Movie News & Reviews

DiCaprio wrestles with elements and a bear in ‘Revenant’

“Is that a bear? No…rock. Oh wait, it’s moving!”
“Is that a bear? No…rock. Oh wait, it’s moving!” 20th Century Fox

What’s new for home viewing on video-on-demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

The Revenant” – Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his Oscar for Best Actor and filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu won his second directing Oscar in row for this brutal tale of survival and revenge on the American frontier. It’s violent and grueling but also beautiful and immersive, as impressive for the commitment of the filmmakers as for the vivid imagery and astounding locations. Rated R for violence. Also on DVD and Blu-ray.

Maggie Smith is “The Lady in the Van” in the autobiographical comedy from British playwright Alan Bennett (PG-13) and Donnie Yen returns as the real-life martial arts legend in “Ip Man 3” from China (PG-13). For the kids there’s the animated “Norm of the North” (PG).

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is “Nina,” starring Zoe Saldana as legendary jazz singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone (not rated, mature audiences), plus the crime thriller “Precious Cargo” with Bruce Willis (R) and the dark fantasy “Tale of Tales” with Salma Hayek (not rated, mature audiences).


When Netflix raised prices for new subscribers in 2014, it rewarded current members by freezing their old rates in place for two years. That time is now up. As of May 2016, it is $9.99 a month for everyone.

How to Get Away with Murder: Season 2” arrives weeks after its finale on ABC and “Royal Pains: Season 7” is available a month before the eighth and final season begins on USA.

Amazon Prime Video

If you’ve been wary of committing to Amazon Prime’s annual membership fee, you can now try out a Prime Video-only subscription for $8.99 a month or a full Amazon Prime plan (with free shipping, Prime Music and other benefits) at $10.99. For long-term subscribers, however, the $99 annual plan remains the best deal. All the details are here.

Pawn Sacrifice” (2015) dramatizes the 1972 chess match between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber) as Fischer battles both the Cold War and his own fragile mental state. PG-13.

Streaming TV: from Britain comes “Home Fires: Season 1,” about women on the home front during World War II, and real-life thriller “The Widower,” and from HBO comes “Veep: Season 2.”


The third season of the Hulu original series “Deadbeat” goes the Netflix/Amazon route and releases all 13 episodes at once.


Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce are Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas in the HBO original film “Confirmation.” Not rated, for mature audiences.

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. Find his reviews of streaming movies and TV at streamon