Star Trek Beyond (2016) — PICK

The Thief of Bagdad (1924) — PICK

 
A classic family film and one of last year’s better popcorn flicks are among the current crop of new releases on Amazon Prime.

Curious what a fantasy epic like The Lord of the Rings looked like before The Hobbit was even written? Check out the silent extravaganza The Thief of Bagdad, starring the legendary Douglas Fairbanks Sr. as a thief on an odyssey of redemption, taking him from the ocean floor to the world above the clouds.

The Technicolor talkie version from 1940 (a major influence on Disney’s Aladdin) may be better known, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the magical original.

For more contemporary if forgettable escapist excitement, check out Star Trek Beyond, also on Amazon Prime — the first film in the rebooted franchise to recover something of the utopian optimism and hopeful futurism of the original series.

Bonus picks: Also new on Amazon Prime is my No. 1 film of 2016, Paterson. New on Blu-ray is one of the greatest family films ever made, Disney’s Bambi.

 

Caveat Spectator: Star Trek Beyond: Much intense action violence; disturbing sci-fi killings; brief mildly suggestive content; a brief scene implying a same-sex relationship. Older teens and up. The Thief of Bagdad: A few menacing and scary scenes; fictionalized Islamic setting. Kids and up.