What to stream: Chris Pine is ‘Outlaw King’ on Netflix, ‘Incredibles 2’ and ‘BlacKkKlansman’ on VOD

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …

Chris Pine stars in Outlaw King (2018, R) as Robert the Bruce, the 14th century Scottish nobleman who claimed the crown of Scotland and rallied his country to battle the occupying British army of King Edward I. It’s directed by David Mackenzie, who previously collaborated with Pine on Hell or High Water, and shot entirely on location in Scotland. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Florence Pugh co-star.

Outlaw King tells a story that is both old and old-fashioned but does it in a decidedly modern way,” writes Kenneth Turan for Los Angeles Times, who suggests “it gives hope to moviegoers who value venerable action genres and will be pleased to see them showing signs of life.”

Manohla Dargis has a dissenting view: “At least in old Hollywood, filmmakers would also try to entertain you amid the clashes and post-combat huddles, giving you something more to watch and ponder than this movie’s oceans of mud, truckloads of guts and misty, unconsidered nationalism.”

It made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and opens in select theaters the same day it debuts on Netflix.

Pixar’s inventive superhero adventure/comedy Incredibles 2 (2018, PG) celebrates courage, family, and the challenges of raising a baby that can teleport, catch fire, and shoot lasers from his eyes with lots of zippy action and goofy gags. On Cable On Demand and VOD, also on DVD and at Redbox.

Spike Lee returns to form in BlacKkKlansman (2018, R), a savvy take on the true story of a black police officer (John David Washington) who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1970s Colorado. It’s provocative, satirical, angry, irreverent, outraged, and very timely. Cable On Demand, VOD, DVD, Redbox.

John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons (2018), a recording of the actor’s one-man Broadway show, distills 3,000 years of Latino history into a 95-minute comic monologue. On Netflix.

Classic pick: Sean Connery and Michael Caine are British soldiers of fortune in The Man Who Would Be King (1975, PG), John Huston’s grand adaptation of the sweeping Rudyard Kipling adventure. Reviewed on Stream on Demand hereStreaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Foreign language pick: Jean Vigo’s anarchic gem Zero for Conduct (France, 1933, with subtitles) celebrates the rebellious spirit of adolescent boys captivated by magic tricks and word games. Set in a strict boy’s school run by creaky, cranky petty tyrants, it’s a strange and wonderful film full of unbridled imagination, flights of fantasy, and delirious images. The first masterpiece of pre-pubescent self-actualization. On Prime Video.

Holiday essential: Every time you watch It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) an angel gets its wings. Prime Video also offers a colorized version but please watch it in the original black and white.

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Blu-ray: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman (2017) is, if you’ll pardon such an obvious comment, a wonder of a superhero movie, a film that doesn’t transcend the genre but most certainly sets a high bar, especially next to the ponderous, humorless films of the new big screen universe of interconnected DC Comics heroes.

Warner Home Entertainment

Gal Gadot debuted as Amazon princess warrior Wonder Woman in the turgid Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and brightened the film immediately. The spirit we glimpsed there carries this origin story, which sends us back to the 1910s and the hidden island paradise of the Amazons inadvertently invaded when American pilot Steve Trevor (an earnest yet spirited Chris Pine) flies past the invisibility field and crash lands on the beach, the first man ever to set foot on the island. Diana is intrigued to say the least but more compelled by news of a world at war and, after the inevitable assault by German forces after Trevor, is convinced of her purpose: stopping the god Ares from destroying all of mankind through warfare. She leaves the island against the wishes her mother (Connie Nielsen, commanding and regal). Steve’s not so convinced of that stuff about ancient gods and eternal Amazons but he has no doubt as to her abilities as a warrior or her commitment to justice and he knows a valuable ally when he meets one.

Continue reading at Stream On Demand.

Videophiled: Chris Pine a young ‘Jack Ryan’ and Liam Neeson is still ‘Non-Stop’

JackRyanShadow
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, On Demand) is prequel and reboot all in one, with Chris Pine taking on the role of the young CIA analyst Ryan as he takes his first field assignment under the command of Kevin Costner. Pine is the fourth Ryan in the fifth Ryan film, but this is the first one that isn’t adapted from one of Tom Clancy’s novels. It’s an original story and it takes the US / Russia tensions out of the Cold War of Clancy’s first books and into the Putin era, with Kenneth Branagh as a Russian financial tycoon plotting an act of economic terrorism on the U.S. Which is why Jack Ryan, a former Marine and a graduate of the London School of Economics, is sent in for this very specialized mission.

Branagh directs this one too, wrangling a complicated production with more efficiency than personality. For that he has Pine, just fine as the brainy American patriot, and Costner, perfect as the veteran soldier and father figure mentor, and Keira Knightly as well, playing Ryan’s fiancée who gets pulled into the mission when she shows up to surprise Jack. The surprise is on her when she finds out he’s a covert agent and she’s a target.

The supplements are on the Blu-ray: Commentary by director / co-star Kenneth Branagh and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, four featurettes, and deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary.

NonStop
Non-Stop (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, On Demand) continues Liam Neeson’s unexpected career reboot as an aging action hero. This time he’s an alcoholic air marshal who is targeted by hijackers and then framed for a series of murders that take place at 20,000 feet. Which turns out to be pretty easy when you can peg your target to overreact on cue and send it viral from passenger cell phone video.

Neeson gets to play the compromised hero set up as a patsy, and who gets a shot at redemption when he defies his place in the bad guys’ script, but it’s no Taken. Director Jaume Collet-Serra put Neeson through his paces in Unknown and does the same here, unleashing him on a script that is not much more than a series of plot twists and evil genius scheming with so many moving parts that it could only work in the movies. Julianne Moore is a fellow passenger with a second act revelation that is a screenwriter’s gimmick with no satisfactory payoff and Michelle Dockery is a stewardess who knows a little of Neeson’s backstory and his problems with the bottle, but Lupita Nyong’o (an Oscar winner for 12 Years a Slave) is shamefully wasted in a nothing role. Collet-Serra comes up with some inventive ways to shoot the enclosed space and keep it all roaring ahead, but this is one of the action films that is deviously clever but not all that smart.

Blu-ray and DVD with the featurette “Suspense at 40,000.” The Blu-ray also includes the bonus featurette “Non-Stop Action,” plus bonus DVD and UltraViolet Digital HD copies of the film.

More New Releases at Cinephiled

6 reasons ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ could rescue the film series

Look at that: my first feature for the Today Show entertainment website!

After more than a decade of desk duty, Tom Clancy’s famed fictional CIA agent is back on the big screen Friday in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

Ryan’s been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck, and he’s fought his way through submarine diplomacy, the heat of the Cold War and South American drug cartels. But forget all that — the character is getting a complete reboot. In the new movie, he’s played by Star Trek movie veteran Chris Pine, and he’s working in a changed world informed by the tragedy of Sept. 11.

Can a Cold War patriot reinvent himself as an American hero for a new millennium? Odds are in Ryan’s favor. Here’s why.

Chris Pine’s a good fit for the role
Best known as young Captain Kirk, Pine is 34 but his baby face makes him look younger, and he has a brashness that sets him off from previous actors in the role. “Jack Ryan already somehow suggests a kind of an oak tree — something yeoman-like,” director Kenneth Branagh told The Huffington Post. “And Chris Pine — that six-foot-two, blue-eyed fit guy — just feels like the right guy.” No arguments here.

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