What to stream: ‘Birds of Prey’ and ‘The Way Back’ early on VOD, ‘Portrait’ and ‘Baghdad Central’ on Hulu, free kids shows on Amazon

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   The rush of theatrical movies to early streaming continues with a sizable slate of features now on video-on-demand at a premium price. A couple of new arrivals stand out: the purely escapist “Birds […]

Christian Bale is Batman in Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins'

‘Batman Begins’ – Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

One of the defining films in the elevation of comic book movies to adult fare, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005) rebooted the Batman mythos for the big screen, bringing the often lighthearted hero back to the shadows, both figuratively and literally. It’s quite a leap from the previous Batman revival launched by Tim Burton’s 1989 […]

What to stream: more ‘Altered Carbon’ and ‘I Am Not Okay with This’ on Netflix, ‘Frozen II’ and ‘Knives Out’ on VOD

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   A new cast is in place for the second season of the Netflix Original Series “Altered Carbon” (2020, TV-MA), a science fiction thriller based on the novels of Richard K. Morgan, set in […]

Tilda Swinton in Bong Joon-ho 's 'Snowpiercer'

‘Snowpiercer’ – careening allegory on Netflix

Snowpiercer (2013), an international production from Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho and a French graphic novel, is a high-speed allegory speeding down the science fiction tracks of genre cinema. That’s the way I like this brand of filmmaking: with the symbols big, muscular, detailed, and punchy. You either give yourself over to the metaphor, in this […]

What to stream: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ on Starz, ‘Fighting With My Family’ on Amazon and Hulu, Taylor Swift on Netflix

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers. “Spider-Man: Far from Home” (2019, PG) sends the web-slinging teenage superhero (played by Tom Holland) to Europe, where he takes […]

What to stream: ‘Dracula’ and ‘Giri/Haji’ on Netflix, Aladdin’ on Disney+, ‘Joker’ on VOD

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers. Joaquin Phoenix took home a Golden Globe for his performance as a mentally-troubled man who becomes a psychopathic supervillain in […]

Steven Spielberg directs the big screen adventure adapted from the Herge graphic novels

‘The Adventures of Tintin’ on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

The Adventures of Tintin (2011), Steven Spielberg’s first foray into motion capture filmmaking, turns the legendary boy journalist and globe-trotting adventurer from the early graphic novels of Herge into a big screen hero, complete with trademark cowlick and best friend canine Snowy watching his back. Spielberg and his collaborators (notably co-producer Peter Jackson) chose to […]

What to stream: animated ‘Spider-Man’ and musical ‘Anima’ on Netflix, ‘Diane’ on Hulu, free picks on Kanopy and Hoopla

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … The Oscar-winning, family-friendly animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018, PG) offers up a new take on the classic story with Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) getting bitten by the radioactive spider and […]

‘A Silent Voice’ – a moving story of bullying and redemption on Netflix

The animated feature A Silent Voice (Japan, 2016), adapted from a popular manga serial by Yoshitoki Oima and directed by Naoka Yamada, takes on the issue of school bullying through the story of Shoya, a fun-loving rascal who feeds off the attention he gets when he starts making fun of Shoko, a deaf girl who […]

‘Watchmen’ – Superhero redux on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Zach Snyder delivers perhaps the most faithful adaptation of Watchmen (2009, R), the landmark graphic novel by writer Alan Moore (uncredited on screen, as is his tradition) and artist Dave Gibbons, that anyone could hope for. Moore’s story reimagines the history of comic book superheroes in the real world of global politics and complicated (and […]