Jennifer Garner, John Cho, Allison Janney, Katie Holmes, and Bradley Whitford, and the award-winning “The Sun at Midnight” (2016, not rated), an adventure drama from Canada filmed in the Arctic Circle.


Been So Long” (2018, not rated) is a musical romance about a sensible single mother (Michaela Coel) falling for a charismatic parolee (Arinzé Kene) in the energetic nightlife scene of North London. The modern urban musical comes direct to Netflix from its debut at London Film Festival.

Foreign affairs: “Dovlatov” (Russia, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) stars Milan Marić as Russian dissident writer Sergei Dovlatov in his final days in the oppressive culture of the Soviet Union before immigrating to New York in 1971. The austere, dreamy drama from Aleksey German Jr. makes its U.S. debut on Netflix.

Also new: “Jefe” (Spain, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), a comedy about an arrogant businessman whose career is about to crash and the young cleaning lady who helps him recover; “Illang: The Wolf Brigade” (South Korea, 2018, with subtitles, not rated), a futuristic action thriller about a conspiracy to sabotage Korean unification; crime drama “S Storm” (Hong Kong, 2016) with action star Louis Koo.

True stories: Novelist and filmmaker Sandi Tan tells her own story in “Shirkers” (2018), a personal documentary about the first independent film produced in Singapore and the surprising story behind its disappearance. Arrives direct to Netflix from the film festival circuit.

More streaming TV: The true crime series “Terrorism Close Calls: Season 1” looks back on attempted attacks stopped by authorities; TV newsroom sitcom “Great News: Season 2” with Briga Heelan and Andrea Martin; animated horror series “Castlevania: Season 2,” inspired by the video game series; and “Robozuna: Season 1,” an animated adventure for kids about a boy and his robot.

Stand-up: “Adam Sandler 100% Fresh” (2018, not rated) is the comedian’s first stand-up comedy special in more than 20 years.

Amazon Prime Video

David Tennant is a “Bad Samaritan” (2018, R) in the horror film about a dull-witted burglar who inadvertently breaks into the house of a serial killer.

Luke Treadaway stars in the inspirational drama “A Street Cat Named Bob” (2017, not rated), based on the best-selling book by James Bowen.

Streaming TV: Before “Shaun of the Dead,” director Edgar Wright and actor/writer Simon Pegg collaborated with actress/writer Jessica Hynes on the hilarious and inventive BBC sitcom “Spaced ” (1999-2000, TV-14). Amazon Prime has all 14 episodes of comedy series.

True stories: “Mayor of the Sunset Strip” (2004, R) chronicles the long, strange trip of Rodney Bingenheimer, the Los Angeles club owner and promoter turned trend-setting deejay who broke Oasis, No Doubt, Blur, The Strokes and Coldplay on the radio.

Also new: Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren star in the action thriller “Black Water” (2018, R); the hothouse crime thriller “The Paperboy” (2012, R) with Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman; David Cronenberg’s disturbing “Dead Ringers” (1988, R) with Jeremy Irons; and the comedy “UHF” (1989, PG-13) with ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.

Prime Video and Hulu

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg deal with more daddy issues in “Daddy’s Home 2” (2017, PG-13), the comedy sequel co-starring John Lithgow and Mel Gibson (Prime Video and Hulu).


Results” (2015, R) stars Cobie Smulders and Guy Pearce as mismatched personal trainers at a gym and Kevin Corrigan as their gentle schlub of a new client, a recently divorced man trying to get a new start. Andrew Bujalski directs this easy-going, warm-hearted indie romantic comedy.

Also new: “The Year of Spectacular Men” (2017, not rated), a romantic drama with Zoey and Madelyn Deutch; “Bend it Like Beckham” (2002, PG-13) with Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightly as soccer-playing best friends turned romantic rivals; and “Tadpole” (2000), an indie coming-of-age tale turned screwball comedy with Aaron Stanford and Sigourney Weaver.


Peter Dinklage is actor Hervé Villechaize in “My Dinner with Hervé” (2018, TV-MA), an HBO Original movie co-starring Jamie Dornan.

The documentary “Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram” (2018, TV-14) follows the lives of a few of the Nigerian schoolgirls released after being held for three years by the violent rebel group.

Available Saturday night is Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated “The Post” (2017, PG-13) with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.


Alfred Hitchcock’s “Dial M for Murder” (1954) is the TCM Select Pick of the Week. Grace Kelly (one of Hitchcock’s favorite actresses) stars as a blonde beauty targeted for murder by her ne’er do well husband (Ray Milland), and then framed for the killing when she turns the tables and dispatches her attacker. The murder scene, shot in tight, discomforting close-up, is the highlight of the film and Hitchcock used the then-new 3D process to explore space rather than exploit it with gimmicky effects. The 3D boom of the ’50s had passed by the time the film was released, however, and it ultimately was released in the standard “flat” version that FilmStruck presents. The screen version of Frederick Knott’s stage hit suffers from a musty staginess but it’s partly overcome by Hitch’s sense of humor and playful sense of character. Robert Cummings and John Williams co-star. Streams on FilmStruck through Dec. 27.

Star of the Week: Melvyn Douglas” is celebrated with a collection spanning over three decades, from such Golden Age Hollywood classics as “Ninotchka” (1939) opposite Greta Garbo and “A Woman’s Face” (1941) with Joan Crawford, to 1970s satires “The Candidate” (1972, PG) with Robert Redford and “Being There” (1979, PG) with Peter Sellers. For something less famous, check out the sprightly comic murder mystery “Fast Company” (1938).

Just in time for Halloween are collections of Hammer Studios horror classics from “Director of the Week: Terence Fisher,” from lurid remakes “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957) and “Horror of Dracula” (1958) to “The Devil’s Bride” (1968) with Christopher Lee in a rare heroic role. There’s also “Japanese Horror Classics,” including the award-winning “Kwaidan“ (Japan, 1965, with subtitles) and the surreal, fantastical “House” (Japan, 1977, with subtitles, not rated). “Cartoon Roots: Halloween Haunts” includes more than a dozen vintage animated shorts.

Acorn TV

The BBC documentary “Young, Gifted & Classical: The Making of a Maestro” (2016, not rated) follows the journey of 17-year-old Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the first black winner of the BBC Young Musician competition.

The complete fifth and final season of “Rake,” the witty Australian legal drama starring Richard Roxburgh as the self-destructive criminal barrister with unconventional courtroom tactics, is now available.

New on disc: “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,” “Sorry To Bother You,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “The Devil’s Doorway,” “Constantine: City of Demons”

At Redbox: “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,” “Reprisal,” “Constantine: City of Demons”

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

Copyright © 2018 by Sean Axmaker

Trailers for web version:

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season 1

Bodyguard: Season 1

You Were Never Really Here

Back to Burgundy


Sorry to Bother You

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

Been So Long

Adam Sandler


My Dinner with Herve

Dial M for Murder

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