Kick off your weekend with a high velocity bang through the epic rivalries between King Kong and Godzilla and Star Wars’ Jedi and the Sith with this week’s new streaming releases. City slickers and True Grit wannabes alike might also have an affinity for Netflix’s Concrete Cowboy, about a Philadelphia teen who winds up on an urban ranch. From ghosts to murder to children fleeing home, here’s a jam-packed streaming guide, curated for you by Observer Entertainment.
Godzilla vs. Kong
The colossal cinematic clash between King Kong and Godzilla hit HBO Max and the big screen Wednesday. Directed by Adam Wingard and starring Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri and Eiza González, Godzilla vs. Kong features the high intensity stand-off between the two mythic titans en route on Kong’s journey to find his true home. Observer reviewer Jordan Zakarin gave the film a three star review, noting that “the big battles of Godzilla vs. Kong are still immensely satisfying, while the vast sci-fi vistas are some of the most creative and wondrous the franchise has produced in a very long time.” Watch Godzilla vs. Kong on HBO Max.
In Wes Anderson’s adored 2012 film Moonrise Kingdom, two New England children escape the mundanity of home life and embark on a journey into the wild, setting off a frenzied search within their town to rescue them. Featuring star-studded cast members Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, and Tilda Swinton, the film earned a 2013 Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Watch Moonrise Kingdom on Amazon Prime.
The Wild West meets Philadelphia city streets in Netflix’s Concrete Cowboy. Starring Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin, Jarrel Jerome, Byron Bowers, Lorraine Toussaint and Clifford Smith, the film follows troubled teen Cole’s struggle to adapt to life with estranged father Harp on an urban stable in Philadelphia. Derived from G. Neri’s novel Ghetto Cowboy, the film examines the teetering Philadelphian urban cowboy tradition at the hands of gentrification through the evolution of Harp and Cole’s relationship. Watch Concrete Cowboy on Netflix.
Ghostwriter: Beyond the Page
Apple TV+’s series Ghostwriter: Beyond the Page, presented in conjunction with National Library Week, encourages young fans of the Ghostwriter series to engage in the writing process. Hosted by author D.J. MacHale, the series follows Donna as she revisits classic books in an effort to craft her own story. Ghostwriter characters make frequent appearances as well, inspiring children to interact with the series via bonus activities and challenges. Meanwhile, Ghostwriter’s second season is set to release on the platform in May, continuing the suspension of reality that ensues after a ghost releases fictional characters into the real world and haunts the neighborhood bookstore. Watch Ghostwriter: Beyond the Page on Apple TV+.
Directed by Tom Shankland and written by Richard Warlow, The Serpent dramatizes the real life demons of serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who murdered dozens of individuals throughout Thailand, India and Nepal in the 1970s. The eight-part series features performances by Tahar Rahim and Jenna Coleman and jumps back and forth through time to psychoanalyze Sobhraj’s twisted past. Watch The Serpent on Netflix.
Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars
Director Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars, frequently lauded as one of the best Star Wars narratives, hits Disney+ today. Tartakovsky’s hand-drawn and anime-influenced stylism introduced a new aesthetic to the beloved Star Wars universe, producing the non-stop action audiences craved. In a Thrillist interview, Tartakovsky described his iconic approach: “I love action,” he says. “I want it created stylistically and interestingly enough that it’s unique.” Watch Star Wars: Clone Wars on Disney+.
Keeping Watch is a regular endorsement of TV and movies worth your time.