What to stream: ‘Wine Country’ and ‘Wandering Earth’ on Netflix, ‘Chernobyl’ on HBO, World War I revisited 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 …

Peter Jackson brings history to life in They Shall Not Grow Old (2018, R), a documentary on the experience of British soldiers in World War I created entirely from archival footage and interviews. The film, which uses state-of-the-art digital effects to restore damaged film footage, was a hit on special event screenings and eventually earned a brief, successful theatrical run. Jackson’s transformation of the footage is incredible and the soundtrack of World War I veteran interviews is compelling. On Cable On Demand and VOD.

Amy Poehler directs and stars in the comedy Wine Country (2019, not rated) with Maya Rudolph and Tina Fey, playing longtime friends on a weekend getaway where tensions flare. “The scripted lines rarely zing, sing or sting (some seem improvised), but when the performers fall down or screw up their faces, you get to watch them fill in their characters with something like real feeling…,” writes Manohla Dargis for The New York Times. It debuts directly to Netflix.

Science fiction epic The Wandering Earth (China, 2019, not rated, with subtitles), based on a story by Cixin Liu (“The Three Body Problem”), was barely released in the U.S. but became one of the biggest blockbuster hits around the world. It’s now streaming on Netflix.

Chernobyl (2019) dramatizes the 1986 USSR nuclear disaster and its aftermath. Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, and Emily Watson star. The five-episode miniseries plays on HBO and all streaming services, with new episodes each Monday.

Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd star in State of the Union, a marital comedy with a serious undercurrent from director Stephen Frears and writer Nick Hornby that plays out in 10-minute episodes. New episodes each weekday on Sundance TV and Sundance Now.

Classic pick: Michael Caine is ruthless as the cockney thug out for revenge in Get Carter (1971, R), a hard-edged thriller that made British crime cinema cool again. On Netflix.

Foreign language pick: Jean Gabin awaits his doom in Le Jour se Leve (France, 1939, with subtitles), Marcel Carne’s poetic masterpiece of romantic tragedy. On Amazon Prime Video.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019, PG) animates the world of interlocking toys for a new adventure. Also new:

  • comedy What Men Want (2019, R) with Taraji P. Henson and Tracy Morgan;
  • horror film The Prodigy (2019, R) with Taylor Schilling;
  • seventies-style action comedy ’79 Parts (2016, not rated);
  • Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows (Spain, 2018, R, with subtitles) with Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem;
  • indie comedy Peel (2019, R) with Emile Hirsch.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is Her Smell (2019, R) with Elizabeth Moss as a self-destructive punk rocker attempting a comeback and The Professor and the Madman (2019, not rated), an historical drama about compiling the first Oxford dictionary starring Mel Gibson and Sean Penn.

Netflix

Along with its signature original series, Netflix has picked up network shows with devoted followings that were cancelled. Lucifer: Season 4 with Tom Ellis as the ruler of Hell now solving crimes in Los Angeles with a police detective (Lauren German), is their latest rescue and the new season opens with his partner now aware of his true identity.

John Carter (2012, PG-13) was a financial flop but this adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs series is actually quite entertaining.

More streaming TV: The Society: Season 1 follows a group of New England teens in a world without adults. Also new:

Foreign affairs: a teenage ex-con falls in love with a young streetwalker in Marseilles in Shéhérazade (France, 2018, not rated, with subtitles). Also new is the sexy drama Dry Martina (Chile, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) and comedy In Family I Trust (Spain, 2019, not rated, with subtitles). All played theaters overseas but debut stateside on Netflix.

Foreign language TV: in the romantic fantasy Abyss: Season 1 (South Korea, with subtitles), a man and a woman are given a second chance at life in new bodies. Also new is the miniseries Crime Diaries: Night Out (Mexico, 2019, with subtitles).

True stories: The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution (2018, not rated) profiles five master seven women chefs. Also new:

Kid stuff: the teenage mutant ninja turtles returned to the big screen in the animated feature TMNT (2007, PG) featuring the voices of Chris Evans and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Also new: Steven Spielberg’s War Horse (2011, PG-13) with Emily Watson and David Thewlis;

Amazon Prime Video

Rosamund Pike plays real-life war correspondent Marie Colvin in A Private War (2018, R), which dramatizes her efforts to cover the most dangerous conflicts in the world.

Before Hulu’s new miniseries debuts, you can see the original Catch-22 (1970, R) from The Graduate director Mike Nichols and screenwriter Buck Henry starring Alan Arkin as John Yossarian.

Streaming TV: Giovanni Ribisi returns in the crime drama Sneaky Pete: Season 3. Also new:

True stories: Somm: Into the Bottle (2016, not rated) delves into the history and culture of winemaking. Also new: The Tillman Story (2010, R) profiles NFL star Pat Tillman, whose death serving in Afghanistan was misrepresented by the U.S. Government.

Kid stuff: Robin Williams stars in the fantasy adventure Jumanji (1995, PG) with Kirsten Dunst.

Foreign affairs: Jean Dujardin, Tim Roth, and Cécile De France star in the spy thriller Möbius (France, 2013, R, with subtitles). Also new:

  • violent cop thriller Elite Squad (Brazil, 2008, R, with subtitles);
  • romantic thriller The Phantom Lover (Hong Kong, 1995, not rated, with subtitles), a twist on “Phantom of the Opera” with Leslie Cheung.

Westerns: Jeff Bridges is Bill Hickok in Wild Bill (1995, R) and James Garner is Wyatt Earp in Hour of the Gun (1967), two revisionist westerns that take on legendary lawmen. Also new:

  • offbeat modern western Rancho Deluxe (1975, R) with Jeff Bridges and Sam Waterston;
  • The Alamo (1960) directed by and starring John Wayne;
  • The Unforgiven (1960) with Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn.

Also new: comedy Dinner for Schmucks (2010, PG-13) with Paul Rudd and Steve Carell;

  • Julia & Julia (2009, PG-13) with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams;
  • crime drama We Own the Night (2007, R) with Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg;
  • Richard E. Grant’s autobiographical comic drama Wah-Wah (2005, R);
  • historical adventure Four Feathers (2002, PG-13) with Heath Ledger;
  • Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001, PG-13);
  • Oscar-winning Fargo (1996, R) from the Coen Bros.;
  • Little Man Tate (1991, PG) from director/star Jodie Foster;
  • Oscar-winning Rain Man (1988, R) with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise;
  • eighties teen thriller WarGames (1983, PG) with Matthew Broderick;
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982, PG), still the best big screen Trek ever made;
  • Bernardo Bertolucci’s epic 1900 (Italy, 1977, R) with Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu, Burt Lancaster, and Donald Sutherland;
  • the original Alfie (1966) with Michael Caine.

Prime Video / Hulu

It’s horror with comic twist in Zombieland (2009, R) with Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone (Prime Video and Hulu). A sequel hits theaters later this year. Also new:

  • Action Point (2018, not rated) with Johnny Knoxville as a self-styled daredevil theme park entrepreneur (Prime Video and Hulu);
  • documentary Dinosaur 13 (2014, not rated), the strange story of a rare fossil find seized by the U.S. government (Prime Video and Hulu).

Hulu

Naomi Watts is Valerie Plame in Fair Game (2010, PG-13), costarring Sean Penn.

A family faces the evil within in The Clovehitch Killer (2018, not rated), a horror film with Dylan McDermott and Charlie Plummer.

Streaming TV: Drunk History: Season 6A offers more inebriated lessons with tipsy comedy stars.

HBO Now

The documentary Foster (2019, not rated) explores the foster care system in America, both its successes and failures, while celebrating the people who try to do good in an often impersonal system.

Boyd Holbrook and Keegan-Michael Key star in the science fiction thriller The Predator (2018, R), another sequel about the alien trophy hunters who use Earth as their game preserve.

Available Saturday night is the comedy Night School with Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish.

Showtime Anytime

The four-part documentary series Wu Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men is now streaming in its entirely.

BritBox

Made-for-BBC film Mother’s Day (2018, not rated), starring Anna Maxwell Martin and Vicky McClure as mothers who reach across the border to protest the terrorist violence over the Irish independence fight, debuts on Britbox.

The Criterion Channel

The Criterion Channel celebrates “George Cukor’s Women” with 10 films, from the all-star Dinner at Eight (1933) and The Women (1939) to lesser-known greats What Price Hollywood? (1932) and Sylvia Scarlett (1935) to his Hitchcockian classic Gaslight (1944) with Ingrid Bergman. Exclusive to this presentation is an archival interview with Cukor conducted by Peter Bogdanovich.

The recently added film noir masterpieces The Night of the Hunter (1955) and In a Lonely Place (1950) are presented with commentary, featurettes, and other revealing supplements from the special edition DVD releases.

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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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