Netflix, Crave, Prime, Criterion and Disney Plus all have excellent options to watch while quarantined.
The informative nature of this column has changed somewhat in the last week. From complementary information meant to be weaved into the fabric of theatrical releases, it has become about pretty much the totality of viewing options as much of the world continues to practice social distancing. I guess it would be relevant to point out that many titles that had just hit theatres prior to the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 — including Birds of Prey, The Way Back, Bloodshot and The Hunt — have been or will soon be made available for on-demand viewing. With a $20 price point and no real streaming-network fealty to speak of, they fall out of the purview of this column in general, but represent a rather singular development in the world of film releasing.
New on Netflix
As the current releasing schedule was timed around American Spring Break, the Netflix release schedule isn’t exactly designed to take advantage of the fact that nearly everyone in the world is currently holed up at home. The generic two-years-old Melissa McCarthy vehicle Life of the Party hits on March 23, presumably just in time for the molly comedown that a distressing amount of kids are still living through in Florida. The Hungarian film Curtiz chronicles the making of Casablanca and the the struggles of its director, Michael Curtiz (Ferenc Lengyel) to get through production; the Netflix website informs us that it won Best Film at the Montreal World Festival Festival in 2018 — something that even I was not aware of.
David and Alex Pastor made their directorial debut a little over a decade ago with Carriers, a horror movie starring Chris Pine and Piper Perabo; The Occupant is their latest, a Spanish-language thriller starring Javier Gutiérrez. Fans of crime procedurals may find something to enjoy in Signs, a Polish cop drama that frankly doesn’t seem to set itself apart too much from the various other dour procedurals from the four corners of the globe that premiere on Netflix every week. Season 3 of the CW superhero show Black Lightning drops on March 26, alongside Unorthodox, a drama about a young woman who leaves her Hasidic life behind that stars up-and-coming Israeli actress Shira Hass.
New on Crave
It’s a fairly fallow week over at Crave, though what few releases there are are at least worth a look. Jim Jarmusch’s slightly hokey zombie satire The Dead Don’t Die drops on March 20; while I can’t say it’s anywhere near his finest work, it’s hard to pass up any Jarmusch… especially with a cast like this one. Less exciting but still likely to draw curious / guilty eyeballs is Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, the latest installment in the automotive action series that, this time, focuses on two supporting characters played by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. It’s dumb, for sure, but social isolation-induced madness could take you worse places. Finally, on March 26 you can catch Matthew Rankin’s one-of-a-kind The Twentieth Century, an award-winning oddity that’s ostensibly a biopic of William Lyon Mackenzie King… but also not really.
New on Prime Video
Over at Amazon Prime, you can catch up to last year’s best crocodile-home-invasion/hurricane thriller, the very fun Crawl starring Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper (March 20); the Helen Hunt-starring horror film I See You (March 21); the political thriller Official Secrets (March 23), starring Keira Knightley as real-life whistleblower Katharine Gun; and last but probably least, the Nicolas Cage-starring actioner Kill Chain (March 26).
New on Criterion
Criterion presents two late-career enigmas from Michaelangelo Antonioni: the Jack Nicholson-starring The Passenger and Identification of a Woman, streaming from March 20th; a 10-film retrospective of German Expressionist films, which begins streaming on March 22; a retrospective of the works of Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World) that mysteriously does not feature his most mainstream outing, 2003’s Bad Santa; and, finally, three films from Italian iconoclast Liliana Cavani, which hit the service on March 25.
Bonus: New on Disney Plus
Frustrated parents take note: Frozen II has arrived to Disney Plus. ■
See what’s new on Netflix Canada here.
For what’s new on Crave, click here.
Find out what’s new on Amazon Prime here.
See what’s new on Criterion Channel here.
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