Do you feel like you’re drowning … but you haven’t even left your couch? Welcome to the Great Content Overload Era. To help you navigate the choppy digital waves, here are The Globe’s best bets for weekend streaming.
Poker Face (Citytv+ via Prime Video Channels)
Canadian fans of Rian Johnson, king of the whodunnit revival thanks to his Knives Out films, have a new mystery to solve: Just how can they watch the director’s new weekly detective series Poker Face, starring Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll)? In the U.S., the series airs on NBC’s free Peacock streamer, which … doesn’t exist here, and whose original content is spread out across various Canadian broadcasters thanks to various licensing deals. Turns out that in Poker Face’s case, the killer/broadcaster is … pause to rip off someone’s fake mustache … Citytv+! Which is apparently a thing you can access with a monthly subscription, available through Prime Video Channels. If you can figure all that out, then you’ll be treated to what promises to be the bounciest, twistiest, slickest sleuthing series since Columbo. J’accuse!
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney+)
More than any other Marvel outing over the past three years, there is more to appreciate in the tragedy-tinged sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever than not. The performances are all filled with sorrow and spirit over the passing of onetime franchise lead Chadwick Boseman, a true melding of real-life emotion and whatever heightened reactions are typically required for an expensive play session in a superpowered sandbox. And the film also makes a star out of Tenoch Huerta, who plays underwater villain Namor with a rage that is both blinding and accessible, frightening and sympathetic. Plus: Now that the film is streaming on Disney+, you can feel free to dip in and out of its second hour’s more leisurely plotted moments.
M3GAN (on-demand, including Apple TV and Google Play)
Can anyone in the film industry say that the system isn’t broken when M3GAN, the horror-movie sensation that was the third-highest grossing movie at the theatrical box office last weekend and has helped revive the January zeitgeist doldrums, is now available to watch at home on-demand? Anyway, as Globe and Mail contributor Sarah-Tai Black wrote in her review of the film last month, director Gerard Johnstone’s campy romp about a young orphaned girl and her killer android doll is as silly, goofy and instantly iconic as any horror fan could hope. See ya in the dust, Chucky from Child’s Play.
The Dirties (Crave with Starz)
Ahead of Canadian director Matt Johnson making an international splash later this month with the Berlinale world premiere of his new comedy BlackBerry – chronicling the rise and fall of Canadian tech company Research In Motion – there is no better time to revisit his feature debut from 2013. The Dirties, an intensely scrappy found-footage comedy about two teenage outcasts (Johnson and Owen Williams) planning a school shooting, takes an untouchable topic and makes it deeply, darkly hilarious. Please trust me on this.
First Cow (Mubi)
Based on director Kelly Reichardt’s long-time collaborator Jonathan Raymond’s novel, First Cow is not a leisurely or easygoing film. It is a film intent on exploring struggle and potentially futile determination, following two unlikely friends in 19th-century Oregon who team up to build a humble food empire using the milk of a stolen cow. Reichardt finds an intriguing new avenue and world to explore themes that have long anchored her work, from 2008′s Wendy and Lucy to 2013′s Night Moves: economic struggle, the anxiety that is living on the fringe of society, and America’s default urge to exploit.