Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in the young adult vampire romance based on the Stephenie Meyer novel

‘Twilight’ – Young vampires in love on Netflix

Stephenie Meyer’s vampires are not your parents’ vampires. They walk around in daylight. They sparkle like diamonds in the sunlight. And they love baseball. Meyer’s young love vampire series of novels became a veritable pop phenomenon among teen girls (and their mothers) and the very faithful screen adaptation was an unqualified hit with the fans. […]

‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ – Saving the future on Hulu and Paramount+

“This is the story of our most excellent dads.” Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter bring those most excellent characters, Theodore “Ted” Logan and William “Bill” S. Preston, Esq., back to the screen in Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020). More than thirty years after Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the teenage best friends, wannabe […]

‘Fantastic Planet’ – the animated cult classic on HBO Max and Criterion Channel

La planète sauvage, the original French title of Rene Laloux’s legendary animated feature Fantastic Planet (France, 1973), is a better indication of the torments that await the inhabitants of this cult science fiction classic. The oppressed (and very human-like) Oms live in a world ruled by blue-skinned giants called the Draags, who treat the diminutive […]

The Belladonna of Sadness from Japan, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto

‘The Belladonna of Sadness’ on Criterion Channel

The Belladonna of Sadness (Japan, 1973), a lost classic of Japanese animation, is an erotic drama by definition, but it is quite a sophisticated one that is part subversive folk tale, part rock ballad musical, and part experimental filmmaking. Set in an unnamed kingdom in an abstracted medieval Europe, it’s a provocative film about female […]

Arnold Schwarzenegger is Conan the Barbarian on Netflix

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the original ‘Conan the Barbarian’ on Peacock

Arnold Schwarzenegger was the defining action hero of Hollywood from the mid-1980s through the 1990s, yet before he made his breakthrough, he seem the most unlikely American screen icon to lumber his way up the Hollywood ladder. The former Austrian bodybuilder turned Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia (he retired his crown undefeated) seemed destined to […]

What to stream: ‘Luca’ on Disney+, ‘Fatherhood’ on Netflix, and a timely ‘Civil War’ on Peacock

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   In the animated fantasy “Luca” (2021, PG), two best friends (voiced by Jacob Tremblay and Jack Dylan Grazer) have the summer of their lives in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian […]

The delightful live action ‘Peter Pan’ on Peacock

You may feel like you’ve stepped into the pages of a storybook illustrated by Maxfield Parrish when you fly off to Neverland in Peter Pan (2003), P.J. Hogan’s deft and delightful take on the oft-filmed J.M. Barrie classic. Rachel Hurd-Wood brings a tomboyish spirit to Wendy, a girl on the verge of being a young […]

‘Uzumaki’ – Spiraling into madness on Amazon Prime

Equal parts David Cronenberg biological mutation and supernatural curse, outré horror film Uzumaki (Japan, 2000) about a town gripped in an obsession with spirals—shells, snails, pottery, even the workings of a washing machine–is the most gonzo horror to twist onto celluloid in years. Bubbly Japanese schoolgirl Kirie (Eriko Hatsune) is our tour guide through a […]

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in the third "Harry Potter" feature

‘Harry Potter’ – the complete saga on Peacock

Looking back on the original Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), directed by Chris Columbus, we see a painstakingly literal translations of J.K Rowling’s first novel, a near-perfect replica created with a kind of funhouse spectacle of the wonders of the magical world come to life. Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) is a lush, lavishly produced […]

Brad Bird directs the animated feature based on the Ted Hughes book

‘The Iron Giant’ – A boy and his robot buddy on Hulu

“I’m the luckiest kid in the world,” cheers adolescent Hogarth, halfway to sci-fi heaven in the hand of a friendly ten story robot— a clanking metal man who acts like a combination little brother, big brother, and playful puppy dog all rolled into one magnificent structure who looks like he stepped off a vintage cover […]