Bill Nye Saves the World brings the Science Guy back to TV via streaming with a Netflix original series. The new show, for adults and kids alike, mixes comedy, education, cool experiments, celebrity guests, and panel discussions on hot-button issues. 13 episodes.
“The new series is pitched primarily toward adults, casting the bow-tie-wearing Nye as an advocate and science warrior, trying to beat back the anti-scientific thought and quackery that’s prevalent, especially within the political sphere,” writes TV critic Brian Lowry for CNN. “If it’s not quite a rescue mission, Nye appears to have taken to heart the concept of trying to provide a small beacon of light rather than just cursing the darkness.”
Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand
James McAvoy is a kidnapper with multiple personalities in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and Anya Taylor Joy (of the indie horror hit The Witch) is the resourceful prisoner trying to navigate the personalities to escape (PG-13).
The Founder dramatizes the story of how travelling salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) transformed McDonald’s into a billion-dollar franchise (PG-13).
Also new: the crime thriller Sleepless with Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan (R), animated feature Ocean Waves from Japan (PG-13, with subtitles), and historical epic The Duelist from Russia (R, with subtitles).
Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are journeyman magic assistants in Victorian era London who become rivals as they rise to fame as magicians in their own right in Christopher Nolan’s devious The Prestige (2006). Jackman is the fame-hungry showman and Bale is the consummate professional and purist out to create the perfect trick. Christopher Nolan directs with his trademark narrative shuffling, moving back and forth through their lives to find the roots of the obsessive competition turned fatal rivalry. Michael Caine is the engineer who helps concoct the devices, Scarlett Johansson a sexy assistant turned spy, and David Bowie plays real-life inventor and visionary Nikola Tesla (PG-13).
Slam (Italy, 2016) is an Italian comedy about a teenage skateboarder facing life-changing events from the novel by Nick Hornby (not rated, with subtitles) and Nazis invade Britain in Resistance (2011), an alternate-reality World War II thriller with Michael Sheen (not rated)
Also new: the Iraq war drama Sand Castle (2017) with Henry Cavill and Nicholas Hoult (not rated), romantic comedy Tramps (2016) from the director of Gimme the Loot (not rated), inspirational drama A Street Cat Named Bob (2016) from the best-selling book by James Bowen (not rated), and romantic drama Manglehorn (2014) with Al Pacino and Holly Hunter (PG-13).
Streaming TV: The Netflix original shows Girlboss, a rags-to-riches comedy series starring Britt Robertson as a self-made fashion mogul, and Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, a documentary series exploring the effects of internet pornography and social media on our culture, both debut this weekend.
Stand-up: Lucas Brothers: On Drugs
Bosch: Season 3 continues the story of LA police detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) in one of Amazon’s most popular original series. 10 episodes.
Ewan McGregor directs and stars in American Pastoral (2016), based on the Philip Roth novel (R).
Thunderbirds Are Go! Season 3 offers more animated rescue adventures with cool vehicles for kids.
Still trying to save the future in 12 Monkeys: Season 2, the Syfy channel time travel drama.
Kid stuff: a new batch of Disney Channel movies, including sixties musical spoof Teen Beach Movie (2013, not rated), are now streaming.
The bad guys take the lead in Suicide Squad (2016) a darker, nastier DC anti-superhero movie with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto as The Joker (PG-13 and extended unrated versions). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.
Guerilla, a mini-series set in the radical political underground of 1970s London, is written and directed by Oscar-winner and Emmy-nominee John Ridley and stars Idris Elba and Freida Pinto. New episodes debut each Sunday.
FilmStruck / Criterion Channel
Lars von Trier’s Antichrist (2009) arrives on the Channel with the complete supplements from the edition, including several behind-the-scenes videos and a documentary on the film’s now-legendary premiere at Cannes (not rated, explicit imagery).
Aki Kaurismäki presents Finland’s maddest bar band. Americans discovered Leningrad Cowboys in the deadpan rock and roll road movie comedy Leningrad Cowboys Go America (Finland, 1989) and in the sequel, Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses (Finland, 1994), but if you’re not ready for a feature, check out his surreal music videos for the band: Rocky VI (1986), L.A. Woman (1987), Thru the Wire (1987), Those Were the Days (1992), and These Boots (1993). None of these are rated.
Andrew Bujalski directs Beeswax (2009), a comedy of two somewhat flaky adult sisters trying to find their way in the world (not rated).