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Monday, July 13, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stream On Demand: Netflix cooks up action with ‘Wu Assassins’

Iko Uwais in “Wu Assassins.” (Netflix)
Iko Uwais in “Wu Assassins.” (Netflix)
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

Indonesian action star Iko Uwais (“The Raid: Redemption”) plays a young chef who is gifted with the power of a thousand monks to fight evil in “Wu Assassins: Season 1,” a martial arts action series with a dash of fantasy set in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Katheryn Winnick and Mark Dacasos costar. Ten episodes streaming on Netflix.

The five-part documentary series “Free Meek” follows the story of Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill, aka Robert Rihmeek Williams, and the Kafka-esque ordeal with the legal system that transformed him into an activist for criminal justice and parole reform. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The investigative limited series “The Family” traces the history and influence of The Fellowship, a Christian fundamentalist organization that has been operating in the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., for decades. Streaming on Netflix.

Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams star in the biographical limited series “Fosse/Verdon” (2019, TV-MA), which explores the long personal and creative partnership between director/choreographer Bob Fosse and dancer/actress Gwen Verdon. It was nominated for 17 Emmy Awards. Now streaming on Hulu.

The Aretha Franklin concert film “Amazing Grace” (2019, G), shot in 1972 at a church in Watts, presents the Queen of Soul performing gospel at the peak of her career. It took more than 50 years to clear up legal issues and release the film to theaters. It’s now on Cable on Demand, VOD, and DVD, and available at Redbox.

Classic pick: Oscar-nominated filmmaker Michael Mann made his feature directing debut with “Thief” (1981, R), a cool, gritty crime thriller starring James Caan as the head of a high-end safecracking crew in Chicago. It features meticulously directed heist scenes, an evocative atmosphere, and a striking electronic score by Tangerine Dream. On Amazon Prime Video.

Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand

Tolkien” (2019, PG-13) dramatizes the formative years of J.R.R. Tolkein (Nicholas Hoult), from schooling to his experience as soldier in World War I, and the inspirations that would lead to “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings.” On Cable on Demand, VOD, DVD, and at Redbox.

The Souvenir” (2019, R), a semi-autobiographical romantic drama from filmmaker Joanna Hogg film, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, and Tilda Swinton star. Also new:

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is “Light of My Life” (2019, R), a post-apocalypse drama directed by Casey Affleck, who stars with Elisabeth Moss.


The third season of “GLOW” takes the gorgeous ladies of wrestling to Las Vegas. Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron star in the comedy series and Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton (“Sword of Trust”) directs the season finale.

The fifth and final season of “Jane the Virgin,” the telenovella-inspired comedy starring Gina Rodriguez, arrives barely a week after its conclusion on CW.

Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones lead a senior citizen space mission in “Space Cowboys” (2000, PG-13).

True stories:Screwball” (2018, not rated) uses humor to look at the crazy story behind the doping scandal involving Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and other Major League Baseball stars. Also new: “Enter the Anime” (2019, not rated) is a Netflix-centered introduction to Japanese animation.

More streaming TV:iZombie: Season 5” brings the set-in-Seattle mix of murder mystery and zombie comedy to a conclusion. Also new:

Foreign language TV:The Naked Director: Season 1” (Japan, with subtitles) tells the true story of filmmaker Toru Muranishi as he revolutionized the Japanese porn industry in the 1980s. Also new:

Kid stuff: “Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling” revives the animated comedy originally shown on Nickelodeon. Also new:

Amazon Prime Video

True stories:Maidentrip” (2014, not rated) documents Laura Dekker’s two-year voyage as the youngest person to ever sail solo around the world. Director Jillian Schlesinger directs, using footage Dekker recorded herself during the voyage.

Streaming TV: the Showtime high-finance drama “Billions: Season 1” (2016) starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis streams free for Amazon Prime members through August 31.

Also new:Up In the Air” (2009, R) with George Clooney and Anna Kendrick earned six Oscar nominations;

  • Indie comic-drama “Roger Dodger” (2002, R) with Campbell Scott and Jesse Eisenberg;
  • Terry Gilliam’s time travel thriller “12 Monkeys” (1996, R) with Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt;
  • Hitchcockian thriller “The Bedroom Window” (1987, R) with Steve Guttenberg and Isabelle Huppert;
  • Robert Altman’s revisionist take on “Buffalo Bill and the Indians” (1976, PG) with Paul Newman;
  • Historical drama “The Molly Maguires” (1970, PG) with Sean Connery and Richard Harris;
  • Romantic drama “The World of Suzie Wong” (1960) with William Holden and Nancy Kwan;
  • Stanley Kubrick’s film noir caper “The Killing” (1956) with Sterling Hayden.

Prime Video and Hulu

Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3” (2007, PG-13) with Tobey Maguire is not the best entry in the webslinger’s big screen adventures but Thomas Haden Church gives supervillain Sandman a tragic edge (Amazon Prime and Hulu).


Matthew McConaughey is “The Beach Bum” (2019, R) in Harmony Korine’s stoner comedy with Snoop Doog and Isla Fisher, and Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid star in the romantic comedy “Plus One” (2018, not rated).

True stories: Three documentaries commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first moonwalk arrive from National Geographic: “Apollo: Missions to the Moon,” “The Armstrong Tapes,” and “Apollo: Back to the Moon” (all 2019, not rated).

Streaming TV: FX drama “Snowfall: Seasons 1-2” (2018, TV-MA) traces the rise of crack cocaine in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Also new:

Cop drama revival “S.W.A.T.: Season 1” (2017-2018, TV-14) starring Shemar Moore;

Mayans M.C.: Season 1” (2018, TV-MA), the FX spin-off of “Sons of Anarchy”;

Australian crime drama “Harrow: Season 2” with Ioan Gruffudd as a maverick medical examiner.


Olivia Colman (the next Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix series “The Crown”) won the best actress Oscar for playing the lonely, tormented Queen Anne in “The Favourite” (2018, R), a darkly satirical historical drama costarring Oscar nominees Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.

Nonfiction sports series “Hard Knocks: Training Camps with the Oakland Raiders” is now streaming with new episodes every Tuesday.

Available Saturday night is undersea superhero epic “Aquaman” (2018, PG-13) with Jason Momoa as the prince of Atlantis.

Other streams

Lucy Lawless is a retired cop who keeps getting pulled into cases in “My Life Is Murder,” a new murder mystery series from Australia. Two episodes now available on Acorn, new episodes each Monday.

BritBox concludes its Agatha Christie Summer Series with the feature films “Murder Most Foul” (1964) starring Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple, “The Alphabet Murders” (1965) with Tony Randall as Hercule Poirot, and “Agatha” (1979, PG) with Vanessa Redgrave as Agatha Christie. Also new is the U.S premiere of “Father Brown: Season 7” with Mark Williams as the cleric detective, with new episodes each Tuesday.

Criterion adds 16 films from German director Werner Herzog, including “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” (Germany, 1972) and “Nosferatu the Vampyre” (Germany, 1979) (both not rated, with subtitles), along with Paul Schrader’s “American Gigolo” (1980, R) starring Richard Gere and David Byrne’s offbeat feature “True Stories” (1986, PG), presented with bonus documentaries and interviews featured on the Criterion DVD special edition.

Free streams: Emily Mortimer fights small town opposition to open “The Bookshop” (2017, PG) in the light British drama costarring Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson, now streaming on Kanopy. Also newly arrived:

  • Louis Garrel plays legendary French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard in “Godard Mon Amour” (France, 2017, R, with subtitles) from Michel Hazanavicius, director of the Oscar-winning “The Artist”;
  • Francois Ozon’s drama “The New Girlfriend” (France, 2015, R, with subtitles) with Romain Duris;
  • Romantic drama “Delicacy” (France, 2012, PG-13, with subtitles) with Audrey Tautou;
  • Claude Berri’s award-winning classic “The Two of Us” (France, 1967, with subtitles) with Michel Simon.

New documentaries on Kanopy include “The Great Buster” (2018, not rated), Peter Bogdanovich’s celebration of the silent movie legend Buster Keaton;

New on disc and at Redbox

“Tolkien,” “Amazing Grace,” “Pokemon Detective Pikachu,” “The Curse of La Llorona,” “Batman: Hush”

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

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