Netflix remakes the seventies sitcom One Day at a Time with Justina Machado as a Cuban-American single mother raising her kids in an apartment she shares with her mother (Rita Moreno). Machado’s Penelope is a military veteran now working as a nurse, Moreno’s Lydia a conservative, outspoken woman arrived in the U.S. as a teenage refugee, and Penelope’s kids are modern American children whose liberal views clash with grandma.
Norman Lear, who created the original show, is involved as an executive producer but this updated take is guided by Gloria Calderon Kellet (Devious Maids and iZombie) and Mike Royce (Men of a Certain Age). It’s “a perfect example of old-school, all-things-to-all-people broadcasting: smart but not hifalutin, blunt but not crass, politically and culturally aware (often self-aware) but never academic or theoretical, and proudly old-fashioned in its methods,” writes Matt Zoller Seitz for Vulture. “I don’t want to seem like I’m overselling the show’s virtues. Suffice to say that this is the sort of series that makes difficult things seem easy, so easy that you often don’t realize how artful it is until you think back on it.”
The complete 13-episode first season now available. Queue it up!
Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand
History goes on trial in Denial, starring Rachel Weisz as historian Deborah Lipstadt and Timothy Spall as Holocaust denier David Irving. This real-life story is a timely reminder that truth matters. Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott co-star (PG-13). Also on Blu-ray and DVD.
Also new: family comedy Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (PG), horror sequel Blair Witch (R), conspiracy thriller Operation Avalanche (R), animated Nerdland (with the voices of Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt), and documentary Newtown (not rated).
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is The Bronx Bull, starring William Forsythe as Jake LaMotta and costarring Joe Mantegna, Paul Sorvino, Penelope Ann Miller, and Cloris Leachman (R).
Coin Heist is a Netflix original feature about four prep school who plot a robbery of the U.S. Mint to save their school (not rated).
Also for young adults is a modern take on Romeo and Juliet (2013) with Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth (PG-13) and Gimme the Loot (2012), an indie drama about graffiti artists out to make the tag of a lifetime (not rated)
Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe star in Dog Eat Dog (2016), a crime drama with a streak of black humor (not rated).
More streaming TV: For young kids there’s the animated Tarzan and Jane: Season 1, which turns the characters into superheroes in the city, and Peppa Pig: Seasons 1 & 2 from Britain, and for older kids there’s the high school drama Degrassi: Next Class: Season 3.
Superman: The Movie (1978), starring Christopher Reeve as the man of steel as a patriotic boy scout, is the original big-budget superhero movie and it launched the first big screen comic book franchise (PG). It arrives with the sequels Superman II (1980, PG), Superman III (1983, PG), and the nadir of the series Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987, PG), and with Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (2006) with Brandon Routh carrying on the Reeve legacy (PG-13).
Also new this month: Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001, R) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004, R) with Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth, Martin Scorsese’s family-friendly adventure fantasy Hugo (2011, PG), the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) with Ingrid Bergman (not rated), and the John Wayne westerns The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) and El Dorado (1966) (not rated).
Kid stuff and family films: the original The Parent Trap (1961) with Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills (G), Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982, PG), animated Bee Movie (2007) with the voices of Jerry Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger (PG) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2007) with the voices of Chris Evans and Sarah Michelle Gellar (PG), and the modern revival of Nancy Drew (2007) with Emma Roberts (PG).
True stories: After Innocence (2005) follows wrongfully convicted men returning to society after being exonerated by DNA evidence and Trudell (2005) profiles Native American poet and activist John Trudell
Stand-up: Jen Kirkman: Just Keep Livin’? (Netflix Original)
John Krasinski and James Badge Dale star in the true-life military drama 13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016), directed by Michael Bay (R).
Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man (2008) in the film that launched the modern Marvel Comics movie universe (PG-13) (reviewed in Stream On Demand here) while Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy (2004) offers a different kind of comic book hero (PG-13) (reviewed in Stream On Demand here).
From France comes the World War II drama The Innocents (2016) (PG-13, with subtitles).
True stories: the touching and candid Gleason (2016) profiles professional football player Steve Gleason after he is diagnosed with ALS (R).
Kid stuff: the animated Happy Feet (2006, PG), the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) with Gene Wilder (G), and Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988) with Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder (PG).
Amazon Prime / Hulu
The new month brings a new batch of older releases available on both services and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, PG) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) and all three sequels starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones are the most notable of the new arrivals.
Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom (1984) PG (Amazon Prime and Hulu)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) PG-13 (Amazon Prime and Hulu)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) PG-13 (Amazon Prime and Hulu)
Also new: Mission: Impossible (1996) with Tom Cruise (PG-13) (Amazon Prime and Hulu), the self-aware comedies The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) and A Very Brady Sequel (1996) with Shelley Long and Gary Cole (Amazon Prime and Hulu) (both PG-13), the R-rated animated feature South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) (Amazon Prime and Hulu), and the suburban horror comedy The ‘Burbs (1989) with Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher (PG) (Amazon Prime and Hulu).
In the “before they were famous” file, you can see Martin Scorsese’s early feature Boxcar Bertha (1972, R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) and breakthrough performances by Reese Witherspoon in Man in the Moon (1991, PG-13) (Amazon Prime and Hulu), Edward Norton in Primal Fear (1996, R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu), and Michael Shannon in the intense Bug (2006, R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu).
New streaming TV includes the Freeform science fiction thriller Beyond: Season 1, original The Powerpuff Girls: Seasons 1-6 and Chowder: Seasons 1-3 from The Cartoon Network, and the FX comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 11.
Also new: the action classic Lethal Weapon (1987) and all three sequels with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.
Criminal (2016) stars Kevin Costner as a death row inmate given the mind of a dead CIA operative (R).
Back on HBO this month: the original The Road Warrior (1982) with Mel Gibson and the recent sequel Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Also new: the eighties sex comedy-turned-social satire Risky Business (1983) with Tom Cruise (reviewed on Stream On Demand here) and the cult comedy The Big Lebowski (1998) from the Coen Bros. (reviewed on Stream On Demand here). All rated R.