Netflix finishes off its acclaimed Fear Street trilogy with a bang, LeBron James shoots some hoops with the Looney Tunes, and some chilling aquatic stories usher in Shark Week
‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666’ (Netflix)
Leigh Janiak’s three-part adaptation of R.L. Stine’s best-selling book series reaches its thrilling, blood-splattered conclusion with 1666, and it manages to be the best of the entire trilogy. Serving as both as the origin story of the series’ villainous witch, Sarah Fier, as well as the culmination of the overarching plot of all three films, the finale delivers on all fronts: providing yet another chilling standalone tale, showing that the series still has some shockingly grisly kills up its sleeve, and taking the emotional throughline to new heights. If you have yet to check out Netflix’s Fear Street event, now’s the time to catch up. It’s a wildly fun and surprisingly moving ride for any horror fans.
Eli Roth has long since established his taste for hyper violent and grindhouse inspired horror. With films like Cabin Fever, Hostel and others, the filmmaker helped usher in a new wave of absurdly grisly and gross exploitation entertainment, always in search of pushing buttons and shocking audiences. Love or hate his work, he’s made his mark on the scene.It’s been three years since his last pair of films and it appears Roth has discovered a newfound interest in conservation and documentary filmmaking. His new film, aptly titled Fin, finds him partnering with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions as well as discovery+ to investigate the callous and catastrophically unsustainable world of shark fishing. It just may be his best and scariest work yet.
‘The Call’ (Shudder)
Shudder’s latest original takes place in the fall of 1987, where a group of small-town friends must survive the night in the home of a sinister couple after a tragic accident brings them to the couple’s door. Needing only to make a single phone call, the request seems ordinary until they realize that this call could change their life…or end it. This simple task quickly spirals into terror as their worst nightmares become reality. Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr., this slice of claustrophobic horror stars Lin Shaye of the Insidious franchise as well as none other than Tobin Bell from the equally as frightful Saw franchise.
‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ (HBO Max)
Space Jam is one of those perfect encapsulations of 90s culture in all its corporate synergy glory. Originating from a pair of Nike commercials, the 1996 film merged sports megastar Michael Jordan with the iconic Looney Tunes characters and kicked off a multi-billion dollar franchise. Plans for sequels were started right after Space Jam’s immediate success, but nothing came to fruition, and the Looney Tunes were retired from feature films after the box office disappointment of 2003’s Looney Tunes: Back in Action. But a sequel was inevitable in today’s Hollywood landscape, so now we have Space Jam: A New Legacy, which looks like…basically the same movie but with LeBron James this time. Not that that’s a bad thing; the original has a charm to it and the combination of live-action with animation is still impressive to this day. The new movie will have James team up with the Looney Tunes to take on the Goon Squad in a basketball game in order to rescue his son. And it won’t just feature the Tunes – a ton of characters from other Warner Bros. properties will be appearing as well.
‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ (Netflix)
Arguably the most bizarre title of the month, Gunpower Milkshake brings together three generations of women – Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh, and Angela Bassett – to kick some serious ass in this action adventure. In her turbulent life as a professional assassin, Scarlet (Headey) was cruelly forced to abandon her daughter Sam (Gillan) and go on the run. Years later, despite the estrangement, Sam has also grown up into a cold-blooded hitwoman. After a high-stake mission spins out of control, putting an innocent 8-year-old girl in the middle of a gang war she has unleashed, Sam has no choice but to go rogue. This ultimately leads her back to her mother and her former hitwomen sidekicks, who all join forces in an avenging war against those who took everything from them. The film is directed by Navot Papushado and also features Paul Giamatti.
‘McCartney 3,2,1’ (Hulu)
Hulu’s latest documentary series has Paul McCartney sit down for an in-depth one-on-one with legendary music producer Rick Rubin to discuss his groundbreaking work with The Beatles, the emblematic 1970s arena rock of Wings, and his 50-plus years as a solo artist. The series explores music and creativity in a unique and revelatory manner, and gives a front-row seat to Paul and Rick in an intimate conversation about the songwriting, influences, and personal relationships that informed the iconic songs that have served as the soundtracks of our lives. It’s an insightful look into the world of music from one of its biggest stars of all time.
‘Messiah of Evil’ (Shudder)
This hidden supernatural horror gem comes from 1973 and is the work of husband-and-wife duo Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, who both wrote, produced, and directed the film. Messiah of Evil follows a young woman who goes searching for her missing artist father, only for her journey to take her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult. The film has received many comparisons to the work of George A. Romero, and its unsettling atmosphere and dreamlike scares are sure to linger in the mind long after the credits roll.
‘Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes’ (HBO Max)
Journalist Ronan Farrow brings to life his interviews with whistle blowers, journalists, private investigators and other sources, conducted for his podcast and bestselling book “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.”, which focus on the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal. The six episode miniseries will release two episodes each week, with the first pair now streaming on HBO Max.
‘47 Meters Down’ (Hulu)
Young sisters Kate (Claire Holt) and Lisa (Mandy Moore) travel to Mexico for a vacation filled with sun, fun and adventure. Lisa needs some extra persuasion when Kate suggests that they go diving in shark-infested waters. Safe in their protective cage, the thrill-seeking siblings come face to face with a group of majestic great whites. Their worst fears soon become a reality when the cage breaks away from their boat, sending them plummeting to the ocean floor with a dwindling supply of oxygen. A nail-biting tale of underwater tension, 47 Meters Down is as solid as B-movies like it get, and a fun way to celebrate Shark Week.
‘A Quiet Place Part II’ (Paramount+)
Quietly put onto the Paramount+ streaming service recently, John Krasinki’s sequel to his smash-hit A Quiet Place will have fans of the original finding much of the same to enjoy here with a lot more action and slightly more worldbuilding. What plot exists in between the “hold your breath” sequences of tiptoeing around monsters and avoiding making noise is pretty bare bones, but it does expand a little on the monsters themselves and what the outside world and its other survivors are like – the good and the bad. Whereas the original was at its core a story about the fears of parenthood and protecting your children no matter the cost, the sequel puts Regan center stage and puts forth a message about how children adapt, overcome and eventually surpass their parents. And in a world still struggling to cope with the massive loss of life from the COVID-19 pandemic, a movie like this that features children growing up and dealing with the death of a parent or other family member is especially resonant.
CONTINUED WEEKLY EPISODES:
‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’ (Disney+)
The Bad Batch is the latest of Star Wars’ various animated series, and the first to premiere on Disney+. Originally introduced in the prior series, The Clone Wars, the Bad Batch are a squad of clone troopers that had genetic mutations occur during the cloning process. This has given them unique abilities that other clones do not, and together they form an elite squadron to battle on the front lines of the war. The series begins with the squad dealing with the galaxy-shattering events of Order 66 and the end of the Clone Wars. It will certainly be interesting to see what happened to the clone army in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and the series also introduces a new female clone named Omega (Michelle Ang) who joins the Bad Batch on their missions. The first twelve episodes are now streaming.
The latest Marvel series to launch on Disney+ following WandaVision and The Falcon & the Winter Soldier, Loki puts the god of mischief front and center. Tom Hiddleston has been stealing scenes since appearing as the character in the first Thor movie, and while Loki did die at the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, a new one from an alternate timeline was created during the time travel hijinks of Avengers: Endgame. The six episode series has Loki captured by the Time Variance Authority, an organization that maintains the timeline. They give the trickster god a choice: face being erased from existence due to being a “time variant”, or help fix the timeline and stop a greater threat. Micheal Waldron serves as head writer for the show, who is best known for his work on Community and Rick and Morty, and will also co-write the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. All six episodes are now streaming.
Also streaming now:
Netflix – ‘American Ultra’, ‘Heist’, ‘Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendia?’, ‘Beastars (Season 2)’, ‘The Twilight Saga’
Hulu – ‘20,000 Days on Earth’, ‘A Field in England’, ‘The Act of Killing’, ‘Borgman’, ‘Bullhead’, ‘Cheap Thrills’, ‘The Complex: Lockdown’, ‘The Congress’, ‘The Connection’, ‘Enforcement’, ‘Exit Plan’, ‘The FP’, ‘I Declare War, ’‘The Keeping Room’, ‘Men & Chicken’, ‘Pieta’, ‘R100’, ‘Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made’, ‘Wrong’
Shudder – ‘Carnival of Souls’, ‘Piranha’, ‘Straight Edge Kegger’, ‘White Girl’, ‘Separation’, ‘Everly’
HBO Max – ‘Tom & Jerry’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day’
COMING NEXT WEEK:
Netflix – ‘Cosmic Sin’, ‘Sexy Beasts’, ‘The Movies That Made Us (Season 2)’, ‘Cousins’, ‘Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans’, ‘Blood Red Sky’, ‘Masters of the Universe: Revelation (Part 1)’
Shudder – ‘Kandisha’, ‘She’s Allergic to Cats’, ‘Here Comes Hell’, ‘Vigilante’, ‘Mass Hysteria’, ‘ROT’
HBO Max – ‘The Empty Man’, ‘100 Foot Wave’, ‘Through Our Eyes’, ‘Corazon de Mezquite’