STORY WRITTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media
New to Netflix, “Stake Land” is a bloody good scarefest that its director and co-writer Jim Mickle of Douglassville once described as “Grapes of Wrath” with vampires.
The Pottstown-shot feature follows a tweener named Martin (“Revenge’s” Connor Paolo) as he and a vampire-hunting outlaw (co-scripter Nick Damici) make the journey from Pennsylvania to New Eden (aka Canada) in search of safety.
Along the way, they pick up fellow survivors (Kelly McGillis, Sean Nelson, Danielle Harris), beat back creepy cult leaders (Michael Cerveris) and lower the boom on bloodsuckers.
Keep your eyes peeled for area locations, including homes in Birdsboro, the Route 100 underpass and the back of the Coventry Mall. On Netflix and Showtime Anytime.
Also New To Streaming
A Hologram For The King: In this low-key adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel, Tom Hanks plays Alan Clay, a burnt-out businessman who travels to Saudi Arabia in hopes of selling a holographic teleconferencing system. As he tries to close the deal, Alan grabs the rudder of his adrift life and steers his way through money woes, hangovers and a health crisis. His reward? A romance with a lovely doctor (Sarita Choudhury). Segments involving Alan’s wise-cracking driver (Alexander Black) fall flat but, otherwise, director Tom Tykwer skillfully juggles introspection, romance and culture-clash comedy. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
The Bronze: Actress Melissa Rauch co-wrote, produces and stars in this caustic comedy about Hope Ann Gregory, a gymnast who, a dozen years after winning a Bronze medal, is still clinging to past glories. Enter a backflipping phenom (Haley Lu Richardson) who enlists a reluctant Hope Ann as her coach. But will Hope Ann help or hinder the teenager as she prepares for her Olympic run? About 10-15 minutes too long, “The Bronze” is, essentially, a one-joke movie but that joke involving Hope Ann’s horribleness is a very funny one. Go with it. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
The Get Down: Part 1: Leave it to Baz Luhrmann (“The Great Gatsby”) to make the South Bronx of the late 1970s feel both gritty and strangely glamorous. The series follows a group of teenagers, including young rapper Ezekiel (Justice Smith) and aspiring singer Mylene Cruz (Herizen F. Guardiola), as they attempt to break into the music industry. Rapper Nas served as exec producer and wrote some of the songs for the series. On Netflix.
Gilmore Girls: The Complete Series: Can’t wait for November when Netflix will unveil “Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life”? Well, the streaming giant is helping prepare you for the big event by loading up every episode of the delicious series set in Stars Hollow, Conn. As the world’s closest, not to mention wittiest, mother and daughter outfit, Lorelei (Lauren Graham) and daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) can work through even the toughest problems. So brew up a cup of Joe and get ready for a show rich in pop culture references and small-town hilarity. On Netflix.
Road Games: Now this is how you do a twist ending! Andrew Simpson stars as a British hitchhiker in rural France who’s finding it extremely difficult to catch a ride thanks to the news that a serial killer is afoot. Simpson’s luck improves after he hooks up with a fellow drifter (Josephine De La Baume) and is picked up by a composer (Frederic Pierrot) and his artist-wife (Barbara Crampton). Director Abner Pastoll brings a slow-burn intensity to this tale which offers both thrills and psychological intricacies. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
The Tunnel: The Complete First Season: Originally a Scandinavian TV series called “Bron/Broen” which was remade in the U.S. as “The Bridge,” this potent program proves that there’s still a lot of juice left in the story of two police officers from neighboring countries working together to solve a twisted murder. This time around, the discovery of a French politician’s body in the Chunnel inspires teamwork between an easy-going British investigator (Stephen Dillane) and an uptight French detective (Clemence Poesy). Over the course of 10 involving episodes, you’ll admire the attention to detail and loopy chemistry between the stars. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Season 3: The only weekly news-oriented comedy series to be presented on Sunday night, Oliver’s series is one of the most biting and hilarious on TV. Now, thanks to an agreement between HBO and GooglePlay, you can purchase all current and future episodes of Season 3, which began airing on Feb. 14 and concludes on Nov. 13. “Last Week” is an election year essential. On GooglePlay.
The Adventures of Panda Warrior: For a “Kung Fu Panda” knock-off, this animated film manages to be a lot of fun. Rob Schneider voices Patrick, a peaceful soldier from China who is magically transported to Merryland and turned into a panda. In order to free the kingdom from a nasty, nine-headed snake, Patrick joins forces with a flying pig (Lauren Elizabeth), a daring goat (Haylie Duff) and a courageous lion (Norm MacDonald). On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Blindspot: The Complete First Season: A Jane Doe (Jaime Alexander) is discovered in Times Square covered in a series of cryptic tattoos, one of which boasts the name of a hard-boiled FBI agent named Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton). From this terrific premise, “Blindspot” spins out 23 high-octane episodes in which Kurt and Jane chase down bad guys and attempt to solve the mystery of her past. It’s a cool show featuring crackerjack cases and terrific turns by both Stapleton and Alexander. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.