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Stream on Demand: ‘Upload’ with Robbie Amell, ‘Hollywood’ with Darren Criss

UPDATED: Thu., April 30, 2020

Darren Criss and Patti Lupone in “Hollywood.” (Saeed Adyani / Netflix)
Darren Criss and Patti Lupone in “Hollywood.” (Saeed Adyani / Netflix)
By Sean Axmaker For The Spokesman-Review

What’s new for home viewing on Video on Demand, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services. 

Top streams for the week

Robbie Amell plays a young programmer who ends up in a virtual afterlife after a freak accident, and Andy Allo is his personal “angel” guiding his journey in Upload (2020, TV-MA), a sci-fi comedy series from “The Office” creator Greg Daniels. It’s a raunchy satire of a world where advanced technology serves base human desires, death is monetized, and people still suffer from the same existential questions in both life and afterlife. Ten episodes on Amazon Prime Video. 

Mindy Kaling draws from her life growing up Indian-American in Never Have I Ever (TV-14), a high school comedy about a teenage girl, Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), who attempts to remake her image and popularity. Ten episodes streaming on Netflix. 

The limited series Hollywood (TV–MA), created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, mixes history, fiction and speculation as it trolls the underbelly of late 1940s Los Angeles. Darren Criss, Patti LuPone, Jeremy Pope, Laura Harrier and Samara Weaving star. Seven episodes streaming on Netflix. 

Normal People (2020, not rated), based on the novel by Sally Rooney, follows two Irish teens (Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal) as they drift in an out of love over five years. All 12 episodes of the romantic drama, directed by Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”) and Hettie Macdonald (“Howard’s End”), stream on Hulu. 

Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney star in Bad Education (2020, not rated), a satirical drama based on the real-life embezzlement scandal involving Long Island school district administrators. The new feature film streams on all HBO platforms. 

Amazon Prime Video presents an online version of the SXSW Film Festival featuring a streaming collection of documentary and narrative features, short films and episodic titles available free for subscribers through May 5. Among the features are the comedy-drama Cat in the Wall from England, urban thriller Gunpowder Heart (Spain, with subtitles) and The Choc de Futur (France, with subtitles), a drama set in the music industry of 1978 Paris. 

Free pick: Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation in Danny Boyle’s stage production of Frankenstein (2011, not rated). Both versions available on the National Theatre YouTube channel free for one week only. 

Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020, PG), the cartoonish video game adaptation with James Marsden, Jim Carrey and the voice of Ben Schwartz is available for families, and the thriller The Rhythm Section (2020, R) with Blake Lively and Jude Law is new for older audiences. Both also on DVD and at Redbox. 

Available direct to VOD is Bull (2020, not rated), a drama about an aging rodeo bullrider (Rob Morgan) and a troubled teen that played Cannes and the SXSW film festivals, and the animated thriller Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge (2020, not rated), based on the video game. 

Netflix

Coronavirus, Explained (2020, TV-PG), narrated by Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, explores the origins and history of the pandemic. New episodes will arrive this summer. 

A young man (Ashton Moore) trapped in the violence of Oakland lands in prison with his estranged father (Jeffrey Wright) in All Day and a Night (2020, R), a Netflix original drama from “Black Panther” co-writer Joe Robert Cole. 

Also new are Dangerous Lies (2020, TV-14), a thriller with “Riverdale” star Camilla Mendes, and LGBTQ high school romantic drama The Half of It (2020, PG-13). 

International cinema: A rich young man pretends to be poor to impress the girl he loves in the romantic comedy Rich in Love (Brazil, 2020, not rated, with subtitles). Also new:

Thriller Get In (France, 2020, not rated, with subtitles) about an affluent family who come home from vacation to find squatters in their home;

Mrs. Serial Killer (India, 2020, not rated) about a devoted wife who commits copycat murders to save an accused husband.

True stories: A Secret Love (2020, not rated) tells the story of Terry Donahue, who played in the women’s professional baseball league, and Pat Henschel, who kept their love affair secret for decades.  

The Artist (2011, PG-13), starring Jean Dujardin as a silent movie star struggling in the sound era, won five Academy Awards, including best picture, director (Michel Hazanavicius) and actor (Dujardin). 

Streaming TV: The Australian thriller Reckoning (not rated) follows two fathers devoted to protecting their families, but one of them is a serial killer.  

International TV: In Into the Night: Season 1 (Belgium, not rated, with subtitles), passengers on an airplane do what they can to survive when the sun starts killing everybody. Also new:

Summertime: Season 1 (Italy, not rated, with subtitles), a romantic teen drama based on the books by Federico Moccia;

Teen crime drama Extracurricular: Season 1 (South Korea, not rated, with subtitles);

The Forest of Love – Deep Cut: Season 1(Japan, TV-MA, with subtitles), based on the movie by cult filmmaker Sion Sono.

Amazon Prime Video

Happiness Continues: A Jonas Brothers Concert Film (2020, not rated) takes audiences behind the scenes of the band’s reunion tour. 

Aaron Pederson is an aboriginal police detective in the Australian murder mystery Mystery Road (2013, TV-14) also starring Hugo Weaving and Ryan Kwanten. 

Streaming TV: The complete run of Cougar Town (2010-2015), the sitcom starring Courteney Cox, Christa Miller and Busy Philipps, is now streaming. Forget the title; the series left it long behind as it shifted gears to focus on the eccentric neighbors in a suburban Florida cul-de-sac. 

International cinema: An Egyptian police orchestra gets lost in Israel in Eran Kolirin’s gently low-key character piece The Band’s Visit (Israel, 2007, PG-13, with subtitles). 

Prime Video and Hulu

Paulina García plays a free-spirited older woman in Santiago in Sebastián Lelio’s “Gloria” (Chile, 2014, R, with subtitles) (Prime Video and Hulu). 

HBO Now

Betty (TV-MA), a new dramatic series about young women in the male-dominated skateboarding culture of New York City, debuts with new episodes each Friday. 

Other streams

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (TV-MA) relocates the Gothic horror series from Victorian London to 1930s Los Angeles, where a shapeshifting demon (Natalie Dormer) gets tangled with Nazis, corrupt politicians and a lurid murder. New episodes on Sunday nights on all Showtime platforms. 

Blood Quantum (2019, not rated), a zombie thriller set on a First Nations reservation in Canada, and supernatural thriller 0.0 Mhz (South Korea, not rated, with subtitles) make their respective U.S. debuts on Shudder. 

The final season of Lovejoy (1994) with Ian McShane as a rakish antiques and art dealer is now on Acorn TV, making the entire series available to stream. 

Criterion Channel presents “Wadjda” (Saudi Arabia, 2012, PG, with subtitles), the story of a young girl who defies tradition to learn to ride a bicycle. It’s the first feature directed by a female Saudi director.  

New on disc and at Redbox

“Sonic the Hedgehog,” “The Rhythm Section,” “Guns Akimbo,” “Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge” 

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV are at streamondemandathome.com. 

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