WRITTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media
Getting better with each season, the massively entertaining “Grace and Frank: Season Three” once again explores the lives of roomies-turned-best-buddies Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin).
In the latest batch of episodes, the pals decide to go into business together with a line of vibrators designed for older women. With its lovely portrayal of the romance between the women’s ex-husbands (Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston) to its insistence that women over 65 are vibrant sexual beings, “Grace and Frankie” is, in its own small way, quite revolutionary. On Netflix.
ALSO NEW TO VOD & STREAMING
The Most Hated Woman In America: Talk about timely. In this true-crime biopic, director Tommy O’Haver (the chillingly underrated “An American Crime”) explores the disappearance of Madalyn Murray O’Hair (Melissa Leo), the founder of the American Atheists whose insistence on the separation of church and state led to a Supreme Court ruling in 1963 banning official Bible readings in public schools. O’Haver counts on a cast of pros (Peter Fonda, Sally Kirkland, Josh Lucas, Adam Scott, Vincent Kartheiser, Juno Temple) to bring this eerie tale to life. On Netflix.
Westworld: The Complete First Season: What happens in a world free of consequences and morality? That’s the question that creators Jonathan Nolan (“Interstellar”), Lisa Joy (“Pushing Daisies”) and exec producer J.J. Abrams (“Lost”) examine in HBO’s massive hit series, which is loosely based on the movie of the same name. The action unreels at a futuristic amusement park designed to cater to every human appetite. The cast includes Ed Harris as the mysterious Man In Black as well as Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton and Jeffrey Wright. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Ali & Nino: Asif Kapadia, the director of the Oscar-winning documentary “Amy,” returns to fiction filmmaking with this old-fashioned period epic that pivots on the forbidden love between a Christian princess (Maria Valverde) and a Muslim nobleman (Adam Bakri) in 1920s Azerbaijan. Valverde and Bakri do a wonderful job of selling their characters’ romance but as the movie goes on, it becomes increasingly bogged down in the politics of the region. “Ali & Nino” boasts a few beautifully photographed sequences but Kapadia can’t give it the energy or flair it desperately needs. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
The Love Witch: If one of those ridiculously florid supernatural thrillers from the 1960s were given a feminist twist, the results would resemble this gorgeously shot but curiously flat spoof of all things witchy. Director Anna Biller is behind the saga of a single woman named Elaine (Samantha Robinson) whose embrace of witchcraft hasn’t helped her love life one bit. In fact, she’s prompted to kill off her suitors after they respond a little too powerfully to her potions. Running an interminable 120 minutes, the movie doesn’t contain enough interesting ideas to sustain it. “Love Witch” fails to cast a spell. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Americana: A boozy film editor named Avery (David Call) slips off the grid as he tries to deal with the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident. But as he sobers up, he begins to suspect that a film producer (Jack Davenport) might be up to no good, simply to boost the grosses of his latest movie. “Americana” would have been better if it worked harder to connect the dots but there’s no denying that this no-budget indie has a prickly kind of power. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu.
Being There: This late ‘70s masterpiece is a one joke movie but what a joke it is! Based on a novel by Jerzy Kosinski, the Hal Ashby-directed satire, now on Blu-ray, pivots on an innocent named Chance (Peter Sellers) who after the death of his wealthy guardian is forced to fend for himself in Washington D.C. Chance winds up impressing a billionaire (Melyvn Douglas), the billionaire’s randy wife (Shirley MacLaine) and countless politicians including the president of the United States (Jack Warden), all of whom interpret his utterances about gardening as something profound. With a final image that opens the film up to additional interpretations, “Being There” is unique and unforgettable. On FilmStuck.com.
FOR THE KIDS
Sing: An “American Idol”-styled talent contest drives the action in this animated cartoon from Illumination, the same studio behind the “Despicable Me” movies. At the center of the action is a pushy koala bear named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) who decides the best way to save his crumbling theater is to host a singing competition. Enter an overworked mother (Reese Witherspoon) of 25 piglets, a punk rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) and a sweet-voiced gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton). Even though “Sing” is a smidge too frantic, the soundtrack is filled with covers of Beatles and Elton John tunes and the animation is an eye-popping delight. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
The Swan Princess: Running a brisk 79 minutes, this animated follow-up to the popular “Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today” unreels the delightful saga of Princess Alise and her pals as they go undercover to solve a royal mystery. There’s a song sung by “Rising Star’s” Macy Kate but the real draw are the cool gadgets which help the Princess and her pals save the Kingdom. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Angry Birds: Ready to be entertained once again by the Blues and the Hatchlings? Check out the new weekly series which features episodes that run only 2.5 minutes long. Whether it’s building a clubhouse ordered from the Mighty Eagle Express, or getting a kite to fly, the Blues’ crazy antics lead to all kinds of comic mayhem. On ToonsTV.