What to stream: ‘First Man’ and the space race on HBO Now, a new Disney ‘Princess’ on Netflix, ‘Shazam!’ 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 …

HBO celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with two award-winning programs.

Ryan Gosling is astronaut Neil Armstrong in the Oscar-winning First Man (2018, PG-13), an intimate look at the story behind the first human to set foot on the moon. Director Damien Chazelle (La La Land) puts us in the pilot’s seat of this space epic, offering us a very different perspective on the first American space missions. Gosling’s Armstrong doesn’t show much emotion (Claire Foy provides that as his wife) but Chazelle offers a sense of awe and wonder—as well as reminder of the risks that every astronaut undertook at every step of the way—throughout the film. Available on all HBO Platforms Saturday night.

The history of the American space race is presented in terms both reverential and mortal in From the Earth to the Moon, the sweeping twelve-part limited series produced for HBO by Tom Hanks. It’s a slice of genuine patriotic sentiment, not because it celebrates large heroic actions of a few astronauts, but the thousands upon thousands of creative leaps, gutsy decisions, moments of ingenuity, and personal sacrifices by astronauts, engineers, contractors, and NASA officials alike that it took to bring the moon landing—and the space program as a whole—out of the realm of dream and into reality. Now available on all HBO Platforms.

The superhero movie gets a blast of adolescent energy in Shazam! (2019, PG-13) when a troubled foster kid is zapped by a magical thunderbolt and transformed into a musclebound man with godlike powers (Zachary Levy) which he wields with childish glee. British baddie Mark Strong plays his big bald nemesis in this comic take on comic book superhero movies. On Cable On Demand, VOD, DVD, and at Redbox.

Stranger Things star David Harbour hosts Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein (2019, not rated), a half-hour mockumentary about a lost TV-movie made by his father (also played by Harbour). Streaming on Netflix.

In his follow-up to “Spamelot,” Eric Idle transforms Monty Python’s Life of Brian into Not the Messiah: He’s A Very Naughty Boy (2010, PG), a comic oratorio performed with fellow Pythons and friends. Streaming on Amazon Prime.

The Princess and the Frog (2009, G) updates the classic fairy tale to New Orleans in the twenties and offers Disney’s first African-American princess. It’s old-school animation from “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin directors John Musker and Ron Clements with a musical soundtrack that draws on jazz, zydeco, swing, and blues. Streaming on Netflix.

Free pick: road movie turned social satire 3 Faces (Iran, 2019, not rated, with subtitles), the fourth feature directed by Iranian director Jafar Panahi since the government forbid him from filmmaking, takes on issues of women’s rights and cultural constraints with gentle humor. Streaming on Kanopy, available through most public library systems.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

A reclusive woman (Taylor Schilling) enters the juggalo rock and roll subculture to find her runaway niece in the offbeat comedy Family (2019, R), costarring Brian Tyree Henry and Kate McKinnon. Also new:

  • faith-based drama Breakthrough (2019, PG) with Chrissy Metz and Topher Grace;
  • science fiction superhero drama Fast Color (2019, PG-13) with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Lorraine Toussaint;
  • crime drama Little Woods (2019, R) with Lily James and Tessa Thompson;
  • animated feature The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (France, 2019, G) based on the popular storybook (dubbed and subtitled versions);
  • romantic drama Ash is Purest White (China, 2018) from acclaimed filmmaker Jia Zhangke.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the drama Bottom of the 9th (2019, R) with Joe Manganiello and Sofía Vergara and the science fiction comedy Iron Sky: The Coming Race (Germany, 2019, not rated, with subtitles).

Netflix

A woman wakes up with amnesia after a brutal assault in Secret Obsession (2019, not rated), a Netflix Original romantic thriller with Brenda Song and Dennis Haysbert.

Jerry Seinfeld’s talk show is back with new guests in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: Freshly Brewed, featuring Eddie Murphy, Ricky Gervais, Matthew Broderick, Jamie Foxx, and Martin Short in the passenger seat.

Foreign affairs: Christophe Honore directs Sorry Angel (France, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), a romantic drama of the sexual awakening of a young gay man.

More streaming TV: the Fab Five are back in the fourth season of the reality show Queer Eye. Also new:

Foreign language TV: Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung (South Korea, with subtitles) is an historical drama about a female scholar taking a position in the royal court. New episodes arrive each Wednesday. Also new:

Kid stuff: Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac (Japan) is a revival of the animated action fantasy. Also new are The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants: Season 3 and Pinky Malinky: Part 3 for young kids.

Amazon Prime Video

John Cusack is a ruthless outlaw and Emile Hirsch the mild-mannered settler who takes him on in Never Grow Old (2019, R), an old-fashioned western with a modern cast. Also new:

  • Megan Griffiths’ harrowing but sensitive drama Eden (2012, R) based on the true story of a sexual slavery survivor in the U.S.;
  • crime drama Rampart (2011, R) with Woody Harrelson as a renegade L.A. cop;
  • Nicole Holofcener’s prickly comic drama Please Give (2010, R) with Catherine Keener and Rebecca Hall.

Foreign affairs: samurai action meets spaghetti western in Takashi Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django (Japan, 2008, R) costarring Quentin Tarantino as Billy the Kid.

True stories: Meet the Patels (2015, PG) follows filmmaker Ravi Patel, a 30-year-old Indian-American man, who agrees to let his parents help him find a wife the old-fashioned way. Also new is Our Nixon (2013, not rated), created from Super 8 home movies shot by Richard Nixon’s closest aides.

Streaming TV: the first season of the Starz drama Sweetbitter, about a young woman in the New York restaurant business, streams free until July 28. Also new:

Hulu

Urban street crime meets chess tactics in the Sundance award winning drama Fresh (1994, R) with Sean Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson.

Director Brandon Cronenberg’s science fiction thriller Antiviral (2012, not rated) recalls the early films of his father, David Cronenberg.

Streaming TV: the cult British young adult melodrama Clique: Season 2, set in the college culture of sex, drugs, and romantic jealousy, is now available. Also new:

Foreign affairs: Puzzle (Argentina, 2009, not rated, with subtitles), the drama of a housewife who discovers a knack for solving puzzles, is the original film that the 2018 American film was based on.

HBO Now

Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp star in the Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018, PG-13).

The two-part documentary Behind Closed Doors (2019, TV-MA) examines a double murder in India that sparked a media frenzy.

Showtime Anytime

Hugo Weaving and Stephen Rea star in Black ’47 (2018, R) a revenge thriller set in 1847 Ireland during the famine. On all Showtime platforms.

Acorn TV

The second seasons of the Acorn TV original cop drama London Kills and Swedish crime drama The Simple Heist (Sweden, with subtitles) are now available on Acorn TV.

BritBox

Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966), the two big screen spinoffs of the cult TV show, star Peter Cushing in his only performances as The Doctor.

The Criterion Channel

The epic, Oscar-winning War and Peace (Soviet Union, 1966, with subtitles), a massive seven-hour production from actor/director Sergey Bondarchuk produced with the help of the Soviet army, is presented along with bonus interviews and documentary featurettes.

Also new is the restored Babylon (1980), Franco Rosso’s reggae drama set in the Jamaican immigrant culture of West London.

Kanopy

Keira Knightly is Colette (2018, R) in the biographical drama about the early years of the great French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette and Géza Röhrig and Matthew Broderick stars in To Dust (2019, R), a drama that deals with death, loss, and faith in the Hassidic community with an edge of offbeat humor. Also new:

  • Jean-Luc Godard’s cinematic essay The Image Book (France, 2019, not rated, with subtitles);
  • Oscar-nominated drama The Insult (Israel, 2018, R, with subtitles) about a feud between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee;
  • historical drama The Invisibles (Germany, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), based on the true stories of German Jews who hid in plain sight in 1940s Berlin.

Older French films include romantic drama Un Coeur en Hiver (France, 1992, with subtitles) with Daniel Auteuil and Emmanuelle Béart;

  • Jacques Rivette’s Cannes award winning drama La Belle Noiseuse (France, 1991, R, with subtitles) with Michel Piccoli and Emmanuelle Béart;
  • Diane Kurys’ coming-of-age drama Peppermint Soda (France, 1977, PG, with subtitles) set in 1963 Paris;
  • cult comedy King of Hearts (France, 1966, not rated, with subtitles) with Alan Bates and Geneviève Bujold.

Kanopy is available through most public library systems.

BroadwayHD

London’s West End revival of Tony Award-winning musical stage Kinky Boots (2019, not rated), featuring music by Cindi Lauper, played twice in theaters as a Fathom Event and now streams exclusively on BroadwayHD.

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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 at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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