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Movie Guru: Streaming roundup for (formerly) big-budget releases

"Hamilton" with Lin Manuel Miranda hit Disney(+) last weekend.
Special to the Daily

Movie releases aren’t what they used to be.

Though a handful of studios have started streaming what would have been big-screen content online, it’s hard to pick those movies out from the ones always meant for online release. For those sick of scrolling through little digital squares, here’s the lowdown on a few recent releases originally meant for theaters.

‘Hamilton’ (Disney+)

A filmed version of the hit Broadway musical, complete with the original Broadway cast, this is a must-see movie for anyone who’s ever had the slightest interest in the show. Even if you’ve been obsessively listening to the cast album since 2016, the sheer emotion of the story will still knock you flat in the best way. Even if you know exactly what’s going to happen, there’s a good chance you’ll end up crying.

A few things, though. This is the full stage play, so make sure you set aside the nearly three hours it’ll take to watch it. Also, Disney+ has temporarily suspended its free trial period, so you’ll have to sign up for a month subscription in order to see it.

‘My Spy’ (Amazon Prime)

Is it a great movie? No. In some ways it’s not even a very good movie, plagued by a tonal clash that sneaks up on you and lingers. I’m a fan of both, so I’d always assumed an action movie with comedic bits and a comedy with action bits would be entirely compatible genres. Given the narrative headache “My Spy” gave me bouncing back and forth between those two genres suggests I was very wrong.

Still, there are things to like about it. Both genres are designed to push the audience’s emotional buttons in a satisfying manner, and “My Spy” manages to do that job pretty thoroughly. Dave Bautista is fun, particularly in the purely comedic moments, and Chloe Coleman commands the entire screen whenever she’s on it. All together, it’s the perfect movie to watch when you want something on that you won’t need to pause when you do the dishes.

‘Trolls World Tour: Dance Party Edition’ (multiple platforms)

The original “Trolls World Tour,” released earlier this spring, is one of those films that don’t need a review. If you liked the first film, you knew going in that you’d probably like this one. If you didn’t like the first film, nothing a reviewer said was going to make you change your mind.

This, however, is a “special edition re-release” of the actual film, proving that even when the industry is turned on its head there will always be cash grabs. The “dance party” in the title comes from on-screen lyrics and segments that teach your kids how to do the dances in the movie, both of which any Trolls-loving children have no doubt figured out all on their own. There’s also some scattered bonus content, similar to those DVD extras that we all only watch once if we bother watching them at all. Even if you liked the movie, this isn’t worth ponying up extra cash for.

“Trolls World Tour: Dance Party Edition” is opening up the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater’s summer season in Vail with a screening today, welcoming a limited audience to The Amp for the first time this summer.

Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at themovieguruslc@gmail.com.  


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