Witchdoctor’s monthly round-up of newly available films and TV shows available to stream locally.
As always, there’s a heap of new stuff hitting Netflix in NZ this month (and less advertised, quite a lot leaving the platform). Overall, however, this month’s crop of new (and second-hand) Netflix fodder is looking rather raggedy and we found ourselves wading through mountains or very ordinary shows and old films to find the good stuff. That’s not surprising considering that many productions have been held up by the Coronavirus. But considering the wealth of great old shows and films out there the pickings are surprisingly thin. Just as well for the other available streaming platforms, then…
Shows that we’ll be checking out include on NZ-available streaming platforms this month include:
Bladerunner: The Final Cut – from 1 June (Netflix)
Released in 2017, this “refresh” of the classic sci-fi movie from 1982 remains controversial and many prefer the original cut, but regardless, it’s another chance to see one of the greatest films all-time films of its genre. Adapted from the Philip K. Dick book and starring Harrison Ford and Sean Young.
McKellen: Playing The Part – from 1 June (DocPlay)
The life story of Sir Ian McKellen as told by the man himself. Actors don’t get more distinguished than this or have the kind of incredible life story. This well-reviewed 2017 profile takes us on a journey right through the actor’s life from his Shakespearian theatre work through to Lord Of The Rings and more.
2040 – from June 4 (DocPlay)
An entertaining, uplifting 2019 documentary that takes the looming environmental catastrophe and turns it on its head. Director/writer Damon Gameau takes a light-hearted approach to figuring out positive ways to make a better future for his kids.
The Last Days Of American Crime – from 5 June (Netflix)
In America, the authorities have figured out how to prevent crime once and for all by unleashing a sonic signal the stops the perpetrators in their tracks. Naturally, there are some guys who plan to pull off the biggest crime of all before the signal goes on. This film is good dumb fun, by the looks of it.
Rockabul – from 8 June (DocPlay)
An enthralling 2018 documentary looking at Afghanistan’s heavy metal music scene, and the weird reason for its existence there as part of a counter-insurgency/culture campaign by America. Told through the eyes of Afghan youth.
Reality Z – from 10 June (Netflix)
“A zombie apocalypse imprisons contestants on a Brazilian reality show in a TV studio, where they try to evade the flesh-eating hordes,” goes the blurb. Do we really need yet another zombie film? Really? Of course! It sounds so bad that it may actually be worth a watch.
Virus Tropical – from 11 June (MUBI)
Turning famous graphic novelist Power Paola’s autobiographical work into an animated film, Virus Tropical is a tale of female emancipation in Latin America told through striking black and white animation. Selected at the 2018 edition of Berlinale.
The Woods – from 12 June (Netflix)
Adapted from the Harlan Coben novel, this mini-series – in which “a Warsaw prosecutor’s hopes rise when a body is found and linked to his sister’s disappearance 25 years earlier” – looks nice and creepy.
Artemis Fowl – from 12 June (Disney+)
Covid-19 has a lot to answer for but we’re the winners in this case with a film that was supposed to open at cinemas, but which we now get to watch as part of our Disney+ subscription. Artemis Fowl is the story of a 12-year-old genius who uncovers a secret civilisation of fairies. Good quality stuff with Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair and starring the likes of Judi Dench and Colin Farrell.
Da 5 Bloods – from 12 June (Netflix)
A much-anticipated film by director Spike Lee about four Vietnam veterans who return there to search for the remains of their fallen squad leader. Of course, there’s treasure to search for, as well. Starring Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis and Isiah Whitlock Jr.
I Used To Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story – June 18 (DocPlay)
“Filmed over four years and spanning three generations, this intimate coming-of-age story follows a diverse group of women who have had their lies dramatically changed by their boyband obsessions.” Um, well it might be educational.
The Day After I’m Gone – from 18 June (MUBI)
A father is forced to reexamine his relationship with his teenage daughter after her failed suicide. Israeli director Nimrod Eldar’s powerful debut feature delicately meditates on the challenges of fatherhood, adolescence, and generational disunion.
Wasp Network – from 19 June (Netflix)
Starring Penelope Cruz, Was Network is a 2019 film based on Fernando Morais’ book, The Last Soldiers On The Cold War, which tells the story of Cuban spies in American territory during the 1990s. We think it sounds interesting but reviews have been middling.
Lost Bullet – from 19 June (Netflix)
“A convicted car mechanic is recruited to work for the cops pimping police vehicles for high-speed chases.” Doesn’t sound promising, but the teaser certainly makes it seem like full-velocity action.
Floor Is Lava – from 19 June (Netflix)
“Teams compete to navigate rooms flooded with lava by leaping from chairs, hanging from curtains and swinging from chandeliers.” It sounds so bad that it may actually be worth a watch.
Mere Apne – from 22 June (MUBI)
Part of a new MUBI series called A Journey Into Indian Cinema that will run throughout the year, Mere Apne is a 1971 film about an elderly widow who ends up exploited by a distant relative.
Nobody Knows I’m Here – from June 24 (Netflix)
Winning the award for the most pointless Netflix trailer ever, Nobody Knows I’m Here is about a child artist in the Latin music industry who ended up living in seclusion… and suddenly reappears. Sounds intriguing.
Athlete A – from 24 June (Netflix)
One of the most shocking stories of sexual abuse and betrayal of trust in the news media of late was the exposing of USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s sick exploits. This documentary follows the reporters that broke the story and features an interview with ‘Athlete A’, Maggie Nichols.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga – from 26 June (Netflix)
An all-star film featuring Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Demi Lovato (amongst others) about Icelandic singers representing their country in the very tacky Eurovision Song Contest. And yeah, Americans pretending to be Icelandic? Condescending, or what? Well, might tickle a funny bone, or two.
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – from June 29 (Neon)
This is a documentary series with a very dark twist in which detective Rachel McNamara – who herself suddenly died – becomes obsessed with the case of the Golden State Killer. Spookily, it uses McNamara’s own words to tell the story.
Adú – from 30 June (Netflix)
Here’s one for those who want something thoughtful and heartbreaking for “entertainment”: “Three stories transpire in Melilla, on the border between Spain and Morocco, as immigrants risk their lives to cross the Strait of Gibraltar.” Life isn’t nice sometimes. Should be compelling.
Scarface – from 30 June (Netflix)
Great to see Netflix digging into the past for some greats of cinema, and this one stands as one of the most powerful and shocking movies of all time. Directed by Brian de Palma and written by Oliver Stone, this 1983 classic stars Al Pacino as a Cuban refugee who washes up in Miami and becomes a powerful drug lord. It also stars Michelle Pfieffer.
Rostered On – date to be confirmed (Netflix)
Aussie comedy. It’s raw, it rocks. Rostered On is based around the day to day struggles of working for a faceless whiteware warehouse, ala the mega-franchise we affectionately know as ‘Hardly Normal’.