(Welcome to Small-Screen Stream, a feature where we share the best television shows streaming and where you can watch them.)

Hi nerds! I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking over the  Small-Screen Stream column from here on out. We’ve had a bit of a hiatus, which means the world of streaming has gotten even bigger since we last visited it over here at /Film! Giants like Apple and Disney have joined the fray, while DC’s already basically come and gone with their streaming offerings.

We’ll be kicking off the resurrection with exceptional superhero fare streaming through the internet tubes for a couple of reasons. The first being that nothing says “can’t stay dead” like the superhero genre. The second? Well, I do have a brand to maintain. Just keep in mind that this isn’t a ranking. Think of it more as a collection of fun, dark, and inspiring shows for those days where you just need a hero. 

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What to Watch and Read After Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

There’s no “right time” to get into the horror genre. Whether you dipped your toes in young, or didn’t dive into the world of the spooky until much later in life, horror is for you. That being said, there’s a certain level of nostalgia that comes into play when you dip your toes in at a younger age. The old Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark anthology was that for so many people across several generations. With the film now playing in theaters, we wanted to take a look across several different mediums to get a “where do I go from here” kind of list for those who found themselves intrigued by the world of children’s horror. 

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Iron Giant at 20

The Iron Giant just turned twenty” is a weird sentence to write, considering that the film feels more important now than it did two decades ago. That’s not to say it didn’t matter then. Far from it, in fact. Though the animated film didn’t see much success in the box office, it was both a critical success and a fan favorite whose cult following is completely earned.  

Back in 1999, the film’s punch was much more personal. It didn’t see widespread success, but where it hit, it hit hard. The overly imaginative loner kids with single parents saw themselves in young Hogarth as they watched him gradually find a new friend. The Iron Giant didn’t just hit home for the younger audience, either. Parents (and the very adult critics) all found something to love, whether it be out of attachment to Annie, Dean, or even young Hogarth’s stories, or the overall charm of the film. No matter which human you found yourself attached or relating to, there’s one very obvious common denominator in everyone’s love for the film: The Iron Giant himself.

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the red sea diving resort trailer

When you see your brother or your sister struggling, you must not remain silent. Do not remain still. Go to their aid. Help them.

Last week, we spent a little bit of time talking about the very real crisis that wreaked havoc on Ethiopia through the ’70s and ’80s. Specifically, we focused on the crisis of the Ethiopian Jews. We did so to discuss the subject matter of Netflix’s most recent film, The Red Sea Diving Resort. Now that I’ve had a chance to check out the film, I figured it was only appropriate to talk about the film itself.

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Netflix’s The Red Sea Diving Resort is live on the streaming service today. We weren’t at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival to see the world premiere, but we do think that it’s important to take a look at the very real events that inspired the film before we take a look at Chris Evan’s first project after hanging up Captain America’s shield. 

The film’s premise is pretty straight forward: a group of international agents use a deserted resort to smuggle some refugees out of hostile territory. The thing is, most Americans aren’t taught about the humanitarian crisis the Ethiopians faced throughout the 70s and 80s. “The Red Terror” might spark some distant memory from the single day in history class where the teacher name dropped The Derg. But, by and large, public school hasn’t spent a lot of time discussing the tragedy that went down for over a decade.

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Jane Foster Thor

Whosoever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor. 

Mjolnir’s inscription is pretty clear. Being + Hammer + Worthy = some God of Thunder butt-kicking. What folks have some confusion over is just who it is that decides that worthiness. Once upon a time, Odin thought it was him. Don’t worry, we’ll touch more on that here in a little bit. In reality, the answer is less of a who and more of a what. That “what” is the hammer itself. 

Mjolnir’s kept things pretty exclusive over the years, only letting a treasured few into its little club. Several came to pass in the old “What If” series, including the likes of Rogue, Black Widow, and Conan the Barbarian (listen, I don’t make the rules). We’ve got a couple out of towners, namely Superman and Wonder Woman, who’ve successfully wielded the hammer in crossover events. There are a couple of cheaters in the mix, with folks merging with Thor, wielding via technicality by simply throwing him (or his arm) around, some alternate dimension mishaps, and a clone, but we’re not going to count any of them. Then there are the real deal folks like Steve Rogers’ Captain America, Vision, and Valkyrie.

Oh, and one Jane Foster. 

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Mulan Trailer

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: Mulan looks like the better approach for future Disney live-action remakes.)

I spend a lot of time going to bat for reboots, remakes, and relaunches. When done well, they bring a whole new wave of excited viewers to a property. They’re also pretty critical for keeping franchises alive. Yeah, we all have that purist friend who looks down their nose at anything that’s even close to a spin on something they loved growing up, but they’re super gatekeepy and we all avoid talking to them for a reason. Folks like that also get to enjoy all of the things that a new wave of fans help provide, like new merch, conversations, and renewed interest from old fans. 

But what happens when the idea of a remake gets a little too literal? In the first trailer, Disney elected to do almost shot-for-shot remake of a key scene The Lion King. Now, it’s easy to see what they were going for. The original film is universally beloved and considered pretty close to perfect by a lot of fans. Don’t mess with perfection, right? Thing is, you probably just shouldn’t bother remaking the movie if that’s going to be the case. Heck, just re-release the original as a cinematic event and save yourself a few boatloads of cash! 

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Stranger Things season 4

(This post is full of major spoilers for Stranger Things season 3.)

Stranger Things isn’t the first show to go through a season two slump, and it certainly won’t be the last. And while not every show manages to pull out of said slump – cue the Stranger Things theme music – this one did, with a third season that hits every single correct note.

A great deal of the improvement can be credited to the tonal shift of the show. We spend much less time in the Upside Down, and way more time focusing on the characters that drew us all to this weird little show in the first place. Old favorites did their thing, new pairings cropped up, and with them came new life into a show that had a really rocky second showing. So that means we can look toward the future, and Stranger Things season 4, with far more optimism than we did with this one. So let’s do just that.

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