Have you heard? Dune is on the way. The biggest news of the week was a first trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune, showing off a sandy epic that’s scheduled for release in December, at least for now. If you have any questions about what’s going on in the trailer — or just what Dune is all about — we have the answers for you.
The second-biggest news of the week was the arrival of the trailer for Hubie Halloween, a new Adam Sandler movie that’s set to hit Netflix on Oct. 7. Also in streaming news, a new adaptation of The Westing Game is set to come to HBO Max.
Meanwhile, Tenet is still in theaters (in locales where theaters are open), though the other big releases that are scheduled to come out soon, such as Wonder Woman 1984, have been pushed back on the calendar. As for what’s out right now, however, here are the new releases you can watch from home this weekend.
Where to watch it: Rent on digital, $5.99 on Amazon, $6.99 on Apple
The new thriller Rent-A-Pal stars Brian Landis Folkins as David, a man who, while trying to find love through a video dating service, comes across a mysterious VHS tape labeled “Rent-A-Pal.” The video features the charming Andy (Wil Wheaton), who, as the video’s name suggests, offers to be David’s friend. But Andy’s companionship doesn’t come for free.
Where to watch it: Streaming on HBO Max
When Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) discovers she’s become pregnant, she enlists the help of her former best friend Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) to drive to Albuquerque to get an abortion, as she can’t get one in her home state of Missouri without her parents’ permission. The trip tests the two young women’s relationship, but also begins to mend the broken bond between them.
At first, the group of youngsters led by Mary (Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams) think they’ve found the perfect house to rob. The house is empty, and there’s a safe full of cash inside. However, the elderly couple who live in the house (Sylvester McCoy and Rita Tushingham) return home early, and the would-be robbery turns into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.
I Am Woman
Tilda Cobham-Hervey stars in this biopic of Australian singer Helen Reddy. The film follows her involvement with the 1970s feminist movement and her rise to fame, with eight number-one singles and a TV show. Evan Peters co-stars as Jeff Wald, her husband and manager, alongside Danielle Macdonald as Lilian Roxon, the author of Lillian Roxon’s Rock Encyclopedia.
New on Netflix this weekend
- The horror-comedy The Babysitter: Killer Queen
- Julie and the Phantoms, about a teenage girl who forms a band with three ghosts
- The comedy series The Duchess, starring Katherine Ryan
- The second season of The Gift
And here’s what dropped last Friday:
Where to watch it: Streaming on Disney Plus via Premier Access for $29.99
The 1998 animated film, based on “The Ballad of Mulan,” gets a live-action remake from director Niki Caro, with Liu Yifei in the title role. Reactions may vary. From our review:
The best point of comparison, however, remains The Rise of Skywalker. Mulan handily clears the bar set by live-action duds like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, but it still fails to recapture the magic of the movie it’s adapting. It forgoes the strongest ideas in the animated film (the songs and the humble origins of heroism) in order to try to tell a more conventional story. In the animated film, the emperor says of Mulan: “You don’t meet a girl like that every dynasty.” She’s an unfollowable act. So is the 1998 movie.
Feels Good Man
Where to watch it: In limited theaters, or rent on digital, $4.99 on Apple and Vudu
The documentary Feels Good Man focuses on the cartoon Pepe the Frog, created by Matt Furie, who went viral and became a political symbol. As our review from Sundance puts it, the movie might be the most important political doc of the year:
With an election looming, it’s hard to watch Feels Good Man without feeling like we’ve run out of time. The grand experiment of the internet was a failure, but there’s no turning it off. In 2016, the cult of Pepe turned to the Egyptian frog god Kek in order to cripple Hillary Clinton with psychic energy. (And they think it worked.) Presumably 2020 will have its own meme-fueled, amateur technocracy pulling strings on a world that many believe stills works the way it did 50 years ago. Even if Hong Kong protestors manage to reshape Pepe’s image once again, there always seems to be something new lurking in the shadows.
Measure for Measure
Where to watch it: Buy on digital, $14.99 on Apple
This new adaptation of Measure for Measure takes place in contemporary Melbourne, n a housing estate rife with racial tension and drug trade. The film stars Hugo Weaving as Duke, and centers on the burgeoning romance between a young Muslim woman and a local musician.
The King of Staten Island
After debuting earlier this summer for a premium VOD price, Judd Apatow’s latest movie is now available to rent at a more typical rental rate. The King of Staten Island stars Pete Davidson as a loosely fictionalized version of himself, and addresses the typically Apatovian story beats of growing out of arrested development and assuming responsibility through Davidson’s sharp lens. From our review:
When 20-year-old Pete Davidson made his debut on Saturday Night Live in 2014, he drew notice through his appearances on “Weekend Update,” where, as himself, he spoke on topics ranging from gender-neutral bathrooms to his mental health. Though he also performed in sketches, his monologues were more compelling. His blasé way of addressing heavy topics, such as his experiences getting sober and dealing with suicidal thoughts, made them feel less taboo and more approachable and relatable. And while he played it all casually, his frankness still revealed his more vulnerable side. Director Judd Apatow banks on that appeal in his new VOD movie The King of Staten Island, which stars Davidson (who also co-wrote the script with Apatow and Dave Sirus) as a loosely fictionalized version of himself, and proves his capabilities as a leading man.
Children of the Sea
Ruka once saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her father works. Now a junior high-school student, she encounters a mysterious pair of brothers at the aquarium, and the trio begin to investigate supernatural marine events. From our review:
The movie portrays water in such a breathtaking way that it’s difficult to not get drawn in. Every gill, dorsal fin, and flipper feels so vividly drawn that it’s like being in the actual ocean. As the film progresses, the underwater scenes grow in complexity, highlighting the ocean’s natural beauty. But these scenes feel earned rather than overwhelming, as if the entire film has been building up to the unification of the ocean and the audience.