“Bright” (Netflix): A new big-budget Will Smith movie, opens Friday — not in theaters but on a Netflix app near you.
This weird fact speaks to three things: 1. Will Smith isn’t the star he once was. 2. Movie stars alone no longer draw people to the theaters. 3. Netflix is paying A LOT of money to try to keep people home on Friday nights.
“Bright,” which comes from “Suicide Squad” director David Ayer, is a bit of an odd bird. It’s set in a world where humans live side-by-side with mystical creatures, and everyone’s discovered new ways to be racist. In this powder-keg society, a human cop (Smith) is partnered up with an orc (Joel Edgerton) to solve a crime. A hybrid of gritty cop drama and fairy tale fantasy sounds like it will be at least interesting. But good? I guess we’ll have to see.
“The Santa Clause” (Netflix): These movies.
“The Santa Clause 2” (Netflix): Are body-horror movies.
“The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” (Netflix): I mean, Tim Allen gets magically enslaved into a high-stress job that prevents him from shaving his beard or maintaining a healthy weight. That’s not whimsical; it’s haunting.
“Gunpowder” (HBO Now, HBO Go): An HBO miniseries starring Kit Harington follows the exploits of British activist Guy Fawkes and his group’s plan to blow up the House of Lords in the early 17th century.
“Going in Style” (HBO Now, HBO Go): Zach Braff, star of “Scrubs” and navel-gazer of “Garden State,” directed this off-brand comedy about three old guys (Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin) who decide to rob a bank.
“Jean-Claude Van Johnson” (Amazon Prime): In this new Amazon original comedy, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Jean-Claude Van Damme, a martial artist and movie star who is actually the world’s greatest undercover private contractor.
“Sling Blade” (Hulu): Billy Bob Thornton’s raw, brilliant Oscar winner.
“Step” (Hulu): A rousing 2017 documentary that chronicles the senior year of a girls’ high-school step dance team in inner-city Baltimore.
“Kate & Leopold” (Hulu): There’s a rotting carcass of a Hugh Jackman musical in theaters this weekend. Before you DON’T go see it, watch this fluffy diversion starring Jackman and Meg Ryan.
“The Unknown Girl” (Netflix): The latest from the Dardenne brothers is a crime drama about a woman who becomes obsessed with the case of a dead girl.
“Some Freaks” (Netflix): A well-reviewed drama about the burgeoning relationship between an overweight girl and a boy with one eye.
“Wilson” (HBO Now, HBO Go): Woody Harrelson plays a no-good degenerate who tracks down his ex-wife (Laura Dern) and learns that he has a teenage daughter. Based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes.
“Score” (Hulu): An interesting and often affecting documentary about movie scores and the musicians who make them. There’s a sequence that celebrates the work of John Williams (“E.T.,” “Star Wars”) that … I’m not crying you’re crying!