STREAMING SUGGESTIONS: MOVIES
Our weekly list of local movie openings and events has morphed into a guide to stream-worthy films and TV shows during this unprecedented time. Up first are two new documentaries.
East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story: Executive produced by Ken Burns, East Lake Meadows is about the inception, decline and demolition of a low-income community in Atlanta. It recalls the people who lived there and the lives they built — often against the greatest odds — while touching on larger issues of public housing, race and class. Stream on PBS.
The Scheme: Just when we would be reveling in March Madness, this documentary reminds us of the dark side of big-time hoops. It examines the FBI’s two-year investigation of college basketball corruption that resulted in the 2017 arrests of several assistant coaches and Adidas execs. Stream on HBO Go and HBO Now.
In addition, some major 2020 titles are hitting digital platforms for movie buffs earlier than usual. Here are several.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn): The best thing to come out of 2016’s much-derided DC antihero team-up Suicide Squad was Margot Robbie’s inspired take on Harley Quinn, the self-proclaimed “Joker’s girl” and quirky chaos clown. Stream on Amazon, iTunes and more on April 7.
Bloodshot: The flick wants to be a treatise of sorts on privatized surveillance, artificial intelligence and war profiteering. And in many ways, it pulls that off. Sony Pictures started digital sales of the film on March 24.
Emma: The latest Emma, marking the feature directorial debut of Autumn de Wilde, is a little edgier, driven by a more ambiguous and emotionally guarded portrayal of the blithe young matchmaker played by Anya Taylor-Joy. Stream on on-demand services.
The Gentlemen: Guy Ritchie’s latest British gangster yarn opens with a bartender pulling a beer tap printed with a logo reading: “Gritchie’s English Lore.” Stream on demand.
The Hunt: A lame and weaselly thing, made strangely more frustrating by some excellent performers. Stream on on-demand services.
The Invisible Man: The latest film version loosely adapting the H.G. Wells story exploits it both ways, subtly and crassly. It works, thanks largely to a riveting and fearsomely committed Elisabeth Moss mining writer-director Leigh Whannell’s stalker scenario for all sorts of psychological nuance. Stream on on-demand services.
Onward: A manic, moderately diverting babysitter of a Pixar movie, Onward does get there by the end — “there” being the place where the freneticism recedes, the main characters’ emotional setbacks and defenses crumble and the audience is encouraged to cry along with the teenage brothers voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. Stream on demand and on Disney Plus on Friday.
The Way Back: Ben Affleck didn’t have to deliver his biggest or most attention-getting performance, simply — and simplicity is hard — his truest. Stream on demand.
MORE TO BINGE: TV SHOWS
If you’d rather get hooked on a series, check out these options on the TV side of the streaming-verse.
Home Before Dark: Directed and executive produced by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), a mystery series that follows a young girl (Brooklynn Prince) who digs into a cold case that everyone in her small lakeside town, including her father (Jim Sturgess), worked hard to bury. Stream on Apple TV Plus on Friday.
Making the Cut: Project Runway alums Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn have reunited for a new fashion competition series. Twelve talented designers visit New York, Paris and Tokyo, and face challenges that will test not only their design skills but their business savvy. Stream on Amazon Prime.
Ozark: As Season 3 begins, six months have passed. The casino is up and running, but Marty and Wendy are fighting for control of the family’s destiny. Marty wants to keep the status quo. Aided by an alliance with Helen and drug cartel leader Omar Navarro, Wendy plots for expansion. Stream on Netflix.
FLORIDA CINEMA: VIRTUAL FILM FESTIVAL
The Florida Humanities organization has put together a virtual film festival, which can be enjoyed while you’re social distancing. The festival is really one big free online catalog of documentaries and other flicks telling stories about the Sunshine State, from the commercial fisherman of Cedar Key and Cortez to the Hispanic influences in Florida cuisine. Watch them at floridahumanities.org/media/documentaries.
Times staff writer Meaghan Habuda and Times wires