STORY WRITTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media
As the fourth season of “Orange Is The New Black” kicks off on Netflix June 17, the big question is whether or not Alex (Laura Prepon) is dead?
When last we saw “Litchfield’s Bettie Page,” she was facing down an assassin hired by her gangland boss. But if the promo photos of Season Four are to be believed, Alex is back and looking unharmed by the attack. Here’s hoping.
Other highlights of the upcoming season: Boo (Lea DeLaria) has been promoted to a series regular, Piper (Taylor Schilling) looks like she’s made some fresh enemies among the inmates, and celebrity chef Judy King (Blair Brown) begins her sentence.
Fan favorite Nikki (Natasha Lyonne) hasn’t been seen or heard from since getting sent to Max at the beginning of the third season but Lyonne appeared with the cast to help promote season four. The wonderfully wise-cracking Nikki is needed back at Litchfield. On Netflix.
Also New To Streaming
10 Cloverfield Lane: A semi-sequel of sorts to the 2008 hit “Cloverfield,” this pulse-pounder produced by J.J. Abrams (“Star Wars”) begins with a woman named Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) waking up in a survivalist’s (John Goodman) bunker. He claims to have saved her from an apocalyptic attack that has left the outside world uninhabitable. Needless to say, this doesn’t sit well with Michelle who schemes to check out the situation for herself. Director Dan Trachtenberg lays on the horror, black comedy and surprise twists. Best of all, the film stops to breathe, taking dramatic detours in all the right places. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
• • •
London Has Fallen: In the year’s most unnecessary sequel, Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) must once again save the President (Aaron Eckhart) from a terrorist assault. This time around, the pair has to navigate the streets of London, after an attack leaves the streets crawling with bad guys. Filmmaker Babak Najafi has no instinct for suspense, pacing or special effects; “London” is just one poorly choreographed action blow-out after another. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
• • •
Get A Job: Millennials Will (Miles Teller) and Jillian (Anna Kendrick) have just graduated from college and, even though everything has always come easily for the privileged pair, they quickly discover that landing and keeping a job is going to be a bit of a challenge. Teller is such an appealing performer that he’s able to endow his underwritten character with depth. He’s particularly winning when sharing scenes with Bryan Cranston, who plays his similarly unemployed father. But this unfocused, long-shelved feature quickly burns itself out, unable to decide whether it’s a raunchfest or a realistic look at the rigors of today’s job market. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu
• • •
Song of Lahore: Ever since the Taliban deemed music sacrilegious, Pakistani players have had a hard time making a living. Defying the unspoken ban, a bunch of traditional musicians posted a video of themselves enlivening Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.” After the clip went viral, Wynton Marsalis invited the group to play with him at Lincoln Center. This rousing documentary chronicles the efforts of the band to prepare for that show. While a few more interviews and a bit less rehearsal footage would have made for a more satisfying movie, “Song of Lahore” still manages to hit the right notes. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu
• • •
Altered Minds: Filmmaker Michael Wechsler’s film debut has one of the most bizarre premises of any dysfunctional family drama. Ryan O’ Nan stars as Tommy, a disturbed author who crashes his dying father’s (Judd Hirsch) birthday celebration in hopes of forcing a confession from the old man, a former CIA agent who might or might not have adopted Tommy and his fellow siblings to experiment on. The film, which is primarily set in one big house, grows tiresome thanks to Wechsler’s inability to raise the stakes or ratchet up the suspense. The finale is well staged but, by then, it’s tough to care what happens to any of these one-note characters. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu
• • •
Meadowland: After her son is kidnapped, a shoolteacher (Olivia Wilde) begins to spiral out of control. She barely speaks to her husband (Luke Wilson) and grows increasingly obsessed with a student (Ty Simpkins) ill-treated by his foster parents (Elisabeth Moss, Kevin Corrigan). Sensitively shot by cinematographer-turned-director Reed Morano, “Meadowland” grips you with its authentic situations and raw performances. Wilde, in particular, is a revelation. She wears the role of a grieving mother like a second skin. On Netflix.
• • •
The Bureau: The acclaimed French television series recently launched this week exclusively on iTunes. Starring Mathieu Kassovitz (“Amelie”), Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Sara Giraudeau, the show unreels a riveting spy story told with psychological sophistication and cinematic flare. The first season of “The Bureau” consists of ten 52-minute episodes. On iTunes.