This week, Disney+ releases Turning Red straight to streaming, while Netflix drops an early summer time-travel blockbuster.
At the same time, Sky Cinema releases unleashes the latest chapter in the Fast saga.
Please note that a subscription will be required to watch.
Pick of the week
Turning Red - Disney+
From Domee Shi, the creator of the moving, Oscar-winning Pixar short Bao, comes Turning Red, one of the studio’s finest feature films in years. Following the 13-year-old Mei Lee, the film has a pleasingly direct take on humans turning into an animal as a metaphor for the growing pains of coming-of-age.
Read more: Everything new on Disney+ in March
There’s a lot of comedy to be found in both Mei’s — and her parent’s reaction — to her transformation into a giant red panda whenever she’s excited or stressed, especially because, as it turns out, it’s something that has run in the family for generations. It’s here where Turning Red truly stands apart from its peers. It keeps the stakes personal, so any peril feels like a completely organic extension of this drama, no matter how large scale it gets.
Watch: Turning Red's producer on the film's puberty subtext
Shi also lovingly portrays the textures of the family home as much as she delights in peppering the film with the aesthetics of the sort of animation that she loved growing up — there’s a lot of anime to be found amidst the film’s visual contours. In short it looks fantastic, and delightfully cartoonish for Pixar in a manner that moves away from the stolid, faux-realism that had begun to define a lot of the studio’s work.
Genuinely unmissable, even though the film has been denied a proper cinematic release.
Also new on Disney+: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Calvary
The Adam Project - Netflix
The precocious child Adam — who uncannily quips like his time-travelling older self as played by Ryan Reynolds — is getting bullied at school when we first meet him. A child who wisecracks like someone 10 years their senior is of course going to get beaten up. Free Guy director Shawn Levy applies the premise of Looper to a coming-of-age flick, in which an older time-traveller acts as a sort of father figure to his younger self. Ryan Reynolds plays the older Adam with a benefit of hindsight, repairing the past to save the future by providing himself the guidance he lacked, and by preventing time travel from being invented in the first place.
Read more: Everything new on Netflix in March
Covered by the usual Netflix digital sheen and a generic score that feels like leftover temp music based on a Marvel movie, The Adam Project isn’t anything to write home about aesthetically as well as narratively, taking a predictable path through its time travel story.
Also new on Netflix: Hail, Caesar!
Fast & Furious 9 - NOW with a Sky Cinema Membership
A franchise whose humble beginnings as a Point Break knockoff is but a speck in the rearview mirror, now the Fast and Furious films have made their name on absurdist escalation.
Fast Five saw the crew dragging a bank vault through Rio de Janiero on cables, 6 saw them face off with tanks, 7 had them skydive in cars, and so on. Back as director after a two movie hiatus, Justin Lin returns to the series that he shaped into the wild-but-earnest mega-franchise about nitros and family.
It doubles down on the soap opera drama taking place between its insane set pieces, this time seeing Dom Toretto face off against his long lost brother Jakob (inexplicably played by John Cena, who finally gets to play a heel rather than a face).
Read more: Everything new on Sky Cinema in March
One-time foes have become fast friends, as in one delightful scene featuring Helen Mirren who gets to show off more chemistry with Diesel than his character’s actual wife. Not to mention beloved fan favourites have returned from the dead. Despite all this, it fails to reach the giddy highs of Lin’s work on 5 or Tokyo Drift but it tries its darnedest to get there, finally making good on the widespread joke about the series going into to space. Yes, really.
Also new on Sky Cinema & NOW: Malignant (12 March)
Watch: Fast 9 director Justin Lin talks to Yahoo about Han