What to stream this weekend: ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League,’ ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ doc
New streaming movies are coming to entertain you and your family during socially distanced times.
This weekend, director Zack Snyder’s fabled director’s cut of “Justice League” finally hits HBO Max, the recent college admissions scandal is the subject of a new Netflix docudrama, a pair of man-eating jeans goes on a fashionable rampage in a Shudder horror comedy, and folks can check out an Oscar contender for best international film from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
If you’re feeling the itch to get back to the movies in person, and it’s safe enough to return to your local theater, “The Courier” is a true-life spy thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a British businessman who works with a CIA operative (Rachel Brosnahan) to provide intelligence and stave off a nuclear conflict during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
‘Justice League’: 10 burning questions you might have about HBO Max’s upcoming four-hour ‘Snyder Cut’
But if you’d rather stick closer to home, here’s a rundown of new movies hitting streaming and on-demand platforms this weekend, for every cinematic taste:
Cyborg (Ray Fisher, far left), Flash (Ezra Miller), Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is the supergroup of "Zack Snyder's Justice League." (Photo: HBO MAX)
If you’re down for four hours of superhero business: ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’
Snyder finally got to finish his vision for his superhero extravaganza and it is a better, if exhaustively long version of the 2017 film. And while there are cool new and repaired aspects, it is essentially the same flick. Extended scenes flesh out the plot where Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) team up with some rookies to resurrect Superman (Henry Cavill) and save the world from an angry alien villain. So depending on how much you like superheroes and/or how much free time you have, your mileage may vary.
Where to watch:HBO Max
Matthew Modine spends a lot of time on the phone playing Rick Singer in the Netflix docudrama "Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal." (Photo: Adam Rose/Netflix)
If you like movies that make crazy scandals boring: ‘Operation Varsity Blues’
Only watch this docudrama if the thought of Matthew Modine talking on a phone for the better part of two hours sounds like a good time. The movie tackles the headline-grabbing 2019 college admission scandal by re-creating it in the most unexciting way, with Modine in a bowl cut starring as Rick Singer, who bribed college officials and test takers to get the kids of wealthy celebrities and CEOs into prestigious universities. You’re better off watching the Lifetime movie version – at least that’ll keep you awake.
Where to watch:Netflix
Tom (Joel McHale) and Janet (Kerry Bishé) are a married couple who can't keep their hands off each other in the dark romantic comedy "Happily." (Photo: SABAN FILMS)
If you dig relationship comedies with a dose of ‘Black Mirror’: ‘Happily’
Jack Black produces this intriguingly dark film starring Joel McHale and Kerry Bishé as a couple married for 14 years who don’t hide their affections for each other – or the fact that their sex life is better than ever, which alienates the rest of their friends. On the eve of a weekend away, a mysterious stranger (Stephen Root) brings them an unnerving message and creates a bonkers situation involving lots of booze, some cool twists and a little light murder.
Where to watch:Apple TV, Vudu, Fandango Now
Jasna Đuričić stars as a UN translator who fights for her family's safety in the Oscar-nominated Bosnian war drama "Quo Vadis, Aida?" (Photo: NEON)
If you need to catch up on your Oscar viewing: ‘Quo Vadis, Aida?’
Based on real events, writer/director Jasmila Žbanić’s excellent and harrowing drama about the Bosnian war is also a newly minted nominee for best international film. Set in 1995, the movie stars Jasna Đuričić as Aida, a translator working at a UN base near her small Bosnian town of Srebrenica. The Serbian army rolls in and forces thousands to flee to the base, which can only hold a small number of people, and Aida fights to keep her family safe while dealing with inept Dutch officials and ruthless Serbs rounding up Muslims.
Where to watch:Apple TV, Vudu, Fandango Now
Mick (Jeremy Piven, far right) returns to his working-class Pennsylvania hometown and reconnects with Coach (Bruce Dern) and other regulars in "Last Call." (Photo: IFC FILMS)
If you’ve been missing Jeremy Piven since ‘Entourage’: ‘Last Call’
In a love letter to local pubs everywhere, Piven stars in the comedy as a successful real estate developer who returns to his working-class small town near Philadelphia when his mom dies. Working to get a casino up and running to help the locale’s economic prospects, he reconnects with estranged family members including his troublemaking younger brother (Zach McGowan) as well as a childhood crush (Taryn Manning). Unfortunately, it’s the sort of story that’s been done before and much better (see: “Beautiful Girls”).
Where to watch: Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango Now
Romane Denis plays a young woman whose first day at her new clothing-store job involves possessed jeans in the horror comedy "Slaxx." (Photo: BERTRAND CALMEAU/SHUDDER)
If you’re down for seeing some seriously killer denim: ‘Slaxx’
For real, get ready to side-eye your pants for a while after watching this clever horror comedy. Romane Denis stars as a young woman hired to work for an annoyingly hip, Gap-style clothes store ramping up the grand reveal of high-end unisex jeans that conform to every body type. Problem is, they’re also possessed and murderous – though not in a mindless fashion. There’s enough of a whiff of satire aimed at the use of overseas sweatshops to be effective but it doesn’t get in the way of gory fun.
Where to watch:Shudder
Macy Gray stars as an architect whose fear of imperfection turns bloody in the horror film "Phobias." (Photo: VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)
If you’re wondering what Macy Gray is up to these days: ‘Phobias’
The Grammy-winning singer not only stars in but also co-executive produces this horror project featuring five directors tackling stories of fear, from an architect (Gray) bothered so much by imperfection that she’s driven to murder to a teacher (Lauren Miller Rogen) afraid of kids after students invade her home. There’s another level to the plot, as the five story subjects are experimented on by a crazy government scientist who wants to weaponize their fears, but it ends up just complicating the cool anthology angle.
Where to watch: Apple TV, Vudu, Fandango Now
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