What to watch: Jane Austen vs. the undead plus new additions to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu

Ellie Bamber, Bella Heathcote, Lily James, Millie Brady, and Suki Waterhouse are the Bennet sisters in 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,' with Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Charles Dance, and Lena Heady

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies delivers exactly what it promises, which may be why it flopped with audiences and critics. The wit and wiles and social manners of the Austen romantic drama meets bloody combat with Asian swords and martial arts prowess, often in the same scene. “I shall never relinquish my sword for a ring,” proclaims Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), which veteran zombie killer Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) finds very attractive despite his social arrogance, especially when he sees her behading the undead like a Chinese opera dervish. The comedy is too literary for gore-hounds and too gory for the Austenites, creating a Venn diagram with a sliver of an audience. Jack Huston is the villainous Mr. Wickham, Charles Dance a sly Mr. Bennet, and watch for Lena Heady as a Cerci-like aristocrat warrior. PG-13. There’s a bonus featurette on VOD. Also on Blu-ray and DVD.

Also new: the historical drama Race with Stephan James as Olympic champion Jesse Owens (PG-13), the crime thriller Triple 9 starring Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Kate Winslet (R), and the drama Weepah Way For Now with actress sisters Aly Michalka and AJ Michalka (not rated).

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the thriller Urge with Pierce Brosnan as designer drug entrepreneur and Ashley Greene and Justin Chatwin as his human guinea pigs. R.


The new Netflix original series HIBANA-Spark-, based on the award Japanese novel of the friendship between two comedians over the course of a decade, premieres in America and Japan simultaneously. 10 episodes, Japanese with subtitles.

Sweet and surreal and quirkily melancholy, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) is a touching romantic comedy that explores regret and memory and the pain of lost loves with a delicious sense of the absurd. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

The new month brings a new batch of films. Here are a few more choice picks: Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar (2011) with Leonardo DiCaprio (R), the historical drama Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) with Cate Blanchett (PG-13) (joining the original, and better, 1998 Elizabeth, rated R), the indie thriller Cold in July (2014) with Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard (R), Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park (1993) and sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001) (all PG-13), David Lean’s Oscar-winning The Bridge on the River Kwai (1959), and Paul Newman in The Hustler (1961), co-starring Piper Laurie and George C. Scott.

Bill Murray stars as an aging rock and roll manager whose new protégé is a teenage girl  in Afghanistan in Rock the Kasbah (2015), a comedy that did not get Murray very good reviews. Jason Schwartzman is a slacker of epic proportions in the indie comedy 7 Chinese Brothers (2015).

New documentaries: Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015) profiles Janis Joplin and Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) profiles the teen heartthrob turned cult icon.

The British gangster drama Peaky Blinders: Season 3 debuts in the U.S. exclusively on Netflix.

More streaming TV: David Duchovny stars in Aquarius: Season 1, a sixties flashback cop drama set during the rise of Charles Manson’s cult. Also new: the ABC Family Channel show Pretty Little Liars: Season 6, the CW supernatural thriller Beauty & the Beast: Season 3, and the final season of the AMC old west drama Hell on Wheels.

Amazon Instant Prime

The sixth and final season of Downton Abbey is now streaming on Amazon. That means you can now binge-watch the entire Grantham family saga! That will be all, Carson. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Ben Foster as cycling champion Lance Armstrong in The Program (2016), co-starring Chris O’Dowd as the Irish journalist who exposed the doping scandal behind his wins. Rated R.

Amazon Prime Video and Hulu:

Josh Brolin is President George W. Bush in Oliver Stone’s W. (2008), which arrives on both services this month (PG-13). Also new: Ulee’s Gold (1997) with Peter Fonda in an Oscar-nominated performance (R), the comedy Wayne’s World (1992) with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey (PG-13), the spaghetti western epic The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966) with Clint Eastwood (not rated), and Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) and his extended Apocalypse Now: Redux (2001) (both rated R).


Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011) sends Owen Wilson back to the Lost Generation American artists in 1920s Paris in his delightful romantic fantasy, with Tom Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein, and Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali. Rated PG-13. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

All five seasons of Southland, the superb L.A. cop drama with Ben McKenzie as the rookie patrolman and co-starring Regina King, Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, C. Thomas Howell, Tom Everett Scott, and for one season Lucy Liu.


The Intern (2015), written and directed by Nancy Meyers, is a slight, optimistic drama of a successful businesswoman in the manner of a comfort food movie. Anne Hathaway is the young entrepreneur balancing a growing company with family and Robert De Niro is her senior (as in senior citizen) intern. The generation gap is bridged as the web-savvy kids of her internet clothing sale company learn a thing or two from the 70-year-old widower and career company man who just wants to keep himself engaged and useful. Which he does, devoting himself to supporting his boss while also finding (age appropriate) romance with the company’s resident masseuse (Rene Russo). There is nothing you can’t accomplish when Robert De Niro has your back. PG-13.

Also new: David Cronenberg’s scathing Hollywood drama Maps to the Stars (2014) with Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska (R) and the documentary Quincy Jones: Burning the Light (not rated).

Available Saturday, June 4 is The Martian (2015).

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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.