4 posts categorized "Netflix"

January 29, 2018

Coming to NETFLIX in February 2018

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 4.27.13 PM

Feb. 1

3000 Miles to Graceland
42 Grams
Aeon Flux
American Pie
American Pie 2
American Pie Presents: Band Camp
American Pie Presents: The Book of Love
American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile
Ella Enchanted
Extract
GoodFellas
Forgotten
How the Beatles Changed the World
John Mellencamp: Plain Spoken
Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Kill Bill: Vol. 2
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution
Lovesick
Meet the Fockers
Meet the Parents
Men in Black
National Parks Adventure
Ocean’s Eleven
Ocean’s Twelve
Ocean’s Thirteen
Paint It Black
Scream 3
The Hurt Locker
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Z Nation: Season 4

Feb. 2 to Feb. 10

6 Days
Altered Carbon: Season 1
Cabin Fever
Coach Snoop: Season 1
Fate/Apocrypha: Part 2
Fred Armisen: Standup For Drummers
Imposters: Season 1
Kavin Jay: Everybody Calm Down!
Luna Petunia: Return to Amazia: Season 1
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: George Clooney
On Body and Soul
Queer Eye: Season 1
Seeing Allred
The Emoji Movie
The Ritual

Feb. 11 to Feb. 20

Bates Motel: Season 5
Blood Money
Deep Undercover Collection: Collection 2
Dismissed
DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge: Season 6
Everything Sucks!: Season 1
First Team: Juventus: Season 1
FullMetal Alchemist
Greenhouse Academy: Season 2
Evan Almighty
Irreplaceable You
Love Per Square Foot
Re:Mind: Season 1
The Frankenstein Chronicles: Season 1 and Season 2
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale

Feb. 21 to Feb. 28

Atomic Puppet: Season 1
Derren Brown: The Push
El Vato: Season 2
Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards
Jeepers Creepers 3
Lincoln
Marlon Wayans: Woke-ish
Marseille: Season 2
Mute
People You May Know
Seven Seconds: Season 1
Sin Senos sí Hay Paraíso: Season 2
The Bachelors
Ugly Delicious: Season 1
Winnie

January 28, 2018

THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD

The-end-of-the-fucking-world-posterBased on Charles Forsman’s brilliant minicomics, “The End of the F***ing World” is an expertly crafted black comedy series similar in tone and delivery to “Twin Peaks,” but with a more approachable sense of humor.

If casting is nine-tenths of the battle, then co-directors Jonathan Entwistle and Lucy Tcherniak were destined for success from the start. Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden are the exquisite young British actors who transform into a would-be serial killer and a the kind of girl you don’t take home to meet the parents.

Alex Lawther

James (Lawther) is a 17-year-old oddball who witnessed his mother’s suicide (by driving her car into a lake) when he was 10. He’s a depressed kid who asks his goofy single dad for a machete for his birthday, but settles for a hunting knife. James once put his hand in boiling hot oil so he could “feel something.” He has a recent history of killing gradually larger animals. James is working up to killing a person. His first girlfriend (Alyssa — Jessica Barden) could be an ideal victim.

With each episode clocking in around 20-minutes, this Netflix-produced series is a bingeable treat akin to eating just the right amount of snacks so you don’t feel guilty for having two or three.

Garden Party

On Alyssa’s prompting, the teenaged duo run away from their respective homes to go on a road trip adventure through the underbelly of England’s hollow social shell. After her mom’s boyfriend flirts with her, Alyssa looks down on a garden party that her parental figures are hosting at her oh-so-perfect suburban home and takes inventory. “Fuck this shit,” is her final analysis. Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen” takes care of the musical counterpoint.

Jessica Barden

Teenaged angst, and lust, are put through a bloody blender before the first series’ eight episodes come to a satisfying stopping place. Thankfully, season 2 is already in the works.

Funny, frightening, naughty, and packed with chuckle inducing bits of scathing satire, “The End of the F****ing World” might just be better than “Twin Peaks” and “Fargo.”

Series (A+) (Five stars — out of five / no halves)


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Groupthink doesn't live here.

January 19, 2018

WORMWOOD

WormwoodErrol Morris’s six-part Netflix documentary series “Wormwood” wears out its welcome by the end of the fourth episode. It’s not that the subject matter isn’t as gripping as it is disturbing — you’ll come away being as fearful of C.I.A. spooks as you are of ISIS — but rather that there is so much repetition and filler that you can’t help being bored long before the long-telegraphed narrative hook comes along in the sixth episode. How many times do you need to see a guy falling out of a window to get the point?

Perhaps Morris was too in tune with his subject to exert his traditionally reliable editorial expertise. “Wormwood” could easily have worked as a two-hour movie, but it simply doesn’t hang together for four-hour’s worth of screentime. As such, “Wormwood” represents Morris’s weakest effort to date.

Wormwood

Nevertheless, the story is compelling. In 1953 Frank Olson, a U.S. Army scientist working on a chemical weapons program (dubbed Artichoke) geared for use in the Korean War, fell, jumped, was pushed or “dropped” from the 13th floor of the Statler Hotel (a.k.a. the Hotel Pennsylvania) in midtown Manhattan. Splat.

Since then, Frank Olson’s son Eric (who was nine-years-old at the time of his father’s suspicious death) has been preoccupied with getting to the bottom of the story behind his father’s bizarre demise, which the C.I.A. attributed to an LSD experiment gone wrong.

Eric Olson proves to be an ideal participant in Morris’s signature fever-pitched procedure for incendiary question-and-answer sessions. Both men speak in confrontational upper register clips that urgently demand no-nonsense answers.

Eric Olson

Morris notably eschews using his go-to Interrotron machine that allows interviewees to speak direct-to-camera (see "The Fog of War"), in favor of a more casual setting of talking across a table in an unadorned room. The only embellishment is a clock that hangs behind Eric Olson’s head, stopped at the exact moment that his father perished on the asphalt of 7th avenue. Another drawback to the series is its dark, drab visual style that has a droning effect. It nearly puts the viewer to sleep.

Morris uses the ever impenetrable Peter Sarsgaard to play the part of Frank Olson in reenactments of events leading up to the wee hours of November 28, 1953 when Olson’s life came to an end. Tim Blake Nelson, Bob Balaban, Molly Parker, and Christian Camargo function well in other supporting roles however unnecessary many of their scenes become by the time the final episode rolls around.

Hamlet

“Wormwood” is a lurid Cold War scenario that shows the U.S. Government at its worst, weaving skullduggery like so much wool at the hands of such real-life goons as Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. Indeed, this is nightmare-producing stuff. It comes as a relief when Morris intercuts footage from Laurence Olivier’s famous 1948 film version of “Hamlet” to give literary resonance to Eric Olson’s ongoing rabbit-hole existence as a man consumed with the meaning of his father’s death. It's enough to drive a man, or an audience, to drink.

Peter Sarsgaard

Not rated. 241 mins. (B-) (Three stars — out of five / no halves)


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PATREON BUTTON

Groupthink doesn't live here.

January 09, 2018

COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE

Comedians-in-cars-getting-coffeeConan O’Brien isn’t funny because he isn’t a comedian; he’s a talk show host. Chris Rock’s pithy explanation of the problem with Conan O’Brien’s lame attempts at being funny is just one tiny example of the granular level of Jerry Seinfeld’s popular, and deceptively informative, web series. Currently streaming on Netflix, the eminently bingeable “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” goes down like a root beer float with a surprise at the bottom of every glass.

If ever there was a crash course in what it takes to be a comedian, from a to z, this is it. Why isn’t Judd Apatow funny as a stand-up comedian? Clearly, it’s because he hasn’t paid his dues of honing his “material” on stage for the years that it takes to get good at it.

Jerry Seinfeld

Comedians or actors? Easy. Comedians portray themselves, whereas actors desperately want to inhabit anyone but themselves. Thus, comedians can act, but actors can’t become comedians. Mind blown.

Why is Barak Obama a terrible person? Because he’s a blow-hard bully. Obama’s transparent attempts to big-dog Jerry Seinfeld backfire noticeably during the episode where Seinfeld visits the President at the White House. Obama chides Seinfeld for leaving a once-bitten apple on a table in the Oval Office before trying way too hard to seem cool by draping his limp hand over the steering wheel of the 1963 Corvette that Seinfeld has brought for the occasion. The kicker comes when Obama insists on plugging Obamacare only to have Seinfeld emphasize the faux pas with a withering direct-to-camera pitch that slays. There’s also the fact of Seinfeld’s monetary success eclipsing Obama’s in rough comparison of Jupiter to the Earth’s moon.  

Julia-louis-dreyfus

You get to judge for yourself which comedians Jerry gets along with better than others. Seinfeld’s chemistry is much stronger with comedians such as Jimmy Fallon, and Chris Rock than it is with David Letterman, Howard Stern, or Ali Wentworth, three distinctly uncomfortable human beings whose unpleasantness may make you want to reach for an Alka Seltzer.

Jerry chooses a car he thinks best aligns with the personality of the comedian with whom he’ll imbibe coffee while chatting. For example, a 1965 SAAB MONTE CARLO 850 in olive green is the car of choice to go for a drive around Portland, Oregon with Fred Armisen. An onscreen clock (the WAIT-O-METER) registers the seven minutes it takes for Hipster Service at a local roastery to hand over two cups of “delicious” coffee for our comedian pals to chew over the definition of art.  

Garry Shandling

You can tell a lot about Jerry’s guest by the car he chooses. The 1976 Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon Jerry picks out for his coffee-attended chat with Sarah Jessica Parker signals that this might be an episode to skip. Episodes you don’t want to miss include: Michael Richards, Alec Baldwin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kevin Hart, Trevor Noah, Garry Shandling, and Lorne Michaels.  

In its open-faced simplicity “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” holds a charm and candidness about the comedic process unavailable in any other setting. Five stars isn’t a high enough grade for this brilliant series where even the episodes with the worst guests show you something valuable about what makes the true greats (Don Rickles, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Robert Klein) all the more memorable. 

58 (12  to 20 minute) episodes.  (Five stars — out of five / no halves)


COLE SMITHEYA small request: Help keep Cole Smithey writing reviews, creating video essays, and making podcasts. Click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon, and receive special rewards!

PATREON BUTTON

Groupthink doesn't live here.

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