It’s almost Christmas but surprisingly streaming services aren’t flooded with seasonal movies. In fact, there is a notable absence of sleighs and bells this weekend. Instead, there are several very interesting premieres and others not so much.
The biggest premiere is season 2 of The Witcher, which brings Geralt, the monster hunter played by Henry Cavill back into the fight (although given the amount of artificial snow that Netflix has put in the second outing of the series, it could also be considered a Christmas classic).
Here are the seven most significant releases coming to Netflix, HBO Max, and Prime Video in the coming days.
The Witcher season 2 (Netflix)
The Witcher returns for its second season this week, ready to continue the adventures of our favorite silver-haired warrior.
Following the dramatic end of Season 1, Netflix’s big-budget fantasy series returns with new episodes set in snow-capped mountains and icy ravines as Geralt (Henry Cavill) continues his journey with Ciri (Freya Allan). The show’s second season is “more ambitious, action-packed, and emotional” in our review. Returning fans will find even more of what they like.
We also spoke with Cavill, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, and the rest of the show’s main cast ahead of season 2’s launch. They told us audiences will have “bigger and more expansive” action, but also a “more intimate, emotional and private “.
Now available on Netflix
Swan Song (Apple TV Plus)
Swan Song debuts simultaneously on Apple TV and in theaters this week.
It stars Mahershala Ali as Cameron Turner, a terminally ill husband and father who is offered a chance to protect his family from the grief of his loss by the mysterious doctor starring Glenn Close.
The premise sounds intriguing enough even without the star power of the cast to the project, but both Ali and Close are great actors who will make it a must-have for moviegoers.
Ya available in Apple TV Plus
The Hand of God (Netflix)
The Hand of God tells the story of a young teenager, his eccentric family and his vibrant life in Naples in the 1980s. The story centers on how their lives are suddenly altered by the electrifying arrival of a soccer legend (Maradona) and an accident.
The film marks the long-awaited return to the screen of the great film director Paolo Sorrentino (La Gran Belleza, Youth, The Young Pope). In fact, it is a partially autobiographical portrait of his younger years. As is typical of Sorrentino’s filmography, Italian actor Toni Servillo stars in a leading role.
Now available on Netflix
Station Eleven (HBO Max)
Station Eleven in the adaptation of Emily St., John Mandel’s pandemic post-apocalyptic novel.
This 10-episode limited series was commissioned nearly six months before Covid-19 started to make headlines. It describes the heartbreaking aftermath of a world devastated by a viral infection, something that will touch many too close.
The cast includes Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel, Matilda Lawler, and Gael García Bernal. Episodes one and two are out now. The remaining eight will arrive every Thursday starting next week.
Now available on HBO Max
With Love (Prime Video)
There’s not much Christmas content this week except for this Christmas rom-com serial from Amazon. With Love is a year of life with a pair of siblings (Emeraude Toubia and Mark Indelicato) as they search for love. Pure sentimental escapism to take a nap.
The show’s first season has five one-hour episodes, each set during different parties throughout the year.
Now available on Amazon Prime Video
This Will Forte MacGyver parody first originated as a ‘sketch’ on Saturday Night Live. It hit the big screen in 2010 and is now returning as an original series on Peacock.
This time, the action hero is unexpectedly released from prison to complete a secret government mission, which tasks him with pursuing the baddie played by Billy Zane. Forte reprises his role as MacGruber, along with his teammates played by Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe and Timothy V. Murphy.
The first few reviews haven’t been too kind, so it’s just for superfine characters (whoever you are).
Now available at Peacock
Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss (HBO Max)
Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss chronicles the meteoric rise and tragic fall of the Chicago rapper, who passed away prematurely in 2019.
Tommy Oliver directs this intimate portrait of his life and the artist’s legacy, which includes previously unreleased music and images, along with testimonies from those closest to him.
It’s easy to praise some public figures after their death, but Juice WRLD really was one of those rare musicians whose talent defined a generation. For that reason it is worth seeing.
Now available on HBO Max
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7 new movies and series on Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max and more this weekend