What to watch: The best movies new to streaming from Tetris to A Quiet Place Part II

What to watch: A Quiet Place Part II, Tetris, and Please Baby Please are all new to streaming this week. (Paramount/Apple/Music Box Films)
What to watch: A Quiet Place Part II, Tetris, and Please Baby Please are all new to streaming this week. (Paramount/Apple/Music Box Films)

Wondering what to watch this weekend? Before April brings a flood of new releases, it’s a bit of a quieter week in streaming, even as Apple TV+ releases its film Tetris, about the race for the rights for the most famous (and perhaps still one of the greatest) video games ever made.

Some rather outlandish drama and playful comedy further boost an already wild story, even if it quite often falls into Hollywood cliche and a rather simplistic leveraging of the game’s aesthetics.

At the same time, Netflix releases the sci-fi horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II, following up the previous film by director John Krasinski with a new instalment, seeing its central family in even less certain circumstances than before as they’re forced on the run in an incredibly hostile environment.

Read more: Everything we know about Bond 26

MUBI offers some even more left-field counter-programming with Please Baby Please, a sort-of musical pastiche exploring sexual identity.

Tetris (2023) | Apple TV+ (pick of the week)

Taron Egerton and Nikita Efremov in Tetris. (Apple TV+)
Taron Egerton and Nikita Efremov in Tetris. (Apple TV+)

The history of the world’s most famous video game is delivered fast and loose in the opening of the film of the same name, Tetris.

Backed by a score comprised of various arrangements of the game’s theme song (including a Russian-styled one), game salesman Hank Rogers (Taron Egerton) gives a skeptical investor a quick rundown of the history of the game’s development, leading up to his discovery of it and desire to license it in Japan, where he lives as an expatriate.

Read more: The unbelievable true story behind Tetris

Were it not for the somewhat overblown use of 8-bit graphics (later resulting in a sequence that rivals The Beach for embarrassing leveraging of video game aesthetics) it’d play like a Wikipedia page, right down to its pointed mention of the Tetris Effect, a phenomenon where video game players see the imagery in their dreams.

Watch a clip from Tetris

Thankfully as it follows Henk’s wild international scramble to license Tetris for Nintendo, its story gets a sillier and a lot funnier from here, in a heightened version of an already wild true story (the writer and director have wryly said in interviews of their embellishments that “we’re not doing [a] documentary”).

As Henk fights off other interested parties, such as the head of a media empire and his obnoxious son, what seemingly starts as another spin on The Social Network leans towards paranoid Cold War thriller as the game’s creator Alexei Pajitnov’s tenuous living circumstances become key to the history of the Game Boy.

Nikita Efremov and Taron Egerton in Tetris. (Apple TV+)
Nikita Efremov and Taron Egerton in Tetris. (Apple TV+)

That doesn’t mean it’s dour — even some of its more serious scenes have a fun edge to them such as with its clandestine night-time meetings with foreign agents over the international rights of that video game about moving blocks around. Or, more plainly, there’s a moment where a Russian official laughs at the main character, and the film cuts away to the agent listening in on the conversation, laughing too.

What other critics thought of Tetris

Indiewire: Taron Egerton fights the Soviet Union… for video game rights (4 min read)

The AV Club: Video game origin story (mostly) falls into place (5 min read)

The Hollywood Reporter: A compelling video game origin story that could have been more (5 min read)

The more sentimental moments are a little hackneyed, and while it might not win any awards, it’s a charmingly playful spin on a story that’s already stranger than fiction, even if it has no real idea of subtlety.

If you ever wanted to see the creator of Tetris get into a car chase with the KGB, here’s your chance.

Also on Apple TV: Sharper (2023)

A Quiet Place Part II (2020) | Netflix

L-r, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and Emily Blunt star in Paramount Pictures'
Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place Part II. (Paramount)

Following up his fun, if gimmicky, sci-fi horror film A Quiet Place, actor-turned-director John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II jumps into the direct aftermath of the first film. The central family — the matriarch of which is played by Krasinki’s real-life partner, the formidable Emily Blunt — are fleeing their country home, after it was destroyed in a face-off with the sonically-sensitive aliens.

The novelty of the premise has worn off a little after the first film, which itself could have stood to spent more time in tense silence as its characters attempt to survive ruthless onslaught from creatures that can quite literally hear a pin drop.

Read more: Unrelated films that could pass as sequels

Part II falls further into post-apocalypse cliche as it wonders about the frailty of human bonds and weighs up the dangers of isolation against those of community in such a setting, but there are still rather pure genre thrills to be had here, especially in a flashback to the beginning of the apocalypse, viewed from the inside of a fleeing car in a rather tense long take.

Also new on Netflix: Murder Mystery 2 (2023)

Please Baby Please (2022) | MUBI

Amanda Kramer’s latest camp visual experiment stars the recently Oscar-nominated, and ever-chameleonic Andrea Riseborough as Suze, who with her new husband Arthur goes into a crisis of sexuality, complete with some song and dance numbers.

It’s even more bemusing and chaotic in imagery than it sounds written down, as Kramer mixes fetishism and sexual liberation with intentional artifice, all in combination with playful homage, pushing queer subtext of 1950s greaser gang imagery to its vividly colourful surface.

Read more: mparisons of Please, Baby, Please to the anarchic, parodic films of John Waters are apt. The many comparisons of Please, Baby, Please to the anarchic, parodic films of John Waters are apt.

Also on MUBI: Melancholia (2011)