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End Of July Streaming Options, Including The Second Season Of ‘The Umbrella Academy’

The end of July sees some old favorites coming back for their second round, and a quality indie film from Asia

For the end of July, we’ve put together two reviews on what you should catch on Netflix, especially the much-awaited second season of The Umbrella Academy!


The Umbrella Academy Season 2 (drops on Netflix July 31st) 


Our favorite band of misfit superheroes are back with the season season of The Umbrella Academy, and I was fortunate to be given an opportunity to preview the 10-episode limited series. If the first season was about establishing the sibling team of Vanya, Allison, Klaus, Luther, Five, Diego and Ben, this second season is more plot-driven. There are plenty of twists and turns, cliffhanger episode closings, and interesting back stories for the new characters introduced. Foremost among these newbies would be Lila, who Diego befriends at the sanitarium he’s stuck in at the opening of this new season.



But that’s getting ahead of myself—the second season opens with our heroes being thrown from the vortex they entered to escape the Doomsday which closed the first season. What’s interesting here is how they end up in Dallas in the early 1960s, and as Five points out, it’s 10 days before the Kennedy Assassination when they all find themselves together again. Vanya suffers from amnesia, Allison gets involved with the civil rights movement of the era, Luther is a street fighter in Jack Ruby’s stable, Klaus, with the ghost of Ben in tow, is the leader of a cult, and Diego is in the loony bin. Finding their father, enmeshed in the Kennedy conspiracy, is the primary aim of the family, and we’re in for a load of surprises. This season satisfies in a big way, and even has us excited for a third.


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Romance Doll (Netflix Japan)


The Japanese predilection for fetishes, sex toys, and kinky stuff is at the heart of this new film from Yuki Tanada. The film is based on her own novel, which was published to commercial acclaim a decade ago. Also a noted film director and scriptwriter, Tanada comes up with a cerebral, almost meditative adaptation of her book. Despite the sensationalist quality of this milieu of the manufacture of sex dolls, there’s so much restraint in this film, as it explores the lives of people involved in the trade, and how they address love, marriage and relationships.


Tetsuo is a sculptor and arts graduate who finds himself working in this Love Doll factory. When his mentor & him concoct a model search to find the right mold for the breasts of their dolls, they do so under the guise of medical research. Tetsuo falls in love with the demure model, Sonoko, who answers the call. Once married, Tetsuo puts his obsessive devotion to work over and above the relationship he should nurture with Sonoko. At a steep price, we follow the two as they forge a path to make their marriage meaningful. As opposed to a film such as Lars and the Real Girl, which explored why someone would find their relationship with these dolls more intense than that with a real person, this film is about the people creating the dolls, and how it takes over their lives.


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Posters from IMdB