February, being the shortest month of the year, is expected to have fewer streaming releases than other months. But even given that, the selection is rather dismal. Thankfully, enough has come out to give Cross the Streams something to do besides wish that aliens would show up in the second season finale of House of Cards. (Spoiler alert: they don’t.) But how good a week can it be when the most high-profile release features a character as dumb as Elizabeth Shaw? Let’s take our half-full glasses and head into space with Idris Elba behind the wheel-thing.
Prometheus (HBO Go)
As a pseudo prequel to one of the greatest sci-fi thrillers of all time, Prometheus features “Ridley Scott the visual artist” more than “Ridley Scott the master storyteller.” The script from Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof starts with promise, with a team of scientists discovering an ancient message that leads them across the universe to a planet that holds many secrets. Then they discover some of those secrets, and it’s clear that everyone was more interested in spectacle than making a coherent narrative. It’s not a complete wash by any means. The production design is quite literally out of this world, but Michael Fassbender is the only actor who looks like he knows what kind of movie he’s in. It works as a midnight movie more than a Hollywood blockbuster, especially if you have a space helmet bong handy.