George Clooney in 'Hail, Caesar!,' the loving Hollywood studio satire from Joel and Cthan Coen.

‘Hail, Caesar!’ from the Coen Bros. on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Hail, Caesar! (2015), the Coen Bros.’s sly lampoon of 1950s Hollywood, is an affectionate and satirical tribute to studio filmmaking and a wittily skewed comedy of cultural politics in early 1950s America, the beginning of the end of the studio era. Set at the fictional Capitol Pictures, an MGM-like studio, and centered on Eddie Mannix […]

What to stream: ‘The Outsider’ and ‘The New Pope’ on HBO Now, ‘Troop Zero’ on Amazon, more ‘Grace and Frankie’ 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. HBO launches “The Outsider,” a murder mystery with a supernatural twist, adapted from the Stephen King novel by Richard Price […]

‘District 9’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

The aliens arrived almost thirty years ago, their crippled spacecraft hovering to a halt over Johannesburg, where it remains floating over the city. That defining image hovers over the entirety of District 9 (2009), a savagely whipsmart satire of first contact with an alien species that has been reduced to repressed immigrant population stranded in […]

‘Vampire’s Kiss’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Nicolas Cage is perfectly cast in the devious black comedy Vampire’s Kiss (1989) as a New York literary agent whose latest one night stand lands him in bed with vampire Jennifer Beals, who takes a big, bloody bite out of his identity. The emotionally unstable executive develops an aversion to sunlight, a fear of crosses, […]

Michael Keaton goes ‘Mr. Mom’ on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

Michael Keaton was a newly-minted comedy star when he took the lead in Mr. Mom (1983) as a dedicated automobile engineer who loses his job due to corporate cost-cutting and becomes a househusband taking care of his three young children while his housemaker wife (Teri Garr) goes back to work for an advertising firm. It […]

What to stream: ‘Catch-22’ on Hulu, ‘Laugh-In’ on Netflix, ‘Muhammad Ali’ on HBO

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Christopher Abbott is John Yossarian, a bomber pilot trying to survive both the violence and the insanity of in World War II, in the six-part Hulu miniseries Catch-22. George Clooney produces, codirects, and costars […]

‘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 […]

Patrick McGoohan and Leo McKern in the cult TV classic

‘The Prisoner: Complete Series’ on Amazon Prime Video

“I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. I am my own man.” There are those who proclaim The Prisoner: Complete Series (1968), Patrick McGoohan’s cerebral spy show and portrait of personal freedom as an existential prison, the greatest TV show of all time. I won’t argue the point. His insidiously […]

Nicolas Cage in Andrew Niccol's 'Lord of War'

Nicolas Cage is the ‘Lord of War’ on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

“There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That’s one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?” The opening line of Andrew Niccol’s Lord of War (2005) captures the film in a phrase: it’s serious, it’s sardonic, and it has both a […]

Jessica Hynes, Simon Pegg and friends in their BBC sitcom directed by Edgar Wright

‘Spaced’ – the cult British comedy on Amazon Prime Video

Before Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, director Edgar Wright and actor/writer Simon Pegg collaborated with actress/writer Jessica Hynes on the cult BBC sitcom Spaced (1999-2000, TV-14). Pegg and Hynes play Tim and Daisy, slackers who meet at a pub and decide to pose as a couple to get a great flat. They’re not […]