Quarantainment: Here are this week’s biggest streaming releases


Editor’s Note: Welcome to Quarantainment, Vanyaland’s new series on what to watch, what to hear, and how to deal as the world engages in social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19. We’re all at home, we’re all online, and we’re all in this together. #StayTheFHome

As we enter day 20-something of quarantine, we hope you’re holding up well and haven’t totally destroyed your self-isolation food stockpiles just yet. It’s a rough world out there, and there are fewer avenues for enjoyment, escapism, and entertainment every day as the news becomes harder and harder to ignore. We’re right with you: We’ve deleted Twitter off our phones (Editor’s Note: ok, not all of us), built pillow forts, and are trying to teach our cats how to speak Esperanto, but we need something new to do. Maybe something new to watch.

But rather than leading a bunch of celebrities in a filmed singalong of “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” to show both our brand awareness and our care for our fellow man while inflating also egos and our sense of societal importance, we’re just going to offer you up the week’s best streaming releases instead. That way, you can experience some brilliant, soul-altering art, like some of the films on our list, and spend your quarantine stimulating your brain and stirring your passions. Or, if you’re like us, you can drown yourself in some genuinely terrible but kind of amusing schlock so that you can relax and rest a little bit and have something to listen to while you play more Alphabear 2.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Eliza Hittman’s deeply sad and incredibly drama — about two young Pennsylvania women who are forced by state law and malicious helpers to travel to New York City so that one of them can get an abortion — was unfairly robbed of a proper theatrical release thanks to this pandemic, but you have the chance to check it out wherever you are in the country thanks to Video-On-Demand. It was one of the best films we caught at Sundance this past year, and it’s important if you care about independent film for you to support a fantastic filmmaker like Hittman. The $20 asking price for a rental is a bit steep, but hey, you’d pay that much to see it anyways up in the Northeast. (VOD, $19.99, available now)


Trolls World Tour

Ah, yes: The month’s biggest release has finally arrived, thanks to Universal’s willingness to break theatrical windows for a quick buck. It remains to be seen whether this choice will be profitable for them in the long-run, but the fact still stands: you can see a legitimate first-run blockbuster feature in theaters (provided you have a drive-in near you) or on your television for the first time since… well, Tower Heist. Oh, yeah: The movie’s about lil’ troll dudes who like to sing and need to stop the Rock Elves or whatever from destroying the candy-colored land that they inhabit. We never saw the first one, so we can’t really tell you what’s going on. Maybe ask your niece or nephew instead of us. (VOD, $19.99, available April 10)


The Other Lamb

Malgorzata Szumowska’s psychological thriller (we know, we know, the term sucks, but we can’t really call this a horror movie) is icky as shit and creepy as hell, and it boasts an excellent performance by Raffey Cassidy, who you might remember from Vox Lux or The Killing of a Sacred Deer. It’s not going to be for everybody, but if you want a visually-striking and engaging film to get under your skin, we highly recommend you check it out. Check out our review here. (VOD, from $6.99, available now)


Coffee & Kareem

We’ll be totally straight with you: under normal circumstances, you’d probably forget about a movie like Coffee & Kareem‘s existence about ten minutes after its credits roll, and it’s hard to really recommend for that reason alone. But in these trying times, Michael Dowse’s buddy cop comedy about a Detroit police officer (Ed Helms) and his girlfriend’s kid (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) taking on a gang of drug-dealing dirty cops is surprisingly fun and diverting, to say the least. We’d really recommend you check this out after you watch The Hunt, because, like that film, this is another movie which Betty Gilpin totally steals. It’s not great, but it’ll do. (Netflix, available now)


The Main Event

It looks like Netflix got swept up in Wrestlemania season this year, given that they’ve produced two relatively huge wrestling-related products so far this year. First, there’s The Big Show Show, a sitcom starring — you guessed it — The Big Show, which hit the small screen last week, and now there’s The Main Event. It’s a lot like Like Mike or Thunderstruck (We have to wonder how that movie’s aged since KD left for Golden State, and it’s probably not for the better), in that a kid (Dallas Young) finds a magical mask and decides to enter a competition to see if he’s Tough Enough. Or maybe he’ll be NXT in line. Who knows. Either way, we bet there’s some wrestling fan out there who wants to give this one a shot, and we hope you enjoy it. (Netflix, available April 10)


Love Wedding Repeat

We’re actually kind of excited for this rom-com, written and directed by Dean Craig, the man behind the scripts for both Death at a Funerals. It stars Sam Claflin as a young man who just wants his sister’s wedding to go on without any troubles. But, as we see in several alternative versions of the same day, there’s no way that a wedding doesn’t have issues — including when our man’s ex-flame shows up and crashes the party. We think this sounds kind of fun, all things considered, and we’ve got more than enough time on our hands to check it out. So, we’ll have a review coming for you on Friday. (Netflix, available April 10)



Do we really need to tell you to watch this masterpiece? If the months and months of buzz passed you by ever since Bong Joon-Ho’s latest premiered at Cannes last May, the Best Picture win should have probably clued you in that, yes, this movie is really fucking good. And now, even for the cheapest among us, it’s going to be easier than ever to check it out: it’s premiering on Hulu later this week, thanks to a long-term deal struck by Neon and the streaming service. So, you really don’t have an excuse anymore. (Hulu, available April 8)


Cursed Films

Now, we know that this technically counts as a TV show, but whatever, we’re going to roll with it anyways. This project, from the filmmakers behind Shudder’s hit documentary Horror Noire, devotes an episode each to five horror films or series with notoriously rough productions. There’s only one episode currently available, and it’s about The Exorcist, which is must-watch especially in the wake of Max von Sydow’s passing. However, the next two episodes of the documentary series will hit on Thursday, and they’ll cover The Omen films and the Poltergeist series, the latter of which we’re really looking forward to checking out. A Shudder subscription is one of the best things a horror fan can have during their stay in self-isolation, and we highly recommend you get one. (Shudder, available now)



We told you last week to hold out on renting Onward, the new Pixar movie that was just in theaters under a month ago, because it would be coming out on Disney+ very, very soon. And, sure enough, the Mouse put the film up on their new streaming service last Friday. As we said in our review, Onward‘s a solid little movie, even if it doesn’t really clear the super-high standards that have been set for the CGI animation studio, and we bet it’ll prevent your kids from screaming about rewatching Frozen for at least an afternoon. (Disney+, available now)


The Straight Story

This might amaze some of you who only know him from works like Eraserhead or Mulholland Dr., but, way back in 1999, David Lynch directed a film for Disney. It makes sense that you might not know that: that film, The Straight Story, has been unavailable in pretty much every format for a decade and a half, for whatever reason (The Disney Vault is, after all, where things go to die until market forces resurrect them). But now that Disney+ is here, and the Studio is desperate for both good press and content right now, they’ve pulled Lynch’s work out of obscurity for those curious to watch it. The Straight Story dramatizes the true story of Alvin Straight (played here by Richard Farnsworth), an old man who trekked across the country on his John Deere lawn tractor to visit his brother, who had recently suffered a stroke. It’s unlike anything else in Lynch’s filmography, and it’s genuinely brilliant. (Disney+, available now)