Sometimes the world of streaming is an impossible wasteland, a barren landscape of endless possibilities that feels impossible to cross to get to the desired destination, falling victim to flashy new releases or the 74th rewatch of Peep Show. This week is one of those times, with the world of streaming offering almost nothing in terms of luscious treats, making way for the terrifying enormity of the release of one major show.
Breaking the series up into two distinct parts, Netflix is releasing the second half of the fourth season of Stranger Things this week, bringing to an end what many consider to be the very best season of the show.
Aside from this new release, streaming has pithy offerings this week, from a scattering of recently added movies and a few original ones worth checking out being the only offerings aside from Netflix’s new release. Take a look at our list of ten recommendations, below.
The 10 best new releases to stream this weekend
10. Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) – Netflix – Available now
The fact that we’re recommending Spiral: From the Book of Saw as our first choice for this week should give you some indication as to how bad this week is for streaming, though at least you might find some laughs in this mess of an attempted reboot. Starring Chris Rock, Marisol Nichols, Samuel L. Jackson and Max Minghella, the film attempts to revive the story of the psychopathic serial killer who catches his victims in sadistic deathtraps.
Calling this film the worst of the Saw franchise is quite some statement, but believe us it’s true. It’s so bad though, that it might actually be funny.
9. BAYMAX! (2022) – Disney+ – Available now
A mini-series based on the beloved character of Baymax in the Disney movie Big Hero Six, this new programme shows a savvy step in the right direction for Disney which is trying to attract a wide audience to their streaming service. Starring the likes of Ryan Potter, Ryan Potter, Maya Rudolph, T.J. Miller, Alan Tudyk, Jamie Chung and Damon Wayans Jr., this one will appeal to younger audiences and more.
Disney is well-known for its adorable character creation and Baymax is no different with his puffy white body, resembling a walking, talking zorb.
8. The Cruel Sea (1952) – Britbox – Available now
If old war dramas are your thing then you might want to check out The Cruel Sea on Britbox, then again, if they’re not, you’ll probably find no interest here. Directed by Charles Frend, the film follows the adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers during WWII, starring such actors as Donald Sinden, Jack Hawkins, Denholm Elliott, John Stratton, Stanley Baker and Liam Redmond.
Though not an iconic WWII classic, Frend was a respected director, with his 1952 film being well worth the watch for any nautical movie fan.
7. Blasted (2022) – Netflix – Available now
If you’re after a new release this weekend, Netflix is the streaming service for you, being maybe the only one offering any sort of original content as we head into the deep summer of July. Blasted is their brand new action-comedy, following a childhood friend who crashes a bachelor party only to hog the attention of the party. This would bother the protagonist if it wasn’t for a terrifying alien invasion that requires the two old friends to team up once more.
A charming concept with a surprisingly enticing trailer, lovers of contemporary sci-fi might want to check this one out.
6. Benedetta (2021) – MUBI – July 1st
The first of a triple bill of exciting MUBI releases this week, Benedetta from the director of RoboCop, Paul Verhoeven, is nothing like his classic sci-fi action movie. Instead, the film follows the true story of a 17th-century nun in Italy who suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions, though she is assisted through her struggles with a companion, the two spark a relationship that develops into a love affair.
Starring Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling, Lambert Wilson and Daphne Patakia, this is an erotic drama from one of the genre’s finest filmmakers.
5. The Endless Summer (1966) – MUBI – July 2nd
Before you set off on a journey, often it is the sheer pleasure of being as far away from normality as possible that is a major motivation, though when you leave, it is the unexpected clarity of inspiration that lingers. For such a similar injection of inspiration, look no further than The Endless Summer, one of the most influential surfing movies of all time that documents American surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August as they travel the world during California’s winter.
In search of the perfect wave and a summer that never stops giving, Bruce Brown’s film is an ode to exploration, freedom and true personal expression. It’s a joyous ride.
4. La Notte (1961) – MUBI – July 3rd
Finishing off the trilogy of MUBI hits this weekend is the Michelangelo Antonioni drama, La Notte, a 1960s classic that Stanley Kubrick called one of the greatest movies of all time. The stylish monochrome tale follows a day in the life of an unfaithful married couple as the relationship steadily deteriorates beneath their very noses, showing none of the love that once drew them together.
Starring the likes of Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni and Monica Vitti, a recommendation from Kubrick is good enough for us.
3. The Princess (2022) – Disney+ – July 1st
Brand new to Disney+, and not to be confused with the recent documentary of the same name about the life and times of Princess Diana, The Princess by director Le-Van Kiet tells the story of a strong-willed princess who refuses to wed a cruel sociopath. As a result, she is kidnapped and locked in a remote tower of her father’s castle, with the vindictive suitor attempting to take the throne of her father by force.
This leaves the title character to save the kingdom by herself, with the final film sounding like a throwaway thriller worth your time.
2. Westworld: Season 4, Episode 1 (2022) – NOW TV – Available now
Based on the original novel by Michael Crichton, the same writer who penned the story for Jurassic Park, Westworld has long been considered to be one of the most celebrated series of the 21st century. Starring the likes of Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Aaron Paul, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Ed Harris and many more, this ensemble cast combines for the show’s fourth series on Sky.
The original concept for the series followed a western-inspired theme park where humans could enact their darkest desires on androids who couldn’t think nor feel, or could they?
1. Stranger Things Season 4: Volume 2 (2022) – Netflix – July 1st
Highly anticipated by fans across the world, Stranger Things season four comes to an end on July 1st with the release of Volume 2. Starring the likes of fan-favourites Millie Bobby-Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer and Caleb McLaughlin, the finale to the brand new series will hopefully tie up several loose ends and provide a dose of dark drama for fans of the 1980s-inspired show.
Taking the show to sinister new levels of drama, the series could be a game-changer in the history of Stranger Things and Netflix in general.