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October. The month when the sun goes away, work piles up, school resumes and everyone feels miserable. Unless, that is, you’re an Amazon Prime Video subscriber – the streaming site seems determined to cheer up its members, with the arrival of new original comedy Red Oaks.
Amazon’s ambitious plans to release an original show every month until January are only eclipsed by its equally impressive array of third party titles, from the exclusive acquisition of Mr. Robot to the arrival of crowd-pleasing Pixar flick Ratatouille, cerebral spy drama Tinekr Tailor and art house gem The Falling.
Here are the top new releases coming soon to Amazon Prime Video:
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 1 to 10 – Thursday 1st October
From McDreamy to Meredith, Shonda Rhimes’ long-running medical drama has become as famous for its characters as it has for bumping half of them off unexpectedly. Delve into the hospital hysterics from the very beginning with the arrival of the first 10 seasons on Amazon Prime. (Season 11 arrives on 21st October.)
The Last Five Years – Thursday 1st October
Is there anything Anna Kendrick can’t do? The Tony and Academy Award nominee seems to have done everything in her 29 years, from playing preening background teen Jessica in the Twilight saga to supporting George Clooney in Up in the Air. Throughout, she hasn’t hit a bum note. That’s especially true of The Last Five Years. The adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s Off-Broadway musical sees Kendrick dust off her larynx once again as Cathy, a young wannabe actress who falls in love with a young wannabe writer.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – Thursday 1st October
Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce star in this horror as the parents of a young girl who finds the family’s new mansion is also home to critters in the basement that only come out when the lights are off. Guillermo Del Toro’s co-written script keeps the kids’ perspective creepily convincing, while Troy Nixey’s direction plays on moving shadows with genuinely spooky tension.
Batman: Year One – Thursday 1st October
This 2011 animation is the latest addition to Amazon’s growing catalogue of Batman titles – and, based on the legendary 1980s comic book arc from Frank Miller, couldn’t come with a stronger pedigree.
Shaun the Sheep Movie – Thursday 1st October
Is there an institution more British than Aardman? The animation studio bring their stop-motion sheep (first seen in Wallace and Gromit’s A Close Shave) to the big screen, as he takes the herd of whimsical woollies to the big city to find their farmer. This isn’t a cynical cash-in, though: there isn’t a cynical bone in Aardman’s body. Told in almost silence, this is a charming slice of perfectly executed slapstick.
Return to Never Land – Friday 2nd October
Disney’s sequel to the original Peter Pan catches up with Wendy Darling, who is now grown up and married.
Crazy, Stupid, Love – Sunday 4th October
The male mid-life crisis has being having a moment in Hollywood for several years now. Crazy, Stupid, Love, which stars Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, is a promising landmark on the road to the perfect redemption comedy-drama. With Emma Stone. Which makes it better.
Final Destination 5 – Tuesday 6th October
You’d think that four movies in a row of extended death scenes would get old, but Final Destination 5 comes up with an inspired twist that makes this a surprisingly smart marriage of blood and brains. The best of the series? Go on then.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Thursday 8th October
Gary Oldman, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch. The names attached to this adaptation of John le Carré’s spy classic about a mole in MI5 are enough to make anyone want to watch it – probably for the umpteenth time. The biggest star, though, is behind the camera: Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson, who lends events a gripping, clinical finish.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – Thursday 8th October
Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman singing? Put aside any misgivings you may have: Stephen Sondheim and Tim Burton prove to be dream partners in this take on his gory musical, which waltzes wildly between laughs and shocks. (For more Tim Burton action, watch out for Dark Shadows, also arriving in October.)
Red Oaks: Season 1 – Friday 9th October
“It’s not often that a TV show feels fully-formed in its first episode. A typical series takes a few weeks to settle in, to reveal its characters, to find its voice,” we wrote of Amazon’s latest original show last year. “Red Oaks is not one of those series.”
The coming-of-age comedy, directed by David Gordon Green and produced by Steven Soderbergh, stars Craig Roberts (Submarine) as a tennis coach in a 1980s country club.
Ratatouille – Friday 9th October
Hot on the heels of the Toy Story trilogy, Disney continues to roll out Pixar’s greatest hits onto subscription VOD once more, with the arrival of Brad Bird’s tale of a rat who wants nothing more than to be a chef in a Paris kitchen.
Blue Jasmine – Sunday 11th October
Cate Blanchett is forced to rely on the kindness of strangers in this tragi-comic portrait of one woman’s fall from social grace. Bleak to say the least, Blue Jasmine feels like Woody’s most crucial and significant work for years. Streetcar reborn.
The Muppets – Sunday 11th October
Nostalgia. Noun. A warm, fuzzy thing that looks back on the past. (See also: The Muppets.) This 2011 update of everyone’s favourite puppets sees Jason Segel and Amy Adams trying to get the band back together. It’s most sensational, inspirational, celebrational and, indeed, Muppetational.
The Illusionist – Wednesday 14th October
Sylvain Chomet takes an old Jacques Tati script and turns it into a timeless animated gem about an ageing magician, who befriends a girl in period Edinburgh. The stunningly simple visuals will make you smile, but the gently tragic plot – which unfolds in almost total silence – will bring tears to your eyes.
Mr. Robot: Season 1 – Friday 16th October
NBCUniversal’s hit show, which stars Rami Malek and Christian Slater, is Amazon’s latest exclusive acquisition from the US. Malek plays Elliot, a young computer programmer who works as a cyber-security engineer by day and as a vigilante hacker by night. Elliot finds himself at a crossroads when the mysterious leader of an underground hacker group (played by Slater) recruits him to destroy the firm he is paid to protect. All 10 episodes of Season 1 will be released at once.
The Falling – Wednesday 21st October
Maisie Williams stars in The Falling, a paranormal mystery, a coming-of-age drama, a black comedy and a school musical all in one. If that makes Carol Morley’s film (about a mysterious fainting plague that sweeps through a school) seem difficult to pin down, it’s intentional. It’s also exceptionally good.
Saving Mr. Banks – 24th October
“That’s not a word,” declares Mrs. Travers during the writing of Disney’s Mary Poppins, based on her books. “We made it up,” say the Sherman brothers, halfway through singing a song. “Then un-make it up,” comes the curt reply. Featuring a hilariously abrupt turn from Emma Thompson, and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney himself, John Lee Hancock’s drama may be formulaic, but it has a merry tune to toot, one that wins you over, animated penguins, tuppence and all.
Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street: Season 2 – Friday 30th October
Amazon’s first live-action original kids’ TV series returns for a second season. Written by a nursery teacher, who submitted his script to the VOD service’s open-door pilot scheme, the show is a coming-of-age tale of friendship that centres around Gortimer and the bond with his two best friends, Ranger and Mel, as they chronicle their pursuits on Normal Street — an ordinary suburban neighbourhood that has a hint of something unexpected just beneath the surface.
Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map!
Superman vs. The Elite
Winx Club: Season 6
19-2: Season 1
Whispers: An Elephant’s Tale
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