Here’s what’s new for home viewing on video on demand, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services.
TOP STREAMS FOR THE WEEK
• “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (2019, PG-13) brings the final trilogy in the odyssey begun by George Lucas in the original 1977 “Star Wars” to its conclusion with a roller coaster ride of a science fiction adventure. JJ Abrams directs the finale, which brings Skywalker apostle Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Vader acolyte Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) together to save … well, the universe. No, it’s not the best of the series, and Abrams relies on cliché over invention, but it sure does move at a breakneck pace. Available on cable on demand, video on demand and on disc.
• Chris Pratt and Tom Holland voice the elf brothers on a quest to resurrect their dead father in the Pixar animated fantasy “Onward” (2020, PG). Disney Plus is making it available just weeks after it was in theaters.
• The new Amazon Prime original series “Tales from the Loop” (2020, TV-Y), inspired by the work of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, is part science fiction anthology and part family drama set in a town where a secret experimental facility makes impossible a regular occurrence. What makes this show, starring Rebecca Hall and Jonathan Pryce, different from other anthologies is the way it weaves standalone stories and continuing narratives and the sense of mystery surrounding it all. The explanation is less important than the reverberations of events through the lives of its characters. Eight episodes streaming on Amazon Prime Video starting Friday.
• “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (France, 2019, R, with subtitles), Céline Sciamma’s ravishing drama of a female painter (Noémie Merlant) and her relationship with the young woman (Adèle Haenel) whose portrait she is secretly painting, is touching, nuanced and at times looks like it has been painted on the screen. It won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival and makes its streaming debut on Hulu.
• If you’ve exhausted “The Office,” “30 Rock” and “The Good Place,” try the inventive ensemble comedy “Community: Complete Series” (2009-2015, TV-14) from creator Dan Harmon (“Rick and Morty”). Starring Joel McHale as a suspended lawyer leading a dysfunctional study group on a community college campus, the show is rife with absurdist humor, movie and TV parodies, and social satire. It helped launch the screen careers of Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi and Yvette Nicole Brown. Streaming on Netflix.
• Classic pick: Mel Brooks’ wildly funny spoof “Blazing Saddles” (1974, R) spins movie parody, cartoon slapstick and bathroom humor into comic gold. Cleavon Little stars with Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn. Streaming on Netflix.
PAY PER VIEW/ VIDEO ON DEMAND
• It’s Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) vs. George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) in the battle to determine the electrical future of America in “The Current War: Director’s Cut” (2019, PG-13). It costars Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Matthew MacFadyen, and Nicholas Hoult as Nikola Tesla.
• Premium VOD: The award-winning indie drama “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (2020, R), which debuted to great acclaim on March 13 before theaters were shuttered across the nation, is available for home rental at a premium rate.
• Also rushed to streaming from theaters and available at a premium price is the cartoonish video game adaptation “Sonic the Hedgehog” (2020, PG) with James Marsden and Jim Carrey, and arriving direct to VOD is the prank comedy “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” (2020, PG-13).
• “The Death of Stalin” (2018, R) with Steve Buscemi and Michael Palin reimagines the scramble for power in the Soviet Union as a savage comedy.
• Streaming TV: Laugh with “The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show” (2020, not rated) and the fourth season of the Canadian sitcom “Kim’s Convenience” (2020, TV-MA).
AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
• Twenty-one James Bond films, from Sean Connery in “Dr. No” (1962, PG) to Pierce Brosnan in “Die Another Day” (2002, PG-13), are now streaming in 4K high definition format. Time for a 007 festival?
• Idris Elba is a driven London detective with a penchant for dispensing his own justice in the dark BBC crime drama “Luther: Compete Series” (2010-2019, TV-MA).
• The new Apple TV Plus series “Home Before Dark” (2019, not rated) dramatizes the real-life story of the 9-year-old investigative journalist Hilde Lysiak (played by Brooklynn Prince). New episodes each Friday.
• BritBox presents the U.S. debut of “The Mallorca Files” (2019), a lighthearted British crime drama set on the Spanish island.
NEW ON DISC
• “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “The Current War,” “Show Boat (Criterion Collection).”
• “The Current War,” “The Wave.”
• Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at streamondemandathome.com.