STORY WRITTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media
“Morris From America,” the latest gem from writer/director Chad Hartigan (“This Is Martin Bonner”), is a surprisingly smart and sharp coming-of-age comedy about a Virginia teenager named Morris (Markees Christmas) who is finding it hard to adjust to life in Germany.
Morris’ salvation is rap music which he listens to endlessly and longs to perform at a talent show. The movie isn’t that different from scores of other teen comedies — Morris has a crush on a gorgeous girl and clashes with his dad (Craig Robinson) — but Hartigan sneaks in plenty of truths about the heartbreaks of adolescence. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Also New To Streaming
True Memoirs Of An International Assassin: In this Netflix original, Kevin James stars as an author who finds himself in quite a predicament after his publisher changes his latest tome from fiction to non-fiction. Suddenly thrust into the world of his lead character, James must take on the role of an international hitman for his own survival. Andy Garcia and Kim Coates co-star. On Netflix
Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans: Steve McQueen was at the pinnacle of his popularity when he headed to France to shoot “Le Mans,” a passion project about the famous 24-hour car race. But the lack of a script and McQueen’s insistence on authenticity led to cost overruns. If that wasn’t enough to put the brakes on the feature, McQueen’s marriage was falling apart and one of his best friends, hairstylist Jay Sebring, was murdered by Charles Manson’s gang. This doc, released by Pottstown’s MVD, weaves together newly-discovered on-set footage with McQueen’s audio interviews to present an engrossing look at one of the ‘70s most intriguing flops. On HBO Now, Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
The Id: A toxic relationship between a caregiver named Meredith (“Nightmare on Elm Street’s” Amanda Wyss) and her abusive father (Patrick Peduto) is put under the microscope in this raw and unsettling thriller. Meredith has spent years caring for her wheelchair-bound father when his cruelty finally causes her to have a breakdown. First-time filmmaker Thommy Hutson does a great job keeping you unbalanced with jarring dream sequences while Wyss ratchets up the suspense with a frighteningly believable turn as a woman spiraling into madness. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
A Taste of Honey: Much more upbeat than a lot of films which are part of the British New Wave of the early 1960s, this gem from Tony Richardson centers on Jo (Rita Tushingham), a working-class teenager who, after being abandoned by her self-absorbed mom (Dora Bryan), winds up pregnant and sharing a flat with a gentle gay man (Murray Melvin). Richardson doesn’t shy away from depicting the harsh realities of living a life of poverty but he also keeps reminding you that friendship can make even the toughest situations tolerable. On FilmStruck.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Celebrate the 55th anniversary of the beloved classic, which arrives this week on Digital HD. To mark the occasion, Paramount Home Media Distribution is also releasing the Audrey Hepburn: Five-Movie Collection so you can rediscover some of the legendary icon’s most memorable films including “Funny Face,” “Sabrina,” “Roman Holiday,” “Paris When It Sizzles” and, of course, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Deep Water: Yael Stone, who’s best known for playing the irresistible if slightly unhinged Lorna Morello on “Orange Is The New Black,” is on the other side of the law in this terrific Aussie series. Stone and Noah Taylor star as detectives investigating a brutal murder of a young gay man that is potentially related to a spate of unexplained deaths, “suicides” and disappearances of gay men throughout the 80s and 90s. Inspired by a true story, “Deep Water” is must-see TV. On Acorn TV.
Ballers: Season 2: All ten episodes of the second season of the HBO hit begin streaming this week, and the artist formally known as The Rock continues to impress with his comic chops. Dwayne Johnson stars as ex-footballer Spencer Strasmore who has reinvented himself as a money manager for today’s players. This season, Spencer is pitted against the biggest financial mavens on the scene. On HBO Now, Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
For The Kids
Stick Man: If there was any justice, this animated adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s children’s book would join the pantheon of great Christmas TV specials. Jennifer Saunders narrates the tale, which revolves around Stick Man (Martin Freeman) who, while out for a jog, is carried away from home by a pooch. For nearly a year, Stick Man struggles to return to his family but it’s not until he comes to the rescue of Santa that his wishes come true. In the Telgraph, critic Gerald O’Donovan raved that the show “was a spellbinding half-hour’s viewing … guaranteed to entrance — and be remembered and repeated for many years to come.” On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Batman — Return of the Caped Crusaders: The latest feature-length film from D.C. Comics is a trip to Gotham City where Batman and Robin must battle a host of supervillains, including The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler and Catwoman. Thanks to a newly minted replica-ray gun, the baddies create clones of our heroes and put a spell on the real Batman, forcing Robin to set his crime-fighting partner straight while also stamping out any and all signs of fiendish felony. Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar topline the voice cast. On Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.