Kneel Before VOD: August 8th
The Guardians return for another fun space adventure, one that's larger in scope but still centered with a lot of heart. This time around Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his ragtag group of misfits are on the run from an alien race who Rocket (Bradley Cooper) stole from when Quill finds his long lost father. The larger-than-life action plays well, as does the touching family storyline, but the real star of the show is Michael Rooker's Yandu, who really gets his time to shine.
Legendary comedy troupe The State and its members reconvene for this new series following Wet Hot American Summer, the 2000 parody movie of the same name. As the title suggests, the show takes place a decade after the eventful summer, chronicled in a movie and a TV season, when the camp counselors decided they would meet up again. Most of the major players are back, and the writing is as hilarious as ever.
Also Streaming: Holes, Icarus, Chelsea Season 2, Sing, The Founder, The Matrix Trilogy, Cloud Atlas, Jackie Brown, Wild Wild West, The Addams Family, Bad Santa, Small Soldiers, Sleepy Hollow, Funny Games, The Number 23
Amazon Prime: The Saw Franchise
I'm a huge fan of the Saw series, and there's no better time to catch up (or refresh) as this October sees the revival of the blockbuster horror franchise with Jigsaw. The series center around John Kramer (Tobin Bell), a sordid serial killer who kidnaps his victims and puts them in elaborate death traps that give them a small chance to escape. The series loses the plot as it goes on, but the sadistic creativity of the traps always impresses.
HBO Go: Collateral Beauty
Will Smith's Christmas movie was something of a non-starter. Smith stars as a businessman who, after his daughter's death, writes letters to Death, Love, and Time and to his surprise they visit him. The tearjerker cliches are all present, but their effectiveness is suspect due to a laughable premise and a phoned in direction and script. The talent on screen is undeniable, Kate Winslet, Hellen Mirren, Edward Norton, but they are all wasted here.
Hulu Plus: Spider-Man 1 & 2
Spider-Man: Homecoming is still holding strong in theatres, so if you're in the mood for more web-swinging action it's a perfect time to revisit Sam Raimi's excellent take. The 2002 original is one of the best executions of the superhero origin story, and the 2004 follow-up is still considered one of the best superhero films of all time. Both are a rollicking great time full of standout moments and genuinely moving sentiments about power and responsibility.
Labeled by some as one of the greatest documentaries ever made, Crumb is an absolutely compelling portrait of an artist. Filmmaker Terry Zwigoff presents his close friend, cartoonist Robert Crumb, as he is living his day to day life with his cartoonist wife, Aline, as well as Robert's brothers, Maxon and Charles. Crumb's secluded life and endearing yet disturbed nature makes for a transfixing watch. Fans of Zwigoff's should be aware that FilmStruck also added his 2006 work Art School Confidential this week.