What’s new to streaming and theaters this week: ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ to ‘Only Murders’ Season 3
The summer movie season is slowly wrapping up, but before we bid it farewell and welcome all things Halloween,
The summer movie season is slowly wrapping up, but before we bid it farewell and welcome all things Halloween, there's a couple of highlights still being released that we should eat up in the meantime. From box office hits finally coming to streaming to the return of some of our favorite shows, here's everything new coming to theaters and streaming this week.
Credit: Focus Features
If you missed Asteroid City in theaters, fret not, because Wes Anderson's latest woefully whimsical tale is now available to stream. Set in a fictional American desert town in 1955, the film follows a group of Junior Stargazers and Space Cadets who are assembling for an annual Asteroid Day celebration and competition. But, wait! There's a new contender joining this year's space camp, and well, they might actually be from space. Come for the Anderson antics, and stay for the star-studded cast — including Tom Hanks, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, and our favorite Barbie, Margot Robbie.
What we thought: “There's plenty that's familiar to Anderson's aesthetic in Asteroid City, from its crisp framing, traveling panning shots, quirky characters with muted delivery, familiar faces, and a sense of humor that is silly while sophisticated. Yet, there are thrilling explorations here too… All of these elements bend and fold, hooking around one another to create a work of art that is lovely to look at, and all the more wondrous the closer you consider its construction.” — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor
Heart of Stone
Credit: Robert Viglasky/Netflix
Gal Gadot stars in this new Netflix action flick as Rachel Stone, a globe-trotting MI6 spy working overtime for an even more secret spy agency called the Charter. Her current mission, on top of her regular spy stuff, is to keep a powerful AI out of the hands of a ruthless hacker. Gadot co-stars alongside Jamie Dornan and Alia Bhatt in what may or may not become Netflix's next big action franchise.
What we thought: “A film that's disconnected and unimaginative on every front, Heart of Stone is one of the most banal action movies from a Hollywood studio this year. Practically nothing about it works, from its stunts, to its characters, to its familiar plot — a combination made worse by the fact that it's trying to ape far more fun and technically proficient action tentpoles from recent years.” — Siddhant Adlakha, Freelance Contributor
How to watch: Heart of Stone is now streaming on Netflix.
A24 goes murder mystery in this new wild whodunnit that follows a sudden death where you'd least expect it — a hairdressing contest. Set amidst a cloudy haze of hair spray, Medusa Deluxe follows a group of hairstylists who find one of their colleagues mysteriously murdered right before judging for their competition begins. As the group tries to solve the mystery, long pent-up issues like grudges and betrayals unfurl, revealing that anyone could be the killer and the clock is ticking.
What we thought: “Medusa Deluxe is an extravagant, relentlessly propulsive, and wildly entertaining film, rich with provocative performances, jaw-dropping ambition, astounding visuals — both squalid and sublime — and a dizzying blend of dark humor and persistent empathy. Simply put, it's a knockout and not to be missed.” — K.P.
Only Murders in the Building Season 3
Credit: Patrick Harbron/Hulu
Our favorite semi-professional (but totally serious) detectives are back for another season of hilarious hijinks, mysterious murder, and thrilling suspense that already has us at the edge of our seats. Starring Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin, Only Murders in the Building follows three neighbors who begin their own true crime podcast after a murder in their building sparks their interest and mutual desire to solve the case. Since Season 1, our golden trio have found themselves entangled in plenty of curious situations, and Season 3 is no different. With a new murder involving a high-profile actor, it's up to Mabel (Gomez), Charles (Martin), and Oliver (Short) to weave through new suspects and do what they do best. Cashmere, cookies, and all.
What we thought: “Only Murders in the Building retains its cast's killer chemistry and superb wit, but the extra focus on the theatrical provides refreshing new complications to the Charles-Oliver-Mabel dynamic, proving Only Murders in the Building still has some delightful tricks up its sleeve.” — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Season 3 of Only Murders in the Building is now streaming on Hulu. New episodes air every week on Tuesday.
The Pod Generation
The Pod Generation feels like an episode straight out of Black Mirror. Starring Emilia Clarke and Chiwetel Ejiofor, The Pod Generation is set in a not-so distant future where society is entirely reliant on technology and AI for tasks ranging from the mundane to the outlandish…like pregnancy. In this world, parents can use artificial wombs or pods (which kind of look like giant eggs) to nurture their fetus; this is marketed as a tool to keep them productive at work while the egg takes care of the new baby — I told you it was very Black Mirror. So when Rachel (Clarke) and Alvy (Ejiofor) decide to use a pod, a touching albeit alarming sci-fi story about family, love, and our future unfurls in this brilliant comedy from director Sophie Barthes.
What we thought: “Despite its broad title, The Pod Generation is not about the wide world or a whole generation. It's about one single family and how they decide to become one. Within that tale, Barthes delivers a comedy that is clever, enchanting, thrillingly unique, and unapologetically tender.” — K.P.
How to watch: The Pod Generation is now playing in theaters.
Red, White & Royal Blue
Credit: Amazon Prime Video
Based on Casey McQuiston's bestselling novel of the same name, Red, White & Royal Blue is a queer love story between two unlikely strangers — Alex (Taylor Zakhar Perez), the son of the first female President of the United States, and Henry (Nicholas Galitzine), a British prince. When the pair get into a highly publicized fight at a royal wedding, they're forced to pretend to be friends lest their quarrel become a full-blown diplomatic issue between the U.S. and the UK. But we all know what happens when two enemies feign a friendship — they fall in love.
What we thought: “Of all the rom-com tropes, there is none more satisfying than enemies-to-lovers. It's a delicious kind of tension that builds over petty banter and stolen glances. Such is the case for First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz and HRH Prince Henry, the stately studs at the center of Amazon Prime Video's movie Red, White & Royal Blue. They hate each other, they love each other, and they can't keep their perfectly manicured and moisturized hands off each other — in the words of the Extremely Online, we're so back.” — Crystal Bell, Digital Culture Editor
How to watch: Red, White & Royal Blue is now streaming on Prime Video.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony Pictures
Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) returns as Brooklyn's finest, friendliest neighborhood Spider-Man in this thrilling multiverse adventure. A sequel to the incredible Into the Spider-Verse, Across the Spider-Verse throws Miles into his biggest mission yet; the very fabrics connecting all Spider-People together are at risk of being destroyed, which would release a multiverse of mayhem. But how will Miles save the Spidey multiverse if he's the reason it's dismantling in the first place? With Hailee Steinfeld and Jake Johnson returning as Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker, Across the Spider-Verse also introduces a spectacular swarm of new Spidey pals like Spider-Woman (Issa Rae), Spider-Man India (Karan Soni), Miguel O'Hara aka Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac), and the ever-so-cool Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya).
What we thought: “Miles Morales and his coterie of cartoon colleagues have come to save not only the day, not only the multiverse, but the future of cinema itself.” — K.P.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter
Credit: Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment
If you're in the mood for a spooky summer evening, The Last Voyage of the Demeter may be right up your alley. An adaptation of “The Captain's Log,” a chapter from Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter follows a crew on a haunted merchant ship that's plagued by the legendary vampire. With Dracula showing up to feast each night, the crew must band together to defeat their frightening foe amidst a hostile sea and a dark fate terrifying them all.
What we thought: “With so much promise on paper, The Last Voyage of the Demeter was among my most anticipated movies of summer 2023. Regrettably, the film onscreen feels less fulfillingly frightening and more frustrating, as its concept and content seem at war.” — K.P.