What’s new for home viewing on video-on-demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services.
Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand
Marvel’s “ Avengers: Age of Ultron” crams more heroes and villains and exposition into the Marvel Universe than any film before it. The fact that it’s fast-moving fun with a sense of humor and coherence is testament to writer / director Joss Whedon, though it is awfully overstuffed. PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence but Captain America keeps the language clean. Also on Blu-ray and DVD.
Melissa McCarthy becomes an unlikely “ Spy” in the secret agent comedy co-starring Jude Law, Rose Byrne and a hilarious Jason Statham. Rated R for language, violence and brief nudity, plus there’s a longer “unrated” version. Also on Blu-ray and DVD.
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Also new: the big screen sequel to the HBO series “ Entourage” (R); the remake of “ Poltergeist” (PG-13); the French crime drama “ The Connection” starring Jean Dujardin (R, in French with subtitles), and the offbeat documentary “ Finders Keepers,” which also opens in select theaters nationwide (R).
“ Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (2013) charts the life and transformation of Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba) from inspirational activist to the first democratically elected president of South Africa. PG-13.
Clint Eastwood earned his second Oscar double-play (Best Director and Best Picture) for “ Million Dollar Baby” (2004) and directed co-stars Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman to Oscars as well. PG-13.
“ The Walking Dead: Season 5,” the top-rated series on commercial cable, arrives a week before the new season premieres on AMC.
More streaming TV: the lighthearted procedural “ Bones: Season 10,” royal soap opera “ Reign: Season 2,” supernatural soap opera “ The Vampire Diaries: Season 6,” and the British import “ Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Series 12.”
Amazon Prime Video
The sad, funny and imaginative “ Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) features the least affected performance of Jim Carrey’s career. R for language and drug and sexual references.
The Oscar-winning nature documentary “ March of the Penguins” (2005), narrated by Morgan Freeman, is rated G, as is the 1993 version of “ The Secret Garden,” still considered the finest screen adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved novel.
Streaming TV: The supernatural series “ Grimm: Season 4” is available a month before the new season begins on NBC.
Hulu picks up many of the films that Netflix lost this month, among them “ The Hunger Games: Catching Fire“ (2013), “ Nebraska“ (2013), “ Star Trek Into Darkness“ (2013), “ The Wolf of Wall Street“ (2013), and “ World War Z“ (2013). They’re also available on Amazon Prime.
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.