What to stream: ‘Fauda’ tackles the complexities of Palestine, plus new arrivals on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Now

Four new shows from around the world make their respective American debuts on Netflix this week.

Fauda, an action thriller that launched in Israel in 2015, focuses on an elite undercover unit of the Israeli Defense Forces who embed themselves in Palestinian culture. It was a critical and popular hit in Israel, drawing praise from Israelis and Palestinians alike for its portrait of the complexity of the issues and the portrayals. The reviews from the Netflix showings are not out yet but this PRI story on the show’s run in Israel offers some insight. Features both Hebrew and Arabic dialogue with English subtitles.

Pacific Heat, an animated parody of elite unit action shows from Australia, is being called a pale take on Archer. The biggest complaint, however, is that it simply isn’t funny.

Also new: Merli, a high school drama from Spain (in Catalan with English subtitles), and Hip Hop Evolution, a four-part American documentary series on the roots of hip-hop.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Two of the most imaginative family-friendly fantasy adventures debut this week.

Pete’s Dragon, a live-action remake of the animated Disney film, is a warmhearted family adventure of a lost boy adopted by a furry forest dragon, a modern fairy tale grounded in human emotions. Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford star (PG). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Steven Spielberg directs The BFG, adapted from the Roald Dahl book, the storybook fantasy of an orphaned girl and a big friendly giant (Mark Rylance). It has a sense of wonder and a playfully childlish sense of humor PG). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Also new: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, the big screen version of the cult British comedy starring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley (R), the horror film Don’t Breathe with Jane Levy (R), and the animated The Wild Life (formerly Robinson Crusoe) (PG).

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the drama Run the Tide with Taylor Lautner and Constance Zimmer (not rated), satirical thriller Pocket Listing with Rob Lowe and Burt Reynolds (not rated), and horror film The Eyes Of My Mother (R).

Netflix

The Jungle Book (2016) remakes Disney’s animated classic as a live-action films with Mowgli (Neel Sethi) in a magnificent computer generated jungle kingdom of animals voiced by Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, and others. PG. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Also new: the acclaimed American indie comedy Rainbow Time (2016, not rated), dramas White Girl (2016, not rated) and Wildflower (2016, PG-13), and documentary For the Love of Spock (2016), directed by Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam (not rated).

More new movies: the college comedy Animal House (1978) with John Belushi, action comedy Beverly Hills Cop (1984) with Eddie Murphy, the teen satire Heathers (1989) with Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, the hot-blooded Black Snake Moan (2006) with Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson, and Richard Linklater’s animated indie Waking Life (2001) (all rated R).

On the classic side is Compulsion (1959) with Dean Stockwell and Orson Welles (not rated).

More kid friendly is the new animated feature The Angry Birds Movie (2016), comedy Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), and the Australian frontier adventure The Man from Snowy River (1982), which features Kirk Douglas and some magnificent horsemanship (all rated PG).

Amazon Prime

The Lobster (2015) is a melancholy love story with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in a strange alternate reality where single people are transformed into animals (R). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

The Intervention (2016) is a Big Chill for the thirtysomething crowd with a terrific cast that includes Melanie Lynskey, Jason Ritter, Natasha Lyonne, and Cobie Smulders (R). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Streaming TV: the fourth and final season of the BBC drama Mr Selfridge with Jeremy Piven and the first complete season of the animated series Lost in Oz is now available.

Newly-arrived older titles include the thriller Blood Diamond (2006) with Leonardo DiCaprio (R), historical drama Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) with Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen (PG-13), adolescent moviemaking comedy Son of Rambow (2007, PG-13), slobs versus snobs comedy Caddyshack (1980) with Chevy Chase and Bill Murray (R), and  (blood)

Amazon Prime / Hulu

Rob Zombie’s horror films House of 1,000 Corpses (2003, Amazon and Hulu) and The Devil’s Rejects (2005, Amazon and Hulu) with Sid Haig and Sheri Moon (R).

Hulu

The Coen Bros.’s No Country for Old Men (2007), starring Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem, earned four Oscars, including Best Picture (R). It’s also on Netflix and Amazon Prime, so pick your stream. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Crime stories: Quentin Tarantino’s feature debut Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction (1994), and Bryan Singer’s breakthrough The Usual Suspects (1995) have all become cult crime movies (all R).

Also new: Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) and his expanded, reworked version Apocalypse Now Redux (2001) (reviewed on Stream On Demand here), the bohemian screwball comedy Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) with Rosanna Arquette and Madonna (reviewed on Stream On Demand here), and This is Spinal Tap (1984), the mockumentary that launched a new genre of comedy (all R).

HBO Now

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) pits the Dark Knight (Ben Affleck) against the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) and introduces Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) in a proto-“Justice League” team-up (PG-13). Reviewed on Stream on Demand here.

Also new are two uncannily timely documentaries: Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution and Patria o Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death (not rated).

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About Sean Axmaker

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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