New on Netflix
The big drop amidst a sea of new catalogue titles on Netflix (more on that later) is 23 Hours to Kill, a fresh stand-up special from Jerry Seinfeld, which arrives on May 5. Black Panther co-writer Joe Robert Cole makes his directorial debut with All Day and a Night, a drama in which a young man (Ashton Sanders) winds up in the same prison as his father (Jeffrey Wright) after a homicide conviction. Alice Wu follows up her acclaimed 2005 debut with The Half of It, a queer YA rom-com starring Leah Lewis (Nancy Drew).
Early reviews have been tepid at best regarding Hollywood, the latest show from new-project-crazy writer/director/producer Ryan Murphy. The show is a fictionalized (but not entirely, apparently, as there are actors playing real characters such as Rock Hudson and Hattie McDaniel) account of the Golden Age of Hollywood starring Darren Criss, Jim Parsons, Samara Weaving and Holland Taylor, among others. Also making its debut on May 1 is Into the Night, a Belgian sci-fi series; Almost Happy, a Spanish-language sitcom and season two of the prestige-y Italian series Medici.
It’s a big week for catalogue titles — the biggest in the last few months, for sure. Highlights on May 1 include Bad Boys, the three-hours-plus director’s cut of Das Boot, Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-winning sci-fi film Gravity, the first two Back to the Future movies, Tremors, the beloved makes-dads-cry MMA drama Warrior, the Liam-Neeson-on-a-plane thriller Non-Stop and Dante’s Peak (but not, crucially, Volcano). May 6 sees the drop of Love Actually (which I suppose some masochists now enjoy all year round), The Big Lebowski, Smokin’ Aces, Scent of a Woman and The Adjustment Bureau.
New on Amazon Prime
Amazon has the premiere of a new show from The Office’s Greg Daniels premiering May 1. Upload stars Robbie Amell (The Flash) and Andy Allo (Attack of the Show) in a futuristic sci-fi comedy in which people can tailor their afterlife to their liking. If you’re not really feeling the whole “new show” thing, you could also mainline all nine seasons of Scrubs, which hits the service on May 1.
Also coming to Amazon on May 1 is Hustlers, a crime drama from Lorene Scafaria featuring what is probably Jennifer Lopez’s most acclaimed performance ever; and for the kids, the apparently pretty-good Dora and the Lost City of Gold, based on the very annoying hit kids’ show. It was directed by frequent Flight of the Conchords collaborator James Bobin, so perhaps there’s more to it than just chastizing a monkey wearing boots.
New on Crave
I somehow missed the news that director Crystal Moselle was spinning off her great Skate Kitchen into an HBO series — but she is, and most of the cast returns into this further look at the skateboarding subculture from the perspective of an all-female crew. Betty drops on Crave on May 1 alongside the streaming premieres of prestige-fiction bomb The Goldfinch and the Bruce Springsteen concert film Western Stars, both of which premiered at TIFF last year. The latest seasons of Drunk History and The Good Doctor are also making their way to Crave on May 1, followed on May 3 by the newest season of Billions.
New on Criterion Channel
The DVD release of Steven Soderbergh’s 1999 film The Limey came with one of the all-time legendary commentary tracks. It’s known for its free-wheeling honesty and the verbal sparring between Soderbergh and writer Lem Dobbs. Dobbs was, to put it lightly, somewhat miffed that Soderbergh’s approach to his script was so open-ended. It’s available with the film, which streams on Criterion Channel as of today.
On May 3, Criterion launches another edition of Adventures in Filmmaking, a curated series accompanied by intro videos. This month, the Safdies Brothers are invited to curate a series of films and talk about them. Their choices include the gritty noir The Naked City, John Cassavetes’ Gloria, Jafar Panahi’s The Mirror and, surprisingly, Stephen Frears’ Hero starring Dustin Hoffman — a movie that I wouldn’t have guessed would be joining the Channel’s line-up anytime soon. On May 6, catch Down in the Delta, the only film directed by Maya Angelou. It stars Alfre Woodard and Wesley Snipes. Finally, on May 7, three films from Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-Liang are available for streaming. ■
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