Black Widow finally hits both the big screen and Disney+, Netflix continues its Fear Street slasher trilogy, and much more in this week’s guide
‘Black Widow’ (Disney+ Premier Access)
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow has been a fan favorite through her many appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But despite being a main member of the original Avengers team, she never received her due with her own solo adventure, and since she sacrificed herself to help save the universe in Avengers: Endgame, a stand-alone movie for the heroine seemed unlikely. This year’s Black Widow aims to correct that. Directed by Cate Shortland, the film is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. With the superhero team broken up and several in hiding, Natasha is pulled into a conspiracy that ties back to her dark past before she became an Avenger. The film’s action has been compared to the likes of the recent Mission: Impossible movies, and with this being Marvel’s first theatrical release since 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, they’re surely looking to remind audiences how fantastic their big screen spectacles can still be.
‘Fear Street Part Two: 1978’ (Netflix)
The middle chapter of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy takes things back to the 70s, but where the first chapter paid tribute to slashers like Scream and Halloween, 1978 takes the most direct influence from Friday the 13th. Set at Camp Nightwing, where the campers are divided between the cursed town of Shadyside and the prosperous town of Sunnyvale, a killer is on the loose. As campers start to die one by one, it’s up a pair of sisters and their friends to solve the mystery behind the killer and save the camp.
Written and directed by Ivan Kavanagh, Son follows a woman named Laura (Andi Matichak) who, having escaped from a cult as a child, a must face her past when its sinister members break into her home and attempt to steal her eight year old son, David (Luke David Blumm). Now the two are on the run pursued by a detective (Emile Hirsch) determined to save them both. Since his aborted kidnapping, something has changed in David and the boy has succumbed to a mysterious illness. Following her maternal instincts to save him, his mother commits unspeakable acts to keep him alive but is losing the battle. Soon, she has to decide how far she is willing to go to save her son.
‘Let Him Go’ (HBO Max)
Following the loss of their son, retired sheriff George Blackledge (Kevin Costner) and his wife Margaret (Diane Lane) leave their Montana ranch to rescue their young grandson from the clutches of a dangerous family living off the grid in the Dakotas, headed by matriarch Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville). When they discover the Weboys have no intention of letting the child go, George and Margaret are left with no choice but to fight for their family.
‘Leave No Trace’ (Hulu)
Based on the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock, Leave No Trace follows a father (Ben Foster) and daughter (Thomasin McKenzie) who live a perfect but mysterious existence in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. But when a small mistake tips them off to authorities, they are sent on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own.
‘I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (Season 2)’ (Netflix)
One of the greatest modern sketch comedy series, I Think You Should Leave is helmed by comedian Tim Robinson and he, along with his costars, show time and time and again that they’re willing to up the ridiculousness. The show’s first season became a sensation through constant word of mouth, so hype for the delayed second season is as strong as it can be. It promises to be another hilariously absurd time.
‘Shiva Baby’ (HBO Max)
Shiva Baby takes place almost entirely in real time and in a single location, creating an anxiety-inducing feeling of claustrophobia for the audience and conveying the headspace of its protagonist, Danielle (Rachel Sennott). It can often feel a bit like a horror film in that regard, but it’s also an exceptionally funny setup. While attending a Jewish funeral service with her family, Danielle is forced into close quarters with her successful ex-girlfriend Maya (Molly Gordon) and her secret sugar daddy Max (Danny Deferrari), who is there with his wife Kim (Dianna Agron) and their screaming baby. It’s like a mix of the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man and the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems.
‘Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness’ (Netflix)
Set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, Infinite Darkness kicks off when a hacking incident is uncovered at the White House. Leon S. Kennedy is ordered to investigate the incident, but he encounters zombies when the White House is targeted in a mysterious attack. He later meets Claire Redfield, who’s been investigating a strange drawing made by a child refugee while working on a TerraSave-led mission to oversee construction of a welfare facility.
The year is 1981 and South Africa’s white minority government is embroiled in a conflict on the southern Angolan border. Like all white boys over the age of 16, Nicholas Van der Swart (Kai Luke Brümmer) must complete two years of compulsory military service to defend the apartheid regime. The threat of communism and “die swart gevaar” (the so-called black danger) is at an all-time high. But that’s not the only danger Nicholas faces. He must survive the brutality of the army – something that becomes even more difficult when a connection is sparked between him and a fellow recruit.
‘The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane’ (Shudder)
Quiet, withdrawn 13-year-old Rynn Jacobs (Jodie Foster) lives peacefully in her home in a New England beach town. Whenever the prying landlady (Alexis Smith) inquires after Rynn’s father, she politely claims that he’s in the city on business. But when the landlady’s creepy and increasingly persistent son, Frank (Martin Sheen), won’t leave Rynn alone, she teams up with kindly neighbor boy Mario (Scott Jacoby) to maintain the dark family secret that she’s been keeping to herself.
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 eleven 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. The first five episodes are now streaming.
Also streaming now:
Netflix – ‘Brick Mansions’, ‘Elize Matsunaga: Once Upon A Crime’
Hulu – ‘Dreamcatcher’, ‘In a World…’, ‘Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar’
Shudder – ‘Terror Train’, ‘Death Ship’, ‘Pledge Night’, ‘Sorority House Massacre’, ‘Day of the Dead’, ‘Horsehead’
HBO Max – ‘Human Capital’, ‘The Hunt’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘Surf’s Up’, ‘Our Friend’
COMING THIS WEEK:
Netflix – ‘American Ultra’, ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’, ‘Heist’, ‘Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendia?’, ‘Beastars (Season 2)’, ‘Deep’, ‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666’, ‘The Twilight Saga’
Hulu – ‘47 Meters Down’, ‘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’, ‘McCartney 3,2,1’
Shudder – ‘The Call’, ‘Messiah of Evil’, ‘Carnival of Souls’, ‘Piranha, ‘Straight Edge Kegger’, ‘White Girl’, ‘Separation’, ‘Everly’
HBO Max – ‘Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes’, ‘Tom & Jerry’, ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day’