STORY WRITTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media
In an era when everything from “Star Wars” to “Sherlock Holmes” is being re-booted, it was inevitable that Edgar Rice Burroughs’ creation would merit his own actioner.
But unlike a lot of remakes, “The Legend of Tarzan” (2016, Warner, PG-13, $30) plays it straight, without winks to the audience. And rather than going the tired “origin story” route, the filmmakers pick up the action after Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard) is back in the U.K. and married to Jane (Margot Robbie). Together, the pair returns to the Congo where they find themselves battling a smug Belgian captain (Christoph Waltz). Directed with crackerjack craftsmanship by David Yates (the later “Harry Potter” films), “Tarzan” is a hugely entertaining way to spend an evening. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Also New To Streaming
Into The Forest: An apocalyptic thriller set after a world-wide power outage, the latest from filmmaker Patricia Rozema (“I Can Heat The Mermaids Singing”) brings out the acting artistry of Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood as sisters who realize they’re stronger together than apart. Forced to deal with intruders, loneliness and hunger, they form an unshakable bond. While there’s flashes of violence, “Into The Forest” isn’t the typical dystopian fantasy built around guns and special effects but rather a love letter to sisterhood. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu
Complete Unknown: Co-writer/director Joshua Marston (“Maria Full of Grace”) has come up with an terrific character for a thriller: a woman (Rachel Weisz) capable of reinventing herself every few years by taking on a new name and identity. But, instead of delving into how she pulls off her quick-change maneuvers, Marston strands her at a dinner party where she’s re-connecting with an ex-lover (Michael Shannon). “Complete Unknown” is good enough to make you wish it was a whole lot better. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu
Mascots: Christopher Guest brings back most of his troupe, including Parker Posey, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge and Fred Willard, for his latest comedy, which is set in the world of sports mascoting. The action unfolds against the backdrop of a competition for the most prestigious award in their field, the Gold Fluffy. “Mascots” received some mixed reviews when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, with the Hollywood Reporter calling in it “essentially ‘Best In Show’ with humans instead of dogs.” That was meant as a dis but, hey, that sounds pretty good to us. On Netflix.
Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids: The former lead singer for N’Sync is the subject of a buoyant concert doc directed by no less an authority on greatness than Jonathan Demme (“Stop Making Sense”). Advance buzz on this Netflix exclusive has been rapturous with Indiewire noting that “this isn’t as good as being in the front row, it’s much, much, much better.” On Netflix.
Goliath: Season One: In the wake of “Fargo,” Billy Bob Thornton saddles up for another pitch-black series. This time around, he plays a boozy, down-on-his luck attorney who reluctantly agrees to take on a wrongful death case against an aerospace company represented by his former law partner (William Hurt). Along with his ragtag team of associates, Billy discovers a vast and deadly conspiracy. Can he topple this goliath? On Amazon Prime.
For The Kids
We Bare Bears: Viral Video: Straight from Cartoon Network comes a dozen episodes of the series about three brothers Grizz, Panda and Ice Bear. Come hang out with the boys as they try to fit in and make friends. Along for the ride: Internet celeb Nom-Nom, young student Chloe and a friendly giant burrito. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Blinky Bill: The Movie: An all-star cast, including Rufus Sewel, Toni Collette and “True Blood’s” Ryan Kwanten, enliven this animated adventure revolving around the title character, a little koala with a big imagination and lots of heart. With help from his pals Nutsy and Jacko, Bill decides to head to the Australian outback in hopes of locating his beloved father who went missing years earlier. Can Bill survive the rugged landscape and outrun a hungry cat in order to make his dreams come true? On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Impractical Jokers: The Complete Fourth Season: Sal, Joe, Murr and Q are back and once again they’re trying to humiliate and embarrass each other with wild antics. This time around, expect even more outrageous challenges and even crazier punishments. The latest season also boasts the guys’ first live episode. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
The Venture Brothers: The Complete Sixth Season: Already renewed for a seventh season, this series is the longest-running show on the Cartoon Network. In the latest batch of episodes, Dr. Venture inherits his late brother’s fortune and moves, with his whole brood, to New York City where Dean enrolls in college and Hank falls in love. Receiving plenty of screentime are the show’s supervillians including Monarch, Henchman 21, Billy Quizboy and Pete White. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.