Highly-anticipated series Stephen King’s The Stand lands on Starzplay

Buzz, Film

Staying in is well and truly on the cards this January as Rakuten TV is bringing audiences some fantastic new titles to cosy up with and kick start the New Year. Brand new titles include Bill & Ted Face The Music in 4K HDR, Robin’s Wish, Synchronic, Baby Done, and Stardust, alongside The Broken Hearts Gallery, Looted, The Elfkins – Baking A Difference and Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!, which newly join the platform this month. Joining Rakuten TV’s Starzplay section is the highly anticipated new series The Stand, based on Stephen King’s novel, and exciting new releases to Rakuten TV’s FREE section include Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot, Dinner for Shmucks, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Aeon Flux and Pretty in Pink.

Sure to lift spirits is comedy adventure Bill & Ted Face The Music (4K HDR), which sees the sweet-natured Californian rockers Bill and Ted (Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter) return to save the world (again) in the highly-anticipated third instalment. This time the laidback heroes are middle-aged dads who are joined by their daughters on their most excellent adventure to prevent a world-destroying crisis – with a little help from Mozart, Hendrix and Louis Armstrong.

Continuing the cheer is Taika Waititi’s most recent success Baby Done, a title that delivers a typically charming Kiwi spin on the ‘we’re-having-a-baby’ genre. Starring Edinburgh Fringe best comedy show award winner Rose Matafeo and Matthew Lewis, this title is a hilarious, delightfully honest character-driven story about impending parenthood and the fight not to lose oneself in the process.

Audiences will undoubtedly be kept smiling with Natalie Krinsky’s cheesy yet irresistible rom-com, executively produced by Selena Gomez, The Broken Hearts Gallery – a fun-loving portrayal of the cruel world of dating that sees Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) turn her past failed relationships into a work of art, alongside her two supportive and comical best friends.

A beautiful, honest and heart-wrenching tribute to beloved actor Robin Williams, Robin’s Wish captures the months that he spent struggling with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). The form of progressive dementia that he was diagnosed with after he passed away, and what his widow Susan Schneider Williams, points to as the cause of his death. Family, friends, former schoolmates, collaborators and past directors share their own reminiscences and stories of Williams that portray him as the matchless improviser, genius, and brave, loving and kind soul that he was in this touching documentary.

Another touching tribute, this time to the late treasured icon David Bowie, is a new biographical film Stardust starring Johnny Flynn. Dramatising a young Bowie’s road trip across America in 1971, the film acts as an origin story, following Bowie during the year that Ziggy Stardust – the alter ego that changed music forever – still only existed in Bowie’s head. Flynn provides a spectacular impersonation of Bowie, and this title tells an entertaining and eye-opening tale that demonstrates how Bowie came to realise what he truly wanted to achieve in his career, and the journey he took to get there.

From the makers of The Endless and starring Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie, Synchronic is a jaw-dropping title with gripping twists at every turn. When best-friend paramedics Dennis and Steve (Dornan and Mackie) stumble across a street drug with strange side effects, their worlds turn into a nightmarish mixture between real life and a largely nocturnal, bleak realm. Packed with unsettling, destabilizing sequences that make you feel like the ground is shifting beneath your feet, Synchronic is sci-fi at its best.

London based filmmaker Rene Pannevis brings audiences Looted, an emotional and gritty British crime drama that tells the story of a Hartlepool carjacker who cares for his dying father in between crime jobs. Following the excellent central performances of Rob (Charley Palmer Rothwell), Leo (Thomas Turgoose), and Leo’s girlfriend Kasia (Morgane Polanski), who soon complicates the boys’ friendship, the storyline skillfully paints a picture of post-industrial decay by combining social commentary and poignant drama.

Something for the whole family, the much-awaited third instalment, Cats and Dogs 3: Paws Unite! is guaranteed not to disappoint. The sequel follows the top dog and cat spies in the country as they unite against a megalomanic cockatoo who’s plotted to cause havoc once again between the cat and dog world. A live-action comedy with talking animals and silly humour that’s bound to have the whole family laughing. The fun doesn’t stop there, with skilled animation director Ute von Munchow-Pohl bringing audiences Elfkins – Baking A Difference. This German production sees fun-loving elves Elfie and Buck attempt to help a depressed artisanal baker whose business is on the decline. A delightfully colourful adventure world conveying a sweet message, it’s the perfect recipe for a fun family night in this January.

Furthermore, added to Rakuten TV’s ad-supported FREE channel from January 1st are popular titles including Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell production Dinner For Shmucks, 1980’s John Hughes classic Pretty in Pink (Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy), Scenes Of A Sexual Nature (Tom Hardy, Ewan McGregor), Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron), Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot, In The Name Of The King, Machete, Rachel Getting Married and An Inconvenient Truth.

The wait is over for many as highly anticipated new TV series Stephen King’s The Stand, starring James Marsden, Amber Heard, Alexander Skarsgård and Whoopie Goldberg, premieres on Rakuten TV’s on-demand Starzplay section. Based on the hit 1978 Stephen King novel, The Stand is a dark dystopian television miniseries following a group of young survivors grappling in a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil.

Not forgetting the fantastic promotions Rakuten TV will have on offer including “The Best of 2020” from 9th – 31st January which features some of the best-selling titles from this year, including The Personal History of David Copperfield, Disappearance at Clifton Hill and many more. As well as this, Rakuten TV will be promoting “Rediscover the Classics Together”, encouraging the whole family to spend quality time rediscovering their favourites films. All titles will be at a price of £4.99 and the offer includes Bad Boys (1995), Peter Rabbit, Stand By Me, Groundhog Day and Labyrinth.