Screen Crusades: Weekly Streaming Guide 4.30.21

Posted by Nicolás Delgadillo in Culture on April 30, 2021

A new animated classic hits Netflix, Amazon Prime Video launches the next Tom Clancy action franchise, the Handmaid’s Tale returns to Hulu, Shudder packs a horror punch, and more in this week’s guide

OUT NOW:

‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines’ (Netflix)

Creative duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have revitalized the animation industry with the groundbreaking LEGO movies and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, both in visual style and story. Their latest production is coming exclusively to Netflix, with an all-star cast that includes Olivia Coleman, Eric Andre, Maya Rudolph, Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Fred Armisen, and many more.

The film follows the Mitchells, a quirky and dysfunctional bunch that embark on a road trip to take their daughter off to college. But things get crazy when the family find themselves in the middle of a robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity’s unlikeliest last hope.

‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse’ (Amazon Prime Video)

Tom Clancy’s 1993 novel Without Remorse served as the thrilling introduction to John Clark, one of the most prominent characters in the author’s popular Jack Ryan franchise. The film adaptation will star Michael B. Jordan as Clark, with Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) directing.

The film follows Clark, a US Navy SEAL, as he seeks to avenge his murdered wife. He uncovers an international conspiracy along the way, and joins forces with fellow SEAL Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith) and shadowy CIA officer Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell).

‘The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 4)’ (Hulu)

Hulu’s adaptation of the famous Margaret Atwood novel took the world by storm when it premiered in 2017. Set in a bleak and dystopian version of the United States where women are subjugated and enslaved, the series stars Elisabeth Moss as June, a woman forced into being little more than a breeding machine. The series’ shocking, disturbing content, and blatant yet poignant social commentary has earned it multiple Emmy Awards and Golden Globes, while the iconic looks for its memorable cast of characters have become a part of pop culture.

Season 4 of the show looks to finally leave Gilead behind for the time being, as June’s quest to reunite with her daughter and husband still continues. But with June also beginning to spark the fires of rebellion across Gilead in her wake, things are likely about to become more dangerous than ever.

‘Things Heard and Seen’ (Netflix)

Based on the novel by Elizabeth Brundage, Things Heard and Seen is the classic tale of a couple moving into a new home only to discover that it’s haunted – but the true darkness may lie in their marriage. With elements of both Gothic horror and relationship dramas, and stars Amanda Seyfried and James Norton on board, it’s sure to be worth checking out.

Catherine Clare (Seyfried) reluctantly trades life in 1980s Manhattan for a remote home in the tiny hamlet of Chosen, New York, after her husband George (Norton) lands a job teaching art history at a small Hudson Valley college. Even as she does her best to transform the old dairy farm into a place where young daughter Franny will be happy, Catherine increasingly finds herself isolated and alone. She soon comes to sense a sinister darkness lurking both in the walls of the ramshackle property – and in her marriage to George.

‘In Search of Darkness: Part II’ (Shudder)

Building on the hit 2019 superdoc that Forbes called “a scary good magnum opus,” In Search of Darkness: Part II dives deeper into the fabled practical-effects decade of iconic and eclectic ‘80s horror movies that changed the course of film history. 

Packed with over four hours of brand-new interviews, including such legendary horror icons as Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Nancy Allen (Dressed to Kill), Linnea Quigley (The Return of the Living Dead), and special-effects wizard Tom Savini (Friday the 13th), Part II features 15 new faces alongside 40-plus returning members of the original In Search of Darkness cast to delve into more fan-favorite titles of ‘80s horror, year-by-year, expanding its scope to cover more international releases and spotlighting horror-career retrospectives.

‘Arrival’ (Hulu)

Arrival is easily one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. It follows the story of Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguist who is tasked with learning how to communicate with the first extraterrestrials to come to Earth. Adams has received widespread acclaim for her performance (it just may be her best), the film was nominated for multiple Oscars, and continues to wow more and more people every year.

Like all of the best sci-fi, Arrival offers big, awe-inspiring spectacle and gorgeous visuals while also challenging its audience with heavy themes and concepts. It’s personally heartbreaking and universally hopeful, and it’s further proof that director Denis Villeneuve – who also helmed Blade Runner 2049 – is one of the best filmmakers making massive movies today. His next project will be a new adaptation of Dune.

‘Deadhouse Dark’ (Shudder)

An anthology of six interconnected horror short films, Deadhouse Dark is anchored by a woman who receives a ‘mystery box’ from the dark web, each item within it gradually unveiling a dark and troubling truth. A boxful of dark and chilling tales of terror inspired by frighteningly familiar modern trends including dark web mystery boxes, dash cam footage and Insta-fame hungry vloggers. 

Deadhouse Dark is a giant mystery box of chocolates – while there is something in there to suit a variety of different tastes, in the end chocolate is still chocolate. And who doesn’t love chocolate? Anthology series are a rare breed nowadays, and there’s always something for everyone in them.

‘The Judge’ (Hulu)

Filmmaker David Dobkin is best known for his high-energy comedies like Shanghai Knights, Wedding Crashers, and most recently, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. But he switched gears in 2014 with The Judge, a legal drama starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall about a big-city lawyer who returns to his childhood home where his father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

The film garnered award nominations and praise for its performances, thanks its strong cast that also included Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, and Billy Bob Thornton. It’s an often overlooked work in the careers of its multiple stars.

‘The Similars’ (Shudder)

On the rainy night of October 2, 1968, eight characters waiting on a remote bus station for a bus heading to Mexico City start experiencing a strange phenomenon. This homage to genre films is a proud mix of horror, science-fiction, and campiness that wears its influences on its sleeve in the best way.

Some of the main influences for writer and director Isaac Ezban to create this story included the B-Movies of the 50’s and 60’s, the work of authors like Rod Serling, Richard Matheson, Philip K. Dick, Michael Crichton and Stephen King, TV shows like “The Twilight Zone”, “The Outer Limits” and “Fringe”, and movies like John Carpenter’s “The Thing”, Richard Kelly’s “The Box”, Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer’s “Cloud Atlas”, James Mangold’s “Identity”and Philip Kaufman’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.

‘Horror Express’ (Shudder)

This 1972 classic follows a renowned anthropologist as he boards the Trans-Siberian Express with a crate containing the frozen remains of a primitive humanoid which, he believes, may prove to be the missing link in human evolution. But all hell breaks loose when the creature thaws out, turning out to be not quite as dead as once thought.

Starring horror icons Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, Horror Express is a perfect treat for any fan of the genre. Great characters, fast-paced thrills and terrifying action have solidified it as a gem of the era.

CONTINUED WEEKLY EPISODES:

‘Invincible’ (Amazon Prime Video)

Invincible is based on the groundbreaking comic book from Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead. The story revolves around 17-year-old Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), who’s just like every other guy his age — except his father is the most powerful superhero on the planet, Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons).

The hour-per-episode series also stars a powerhouse cast that includes Sandra Oh, Zazie Beetz, Gillian Jacobs, Zachary Quinto, Jason Mantzoukas, Melise, Mark Hamill, Mahershala Ali, Seth Rogen and more. All episodes are now streaming, with the finale having been written by Kirkman himself.

‘Creepshow’ (Shudder)

The classic horror anthology series by Stephen King and George A. Romero was finally brought back from the dead in 2019 thanks to Shudder, delighting fans and capturing the spirit of the original films. 

Executive produced by showrunner Greg Nicotero, who is best known for his work on The Walking Dead, Creepshow’s second season features guest stars Kevin Dillon, Iman Benson, Josh McDermitt, Keith David, Molly Ringwald, Barbara Crampton, Justin Long, and D’Arcy Carden, among others. The first five episodes are now streaming with the finale premiering next week.

Also streaming now:

Netflix – ‘August: Osage County’

Hulu – ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’, ‘The Judge’

Shudder – ‘The Diabolical’, ‘Attack of the Demons’

HBO Max – ‘Dreamgirls’, ‘The Artist’, ‘Looney Tunes Cartoons’

COMING THIS WEEK:

Netflix – ‘Back to the Future Trilogy’, ‘Due Date’, ‘Dead Again in Tombstone’, ‘Fun With Dick and Jane’, ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’, ‘Green Zone’, ‘Mystic River’, ‘Never Back Down’, ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife & Extinction’, ‘Scarface’, ‘Stargate’, ‘Zombieland’, ‘The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness’, ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’, ‘Monster’

Hulu – ‘(500) Days of Summer’, ‘The A-Team’, ‘Almost Famous’, ‘Burning’, ‘The Crazies’, ‘Goodnight Mommy’, ‘Hannibal Rising’, ‘I Am Legend’, ‘The Haunting in Connecticut’, ‘The Iron Giant’, ‘Knowing’, ‘Machete’, ‘Lucky Number Slevin’, ‘Predator’, ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Train to Busan’, ‘Vantage Point’, ‘Flight’, ‘Skyfall’, ‘Warrior’

Shudder – ‘Fried Barry’, ‘The Wicker Man’, ‘House on Haunted Hill’, ‘13 Ghosts’, ‘Curse of the Demon’, ‘Frankenhooker’

HBO Max – ‘17 Again’, ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’, ‘Anaconda’, ‘Anger Management’, ‘Black Hawk Down’, ‘The Dirty Dozen’, ‘Dumb & Dumber’, ‘Mortal Kombat (1995)’, ‘Rush Hour Trilogy’, ‘Tenet’, ‘300: Rise of an Empire’

Amazon Prime Video – ‘Aliens & Alien3 & Alien Ressurection’, ‘Resident Evil & Resident Evil: Apocalypse’, ‘The Da Vinci Code’, ‘The Green Hornet’, ‘The Sixth Sense’, ‘Unbreakable’

Disney+ – ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’, ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer’, ‘Wander Over Yonder’


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