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Stream on Demand: HBO hits the books again for new fantasy series

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 7, 2019

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

HBO tackles another epic fantasy series with “His Dark Materials” (TV-14), adapted from the young adult trilogy by Philip Pullman. Ruth Wilson and James McAvoy star with Dafne Keen (the young co-star of “Logan”), who plays an orphan in a world of talking spirit animals and magic dust. New episodes each Monday night on all HBO platforms.

“Green Eggs and Ham” (TV-G) turns the Dr. Seuss storybook into an animated series about two opposites on a road trip to save endangered species … and try new things. Features the voices of Adam Devine and Michael Douglas. Thirteen episodes on Netflix.

“Framing John Delorean” (2019, not rated), a mix of documentary and dramatic re-creations, stars Alec Baldwin as the maverick automaker whose rise and fall became the epitome of ambition, greed and hubris in the 1980s. Streaming on Hulu.

The documentary “One Child Nation” (2019, R) digs into the brutal reality behind the population control law instituted by China and the scars it left behind. On Amazon Prime Video.

Classic pick: In “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955), James Dean became the screen embodiment of the strangled cry of teen alienation in the 1950s. Streaming on Netflix.

Cult pick: Also new on Netflix is “Forbidden Planet” (1956), one of the most sophisticated and fantastical science-fiction classics of the 1950s.

Pay-Per-View /

Video on Demand

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are “Hobbs & Shaw” (2019, PG-13) in the spin-off of the “Fast and Furious” action-film franchise. Also on DVD and at Redbox.


The great Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (“Hero”) returns to costume drama and epic action with “Shadow” (China, 2018, not rated, with subtitles).

The five-part documentary series “The Devil Next Door” (2019, TV-MA) delves into the story of a brutal guard at a Nazi concentration camp who hid out for years in the U.S.

Elizabeth Taylor gave one of her finest performances opposite Paul Newman in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958).

Amazon Prime Video

Billy Bob Thornton is one “Bad Santa” (2003, R) in the raunchy holiday comedy.


The documentary “The Biggest Little Farm” (2018, PG) follows a couple who leave the city to start a sustainable farm.

Kid stuff: “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” (2012, PG) is a clever, goofy animated comedy.

Other streams

Criterion Channel celebrates “MGM Musicals From the Golden Age” with 19 films, including seven classics starring Judy Garland.

New on disc

and at Redbox

“Hobbs & Shaw,” “The Kitchen,” “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” “Prey”

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

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