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.
Shotgun Wedding (Prime Video)
Jennifer Lopez’s second rom-com in two years to badly miscalculate its leading-man casting – Owen Wilson, you’re great, just not so much in Marry Me – Shotgun Wedding is by no means a good movie. But it is a highly watchable one, in that lazy Saturday-night-at-home kind of way. Playing an anxious couple whose destination wedding in the Philippines is hijacked by bloodthirsty pirates, Lopez and Josh Duhamel are charismatic performers in their own right, but do not mesh at all when sharing screen space. Which happens to be all the time. But the entire effort is saved by a supremely curious sensibility that asks audiences to sympathize with wealthy jerks – the opposite tact of Triangle of Sadness – and a supporting cast (Jennifer Coolidge, Cheech Marin, D’Arcy Carden, Sonia Braga and even Lenny Kravitz seemingly playing a version of himself) who are having way more fun than the bride and groom.
Let Him Go (Netflix)
For those just getting onto the Yellowstone bandwagon and looking to further scratch a Kevin Costner itch, best to check out Thomas Bezucha’s 2020 thriller, whose theatrical release got drowned out and disrupted by that year’s on-again-off-again cinema closures. Adapting Larry Watson’s 2013 novel, Let Him Go casts Costner and his onetime Man of Steel co-star Diane Lane as George and Margaret Blackledge, a retired sheriff and homemaker, respectively, who spend their days tending to their horses in 1950s Montana. A few years after their twentysomething son dies in an accident, the Blackledges stand idly by as their somewhat dim daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter) marries a harder-edged man, Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain), figuring that their three-year-old grandson could use a father figure. But when Donnie whisks Lorna and her son to his family’s off-the-grid North Dakota compound with zero notice, Margaret resolves to get her kin back, pulling a reluctant George along for the ride. A rock-solid excursion into violent Americana, powered by a truly great pairing of Hollywood personas, Let Him Go is the best kind of throwback.
Armageddon Time (on-demand, including Apple TV and Google Play)
James Gray’s most personal work yet – which is saying something, given how much of the New Yorker’s filmography is mined from his family history – has distressingly disappeared from the conversation barely a month after release. And when the drama lightly fictionalizing the director’s youth is discussed, it seems to be misunderstood as an apology, rather than a confession. Every one of Armageddon Time’s details and narrative swerves is stacked on top of the other to build a monumental story of compromises and consequences. This is a brave film, bracing and thoughtful.
Finally available to stream almost a year after busting into, and then promptly disappearing from, theatres, Michael Bay’s Ambulance is here to remind you of the head-spinning delights of watching a genuine cinematic madman at work. This is eye-popping, ear-splitting, guffaw-inducing stuff that makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe look like the dumpster fire it truly is. Ambulance is what its director considers a “small” project. I suppose that’s true: There are no soaring military jets or fighting robot dinosaurs. But there is enough twisted-metal destruction to send even the most insatiable action junkie into a state of blissful cinematic overdose.
No one needs another monthly streamer bill to add to their household expenses, but Paramount+ is making a good case for stretching your bank account just a little bit more. To wit: Subscribers can now watch Moonstruck, one of the finest romantic comedies ever made, over and over again. Whether you’ve never seen Norman Jewison’s 1987 film before or you’re just going through a Nicolas Cage marathon – or maybe a Danny Aiello marathon? – the film is a true delight. Not only does a young Cage make an indelible impression as a love-drunk maniac, but Jewison gives star Cher possibly the best on-screen role of her career.