What to stream: ‘Marsha P. Johnson’ on Netflix, Godzilla lives on Hulu, ‘Hot’ comedy on Amazon

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017, not rated), a documentary directed by David France, investigates the unsolved murder of civil rights activist and drag queen Marsha P. Johnson, whose death was declared a suicide. The film “tells a big story indeed,” writes Glenn Kenny for RogerEbert.com. “She was one of the principle figures of the Stonewall Riots in the summer of 1969. At that time, just going out on the street in broad daylight in drag, or as a trans person, was a form of activism, but Marsha did more. Until her mysterious death.”

It comes to Netflix from the film festival circuit the same day it plays in select theaters. Queue it up!

Among the new batch of films added to Netflix this month are a collection of animated films from around the world. Check out the Oscar-nominated features Boy and the World (Brazil, 2013, PG, with subtitles) and My Life as a Zucchini (France, 2016, PG-13, with subtitles)., the steampunk imagination of April and the Extraordinary World (France, 2015, PG, in English) (reviewed on Stream On Demand here), a tribute to one of Japan’s greatest artists in Miss Hokusai (Japan, 2015, PG-13, with subtitles), and ghost story fantasy Phantom Boy (France, 2015, PG, in English).

Colossal (2017, R) was one of the surprises of 2017, a mix of giant monster movie and character comedy that slowly turns into darker territory to explore alcoholism and bullying, all through the prism of a bizarre fantasy spin on Godzilla. Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis star. It’s on Hulu (and reviewed on Stream On Demand here), along with a small army of actual Japanese Godzilla films from the past 25 years culminating in the loving epic Godzilla: Final Wars (Japan, 2005, PG-13), all presented in English language versions.

Some Like it Hot (1959, not rated), Billy Wilder’s best loved film and the American Film Institute’s number one pick for Best (Funniest?) American Comedy of all time, plays the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre for farce when the two musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who witness the brutal gangland slaying elude mobsters by hiding out in an all-girl band. Lemmon hams it up in drag, Marilyn Monroe transforms her troubled real life of needy desperation, closet alcoholism, and sexy/innocent flirtations into bubbly comedy, but Tony Curtis steals the film with dead-on vamps of both Eve Arden and Cary Grant.

It’s now streaming on Amazon Prime. Add to watchlist.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Johnny Depp sails the haunted seas once again as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017, PG-13), the fifth film in the franchise based on a theme park ride. Javier Bardem joins the cast on this cruise and Paul McCartney gets celebrity cameo duty. Also on DVD and Blu-ray and at Redbox.

Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara star in a very different kind of A Ghost Story (2017, R), an intimate drama of loss and grief and the inability to move on. It’s odd but touching. Also on DVD and Blu-ray and at Redbox.

Also new: historical drama Churchill (2017, PG) with Brian Cox, science fiction dramas Marjorie Prime (2017, not rated) with Lois Smith and Jon Hamm and Realive (2016, not rated) with Tom Hughes and Charlotte Le Bon, mystery Planetarium (2016, not rated) with Natalie Portman, and the critically reviled revenge drama The Book of Henry (2017, PG-13) with Naomi Watts.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is family drama Abundant Acreage Available (2017, not rated) with Amy Ryan and Terry Kinney and documentary Architects of Denial (2017, not rated).

Netflix

Never Let Me Go (2010, R), starring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Keira Knightley and based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, takes on conformity, sacrifice, and what it means to human.

Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis are Sleeping with Other People (2015, R) in the romantic comedy about serial philandering and Before Midnight (2013, R) reunites filmmaker Richard Linklater with actors / co-screenwriters Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy (reviewed on Stream On Demand here)

Also new:

  • Cult of Chucky (2017, R), the seventh film in the killer doll horror series
  • comedy fantasy Absolutely Anything (2015, R) from Monty Python’s Terry Jones
  • Vegas comedy Lay the Favorite (2012, R) with Bruce Willis
  • bromantic comedy I Love You, Man (2009, R) with Paul Rudd and Jason Segel
  • New Zealand comedy Eagle vs. Shark (2007, R) from Taika Waititi, director of the upcoming “Thor” movie
  • Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005, PG) with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka
  • Spike Lee’s New York caper thriller Inside Man (2006, R) with Denzel Washington and Clive Owen
  • Boogie Nights (1997, R), about the L.A. porn industry, starring Mark Wahlberg and Burt Reynolds

Foreign Affairs: in Raw (France, 2016, R, with subtitles), a vegetarian student at a veterinary school develops a craving for meat after a hazing ritual. Also new: horror film Verónica (Spain, 2017, not rated, with subtitles) and 12 (Russia, 2007, not rated, with subtitles), a reworking of 12 Angry Men for post-communist Russia from filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov.

True stories:

Streaming TV: there’s an international collection of shows, including

Also new: summer thriller Zoo: Season 3, modern family dramedy The Fosters: Season 5 from FreeForm, and Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek: Season 3.

Kid stuff: the animated Equestria Girls: Tales of Canterlot High: Season 1 (2017).

Stand-up: Rodney Carrington: Here Comes the Truth

Amazon Prime

Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, and Natalie Portman star in Song to Song (2017, R), Terrence Malick’s scattered romance set against the Austin music scene.

Also new:

  • JCVD (2008, R), a self-aware satirical action thriller with Jean-Claude Van Damme (reviewed on Stream On Demand here)
  • Oscar-winning dark fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth (Spain, 2006, R, with subtitles) from Guillermo del Toro
  • cartoonish comedy Mousehunt (1997, PG) from filmmaker Gore Verbinksi
  • high school comedy Clueless (1995, PG-13) with Alicia Silverstone
  • Oscar-winning space race drama The Right Stuff (1983, PG) with Sam Shepard (reviewed on Stream On Demand)
  • Fist of Fury (Hong Kong, 1972, R), also known as “The Chinese Connection,” with Bruce Lee
  • the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, not rated) and the birth of the pod people

Streaming TV: The Americans: Season 5 continues to the drama of two Soviet spies posing as ordinary suburban parents by studying the toll the stress takes on the family. It’s one of the best shows on American TV today.

Also new:

True stories: Queens and Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo (2014, not rated) pretty much says it all in the title. Also new: the award-winning The Interrupters (2011, not rated) about community attempts to stem the tide of violence in Chicago, a trip to France for A Year in Champagne (2015, not rated), and the PBS program Last Days of Jesus (2017).

Theater: Live from Lincoln Center: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (2013)

Amazon Prime / Hulu

Rachel Weisz is The Whistleblower (2011, R), a U.N peacekeeper who uncovers a conspiracy in Bosnia, in the award-winning international thriller. (Amazon Prime and Hulu)

Streaming TV: American Horror Story: Roanoke, the sixth season of the horror TV series, travels to North Carolina. (Amazon Prime and Hulu)

Also new:

  • Oscar-winner Fargo (1996, R) from the Coen Bros. (Amazon Prime and Hulu)
  • indie comedy Ghost World (2001, R) with Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson (Amazon Prime and Hulu)
  • Frances (1981, R) starring Jessica Lange as tragic star Frances Farmer (Amazon Prime and Hulu)
  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998, R), the revival of the horror series with Jamie Lee Curtis back in the leading role (Amazon Prime and Hulu)

Hulu

Tina Fey’s 30 Rock: Complete Series with Alec Baldwin and the eighties family comedy Home Improvement: Complete Series with Tim Allen join Hulu’s growing library of American sitcoms. On the grittier side is the Fox crime thriller Prison Break: Complete Series.

Once Upon a Time in Venice (2017, not rated) stars Bruce Willis as a California private detective on the trail of his kidnapped dog.

Foreign affairs: Penélope Cruz earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Volver (Spain, 2006, R, with subtitles), Pedro Almodóvar’s drama of mothers, daughters, sisters, and devoted friends who pull together in the face of crisis.

Olivier Assayas’s Summer Hours (France, 2008, with subtitles) is a tender and intimate drama about families in the modern world as they become ever more separated (reviewed on Stream On Demand here).

Also new:

Choice titles for Halloween:

Leaping lizards! A small army of Japanese Godzilla movies from the past 25 years marches onto Hulu this month, from the loopy, time-traveling Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (Japan, 1991, not rated) through the Godzilla 2000 (Japan, 2000, PG), Japan’s response to the terrible 1998 American film, to the knock-down, drag-out giant monster apocalypse Godzilla: Final Wars (Japan, 2005, PG-13), 11 films in all presented in English language versions.

HBO Now

Larry David, cable TV’s most hilariously insufferable neurotic, returns to HBO with a new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm after a six-season hiatus.

Bryan Cranston is a protective Dad appalled by his daughter’s fiancé (James Franco) in the comedy Why Him? (2016, R).

Also new:

Stand-up: Felipe Esparza: Translate This

Arriving Saturday night is the new documentary Spielberg (2017, not rated) about the influential American filmmaker.

Showtime Anytime

Nicolas Cage and John Cusack star in the crime thriller Arsenal (2017, R).

Also newly arrived: romantic drama A Promise (2014, R) with Alan Rickman and Rebecca Hall and Hateship Loveship (2014, R) with Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce.

Stand-up: Nemr: No Bombing in Beirut (2017)

FilmStruck / Criterion Channel

American filmmaker William Wyler is the director of the week and FilmStruck presents seven classic films, including Wuthering Heights (1939) with Laurence Olivier, The Little Foxes (1941) with Bette Davis, and the Oscar-winning The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), his moving drama of American servicemen coming home from World War II (reviewed on Stream On Demand here)

Also new: a selection of films made during the German occupation, including the allegorical fantasy Les Visiteurs du Soir (France, 1942) and the comic fantasy La Nuit Fantastique (France, 1942) and documentaries about the Holocaust, including Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog (France, 1955, with subtitles) and the Oscar-nominated epic The Sorrow and the Pity (France, 1969, PG, with subtitles)

New arrivals on Criterion Channel this week include Elia Kazan’s Oscar-winning classic On the Waterfront (1954) with Marlon Brando, cult comedy Harold and Maude (1971, PG), and the films of American indie filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie, including Daddy Longlegs (2009, not rated) and Lenny Cooke (2013, not rated).

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Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears in Vulture, Turner Classic Movies online, Keyframe, and Parallax View.

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