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Jordan Peele's sophomore 'Us' doesn't disappoint

Matt Shiverdecker Special to the American-Statesman
Jordan Peele's "Us" features Lupita Nyong'o as a mother who will stop at nothing to protect her family after dopplegängers show up at their vacation home. [CONTRIBUTED]

Here is an interesting new release available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title that has recently become available for streaming.

Video on Demand

"Us": Jordan Peele's first feature, "Get Out," was not only a major hit at the box office but ended up earning three Academy Award nominations, and he walked away winning the best original screenplay award. That set him up to essentially do anything he could have wanted for his second film. That meant keeping the budget low and turning up the heat with an even more terrifying story inspired by an old episode of "The Twilight Zone." Lupita Nyong'o plays Adelaide, a mother who will stop at nothing to protect her family after dopplegängers show up at their vacation home. There is clearly a strong metaphor on display about our nation's general fear of "the other," but Peele has gone on record about how it's also about the effects of privilege in our culture. You can rest assured that it can simply be enjoyed as a great horror film on the surface, but viewers who dive deeper will be rewarded. (Cable and digital VOD, 4K Ultra HD available)

Also on streaming services

"The Lavender Scare": If you wanted to learn more about LGBT history during Pride Month, this excellent documentary is a great place to start. If you only ever learned of the McCarthy Era as one when our government officials were obsessed with getting rid of Communists who had supposedly infiltrated America, there is another chapter to the story. Narrated by Glenn Close and based on an award-winning book by David K. Johnson, this film explores how President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his administration launched a plan in 1953 for kicking any known homosexuals out of the federal government by deeming them a security risk. You can see how this plan would have been almost too easy in the '50s and '60s — LGBT Americans were forced to hide their true selves because it was actually illegal to be gay in most parts of the country. (Decriminalization of same-sex intercourse began as early as 1962 in some states but wasn't completed until a 2003 Supreme Court ruling). The general feeling was that a gay employee of the government could be blackmailed by the enemy for state secrets and so they couldn't be trusted in any government office. Over the course of four decades, this continued to be an accepted practice, and tens of thousands lost their careers. Director Josh Howard is a former producer of "60 Minutes" and has offered a well-researched and compelling look at these little-known and shameful tactics. (Watch now on or the PBS app)