Is summer a good time for movies and TV? The answer depends on what kind of content you like to watch. If you’re big on brand new independent films then it’s a bummer of a season, whilst if blockbusters are your jam then you’re going to have a lot of fun, with everything from Thor: Love and Thunder to Nope, The Gray Man, DC League Of Super-Pets and many more being released.
Such may explain the lack of quality streaming content this week, with series like Stranger Things and Black Bird still producing good numbers from previous weeks. There are new releases to be had this weekend, but none of them look to be stirring any creative cauldrons with early buzz suggesting that they could be damp squibs.
Intermingling with these new releases are several pieces of tidy recently added content, including films from the likes of Michael Winterbottom, Nick Park, Peter Lord, Jon Watts and many more. Take a look, below, at our eclectic picks for the very best pieces of cinema and television coming to the streaming small screen this weekend.
The 10 best new releases to stream this weekend:
10. Farzar: Season 1 (2022) – Netflix – July 15th
We always tend to favour brand new releases when it comes to recommending the best pieces of content to watch this weekend, and whilst Farzar is indeed fresh out the box, it also doesn’t look that great. Taking the number ten spot, the first season of Farzar (and potentially the last) shows off a wacky sci-fi adventure taking place on the title planet that sees a domed world being overtaken by a strong alien force.
An animated comedy along the lines of Rick and Morty and Family Guy, Farzar looks a little outdated in tone, but hey, hopefully we’ll be proved wrong.
9. Persuasion (2022) – Netflix – July 15th
From one sour-looking new release to another, Netflix’s latest content drops aren’t looking too great with the Jane Austen adaptation of Persuasion getting some early negative buzz. The period piece tells the story of Anne Elliot, a woman who was persuaded not to marry a dashing young man, only for the humble gentleman to re-enter her life eight years later, leaving her with quite the romantic quandary.
With a dazzling cast that includes the likes of Richard E. Grant, Henry Golding, Dakota Johnson and Yolanda Kettle, this one is sure to be fun, even if it fails to deliver quality drama.
8. 24 Hour Party People (2002) – BritBox – Available now
In setting up Factory Records in 1976, Tony Wilson’s impact on the history of Manchester’s music scene was set in stone, even if he didn’t know it at the time.
Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People chronicles this journey, and pulses with electrical energy as well as a sense of humour that distinctly belongs in the north of England and the rock and roll genre. Steve Coogan stars as a faux Alan Partridge, to adopt the role of Tony Wilson, alongside a host of English comedy talent, in this thoroughly enjoyable comedy-music escapade that enjoyably details the origins of Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays.
7. Chicken Run (2000) – Disney+ – July 15th
A beloved animated classic is heading to Disney+ this weekend in the form of the iconic Aardman movie Chicken Run. Telling the story of a pack of chickens who plan to escape their hutch and almost certain deaths at the hands of businesswoman and butcher Mrs. Tweedy. Featuring a mighty fine ensemble voice cast that includes the likes of Mel Gibson, Imelda Staunton, Phil Daniels and Timothy Spall, the British thriller is a true modern classic of animation.
The sequel, rumoured to be named Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, is set for release in 2023 so make sure to catch this 2000 comedy beforehand.
6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) – NOW TV – July 15th
The biggest film for Marvel ever since Avengers: Endgame bookended Phase 3 of their meta-universe, Spider-Man: No Way Home is the first major tentpole of their latest plans, promising big things for the future of the juggernaut franchise.
Connecting the Spider-Man universes of old, Jon Watt’s latest film celebrates Sam Raimi’s original trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, harking back to the iconic villains who helped to make such films shine. Featuring the likes of Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Electro and the Lizard, Spider-Man: No Way Home pats itself on the back for recalling the past with one eye on the future of the series itself. It all feels like a ‘who’s who’ exhibition, but it’s certainly a thrill for fans.
5. A Touch of Sin (2013) – MUBI – Available now
Celebrated for his multiple modern cinematic triumphs, director Zhangke Jia is known for bringing such classics as Ash is Purest White, Platform, 24 City and The World to the big screen.
His 2013 film tells the story of four independent incidents of random violence that occur throughout modern China. Starring Wu Jiang alongside Baoqiang Wang, Tao Zhao, Lanshan Luo and Jia-yi Zhang, A Touch of Sin is a wild action drama that demonstrates just why Zhangke Jia is considered one of the greatest working Chinese filmmakers, keeping up an intense tone until the film’s thrilling climax.
4. Dead Poets Society (1989) – Disney+ – July 15th
Well-known as one of Robin Williams’ finest performances, the Peter Weir movie Dead Poets Society is headed to Disney+ this weekend, with fans of the actor able to experience him in one of his best-ever films. Playing a maverick teacher who uses poetry to inspire his boarding school students to reach new heights of self-expression, this 1989 drama is a truly rousing piece of cinema, making you want to whisper “seize the day” to yourself every morning after you view it.
Starring Williams alongside such names as Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Norman Lloyd and Robert Sean Leonard, if you haven’t seen Dead Poets Society, now’s the time.
3. The Father (2021) – Netflix – July 17th
A harrowing journey of personal decay, The Father is led by an Oscar-winning performance from the great Anthony Hopkins, elevating this otherwise simple film into something quite extraordinary.
Helmed by the French writer and playwright, Florian Zeller, who wrote the original award-winning play that shares its name with the film, The Father recreates this simplistic theatrical feel whilst ingeniously toying with the simplicity of cinema. Co-starring Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss and Imogen Poots, Zeller’s film is a remarkable portrayal of a cracking mind and the fragile soul underneath.
2. The Bob’s Burgers Movie (2022) – Disney+ – Available now
The trailer for this movie adaptation of the beloved TV show of the same name demonstrates how it will surely blend in well with the world of Bob’s Burgers, featuring much of the familiar wit and narrative chaos. With each and every family member of the Belcher family returning for this big-screen adventure, including close friends such as Teddy, Mr. Frond and Ollie, the show’s creator Loren Bouchard promised back in 2017 that the new film would “scratch every itch the fans of the show have ever had”.
The movie sees the return of voice actors H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, John Roberts and David Wain, reprising their roles from the TV series.
1. Flee – Disney+ – July 15th
Our pick for the one movie you must check out this week is the documentary Flee, the extraordinary true story of a man, Amin, on the verge of marriage who is forced to face the truth of his complicated past. Nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature Film, Flee was unlucky not to take home any awards at the ceremony.
A truly inspiring tale, beautifully told by filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen, there is no film better, more emotional or more inspirational than Flee this week.