The box office is starting to come back to life in the U.S. The New Mutants kicked the door open and Tenet is poised to truly get the ball rolling. Even so, the vast majority of consuming movies will be done at home for most of us. Luckily, big titles are coming to the world of streaming this week as well.
Disney is set to release one of the biggest movies of 2020 via a unique streaming plan this weekend. Aside from that, we have a new documentary on Robin Williams, the latest from Charlie Kaufman on Netflix and Maisie Williams in a full-on horror movie not involving mutants. Here are this week’s streaming selections.
Mulan – Disney+
In what is one of the biggest movies of 2020, for more reasons than one, Mulan is making its way to Disney+ on September 4. Though not included with the subscription price, and not quite as simple as a premium VOD offering, Disney is trying something new here. For $30, those who are subscribed to Disney+ can view director Niki Caro’s live-action take on the animated classic in what Disney has dubbed Premier Access. But not as a rental. Those who pay for it will be able to watch the movie for as long as they are subscribed to the service. Should this pay off, we will likely see other huge blockbusters follow suit. The movie itself is also much-anticipated, as the early buzz coming out of screenings when this was supposed to hit theaters in March was quite positive. It sees a fearless young woman disguise herself as a man to fight a war in China in order to save her ailing father from serving in the Imperial Army. Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li and Jet Li star, with Yifei Liu in the title role. It is also worth pointing out that Mulan will be included with Disney+ starting December 4. So those content to wait may need to weigh that out.
Guest House – Digital
Pauly Shore returns with his first new comedy in a long time with Guest House, which arrives digitally on September 4. Joined by Jackass star Steve-O, it centers on an engaged couple who buy what they believe to be their dream home. But there is a catch, as a party animal named Randy lives in the guest house who refuses to leave. When Randy throws a wild pool party and the cops show up, it threatens to tear Blake and Sarah apart. Sam Macaroni directs, with Mike Castle, Aimee Teegarden, Billy Zane, Charlotte McKinney, Erik Griffin, Felipe Esparza and Bobby Lee rounding out the cast.
Robin’s Wish – Digital
Robin’s Wish takes a look at the life of late comedian and actor Robin Williams. Directed by Tylor Norwood, the documentary tells the true story of Williams’ final days. For the first time, his fight against a deadly neurodegenerative disorder, known as Lewy Body Dementia, is shown in detail. Through a journalistic lens, this story sheds new light on the tragedy, beauty and power behind the mind of one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Susan Schneider Williams, Shawn Levy, John R. Montgomery, Rick Overton and David E. Kelley all appear in the doc, among others.
I’m thinking of Ending Things – Netflix
Acclaimed filmmaker Charlie Kaufman is back with his latest movie. Arriving on Netflix September 4, it adapts the bestselling novel by Iain Reid. It centers on a young woman who, despite having second thoughts about their relationship, takes a road trip with her new boyfriend to his family farm. Trapped there during a snowstorm with Jake’s mother and father, the young woman begins to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about her boyfriend, herself, and the world. Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette and David Thewlis star.
The Owners – Digital
Maisie Williams may have graced the horror genre in the X-Men spin-off The New Mutants recently but the former Game of Thrones star is going full home invasion horror with The Owners. Arriving digitally on September 4, it centers on a group of friends who believe they found the perfect easy score. But when the elderly couple that lives there comes home early the tables are suddenly turned. As a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues the criminals are left to fight to save themselves from a nightmare they could never have imagined. Julius Berg directs.
Immortal – Digital
Immortal is a new horror anthology that includes Candyman himself, Tony Todd. The feature debut of Rob Margolies, it is told in four parts. The movie follows Chelsea, a high school track star who comes clean about sexual misconduct with her coach only to find out her confession might be too late, Gary and Vanessa, a young, expecting married couple who scheme a morbid solution to their financial issues, Ted, a man filled with sorrow who agrees to euthanize his cancer-ridden wife Mary, and Warren, a young man with little direction in life who is forced to discover his new gifts after a tragic accident. It is available via on demand now.
The 2nd – Digital
The 2nd, which is available now digitally, is a new action/thriller starring Ryan Phillippe and Casper Van Dien. It centers on a secret-service agent named Vic Davis who is on his way to pick up his estranged son from college. He ends up in the middle of a high-stakes terrorist operation, with the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice the target. An armed faction will stop at nothing to kidnap her, with Vic forced to use his skills to save her and his son. Brian Skiba is in the director’s chair.
Love, Guaranteed – Netflix
Streaming on Netflix now, Love, Guaranteed is the latest rom-com from the streaming service. To save her small law firm, an earnest lawyer named Susan takes a high-paying case from Nick, a charming new client who wants to sue a dating website that guarantees love. As the case heats up, Susan and Nick’s feelings for each other follow. Love, Guaranteed stars Damon Wayans Jr., Rachael Leigh Cook and Heather Graham. Mark Steven Johnson directs.
Anthony – Peacock
Peacock is bringing one of its first original movies to the table with Anthony. Directed by Terry McDonough, it centers on a black teenager Anthony Walker who, in 2005, was murdered by two white men in an unprovoked racist attack in a Liverpool park. This movie tells the story of how this young man’s life might have turned out. Written by Jimmy McGovern, Anthony’s imagined life is told in reverse as we see him realize his dreams and enjoy the life he had a right to live. Toheeb Jimoh, Rakie Ayola, Julia Brown, Robinah Kironde and Shaniqua Okwok star.
Ebola Rex – Digital
From the low-budget filmmakers who brought us Angry Asian Murder Hornets and 5G Zombies, we have Ebola Rex. The movie, available now digitally, is just as wild as it sounds. It takes place during a “Dino Lives Matter” protest when a captive Tyrannosaurus Rex is injected with Ebola and escapes a lab. It proceeds to wreak havoc in California. A lone soldier is the only hope to stop the beast. The cast includes Ken May, Mel Novak, Mike Ferguson and Erik Anthony Russo.
Z – Digital
Z is available on digital platforms. It is the latest from director Brandon Christensen. The horror flick centers on Beth, whose son brings home an imaginary friend named Z. She becomes concerned that he is falling too deep into a world of make believe. He starts to display extremely destructive behavior, blaming this imaginary friend for all of his actions. But after he gets kicked out of school, Beth is forced to find a solution and medicates her son, making him unable to see his imaginary companion. But soon Beth sees Z, who wants to be her friend.
Time Loop – Digital
Time Loop is the latest from writer/director Ciro Sorrentino. The movie sees a father and son team of scientists unlock the secret of time travel while researching time movement. During their first test, they get trapped in a time loop, where their actions in the past have grave consequences, for the present and future. Sam Gittins, Mino Sferra and Ellie Poussot star. It is available via digital retailers now.
Critical Thinking – Digital
Critical Thinking, which arrives via digital retailers on September 4, may be one of the more critically-acclaimed options this week. Currently boasting an 86 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, it stars and is directed by John Leguizamo, who plays a dedicated teacher that inspires a group of Latinx and Black teens to become chess champions. Rachel Bay, Michael K. Williams and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. also star.
Trolls World Tour – Hulu, Peacock
Trolls World Tour is, in many ways, one of the biggest movies of 2020. It kicked off the trend of premium VOD, which is set to reshape parts of the industry. Now, following that run on premium VOD, the animated sequel has made its way to a couple of streaming services in the form of Hulu and peacock. The movie, which features an A-list voice cast led once again by Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, sees Poppy and Branch discover that they are but one of six different Trolls tribes scattered over six different lands and devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock. Walt Dohrn and David P. Smith direct.
Color Out of Space – Shudder
One of the most well-regarded entries in Nicolas Cage’s recent career has made its way to Shudder. Color Out of Space, which arrived earlier this year, marks the return of director Richard Stanley after years away from the business. Adapting the classic H.P. Lovecraft story, it takes place after a meteorite lands in the front yard of a family farm. Nathan Gardner and his family find themselves battling a mutant extraterrestrial organism as it infects their minds and bodies. It transforms their quiet rural life into a living nightmare.
Spies in Disguise – HBO
Spies in Disguise didn’t deliver at the box office in the way Disney had hoped last year but it was received well critically and is getting a chance to find an audience on HBO now. With Will Smith and Tom Holland leading the way, it centers on super spy Lance Sterling and scientist Walter Beckett. The unlikely duo must team up for the ultimate mission to save the world when an experiment goes awry and transforms Lance into a pigeon. The movie was directed by Troy Quane and Nick Bruno. It debuts on HBO on September 5.
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