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Film

The 10 best new releases to stream this weekend

@Russellisation

Coor, are you in for a treat this week. Often, the quality of the brand new films coming to streaming is, on average, pretty bad, made up of streaming fodder set to keep you occupied throughout the week. This week, however, there’s something for everyone, with laughably peculiar big-budget dramas, genuinely hilarious arthouse comedies and a handful of brand new films coming to three different streaming services. 

One thing we don’t really have this week is a vast amount of old classics, with just the Britbox movies Walkabout and The Blood on Satan’s Claw to whet the appetite of any lover of old-school filmmaking. Though, it should go without saying that both these films are unmissable in their own right, with the former being an arthouse coming-of-age story for the ages and the latter being a bizarre folk horror forged from the English dirt. 

As for the rest of the ‘orrible bunch, we’ve got a range of content that is no older than six years old, with release dates ranging from 2016 to 2022. Including films from such directors as Ridley Scott, Edgar Wright, Bryan Singer, Dexter Fletcher, Maren Ade and Cooper Raiff, this week is a real treat, so if you’re a fan of horror, comedy, drama or karaoke biopics; feast your eyes. 

The 10 best new releases to stream this weekend:

10. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) – Netflix – Available now

This enjoyable, if flawed, musical biopic stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the legendary British rock band Queen, with the film tracking their uprising leading to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985). Initially directed by Bryan Singer, Dexter Fletcher later came in to complete the project, with the final result being something of an amalgamation of two different ideas.

Lacking any kind of dramatic power, Bohemian Rhapsody does achieve in recreating the sound and energy of one of the world’s best performers. 

9. House of Gucci (2021) – Amazon Prime – June 17th

Love it or hate it, Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci is a riot, whether you’re coming from the bizarre true story of the Gucci family or the utterly ridiculous performance of Jared Leto in a key supporting role. Also featuring the likes of Adam Driver, Lady Gaga, Camille Cottin, Al Pacino, Salma Hayek and Jeremy Irons, this one bitterly divided audiences and critics upon its release last year. 

Nominated for an Academy Award as well as a couple of Razzie’s, House of Gucci is a perplexing fashion statement. 

8. Last Night in Soho (2021) – NOW TV – June 17th

Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho was something of a disappointment, even if it remains a solid genre piece. Telling the story of an aspiring fashion designer who gains the ability to travel back to the 1960s where the glamour of the industry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, the film is elevated by the efforts of Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith in the leading roles. 

Oozing with charm and true passion for a time long-lost, Last Night in Soho evokes the hope and innocence of the 1960s whilst echoing the screams and horrors of the era in the modern-day.

7. Plan B (2021) – Disney+ – June 17th

A clever, heartfelt coming-of-age comedy that seemed to pass audiences and critics by back in 2021, Plan B tells the story of a straight-laced high-school student and her rebellious best friend who find themselves on a road trip having to find a morning-after pill after one of them has a regrettable sexual experience. From the creators of Harold and Kumar, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, Plan B doesn’t disappoint.

Directed by Natalie Morales of Parks and Recreation and Girls, this comedy gem stars Kuhoo Verma, Victoria Moroles, Michael Provost and Mason Cook. 

6. The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) – Britbox – Available now

Sinister and nihilistic, The Blood on Satan’s Claw is the least-known of the ‘unholy trinity’ that included other British folk horrors The Wicker Man and The Witchfinder General. No doubt one of the finest films of the subgenre, perfectly combining the ancient fears of the British countryside and the anxiety of the ‘other’, Blood on Satan’s Claw well toes the line between reality and fantasy.

Directed by Piers Haggard, the film often refers to satanic activities and the coming of the devil himself, though refrains from showing the demon in its monstrous form. If you want a strange spookfest, this is your film. 

5. Walkabout (1971) – Britbox – Available now

Nicolas Roeg creates a cinematic puzzle made up of poetic visions and a non-linear narrative to form a dreamlike exploration in 1971s Walkabout. Telling the strange story of two siblings who become lost in the Australian outback and are forced to survive its many perils, Roeg’s film is considered one of the very best of the 1970s, starring Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg and David Gulpilil at the helm.

Ultimately Roeg’s film is a lyrical coming-of-age tale of two adolescents shedding the identity of their childhoods through the ritual of an aimless ‘Walkabout’ through the Outback. It’s a masterpiece.

4. Toni Erdmann (2016) – MUBI – June 19th

Bringing surrealist comedy into contemporary domestic drama, Toni Erdman is an idiosyncratic piece of cinema, radiating the bone-dry German sense of humour. This story is helmed by a practical joking father, who adopts a bizarre alter-ego in an attempt to reconnect with his steely, determined daughter. What follows is a surprisingly profound, character exploration, using close to three hours to explore familial relationships with frequent prongs of tragic humour.

Recognised as one of the greatest comedies of the 21st century, this classic is definitely worth your time when it drops on MUBI on Sunday.

3. Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022) – Apple TV+ – June 17th

Plenty of buzz is behind this new romantic comedy from Cooper Raiff, and for good reason too, with Cha Cha Real Smooth being a genuinely charming watch that works hard to tread new narrative ground. Winning the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival 2022 as well as the award for Directors to Watch at Palm Springs International Film Festival, there is little reason not to check out this new movie. 

Starring Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann and Vanessa Burghardt, the film tells the story of a young man who works as a Bar Mitzvah party host and strikes up a friendship with a mother and her autistic daughter.

2. Pleasure (2022) – MUBI – June 17th

A brand new release from MUBI is always worth checking out, particularly when it’s the anticipated release of Ninja Thyberg’s directorial debut. Based on her own short of the same name, Pleasure tells the story of Bella Cherry who arrives in LA with ambitions of becoming an adult film star only to discover that the path to such fame isn’t as easy as she’d previously perceived.  

Starring Sofia Kappel in the lead role, alongside supporting actors Evelyn Claire, Dana DeArmond and Azariah Jackson (aka Chris Cock), this drama is due to be riveting. 

1. Mad God (2022) – Shudder – Available now

Choosing the top spot in a week that boasts such streaming delights wasn’t easy, but it would be unfair not to give it to the movie that’s been 30 years in the making. From the iconic visual effects artist Phill Tippet, who previously worked on Jurassic Park, RoboCop and Return of the Jedi, Mad God is a terrifying stop-motion vision of a hellish underworld inhabited by stop-motion ghouls.

As detailed on the film’s official website, “Mad God is a fully practical stop-motion film set in a Miltonesque world of monsters, mad scientists, and war pigs. In 1987, legendary visual effects and stop-motion craftsman Phil Tippett embarked upon an ambitious personal project, fabricating and animating a darkly surreal world in which the creatures and nightmares of his imagination could roam free”. 

If that description didn’t sell it to you, nothing will.