— Michael O'Sullivan
The documentary “Class Action Park” offers an (at first amusing) oral history of Action Park, a notoriously unsafe New Jersey water park that operated from 1978 to 1996 and whose reputation for injury included lacerations, concussions, missing teeth, dislocated joints, a broken back the loss of a finger — and death. That history lends the film its title — taken from the one of the park’s jokey nicknames (it was also known as Traction Park). Through reminiscences from former park guests (including actors Chris Gethard and Alison Becker), past employees and journalists who covered its many run-ins with courts, a picture emerges of a toxic blend of lax safety standards and thrill-seeking teens. For much of the film, the tone is all weren’t-we-crazy? — until, of course, the film shifts to discussion one of the park’s most grisly deaths. What starts out as a darkly comic trip down Memory Lane gradually morphs into a meditation on how dangerous growing up used to be. Unrated. Available on HBO Max. 89 minutes.
The faith-based drama “Fatima” tells the true story of Lúcia dos Santos (Stephanie Gill of “Terminator: Dark Fate”), a 10-year-old Portuguese peasant girl who, in 1917, reported witnessing apparitions of the Virgin Mary (Joana Ribeiro), along with two other children. Told via the reminiscences of an older Lúcia (Sonia Braga) — now a nun — during an interview with a skeptical academic (Harvey Keitel), the film presents the girl’s tale in the context of gentle pushback. This mostly comes courtesy of the town’s no-nonsense mayor (Goran Visnjic of “ER”) and the Catholic Church itself, personified by a local priest (Joaquim de Almeida) and his embarrassed superiors. The cast is strong, most notably Lúcia Moniz — remember her in “Love Actually”? — as the little girl’s slightly overwhelmed mother. PG-13. Available on various streaming platforms. Contains some strong violence and disturbing images. 113 minutes.
In the sci-fi comedy sequel “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reprise their roles as the titular time-traveling slackers — now middle-aged fathers — as they are tasked with creating a song that will save the universe. PG-13. Available on various streaming platforms. Contains some crude language. 91 minutes.
Austrian documentarian Hubert Sauper, director of the Oscar-nominated “Darwin’s Nightmare” and “We Come as Friends,” turns his lens on the history of Cuba and the legacy of colonialism in “Epicentro.” According to Screen Daily, “There are times when ‘Epicentro’ seems to lack focus but no matter where it roams, it always returns to its central concerns of colonization, mythmaking and the way the true spirit of Cuba resides in its people.” Unrated. Available at the avalon.org and afisilver.afi.com. In Spanish with subtitles. 108 minutes.
The life and career of fashion designer Pierre Cardin, now 98 years old, is examined in “House of Cardin,” a documentary that the Hollywood Reporter calls a “deliciously entertaining and perceptive” film. Unrated. Available at afisilver.afi.com. In English, French, Italian, Mandarin and Japanese with subtitles. 95 minutes.
Winner of the audience award for Best Feature at the 2018 AFI Docs festival, “Mr. Soul!” takes a look at the former PBS variety show “Soul!” (1968-1973) and its producer and host Ellis Haizlip, courtesy of commentary by Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Questlove, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou, Gladys Knight, Patty LaBelle, James Baldwin, Bill Withers and others. According to Forbes, the film revives “an extraordinary, revolutionary piece of Black history.” Unrated. Available at afisilver.afi.com, themiracletheatre.com and jxjdc.org. 90 minutes.
In the documentary portrait “Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin,” filmmaker Werner Herzog retraces some of the journeys taken by the titular travel writer — Herzog’s friend, who died in 1989 — all the while musing philosophically about their shared passions. Even though Chatwin is only shown in a few old snapshots and one short clip, Variety says that Herzog “brings him to vivid life.” Unrated. Available at afisilver.afi.com, themiracletheatre.com and jxjdc.org. In English and German with subtitles. 89 minutes.
Focusing on San Quentin State Prison, the documentary “The Prison Within” explores the inadequacies of the U.S. prison system and the cycles of violence and trauma — on both sides of the wall — that are perpetuated by it. Film Threat calls it a documentary of “healing and compassion,” as well as one that will “dispute public misconceptions about those in prison.” Unrated. Available on various streaming platforms. 85 minutes.
In the Spanish film “Unknown Origins,” a Madrid detective and a comic book nerd pursue a serial killer who leaves a string of victims in situations that mimic the first comic book appearance of various superheroes. According to the Spanish entertainment news site cinemascomics.com, the film is a mix of David Fincher’s crime thriller “Seven” and the superhero action-comedy “Kick-ass.” TV-MA. Available on Netflix. In Spanish with subtitles. 1100 minutes.
In 2000, David Arquette played a wrestling fan in “Ready to Rumble,” a sports comedy whose promotion involved the actor being written into wrestling story lines for the now-defunct Wold Championship Wrestling TV show. In fact, Arquette “won” the WCW championship — a move that angered many pro wrestling fans. In the documentary “You Cannot Kill David Arquette,” Arquette returns to the ring seeking redemption. R. Available on various streaming platforms. Contains coarse language throughout, some bloody images and nudity. 91 minutes.