جمعه, سپتامبر 29, 2023
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Across the Spider-Verse, Netflix’s Heart of Stone, and every new movie to watch at home

Happy Friday, Polygon readers. This week is an exciting one in new movies to watch at home: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the thrilling sequel to 2018 Oscar-winning smash hit Into the Spider-Verse and one of the best movies of 2023, finally drops digitally and is available to purchase online.

That’s not all: Asteroid City, Wes Anderson’s latest adventure (and another of our best movies of 2023) premieres on Peacock. Netflix also has the new Gal Gadot spy thriller Heart of Stone, the folk horror Enys Men debuts on Hulu, Chinese blockbuster The Wandering Earth II arrives on Prime along with the Red, White & Royal Blue adaptation, and there’s a group of intriguing docs now available to watch at home, too.

Let’s get into it.


New on Netflix

Heart of Stone

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Photo: Robert Viglasky/Netflix

Genre: Spy thriller
Run time: 2h 2m
Director: Tom Harper
Cast: Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt

Gal Gadot and Netflix aim to start a franchise with this spy movie modeled after the more realistic thrills of the Bourne, Bond, and Mission: Impossible franchises. She plays superagent Rachel Stone, who has to stop a dastardly plot to take over the all-powerful artificial intelligence that guides her agency. It’s a pretty fun time, with grounded, in-camera action, and Gadot’s best movie in years.

New on Prime Video

The Wandering Earth II

Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video

A bleeding man in an astronaut suit tries to cover the head of a woman in a similar suit as a series of windows in a small mechanical space shatter, spraying them and a third man with fragments of broken glass, in an action scene from The Wandering Earth II

Image: Well Go USA

Genre: Sci-fi
Run time: 2h 53m
Director: Frant Gwo
Cast: Wu Jing, Andy Lau, Hao Feng

The prequel to the 2019 Chinese sci-fi action adventure film The Wandering Earth centers on a team of scientists tasked with building enormous engines designed to propel the Earth safely outside the radius of an impending solar flare in search of a new solar system. Time is running out, and the scientists must survive the elements and their own interpersonal conflicts in order to survive.

From our review:

Classic disaster movies offer something similar to the feel of a horror movie: the terror of annihilation and the catharsis of survival, but spread over a larger canvas. Maybe that model just doesn’t work anymore. Skillfully made as it is, Wandering Earth II feels more like immersion therapy for the modern onslaught of apocalyptic news from around the world. Like franchises, global disasters no longer really end.

Red, White & Royal Blue

Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video

Nicholas Galitzine and Taylor Zakhar Perez lounge in a hammock together while reading a book in Red, White & Royal Blue.

Photo: Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

Genre: Romance
Run time: 1h 58m
Director: Matthew López
Cast: Nicholas Galitzine, Taylor Zakhar Perez, Uma Thurman

This LGBTQ romance novel made waves when it was published in 2019, and now the movie adaptation is here! Red, White & Royal Blue follows the romance between a British prince and the son of the U.S. president.

New on Peacock

Asteroid City

Where to watch: Available to stream on Peacock

teenage boy Woodrow Steenbeck (Jake Ryan) and his triplet siblings, three young girls, sit arrayed against a pastel-and-white desert motel in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City

Image: Focus Features

Genre: Sci-fi dramedy
Run time: 1h 45m
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks

Wes Anderson’s latest follows an eccentric cast of characters who, brought together through the combined forces of personal tragedy and a space cadet convention, find their lives turned upside down by an unexpected visit from an extraterrestrial. There’s a lot more going on than what’s apparent on the surface, both for the film and the story behind the film, but saying any more would spoil the surprise.

From our review:

Anderson’s ingenious framing device, which has actors playing actors playing actors, sets all these characters against each other in ways that boost Asteroid City, turning it into something richer than the perfectly amiable desert charmer that the trailers convey. Anderson is focusing on the great cosmic mysteries of existence — some in outer space, some terrestrial, and based in human emotion. His recent films have made it clear that he’s a richly philosophical filmmaker, and that he enjoys studying his artistic preoccupations from a distance — through the fog of memory in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and by turning storytelling itself into a subject in The French Dispatch.

New on Hulu

Enys Men

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

A woman (Mary Woodvine) screaming in her bed in Enys Men.

Image: Neon

Genre: Horror
Run time: 1h 36m
Director: Mark Jenkin
Cast: Mary Woodvine, John Woodvine, Edward Rowe

If you thought Skinamarink (also on Hulu) was 2022’s only breakout experimental horror feature, think again: Mark Jenkin’s experimental folk horror set on an uninhabited island off the Cornish coast is here to give Kyle Edward Ball a run for his money. Shot entirely on 16mm film, Enys Men (Cornish for “Stone Island”) follows a wildlife volunteer (Mary Woodvine) in 1973 who is plagued by strange and unsettling visions after repeated contact with a rare psychotropic flower. The trailer for the film certainly looks terrifying, with scenes of the volunteer exploring the quiet and menacing recesses of the island interrupted by blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shots of leering men and giggling flower girls à la 1973’s The Wicker Man.

New on Shudder and AMC Plus

The Communion Girl

Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder and AMC Plus

A creepy doll dressed in communion garb peaks out of a purse in The Communion Girl.

Image: Atresmedia Cine/Ikiru Films/Warner Bros Entertainment España

Genre: Horror
Run time: 1h 38m
Director: Víctor Garcia
Cast: Carla Campra, Marc Soler, Carlos Oviedo

Two best friends encounter a haunted doll on a spooky night out in the town in 1980s Spain. The Communion Girl comes from veteran horror director Víctor Garcia (Hellraiser: Revelations).

New to rent or buy

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Where to watch: Available to buy for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen fight the Spot in Across the Spider-Verse.

Image: Sony Pictures

Genre: Multiversal action
Run time: 2h 20m
Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Cast: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry

The long, long wait is finally over. Across the Spider-Verse is coming to Netflix eventually, but first it makes its home viewing debut via the usual VOD platforms after a big box-office run.

The first movie changed American animation forever, and the sequel seeks to do the same. Across the Spider-Verse is part one, and the follow-up has been delayed. Get ready for breathtaking animation, an onslaught of cameos, and our multiversal review.

Cobweb

Where to watch: Available to rent for $14.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Lizzy Caplan holds a muffin tin with candles on it while smiling creepily in Cobweb.

Image: Lionsgate

Genre: Horror
Run time: 1h 28m
Director: Samuel Bodin
Cast: Woody Norman, Lizzy Caplan, Antony Starr

Another new horror movie to watch at home this week, Cobweb tells the story of a young boy who hears an odd noise from inside the walls of his bedroom, and his efforts to try and convince his parents that the noise is real. The movie is Samuel Bodin’s directorial debut, made from a former Black List script.

The Last Rider

Where to watch: Available to rent for $5.99 on Amazon and Vudu

Greg LeMond holds his hand to his face in disbelief as he is congratulated after a miraculous Tour de France victory.

Image: Roadside Attractions

Genre: Sports documentary
Run time: 1h 36m
Director: Alex Holmes
Cast: Greg LeMond

This year’s Tour de France just finished (and was extremely exciting) — why not revisit one of the greatest Tours ever? This documentary from frequent sports documentarian Alex Holmes digs in on the legendary Greg LeMond and his incredible 1989.

Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis)

Where to watch: Available to rent for $5.99 on Amazon

Genre: Art documentary
Run time: 1h 41m
Director: Anton Corbijn
Cast: Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Jimmy Page

Dutch photographer and director Anton Corbijn (The American, A Most Wanted Man) makes his second straight doc about the music industry here after 2019’s Depeche Mode concert movie Spirits in the Forest. This time, he turns his eye on the album art design studio Hipgnosis, with the help of some rock ’n’ roll luminaries.

The YouTube Effect

Where to watch: Available to rent for $4.99 on Amazon and Vudu

A young person’s face as the words “EXTRA GLAM MAKEUP Tutorial; 4,790,476 views; 2020” play across their face like a reflection of the screen.

Image: Olive Hill Media/Time Studios/Trouper Productions/Valhalla Entertainment/Zipper Bros Films

Genre: Culture documentary
Run time: 1h 39m
Director: Alex Winter

You may remember Alex Winter as Bill from the Bill & Ted series, but he’s also an accomplished director, with a long history in music videos and TV. Recently, he’s been working in the doc space, and his latest goes deep on the cultural phenomenon of YouTube.

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