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Wonka, The Beekeeper, and every new movie to watch at home this weekend

Everyone’s favorite chocolatier makes his grand entrance on VOD this week

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Timothee Chalamet pointing down as Wonka Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Greetings, Polygon readers! Each week, we round up the most notable new releases to streaming and VOD, highlighting the biggest and best new movies for you to watch at home. So quiet up and listen down; no, scratch that, reverse it!

This week, Wonka, the musical fantasy starring Timothée Chalamet as the irrepressibly whimsical chocolatier, is finally available to stream on VOD. There’s other exciting new releases available to rent as well, like David Ayer’s latest action thriller The Beekeeper starring Jason Statham and Makoto Shinkai’s fantasy romance anime Suzume. There are a ton of other new movies on streaming to watch as well, like Orion and the Dark on Netflix, Freelance on Hulu, Past Lives on Paramount Plus with Showtime, and more!

Here’s everything new to watch this weekend!


New on Netflix

Orion and the Dark

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

An animated image of ghostly figures around a child in front of a house in Orion and the Dark Image: DreamWorks Animation

Genre: Fantasy comedy
Run time: 1h 30m
Director: Sean Charmatz
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Paul Walter Hauser, Angela Bassett

Written by cerebral screenwriter-director Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) and based on the children’s book by Emma Yarlett, this animated fantasy adventure follows the story of a child with an overactive imagination and a constant fear of the future who is befriended by the anthropomorphic personification of darkness. Together, the pair embark on an adventure to conquer Orion’s fear of the unknown and embrace the many wonders the world has to offer.

From our review,

By the end, Orion and the Dark has boldly transformed into a delightfully eccentric story, taking on even more metatextual layers. But it never loses its heart: It’s still a bedtime story, a parent and child working together to assemble an ending that satisfies the both of them. Their voices combine in a convincing way, with zany, kid-fueled ideas on one hand, and the careful guiding hand of an adult on the other. But child and parent both learn something from the other, and that turns Orion and the Dark from a simple fairy tale into a beautifully bizarre ride, and finally into a movie with a message that hits deeply for both adults and kids.

The Greatest Night in Pop

Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones looking at sheet for music for “We Are the World” in The Greatest Night in Pop documentary Image: Netflix

Genre: Music documentary
Run time: 1h 36m
Director: Bao Nguyen
Cast: The biggest music stars of the 1980s

A behind-the-scenes doc of the making of one of the most popular singles of all-time, The Greatest Night in Pop takes you behind the scenes of the star-studded lineup that recorded “We Are the World.”

From our review out of Sundance:

It doesn’t quite reach the heights of documentary classics, falling short of the insight into the tortured circumstances and frustrated production of Original Cast Album: Company, or the pure musical excellence of Monterey Pop. But there’s something special about seeing these stars mingle that makes this movie a fascinating document on fame and the people behind it.

Shortcomings

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

A man and a woman with glasses lean against a railing opposite a sidewalk with a visible look of concern on their faces. Image: Sony Picture Classics

Genre: Romance comedy
Run time: 1h 32m
Director: Randall Park
Cast: Justin H. Min, Sherry Cola, Ally Maki

Justin H. Min (The Umbrella Academy) stars in this new comedy from actor-director Randall Park (WandaVision). Shortcomings follows the misadventures of Ben, a struggling filmmaker living in Los Angeles. When his girlfriend, Miko, moves to New York for an internship, Ben is forced to assess his lifestyle choices up to this point in order to learn to grow as both a romantic partner and a person.

New on Prime Video

Fist of the Condor

Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video

Marko Zaror looks cool as hell on a motorcycle, wearing a leather jacket and with goggles on top of his head, in Fist of the Condor, with the ocean behind him. Image: Well Go USA Entertainment

Genre: Martial arts drama
Run time: 1h 20m
Director: Ernesto Díaz Espinoza
Cast: Marko Zaror, Eyal Meyer, Gina Aguad

One of my (Ed. note: PV) very favorite action movies of a stacked 2023, Fist of the Condor is at once a throwback to the Shaw Brothers era of old school Hong Kong martial arts filmmaking, and a new exciting step for Chilean martial arts cinema.

From our review:

At the end of the day, Fist of the Condor is the Marko Zaror show. And boy, does he deliver. The movie is at its best when it is a series of jaw-dropping fights, one after another, leaning on his incredible star power. As an actor, Zaror brings life and deep pain to the star-crossed brothers, and as a fighter and acrobat, he is unmatched. He seems to be able to alternate from raw animalistic movements to robotic, hypnotic defense (he calls it an “electrical impulse” in the movie) and balletic, gravity-defying spinning kicks that are simply poetry in motion.

New on Hulu

Freelance

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

(L-R) John Cena, Juan Pablo Raba, and Alison Brie in Freelance. Image: Relativity Media

Genre: Action comedy
Run time: 1h 48m
Director: Pierre Morel
Cast: John Cena, Alison Brie, Juan Pablo Raba

Taken director Pierre Morel moves to a more comedic mode in this movie about a former Special Forces officer (John Cena) and a journalist (Alison Brie) who travel to a fictional country together to interview the nation’s dictator.

New on Max

Dicks: The Musical

Where to watch: Available to stream on Max

(L-R) Josh Sharp, Bowen Yang, and Aaron Jackson in Dicks: The Musical. Image: A24

Genre: Musical comedy
Run time: 1h 26m
Director: Larry Charles
Cast: Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, Nathan Lane

This musical comedy follows two longtime business rivals who inadvertently discover they are identical twin brothers separated at birth. Concocting a scheme to get their divorced parents back together, they switch places in order to orchestrate a reunion. Think The Parent Trap, but with more musical numbers, dick jokes, and Megan Thee Stallion.

From our review:

Dicks takes shots at different kinds of modern movies early on, starting with other A24 movies. A24’s logo is accompanied by grandiose music, and its signature elevated horror threatens to become a tongue-in-cheek thematic inspiration when Trevor and Craig wonder whether their predicament meets the qualifications for abuse and trauma. The film’s New York-set, American Psycho-esque corporate saga is clearly filmed in Los Angeles, with the seams of several sets and stages showing in the margins, while the stock footage it uses of NYC is all distinctly anachronistic.

New on Paramount Plus

Past Lives

Where to watch: Available to stream on Paramount Plus w/ Showtime

Nora and Hae Sung sit on a ferry, going to the Statue of Liberty. Photo: Jon Pack/A24

Genre: Romantic drama
Run time: 1h 46m
Director: Celine Song
Cast: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro

Greta Lee (Sisters) and Teo Yoo (Decision to Leave) star in director Celine Song’s romantic drama debut as Nora and Hae-sung, two childhood friends who are seperated when the former emigrates from South Korea to Toronto with her family.

Reunited 12 years later, the pair find themselves unmistakably drawn together. As their respective lives and obligations pull them further and farther apart, Nora and Hae-sung must confront their feelings about the life they might have shared together had their past choices been different, and what to do with those feelings now in the present.

Song spoke with Polygon about how the film is all about “the way that life reflects upon itself,” as well as her brief foray into The Sims 4 theater production.

Kokomo City

Where to watch: Available to stream on Paramount Plus w/ Showtime

A woman dressed in a headwrap and t-shirt with long nails stares up at a camera in Kokomo City. Image: Magnolia Pictures

Genre: Documentary
Run time: 1h 13m
Director: D. Smith
Cast: Daniella Carter, Koko Da Doll, Liyah Mitchell

The first film from Grammy-nominated producer D. Smith follows the stories of four transgender sex workers living in New York and Georgia. Shot in black and white, the film offers insight into the embattled nature of not only their profession, but the cultural fault lines of gender and identity that intersect with their daily lives.

The Tiger’s Apprentice

Where to watch: Available to stream on Paramount Plus

An animated black-striped tiger, a monkey sitting on the head of a serpent-like dragon, and a young boy in a yellow hoodie talking to one another. Image: Paramount Pictures/Paramount Plus

Genre: Action adventure
Run time: 1h 24m
Directors: Raman Hui, Yong Duk Jhun, Paul Watling
Cast: Henry Golding, Brandon Soo Hoo, Lucy Liu

Based on Laurence Yep’s 2003 novel, this action fantasy movie follows the story of Tom (Brandon Soo Hoo), a Chinese American boy living in Los Angeles who inherits the responsibility of acting as the guardian of an ancient phoenix after the passing of his grandmother. Aided by a talking tiger named Mr. Hu (Henry Golding), Tom must learn to harness his new powers in order to prevent the phoenix from falling into the wrong hands.

New on Shudder

Dario Argento Panico

Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder

Dario Argento standing in a hallway with his hands pressed against the walls in Dario Argento: Panico Image: Shudder

Genre: Documentary
Run time: 1h 38m
Director: Simone Scafidi
Cast: Dario Argento, Fiore Argento, Vittorio Cecchi Gori

This documentary unpacks the storied 58-plus-year career of Dario Argento, one of the most prolific directors behind Italian “giallo” horror and the acclaimed mind behind such films as Suspiria and Tenebrae. Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Guillermo del Toro, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Gaspar Noé, Panico also follows Argento as he writes the script for a new horror film.

New on Tubi

Sri Asih

Where to watch: Available to stream on Tubi

Sri Asih, a young woman in a superhero outfit, raises her fists up to fight in Sri Asih Image: Premiere Entertainment Group

Genre: Superhero action
Run time: 2h 15m
Director: Upi Avianto
Cast: Pevita Pearce, Ario Bayu, Christine Hakim

The second entry in Indonesia’s Bumilangit Cinematic Universe, adapting comic book stories, is finally more widely available to watch in the US. The first, Gundala, was a very fun time, and director Joko Anwar returns as co-writer on this entry, which follows a young woman who learns she is the reincarnation of a goddess.

New to rent

The Beekeeper

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Jason Statham furrows his brow in The Beekeeper Image: Amazon MGM Studios

Genre: Action thriller
Run time: 1h 45m
Director: David Ayer
Cast: Jason Statham, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Bobby Naderi

Jason Statham stars in David Ayer’s latest action film as Adam Clay, a retired “Beekeeper” (see: black ops secret agent) working as an actual beekeeper in Massachusetts. When Adam’s kindly employer loses her entire life savings to a nefarious phishing operation, he embarks on a one-man mission to avenge her and bring justice to those who wronged her.

From our review:

Statham is his reliable self, mixing his effortless gruff charm with his comedy chops to help sell the ridiculous lines he has to deliver. And the movie looks great — Ayer and cinematographer Gabriel Beristain cleverly infuse the visuals with a yellow/amber color palette to match the title and the vibe, often making you feel like you’re watching the movie from inside a honeycomb.

Suzume

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Suzume, in a school uniform, eating fruit on the side of a rural road with Chika, in a gym uniform. Image: CoMix Wave Films/Crunchyroll

Genre: Coming-of-age fantasy adventure
Run time: 2h 2m
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Cast: Nanoka Hara, Hokuto Matsumura, Eri Fukatsu

Makoto Shinkai (Your Name, Weathering with You) is back with another animated fantasy romance adventure about young people struggling with supernatural forces and the general ennui of youth. When high school student Suzume crosses paths with Souta Munakata, a mysterious wanderer on a quest to seal a series of magical doors around Japan to avert disaster, she joins him on his quest in an effort to save her home.

Also, Souta is transformed into a sentient chair by a malevolent cat. It’s complicated.

From our review:

Suzume is about processing trauma and finally learning to live. Even after the movie’s turning point, Suzume is still recklessly throwing herself into danger to save others. Like Your Name and Weathering With You, Shinkai’s latest sees its young heroes racing against time to stop an impending disaster. But some key differences in Suzume make the final act cinch together in a way that soars above the previous two movies. Suzume has a personal connection to the looming catastrophe, one that snugly wraps around her entire character journey. The event itself feels vast and all-encompassing, but because the movie focuses on her instead of on the action, it gives the payoff more emotional impact. And when Suzume steps up to fight her battles, it’s less about making a dramatic choice or defying all odds. She simply reframes what she’s trying to do in a way that feels more personal than most action heroes’ journeys. She doesn’t want to give her life to save the world; she just wants to stay in it.

Wonka

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Three evil candymakers regard Wonka’s chocolates with disdain in the movie Wonka. Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Genre: Musical fantasy
Run time: 1h 56m
Director: Paul King
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key

Timothée Chalamet (Dune: Part One) stars in this new musical prequel to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as everyone’s soon-to-be-favorite chocolatier, now simply an aspiring magician looking to break into the candy business. He’ll have to find a way to overcome the nefarious chocolate cartel and build a factory of his own if he’ll any hope of achieving his dream, though.

From our review:

Normally, I consider it unfair to compare two movies like this, but as I said, I’m a huge fan. Yet more importantly, Wonka directly invokes the previous film in ways big and small, going so far as to have Chalamet’s version of the character speak in the same diction as Wilder’s, complete with a “Scratch that, reverse it” line. As this is a story about a young Willy Wonka, the film must leave a little room to get from here to there, so Chalamet is granted the space to make the character his own. But this is a version of Willy that’s too sanded-down, too approachable to be truly memorable.

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