Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Spider-Man: No Way Home, Netflix’s Windfall and 8 new movies to watch at home


This weekend sees the long-awaited release of Spider-Man: No Way Home on VOD. The 27th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the capstone to Tom Holland-era trilogy of Spider-Man films that began with 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, No Way Home sees Peter Parker, Peter Parker, and Peter Parker teaming up to defeat their greatest adversaries in a last-ditch bid to save the multiverse. Not interested in the latest MCU outing? Not to worry, there’s plenty more great new selections on VOD and streaming to choose from this weekend.

Deep Water, Fatal Attraction director Adrian Lyne’s first erotic thriller in over two decades, stars Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas and finally premieres on Hulu this weekend along with Hell Hath No Fury, the brutal (and very good) World War II thriller directed by former stuntman Jesse V. Johnson. That’s not all though — with the apocalyptic war thriller Black Crab starring Noomi Rapace and the Hitchcockian thriller Windfall starring Jesse Plemons premiering on Netflix, the psychological horror thriller Master on Amazon Prime Video, the 2020 horror-thriller The Boy Behind The Door finally streaming on Shudder, not to mention a Romanian sex comedy festival darling making its hilariously edited streaming debut on Hulu, there’s a plethora of new and entertaining releases to choose from.

To help you get a handle on what’s new and available, here are the new movies you can watch on streaming and VOD this weekend.


Spider-Man: No Way Home

Where to watch: Available to purchase for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Image: Marvel Studios

Following the dramatic conclusion of 2019’s Spider-Man: Far from Home, Spider-Man: No Way Home finds Peter Parker (Tom Holland) struggling with the consequences of his secret identity as the web-slinging vigilante Spider-Man being revealed to the world. Turning to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help, Peter inadvertently shatters the multiverse, bringing in a host of adversaries from alternate dimensions that threaten the stability of his own world. Faced with a moral challenge unlike any he has faced before, Peter will have to turn to allies new and old in order to save the day. From our review,

The danger of a story like this lies in how easy it is to give way to spectacle, and let the film be carried by the shallow thrill of franchise lines being shattered. No Way Home doesn’t really dodge this problem — you could also call it Spider-Man: Fan Service Ahoy! — but screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers make a valiant effort to give the movie a beating heart by giving Peter a more humanistic goal. When Peter learns that these invading villains were plucked from their universes before fatal battles with their respective Spider-Mans, he’s unwilling to send them back to their deaths. Instead, he tries to find a way to “cure” them of their supervillain transformations, and send them back with second chances at good lives.

Deep Water

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Ana de Armas in Deep Water

Image: Hulu

Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction, Indecent Proposal) makes his long-awaited return after nearly two decades with Deep Water; an erotic psychological thriller based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1957 novel of the same name. The movie stars Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas as Vic and Melinda Van Allen, a couple in the small town of Little Wesley whose loveless marriage morphs into a twisted game of infidelity and murder that proves deadly for anyone unfortunate enough to come between the two. From our review,

Affleck’s performance is brilliantly modulated. Most of the time, he inhabits Vic with a terrible inertness, only emphasized by his physical size. As he looms darkly in the frame, even his stubble looking depressed, it can seem as if the performance is a conscious self-parody of the Sad Affleck meme. But there are also moments where he shows a scary inch of steel. A previous boyfriend of Melinda’s disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and early in the film, Vic scares off her latest beau by claiming to have killed him. Affleck’s suppressed, hyper-controlled rage makes it all too believable. He keeps Vic deliberately unreadable, up to and even beyond the pool party that brings things to a head midway through the film.

Black Crab

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Noomi Rapace holding a rifle in Black Crab.

Image: Johan Bergmark / Netflix

Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) stars in the Swedish action thriller Black Crab as Caroline Edh, one of a group of six soldiers sent on a desperate covert mission into enemy territory by trekking across the precarious frozen surface of an archipelago. As they risk their lives to deliver a mysterious package said to have the power to end the war for good, Caroline remains focused on her own personal mission — to recover her lost daughter who was abducted by the enemy several years ago and return her home. From our review,

The geopolitics of this situation are kept intentionally obscure. In an opening flashback, a car radio mentions rioting, “both sides” blaming each other, and the start of a civil war. The setting seems to be Sweden. The enemy is only ever referred to as “the enemy.” To the extent viewers can tell, it feels more like a society turned on itself than a clash of cultures or nations, but no ideological rift is ever explained. Whatever set off the conflict must have been serious, because the society is nearing complete destruction.

All this lack of detail is presumably intended to underline how meaninglessness the conflict is, or to keep audiences from getting bogged down in their personal political opinions about the war. But really, it just feels like a failure of imagination that makes the film itself feel meaningless: a bleak disquisition on how war is hell, but also looks kind of cool.

Windfall

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

(L-R) LILY COLLINS as WIFE, JESSE PLEMONS as CEO and JASON SEGEL as NOBODY in WINDFALL.

Image: Netflix

Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog) and Lily Collins (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile) star in the Hitchcockian thriller Windfall as a tech billionaire and his wife who arrive at their vacation home for a last-minute getaway only to find it in the process of being robbed. Abducted by their would-be robber (Jason Segel), the couple are forced to acquiesce to his demands as they search for a means of eluding their captor and escaping to safety. At least, that’s what the trailer seems to imply. Something tells me there’s more to the relationship between these three characters. We’ll just have to watch the movie and find out!

Master

Where to watch: Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video

Regina Hall as Gail Bishop in Master (2022).

Image: Amazon Studios

Regina Hall (Scary Movie) and Zoe Renee (Jinn) star in writer-director Mariama Diallo’s feature debut Master as Gail Bishop, a professor at the New England university Ancaster College and Jasmine Moore, a newly admitted freshman. While navigating the unique perils of their experiences as Black women in a predominantly white college campus, both women find themselves haunted by terrifying manifestations of the school’s Salem-era past following anonymous racist attacks made against them. The trailer certainly gives off a heavy Get Out vibe and it’s already garnered rave reviews from critics in the wake of its premiere at this year’s Sundance film festival. From our review,

Within the film’s surprisingly complex setup, the outright horror of the witch haunting is the bluntest instrument. It’s used to ratchet up the sense of danger as Jasmine burrows deeper into hostile territory, is ostracized by her classmates, and researches the earlier student death in her room. Honestly, the haunting doesn’t always mesh with the real social horrors she faces. But it does allow Hornsby to frame some strikingly creepy shots, breaking up her austere, autumnal compositions with walls of red and slashes of black, embedded in Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s ominous, droning score. Elsewhere, Diallo and Hornsby create layered, metaphorical images that are subtler but no less lingering, like the shadow of a janitor mopping the floor behind Gail and Jasmine as they delicately discuss her complaint against Liv. These Black women are still cleaning up the mess, generations after the maid whose memory haunts Gail’s house.

Hell Hath No Fury

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Nina Bergman as Marie in Hell Hath No Fury.

Image: Well Go USA Entertainment

Jesse V. Johnson is one of the best filmmakers working in the direct-to-video action space today, and his latest film Hell Hath No Fury is one of the high points of his prolific career. Marie DuJardin (Nina Bergman), a French woman, has been marked as a traitor for her relationship with a Nazi officer (Daniel Bernhardt). As World War II comes to a close and Marie’s place in the future French society is uncertain, she is rescued by a group of American soldiers on one condition: she must reveal the location of a secret stash of Nazi gold and lead the group there.

What follows is a gripping, tense thriller almost entirely set in a cemetery, with a palpable air of uncertainty throwing everything you think you know into question. There are no heroes in this story, only survivors. From our review,

Bergman and the rest of the cast, filled with JVJ regulars, are all terrific in nuanced roles where their true motivations are never clear. Daniel Bernhardt (Atomic Blonde, Nobody) brings an uncanny combination of menace and charm in one of the richest roles he’s had the opportunity to play, as the villainous Nazi officer Von Bruckner. JVJ regulars Louis Mandylor and Dominique Vandenberg add their particular brands of rough charm to fill out an excellent ensemble cast.

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

A censored intertitle from Radu Jude’s Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn.

Image: Magnolia Pictures

Radu Jude’s Romanian comedy-drama Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn made waves when it first premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival last year for its raunchy humor and incisive themes. The film follows Emi (Katia Pascariu), a school teacher who finds her career and reputation in jeopardy when her personal sex tape is leaked on the Internet. As calls for her resignation begin to furiously pour in, Emi refuses to stand down — instead choosing to defend herself in a world that would seek to punish her for her sexuality.

It’s an intriguing premise, although one that makes the film a bit difficult to distribute via streaming given the film’s graphic depiction of said sex tape in its opening minutes. Cheekily, Jude has found a workaround in the form of garish Windows MovieMaker-style intertitles skewering the hypocrisy of how one is able to show graphic depictions of violence, but not consensual acts of physical intimacy between two adults.

Cheaper by the Dozen

Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney Plus

Kylie Rogers as Ella, Luke Prael as Seth, Caylee Blosenski as Harley, Sebastian Cote as Bronx, Gabrielle Union as Zoey Baker, Mykal-Michelle Harris as Luna, Christian Cote as Bailey, Aryan Simhadri as Haresh, Andre Robinson as DJ, Journee Brown as Deja, Leo Abelo Perry as Luca, and Zach Braff as Paul Baker on the set of 20th Century Studios’ Cheaper by the Dozen.

Image: 20th Century Studios

Gabrielle Union (Bring It On) and Zach Braff (Scrubs) star in the latest remake of the 1950 family comedy Cheaper by the Dozen. In general, the film follows the same basic premise as the aforementioned original and it 2003 remake; centering on the lives of Zoey (Union) and Paul (Braff) Baker, a happily married couple that navigate the hectic home life of raising a family of 12 kids while managing their family business.

The Humans

Where to watch: Available to stream on Showtime, Hulu with Showtime, Prime Video with Showtime, or to rent for $3.99 on Amazon, Apple; $2.99 on Vudu

When three generations of a family gather in a Manhattan apartment for a Thanksgiving dinner, long-simmering tensions and resentments boil to a head in Stephen Karam’s adaptation of his adapted his own Tony Award-winning play. Featuring a stacked cast with three Oscar nominees (Richard Jenkins, Steven Yeun, and June Squibb), The Humans also stars Amy Schumer (Trainwreck), Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart), and Jayne Houdyshell (Little Women).

The Boy Behind The Door

Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder

Lonnie Chavis and Ezra Dewey as Bobby and Kevin in The Boy Behind the Door.

Image: Shudder

Lonnie Chavis (This Is Us) and Ezra Dewey (The Djinn) star in the horror-thriller The Boy Behind the Door as Bobby and Kevin; two childhood friends who are abducted on their way home from school. Waking up in a mysterious house and escaping his restraints, Bobby searches frantically for Kevin and a means to escape, all while the pair are stalked by an unknown stranger with horrifying intentions.

The trailer is nerve-wracking in the best possible way, with shots of Chavis hiding in a bathroom as the door is hacked away by an axe à la The Shining and a veiled body is laid out on the floor of a poorly-lit kitchen covered in blood.

Marilyn’s Eyes

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Image: Netflix

The comedy Marilyn’s Eyes follows the story of Diego (Stefan Accorsi), a chef with anger issues, and Clara (Miriam Leone), an actress with pyromania, who meet at an outpatient health center and quickly form a bond. Under the guidance of their psychiatrist, the pair experiment with a new form of unconventional therapy for both themselves and their fellow patients — turning the treatment center into a restaurant that utilizes the skill sets of everyone in the facility. There’s drama, laughter, heartbreak, and catharsis all on display in the film’s brief trailer; more than enough to entice anyone interested in the film’s depiction of mental health to give it a watch.

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