Plenty of new action can be found on Netflix this week, Shudder unleashes a fresh creature feature, and much more in this week’s guide
‘The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)
When outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) is being released from prison he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Those riding with him in this assured, righteously new school Western include his former love Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), his right and left hand men hot-tempered Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi) and fast drawing Jim Beckwourth (RJ Cyler) and a surprising adversary-turned-ally. Rufus Buck has his own fearsome crew, including “Treacherous” Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield), and they are not a group that knows how to lose.
‘Great White’ (Shudder)
Struggling to keep their small seaplane business afloat, Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko), a retired marine biologist and shark-bite survivor, his girlfriend Kaz (Katrina Bowden), and friend Benny (Te Kohe Tuhaka), are delighted when they are commissioned by high-flying holidaymakers, Joji (Tim Kano)and his wife, Michelle (Kimie Tsukakoshi). However, as soon as the seaplane lands on a sandy beach of remote Hell’s Reef, disaster strikes, and the team find themselves trapped in a flimsy inflatable lifeboat with limited supplies. Now, the unfortunate crew drifts aimlessly in the dark, deep waters of the vast ocean, and they are not alone: a massive, stealthy great white shark has already picked up their scent, and it will stop at nothing to feed. Can they escape from the powerful jaws of the ultimate oceanic apex predator?
‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ (Disney+)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduces a new hero and new powers to the Avengers universe, and after officially being the first entry in the MCU to be released exclusively in theaters in over two years, it’s now finally streaming on Disney+. Simu Liu stars as the titular Shang-Chi, a gifted master of martial arts who is forced to confront the past he thought he left behind when he’s drawn into the mysterious organization run by his father (Tony Leung), The Ten Rings.
Set in the universe of League of Legends, this animated series focuses on the delicate balance between the rich city of Piltover and the seedy underbelly of Zaun. Tensions between these city-states boil over with the creation of hextech, a way for any person to control magical energy in Piltover, and in Zaun, a new drug called shimmer transforms humans into monsters. The rivalry between the cities splits families and friends as Arcane brings life to the relationships that shape some of League of Legends’ famous champions including Vi, Jinx, Caitlyn, Jayce and Viktor.
‘Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer’ (Shudder)
Henry (Michael Rooker) is released from prison following his mother’s murder. He supplements his job as an exterminator with a series of indiscriminate and violent murders. Fellow jailbird and drug dealer Otis (Tom Towles) becomes a willing accomplice in Henry’s bloody killings. But as the depravity escalates and Henry forms a bond with Otis’ sister, Becky (Tracy Arnold), things start to get out of hand. The film is based on the true-life story of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.
‘Home Sweet Home Alone’ (Disney+)
Max Mercer (Archie Yates), a mischievous and resourceful young boy, has been left behind while his family is in Japan for the holidays. So when a married couple (Ellie Kemper & Rob Delaney) attempting to retrieve a priceless heirloom sets their sights on the Mercer family’s home, it is up to Max to protect it from the trespassers, and he will do whatever it takes to keep them out. The reboot promises hilarious hijinks of epic proportions, and despite the absolute chaos, Max eventually comes to realize that there really is no place like home sweet home.
‘Red Notice’ (Netflix)
When an Interpol-issued Red Notice, the highest level warrant to hunt and capture the world’s most wanted goes out, the FBI’s top profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) is on the case. His global pursuit finds him smack dab in the middle of a daring heist where he’s forced to partner with the world’s greatest art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) in order to catch the world’s most wanted art thief, “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot). The high-flying adventure that ensues takes the trio around the world, across the dance floor, trapped in a secluded prison, into the jungle and, worst of all for them, constantly into each other’s company.
‘Land’ (HBO Max)
Robin Wright has proven herself time and time again to be one of the most commanding presences onscreen. You can find her in almost anything – perhaps you know her as Jenny from Forrest Gump, or as Princess Buttercup from The Princess Bride, or more recently, General Antiope in Wonder Woman and Justice League. With Land, she’s finally making her directorial debut, and naturally, starring in it as well. When a lawyer named Edee is blindsided by a tragedy in her life, she runs away to the harsh and unforgiving wilderness of the Rockies. Perhaps she’s come here simply to find herself anew, but pretty soon she’s fighting for her life against the elements.
Passing is an adaptation of the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, but its ideas and themes are still very relevant today. Set in that 20s time period, it’s the story of two black women, Irene and Clare, childhood friends who reunite years later at an upscale, whites-only restaurant. Both women are able to pass as white, which affords them privileges that would otherwise be unobtainable for them. But whereas Irene (played by Tessa Thompson) still lives her life predominantly as a black woman and is married to a black man, Clare (Ruth Negga) has built her entire identity around her ability to pass. Nobody knows that she’s actually black, especially not her racist husband (Alexander Skarsgård). Directed and written by Rebecca Hall, who herself is mixed-race but has passed for white most of her life, Passing is a quiet and subtle drama that ends up being about far more than just race.
‘Jungle Cruise’ (Disney+)
Aiming to launch another adventure franchise on the level of success of Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney’s Jungle Cruise is the latest film based on one of their theme park attractions. Dwayne Johnson stars as a riverboat captain charged with transporting a scientist (Emily Blunt) and her brother (Jack Whitehall) through the dangerous jungle on a quest for a mystical tree believed to have healing powers. It’s an action-packed ride for audiences of all ages.
CONTINUED WEEKLY EPISODES:
‘Behind the Monsters’ (Shudder)
This brand new documentary series dives into the making of and cultural impact of some of the genre’s most recognizable killers. For any horror aficionados looking to learn more about a few of the most important films and characters to hit the big screen, or for any newer fans looking for an interesting history lesson, Behind the Monsters is guaranteed to be an insightful look into how these things were brought to life. Written and directed by Gabrielle Binkley and Anthony Uro, the series will comprise of six episodes that’ll feature interviews with experts, the writers, directors and actors from the original films, producers, and other documentary filmmakers and horror historians. The episodes will focus on characters like Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger and more. The first three episodes are now streaming.
‘Succession’ (HBO Max)
HBO has knocked it out of the park once again with Succession, a show that tracks the lives of the Roy family as they contemplate their future once their aging father (Brian Cox) begins to step back from the media and entertainment conglomerate they control. The first two seasons of the series quickly garnered praise for being one of the best new shows on television and has been showered with awards. The third miraculously looks like it’s only getting better as the Roys continue to vie for their father’s assets. The first four episodes of the new season are now streaming.
Also streaming now:
Netflix – ‘Animal’
Hulu – ‘Pain & Gain’, ‘Emperor’
Shudder – ‘Tailgate’, ‘The World of Kanako’, ‘The Visitor’, ‘Darlin’, ‘Honeydew’
COMING NEXT WEEK:
Netflix – ‘American Pie: Reunion’, ‘The Fabulous Filipino Brothers’, ‘The Fable’, ‘The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill’, ‘Tiger King (Season 2)’, ‘Lead Me Home’, ‘Cowboy Bebop’, ‘Dhamaka’, ‘Hellbound’, ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!’
Hulu – ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, ‘Deadpool’, ‘Deadpool 2’, ‘The Master’, ‘Marvel’s Hit Monkey’, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’, ‘Mandibles’, ‘The Great (Season 2)’
Shudder – ‘Prisoners of the Ghostland’, ‘Kill List’, ‘A Dark Song’, ‘The Hallow’, ‘Pyewacket’, ‘The Isle’, ‘Fender Bender’, ‘Blood Rage’, ‘Etheria’
HBO Max – ‘Boogie’, ‘Kamikaze’, ‘The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain’, ‘King Richard’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘Beginners’, ‘The Wheel of Time’