We are getting closer, it seems, to movie theaters attempting to reopen again. It’s still hard to know what that might look like, and quite a few people may not be ready to head back out to a theater again just yet. So, for the time being, we are still left with what is available to stream from the comfort of home. Luckily, there is no shortage of options this week.
This is arguably the biggest week for marquee new titles on streaming services since quarantine kicked in. We have a new Judd Apatow comedy starring Pete Davidson, the latest from Spike Lee and a big Disney blockbuster. We also have a couple of documentaries and a selection of free rentals from black filmmakers. Here are this week’s streaming selections.
The King of Staten Island – Digital
This is the latest big studio flick to skip theaters in favor of a premium VOD release. Available on via digital retailers on June 12, The King of Staten Island comes from Universal Pictures and director Judd Apatow. It stars SNL cast member Pete Davidson in the lead role and serves as a semi-autobiographical account of his life. The movie centers on Scott who has been stuck in a rut since his firefighter dad died. He spends his days smoking weed and dreaming of being a tattoo artist. Eventually, events force him to deal with his grief and take his first steps forward in life. The comedy has been received reasonably well by critics thus far, currently boasting a 77 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Da 5 Bloods – Netflix
Following the release of BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee found himself in a position to make Da 5 Bloods, a Vietnam War he had been planning for some time. Netflix stepped up to make it happen and the movie will arrive on the streaming service on June 12. With a cast led by Chadwick Boseman, the drama centers on a group of African American vets who battle the forces of man and nature as they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader, as well as the fortune he helped them hide. Critics have been very kind to this one as it holds a 91 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
Artemis Fowl – Disney+
Here we have one of Disney’s big releases for 2020, but one of the only ones (so far) that is skipping theaters in favor of heading straight to streaming. Artemis Fowl, based on the book by Eoin Colfer, will be streaming on Disney+ beginning on June 12. This one has a lot going for it on paper, with Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair and a cast that includes Josh Gad, Judi Dench and Colin Farrell, with Ferdia Shaw on board as our hero. The movie follows the journey of a 12-year-old genius who is the descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds. Artemis must try to save his father who has been kidnapped. In order to pay his ransom, he must infiltrate an ancient, underground civilization and bring the kidnapper a powerful and coveted magical device.
You Don’t Nomi – Digital
Showgirls was released in 1995 and proved to be nothing shy of a disaster. Yet, the conversation around director Paul Verhoeven’s movie has changed a lot in the years since its release. You Don’t Nomi, available now via digital platforms, is a new documentary that examines the legacy of Verhoeven’s cult classic. It sees critics and fans explore the complicated afterlife of the notorious flop, from its disastrous release to cult adoration and unlikely redemption. It features Adam Nayman, April Kidwell and Peaches Christ as well as archive interview footage with the cast and crew. Jeffrey McHale directs.
Infamous – Digital
Infamous, which is available on digital platforms on June 12, is the latest starring Bella Thorne. Written and directed by Joshua Caldwell, it centers on two young lovers who rob their way across the southland. All the while the two are posting their exploits on social media which results in them gaining fame and followers. Amber Riley, Marisa Coughlan, Jake Manly and Billy Blair also star.
40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic – Digital
Rocky is as classic as it comes in the landscape of American Cinema. Now, more than 40 years later, Sylvester Stallone is looking back at the Oscar-winning boxing flick in 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic. Available on digital platforms now, it sees Stallone recounting the making of the beloved classic that turned him an icon. Directed by Derek Wayne Johnson, the movie is available now via digital retailers.
Child’s Play – Hulu and Amazon Prime Video
For the first time since its inception more than 30 years ago, the Child’s Play franchise was given the reboot treatment last year. The movie, directed by Lars Klevberg, sort of slid under the radar. Perhaps now is the time for horror fans who missed it to give it an evaluation, as the movie will be streaming on both Hulu and Amazon Prime Video starting June 12. The movie centers on a mother and her son who recently moved to a new city. Andy, shortly after, receives a gift in the form of a seemingly innocent Buddi doll that becomes his best friend. The doll quickly takes on a life of its own with bloody results. Andy unites with other neighborhood kids to stop the evil toy. Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry and Gabrial Bateman star, with Mark Hamill providing the voice of Chucky.
Knives Out – Amazon Prime Video
Knives Out, the latest from director Rian Johnson, proved to be one of the true breakout hits of 2019. For those who missed the whodunnit, or for those who perhaps just want to give it another go, the movie is streaming on Amazon Prime Video starting June 12. The movie centers on the Thrombey family who is reeling after an unexpected death. Renowned detective Benoit Blanc is mysteriously enlisted to investigate as the case begins to unravel. The A-list cast is led by Daniel Craig, with Jamie Lee Curtis, Ana De Aramas, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield and Christoper Plummer also starring.
The Soul Collector – Digital
Writer/director Harold Holscher ‘s The Soul Collector will be hitting digital retailers on June 12, offering something up for the horror crowd. The movie centers on an old man, fated to collect souls for eternity, who seeks atonement after trading his daughter’s soul. It stars Tshamano Sebe, Inge Beckmann and Keita Luna.
The Departure – Digital
The Departure is hitting digital platforms on June 12. It sees a couple Nate and Jessica who are getting ready to move in with each other. They face an unexpected obstacle when Nate is offered a promotion that forces him to leave Los Angeles and move to New York for 6 months. Nate’s anxiety is intensified as Jessica begins talking more and more about her new coworker named Lucas and the impending distance fuels doubts about her future faithfulness. Realizing that he can’t leave the city with these concerns, Nate tests Jessica’s loyalty by asking his friend John to try and seduce her. The movie was written and directed by Merland Hoxha.
Free Rentals of Movies by Black Filmmakers
To show support for the black community, several studios have made relevant movies by black filmmakers available to rent for free this month. Paramount Pictures has made Ava DuVernay’s Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma available as a free rental. Warner Bros. has done the same with Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy. 20th Century Studios followed suit with 2018’s acclaimed The Hate U Give. All three movies are available for free on most major streaming platforms. Meanwhile, Criterion has unlocked a selection of movies by black filmmakers to stream for free, and Shudder has made its documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror available for free as well.