Streaming is the right word, because the flow of new movies and TV shows never stops. With the Tokyo Olympics winding down, we've got a little more time this weekend to watch all the new offerings on Netflix, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus and other streaming services.
This weekend’s lineup starts with the reboot-quel The Suicide Squad, which takes some characters from the 2016 film and mixes them with new characters and a vision by director James Gunn. The result is receiving raves (including from multiple TG staffers).
Elsewhere, Joseph Gordon-Levitt presents his new dramedy, Mr. Corman, which he created and stars in. Netflix has two very different premieres — the bumbling-but-amusing Cooking With Paris reality show and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s animated musical Vivo.
And that’s not all: There are a ton of new TV shows and specials available on broadcast and cable. If you’ve cut the cord, just sign up for one of the best cable TV alternatives for access to your favorite channels.
Here are our picks for the new movies and TV shows to watch this weekend.
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The Suicide Squad (HBO Max)
Movie | 2 hr 12 min (R) | How to watch The Suicide Squad
The 2016 Suicide Squad movie cleaned up at the box office, but later became reviled for failing to deliver on the promise of the premise — a team-up of super villains. DC and Warner Bros. clearly didn’t want to let this IP languish, hence this quasi-sequel, quasi-reboot. They turned to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn to do an extreme movie makeover — and he’s done it. The Suicide Squad 2021 is earning positive reviews from critics and fans alike for its chaotic energy, gory violence and satirical irreverence. Plus, the general consensus is that it’s fun, which is not a label put on most DC movies. Stick around for the Suicide Squad post-credits scenes.
Mr. Corman (Apple TV Plus)
Series premiere | Episodes 1-2 (TV-MA) | Watch now (opens in new tab)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt created, wrote, directed and stars in this dramedy, which he’s previously said muses on who he’d be had his life had turned out differently. Maybe he would’ve turned into a fifth grade teacher in Van Nuys, like the main character, Josh Corman. Maybe he’d trudge through his dull day job, then go home to tinker with music in his bedroom — all while dreaming of what could’ve been. While Gordon-Levitt wears many hats behind the scenes, this isn’t a one-man show and the cast is filled with talented actors like Debra Winger, Juno Temple, Arturo Castro, Jamie Chung and Hugo Weaving.
Cooking With Paris (Netflix)
Series premiere | Episodes 1-6 (TV-MA) | Watch now (opens in new tab)
Finally, Paris Hilton can say “that’s hot” and have it make literal sense! Hilton starred in a viral video last year in which she made lasagna. That led to this Netflix series, which is just the latest in the oeuvre of “celebrity learns how to cook” reality shows (Selena Gomez and Amy Schumer are other examples). Hilton recruits some of her famous friends for her kitchen misadventures, including Kim Kardashian West and Demi Lovato. She really leans into her clueless persona (“What is a whisk?” she asks Nikki Glaser). The end result is pretty funny and a reminder that Hilton has excellent comedic timing. That’s cool.
Season 2 premiere | Episodes 1-6 (TV-14) | Watch now (opens in new tab)
New season, new suspicious transportation accident. Departure returns stateside on Peacock with a completely different case for the Transport Safety and Investigations Bureau to solve. Investigator Kendra Malley (Archie Panjabi) is recruited to look into the derailment of an experimental high-speed train in rural Michigan. The nearby small town is reeling in shock, while the rest of the world is demanding answers. Malley’s inquiry uncovers a puzzle of disconnected events and a bunch of suspects with plausible motives.
Val (Amazon Prime Video)
Movie | 1 hr 48 min (R) | Watch now (opens in new tab)
Val Kilmer was a clearly talented actor. He was also clearly intense, mercurial and difficult — the quintessential tortured artist. This documentary follows Kilmer’s life and career, using footage taken by himself and his brothers. It’s moving to see clips of the young actor in movies like Top Gun, interspersed with interviews where the older Kilmer speaks through a voice box after a bout with throat cancer. Don’t expect any hard-hitting segments about the alleged abusive behavior he exhibited on sets. This is a thoroughly nostalgic doc and a sentimental trip down memory lane for Kilmer.
Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union (HBO Max)
Limited series | Episodes 1-3 (TV-14) | Watch now (opens in new tab)
Timed to coincide with former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday, this docu-series traces Obama’s childhood, education and the political rise that put him into the Oval Office. The first thing to know is that Obama wasn’t interviewed by filmmakers Peter Kundhardt and Jelani Cobb. Instead, the three episodes weave together old footage and other talking heads to examine the forces that aided Obama’s ascent, his role as a symbolic figure for Black Americans and the legacy he’s left behind.
Movie | 1 hr 39 min (PG) | Watch now (opens in new tab)
The summer of Lin-Manuel Miranda continues. In the Heights, the adaptation of his musical, splashed onto screens and HBO Max in June. Now, he’s back with the animated family movie Vivo. Miranda wrote eight original songs for the movie, which fuses his Broadway rapping style with the sounds of Cuba. Vivo follows the titular kinkajou (Miranda), a talented musician who busks in the streets of Havana with owner Andrés (Juan de Marcos). After a tragedy, Vivo journeys to Florida to deliver a love song to the famous singer Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan). Along the way, he makes some unlikely friends and connects in his grief with Andrés’ grandniece Gabi (Ynairaly Simo).
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