This week’s new entertainment releases include Jamie Foxx playing a vampire hunter in “Day Shift” and a PBS “Frontline” investigation into women’s rights in Afghanistan a year after the US withdrawal. Also, “Five Days at Memorial” dramatizes the torment that 2005’s Hurricane Katrina visited on a New Orleans hospital, including the loss of life that led to criminal charges. Vera Farmiga, Cornelius Smith Jr. and Cherry Jones are among the cast members in the limited series on Apple TV+.
Here’s a collection of the best of what’s arriving in theaters, on TV and on streaming services this week.
In “Day Shift,” premiering Friday on Netflix, Jamie Foxx plays a blue-collar pool-cleaning father with a secretive side-gig: hunting and killing vampires for money. Dave Franco and Snoop Dogg co-star. “Vampires, they live amongst us,” Foxx tells Franco in the trailer. “And all they are is murderers. It’s not ‘Eclipse, New Moon, Breaking Dawn Part 1′ — it ain’t like that.”
One of the best movies of the year is finally streaming. “Belle,” Mamoru Hosoda’s tour-de-force anime of starting emotional depth, is now up on HBO Max, playing in an English dub. You may have missed it when it arrived in theaters back in early January, but “Belle” is worth catching up to. In his eighth feature, Hosoda, the Japanese Oscar-nominated director of “Mirai,” aims for perhaps his most ambitious film yet, combining a modern-day riff on “Beauty and the Beast” with a digital metaverse realm called “U.” It’s maybe more story than Hosoda can neatly marshal, but “Belle” is intimately grounded in the life of its 17-year-old protagonist, Suzu (voiced by Kylie McNeill in the Dutch version), a teenager grappling with guilt, virtual-verse -real identity and self-expression. When I reviewed “Belle” earlier this yea r, I wrote that Hosada’s films “even at their most elaborate, can reach such staggeringly emotional heights that they seem to break free of anything you’re prepared for in an animated movie.”
Every month, the Restoration Screening Room hosts live, free screenings of restored classics from Film Foundation, the nonprofit founded by Martin Scorsese. On Monday at 7 pm, the virtual theater launched this spring will host a compelling noir double feature of Arthur Ripley’s “The Chase” (1946) and Edgar G. Ulmer’s “Detour” (1945). Both take roadway encounters in deliciously dark directions that still feels unpredictable and fresh. The Restoration Screening Room platform also allows you the chance to watch along with other viewers and sample a host of special features — in this case including videos with Benicio Del Toro and director Guy Maddin, both fans of the films.
Among the pleasures of Peak TV is the room it makes for familiar and welcome faces. Acorn TV’s “Darby and Joan,” starring Bryan Brown (“Cocktail,” “Breaker Morant”) and Greta Scacchi (“Emma,” “The Player”) is such a project. Brown’s Jack Darby is a retired Australian homicide detective who takes to the road with pooch Diesel to leave the past behind. Darby crosses paths in the outback with Scacchi’s Joan, a recently widowed English nurse and, yes, opposite do attract. There’s also mysterious events to investigate in the road trip drama debuting Monday and with two episodes arriving weekly through Aug. 29 on the streaming service.
Are the Taliban adhering to their vow to respect women’s rights in Afghanistan a year after the US withdrawal? A PBS “Frontline” investigation found instead what it calls a “harrowing” story. Correspondent Ramita Navai interviewed female lawyers banned from practicing and women in abusive marriages made increasingly desperate under Taliban rule. “Afghanistan Undercover” also includes what it says is evidence of young girls abducted and forced into marriage. A Taliban representative told Navai that allegations of the regime’s mistreatment of women are “baseless.” The film debuts Tuesday on PBS stations (check local listings for time) and will stream at pbs.org/frontline.
“Five Days at Memorial” dramatizes the torment that 2005′s Hurricane Katrina visited on a New Orleans hospital, including the loss of life that led to criminal charges. Based on physician and reporter Sheri Fink’s book, “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital,” the Apple TV+ series is from John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”) and Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) , its producers, writers and, with Wendey Stanzler, directors. Vera Farmiga, Cornelius Smith Jr. and Cherry Jones are among the cast members in the limited series debuting with three episodes on Friday, with a new episode out weekly through Sept. 16.
Compiled by AP writers Lynn Elber and Jake Coyle