Steve Stebbing

Breaking down all things pop culture

New Releases:

West Side Story – Steven Spielberg’s long gestated passion project has finally made its way to the big screen and, impressively, during one of the toughest times to make a huge film, a global pandemic. While Scorsese’s passion project was a brutal film about missionaries bringing the word of God to Japan in Silence, Spielberg wanted to do the big musical with Maria, the Jets, back alley finger-snapping brawls and a very Romeo and Juliet plotline. For those who don’t know, this is an adaptation of the 1957 musical which explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The reviews that have been pouring in are glowing but this isn’t a huge surprise when it comes to one of the best filmmakers in the game ever since he debuted. Spielberg got me into film, like many of us, and even though I don’t like musicals, I’m fascinated by his take on them.

The Unforgivable – As much as I like Sandra Bullock as a human being, I’ve never found her that strong as an actress and I think her Oscar win for The Blind Side is kind of undeserving and a little bit of a celebration of the “white saviour” trope in Hollywood film. Now that I’ve got some shade out of the way, I was willing to put all of my baggage aside for her new drama as it looked very compelling. The film has Sandy playing Ruth Slater, an ex-con released from prison after serving a sentence for a violent crime and re-entering a society that refuses to forgive her past. Facing severe judgment from the place she once called home, her only hope for redemption is finding the estranged younger sister she was forced to leave behind. She has a pretty decent supporting cast around her, with Viola Davis, Vincent D’Onofio and Jon Bernthal and Bullock breaking through with a role that is so far removed from the type of characters we usually see her play. Unfortunately, her efforts are wasted on a drama that feels predictable from the start and is bloated in its run time. This is a notable step in a good direction though.

Encounter – Riz Ahmed is the leading man in this new Amazon Prime-produced sci-fi thriller so I am immediately on board as everything the man does is compelling. The critics are celebrating this one too, the latest from Beast writer and director Michael Pearce, a film that hit the festival circuit like wildfire and became buzzworthy even though the release in Canada was a bit subdued. The story has Ahmed as a decorated Marine who goes on a rescue mission to save his two young sons from a mysterious alien threat. As their journey takes them in increasingly dangerous directions, the boys will need to leave their childhoods behind and start getting into the mindset of survival against all elements. At the top of this genre experience, Ahmed towers again with his charismatic presence that exudes through his eyes every time he’s on-screen. It should also be noted that it was shot by Pearce’s Beast director of photography Benjamin Kracun who also did the beautifully done Promising Young Woman as well.

Back To The Outback – An Aussie animated kid flick with a very Australian cast, I’m only finding out about this movie this week so the ad campaign must not be huge in North America but maybe it’s a big thing in its native country. I can’t see why it wouldn’t be because it has the veteran cast of Jacki Weaver andGuy Pearce, the lovely Isla Fisher, the always welcome Eric Bana and some outside choices including comedian Tim Minchin and country singer Keith Urban. The adventure follows a group of Australia’s deadliest creatures who tire of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they’re monsters and plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback. Seeing that the film wasn’t really pushed for an international ad campaign release, the quality of this one may not rub elbows with some of the Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks releases but it looks pretty cute nonetheless.

Harry Chapin: When In Doubt, Do Something – It has been a huge couple of weeks for music in some documentary form or another. First off, we got the landmark fly on the wall making of music history, The Beatles: Get Back, then we received the retrospective trip down memory lane with Brian Wilson in Long Promised Road. Next up, remember Cats In The Cradle? This documentary isn’t fully music-driven, although that’s its foundation, but tells the story of singer, songwriter and activist Harry Chapin and his dedication to trying to end world hunger before his tragic passing in a car accident in 1981. This film didn’t land with me at all close to Get Back or Brian Wilson’s stories, probably because Chapin’s music and stylings never resonated with me beyond Cats In The Cradle and its inclusion in pop culture. His activist work and use of his platform are more notable to me than his musical contributions but how this film was put together didn’t feel inherently interesting to me.

Mr. Saturday Night – I’m a total sucker for era-specific documentaries but this one may be one to put me on the fence as, when it comes to music, I feel like disco is an abomination that still hasn’t been atoned for. The film comes from director John Maggio who has been busy for the documentary division of HBO, already producing A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks for them just a few weeks back. The film is the untold story of Robert Stigwood, an Australian-born British-resident music entrepreneur, film producer and impresario, best known for managing Cream and the Bee Gees, theatrical productions like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, and film productions including the successful Grease and Saturday Night Fever. He was also the amplifier to the disco era and pushed it to its great heights before it deservedly fell off a cliff. The film features so much archival footage, a lot of it including John Travolta, who was pretty much the face of the times. Fascinating and well told, this is another winning HBO documentary.

This Game’s Called Murder – The star power of Ron Perlman is the first thing I noticed about this new comedy-drama but I take it with a bit of a caveat as the Hellboy actor has done his fair share of dogs over the years. That being said, this is the type of movie I kind of get into, a multi charactered crime story filled with double-crosses, subterfuge and more. A modern, dark-humoured tale of greed, romance, and lost innocence, the film functions as a harsh critique of society today in a consumer-crazed, alienated society without taking itself too seriously. The film is colourful and weird with interesting originality that writer and director Adam Sherman corals nicely into his best feature since his debut horror film, Dead Doll. It also helps that Perlman chews the scenery every time he’s onscreen.

Off The Rails – This is kind of a tragic film to bring this week as one of the stars of this ensemble, Kelly Preston, passed away from her battle with breast cancer last summer. The film was dedicated to her and features a stellar cast around her including Dame Judi Dench, The Guardian actress Jenny Seagrove, Bridget Jones alumni Sally Phillips and even Andrea Corr from the infamous Irish band. The film follows three fifty-something women who set out to repeat the European inter-railing adventures of their youth, after their close friend passes away and leaves them rail tickets and one final request, to take her teenage daughter with them for a worldly experience. The teen is played by Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips who makes a great debut in this movie but, sadly, everything else is pretty flat and generic, betraying the talent of all of these actresses. Preston wasn’t an A list or B list actress, someone that appeared in a cameo in her husband John’s Battlefield Earth, but she certainly deserved a better exit than this one.

The Forever Prisoner – An acclaimed documentary filmmaker and a personal favourite of mine, Alex Gibney, returns with his follow up to the COVID-19 centric timeline Totally Under Control and this one packs his usual punch. Lessening the North American wide-scale he exhibited in his last film, he gives a singular focus in this latest project and the Middle East again, which has won him Oscar gold before. This film follows the story of Abu Zubaydah, the first high-value detainee subjected to the CIA’s program, who was later identified as being tortured by those outside the agency. This film is shocking and brutal, with Gibney never flinching or shying away from anything to get his story across. Getting some pre-knowledge, like his Academy Award winner Taxi To The Darkside or the other films Camp X-Ray or The Road To Guantanamo, to lay the foundation but this is yet another story of brutality and violence in the false name of justice.

Agnes – Possession horror featuring nuns, just put it in my coffee and stir it up! The bar has been set earlier this year with writer and director Corinna Faith’s stunning blitzkrieg set film The Power, so it may have soured my opinion on this a little but I still ate it all up with love. The film is set at a convent that is under scrutiny due to some rumours of demonic possession within its walls, prompting a church investigation into the strange goings-on among its nuns. A disaffected priest and his neophyte are confronted with temptation, bloodshed and a crisis of faith as they fight to correct this evil and send it away for good. While The Power used sound and lighting to deliver its scares, Agnes feels a bit devoid of conventional thrills and chills in this sense but still manages to earn its intrigue through human connection and the previously mentioned crises of faith. As a non-believer, this fascinated me the most and I thought it was handled so well.

Are You Happy Now – Josh Ruben makes his first of two appearances on this list but this one is as an actor and a comedic one at that, his strong suit besides horror but we’ll talk about that later. Other than Ruben being in this, I didn’t know much beyond that nor had I seen his co-star Ismenia Mendes. The film is the story of Adam, a guy who can’t live without his girlfriend Gina, so when he finally gets the nerve up to ask her to marry him he’s devastated by her immediate refusal based because she sees it as a form of ownership and also has some damage from her own broken home. Relentlessly, Adam pushes and eventually convinces Gina to shackle herself to him forever but now he has reservations about it. As much as I adore Ruben, this movie never seemed to gel for me at all and felt like a mish-mash of comedic ideas without a fully put together with purpose. David Beinstein is, granted, making his debut here but it’s just a little undercooked and leaves you with nothing in the end.

Asakusa Kid – Takeshi Kitano or Beat Takeshi as he’s known in North America mostly, is a Japanese filmmaking and starring legend who always gets my attention. Now, produced by Netflix internationally, we see how Takeshi got his start in the industry and his from a promising young star to a giant in Japanese film, all adapted from his autobiographical novel. The film is the story of how Kitano got his start apprenticing with comedy legend Fukami of Asakusa before he hit it big. Ironically, as Kitano’s star rose on television, Asakusa started to become a relic of a bygone era with theatre becoming less and less popular. I’m a huge fan of star biopics and Kitano is one of those actors who would be on the Mount Rushmore of Japanese cinema making this film a very important watch if that style of foreign film appeals to you.

Letters To Satan Claus – This title has to grab you right away, right? What kind of nabs me is that this film looks like a Hallmark Christmas movie full of cheese and ridiculousness but involving the dark lord in a fun horror twist. The film follows Holly who returns to her hometown to make a Christmas special before her promotion to a television anchorwoman but first she must face Satan Claus and horrible childhood memories of him. I like how already it acts like you should know that Satan Claus is a real thing and I think that’s as far as the cleverness goes. Syfy plays in the realm of fun comedy horror but at times it feels so stretched thin just to make a feature-length and no one exudes enough star power to make it a worthwhile endeavour. I see a lot of reviews saying it was so bad it was good but I just didn’t feel that. I didn’t feel it about the Sharknado movies either though.

Writing With Fire – Sometimes a true story is a brilliant catalyst to some kind of change, maybe not within the actual area that needs change but to get the signal out to the masses for the public to amplify. This is an utterly fascinating subject to take on in documentary form as it is a cry from the women of an oppressed country and the avenue to get their voices heard in some fashion. This film takes you into the cluttered landscape of a male-dominated news industry in India, following the only newspaper run by Dalit women. Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, redefining what it means to be powerful and stir up some “good trouble”, as James Baldwin would have said, in the process. This film is a magnifying glass on the sheer power of journalism and the nudging of ideas until they snowball towards some semblance of change, again, maybe not within the country but within the culture and its future. It felt a little dry in patches but the message still resonates true.

Blu-Ray:

Dear Evan Hansen – It seems like we haven’t learned from Glee at all and we’re still going forward with close to thirty-year-old actors playing high school teenagers. I know that it is a special case with this film as star Ben Platt played the role on Broadway and was the originator of it but I think it is distracting and tanks the movie immediately. This is the adaptation of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical about Evan Hansen, a high school senior with Social Anxiety disorder and his journey of self-discovery and acceptance following the suicide of a classmate. The film does not translate well at all in my opinion and besides Evan looking like a guidance counsellor rather than a student, the story is contrived, manipulative and more and more cringeworthy with every song he belts out. I tried to get beyond the simplicity of its problems and, in the end, couldn’t overcome them.

Copshop – Joe Carnahan is a gritty action filmmaker who I generally enjoy in his more bombastic stories like Smokin’ Aces, The Grey and his adaptation of The A-Team. Just from the trailer alone, you know this new flick fits nicely into the better side of his work. Starring Frank Grillo, Gerard Butler Toby Huss and newcomer Alexis Louder, the film follows a wily con artist on the run from a lethal assassin who devises a scheme to hide out inside a small-town police station but when the hitman turns up at the precinct, an unsuspecting rookie cop finds herself caught in the crosshairs. This movie rocks immediately with great scumbag characters that love to chew the scenery and action that is bombastic, over the top and almost reminiscent of a western standoff style set piece. The cast is having so much fun with Gerard Butler doing his best work in years, Frank Grillo always knowing the assignment and Toby Huss damn near stealing the whole movie. I also must heap praise on Louder who makes a fantastically heavy debut that cements her, hopefully, as a future action star for years to come.

Cry Macho – Clint Eastwood returns to not only direct another film but star in it as well but I have to admit that I dislike the title. It’s smash and I saw a tweet that said they heard it as “Crime Nachos” which sounds like a way more intriguing film but I digress. The story has Eastwood as a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who takes a job to bring a man’s young son home and away from his alcoholic mom. On their journey, the horseman finds redemption through teaching the boy what it means to be a good man in a film that looks like it’s beautifully shot, as it comes from cinematographer Ben Davis who did Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Guardians Of The Galaxy. Now, it looks like I’m going to crap all over this film but I was honestly surprised by this wistful and sweet drama that had some chuckles to it and a charming outing from Clint himself. Maybe keeping the low bar going into this movie helped it but, honestly, I haven’t been a huge fan of his filmmaking in about twenty years.

One Night In Miami – On an incredibly hot streak already after an Academy Award win for If Beale Street Could Talk and her incredible performance in the HBO limited series Watchman, I’ll watch anything that Regina King does and it just happens that her directorial debut here which debuted on Amazon Prime and now lands, rightly, in-home release in a coveted Criterion Collection edition. The film features real-life people but is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 60s. In these pivotal roles are a handful of up and coming actors with Canadian actor Eli Goree playing Ali, Peaky Blinders star Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke and Straight Outta Compton’s Aldis Hodge and knowing that King has Tami Reiker shooting it, the visionary behind HBO’s Carnivale, oh boy, it looks so polished and smooth in its vision. Even though it is a fictionalized account, there is still a very real thread that runs through this movie, reducing these bigger-than-life seeming men to things that connect us all. Self-doubt is something we can all relate to a lot and Cooke, Ali, Brown and Malcolm all have their deep moments of it. Just a thoroughly fantastic movie.

13 Minutes – I can’t lie, when I saw country music star Trace Adkins name top lining this new film I almost panned it as completely uninteresting as I hate country music that much. Sorry, it may be a possible character flaw but I’ve made peace with that. The fact that Thora Birch, Amy Smart, Anne Heche Peter Facinelli and Paz Vega brought me back into it as all these actors were enjoyable for me but have largely disappeared, save for the rare film like this. The film focuses on a very real and concerning thing for everyone in the world and distills it into the story about four families in a Heartland town who are tested in a single day when a tornado hits, forcing paths to cross and redefining the meaning of survival. As interesting as this story could be, the production value fails it out the gate because everything looks cheap and therefore corny which is a dagger of death in any disaster movie. It’s not even cheesy in a fun Sharknado way either and everyone in this movie is dreadful and I’m not sure that it could just be blamed on the writing. Nothing is redeeming about this one.

Werewolves Within – Josh Ruben should be included in the same conversation as Jordan Peele in that they both come from a comedy background but have landed beautifully in horror and have carved out an identifiable avenue for themselves. Ruen’s debut was the writer’s retreat thriller Scare Me that revelled in being driven by a creative exercise narrative that ramps up to a beautiful third act crescendo delivered by great performances from Ruben himself, The Boys’ Aya Cash and Saturday Night Live’s Chris Redd. Now, adapting a UbiSoft game, he is playing in the twists and turns again, following Sam Richardson as Finn Wheeler, a considerate US Forest Ranger, who is sent to the snow-covered town of Beaverfield which, unbeknownst to him, has a divided small community due to the proposed construction of a gas pipeline. As a severe blizzard traps the dysfunctional inhabitants in the local lodge, festering resentment ratchets up the hysteria and the word lycanthrope starts to pop up to make things more paranoid. Now, it falls to kind Finn to prevent everyone from killing each other, as someone, or better yet, something, is hunting them down, one by one. This movie is hilariously written and features an ensemble cast around Richardson that plays so well off of his fantastic timing like Michaela Watkins, Michael Chernus and Cheyenne Jackson. Josh Rubin has been campaigning to make a Darkman remake, reboot or sequel and I just hope that this gets him a bit closer.

Ron’s Gone Wrong – Disney brings their next computer-animated feature film to the home theatre after it sadly bombed and I have to say that the effectiveness of the non-Pixar works that they have released, which include Wreck-It Ralph, Moana and Raya And The Last Dragon, I’m still very excited for this one despite the outcome it had. The voice cast, which includes Luca’s Jack Dylan Grazer, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Olivia Colman, have me looking forward to a fun and funny film and the premise just seems like something that will deliver. It is the story of Barney, a socially awkward middle-schooler and Ron, his new walking, talking, digitally connected device, which is supposed to be his ‘Best Friend out of the Box’ but unfortunately, he came out of his packaging defective. The trailer is adorable and hilarious so I’m hoping all of the good parts weren’t crammed into the ads for it and it pans out as a feature idea.

Broadcast Signal Intrusion – I love a good creepy mystery in which our main character is slowly being driven mad by conspiracy and I have to think it harkens back to some classic stuff like Jacob’s Ladder or Naked Lunch and, to a lesser degree, The Ninth Gate, so this is probably why writer and director Jacob Gentry’s new thriller nabbed me right away. It stars Harry Shum Jr. who, for me, is always the Glee dancing guy or a romantic comedy lead but he changes gears completely for this movie and I was intrigued immediately. The story is set in the late 90s and follows a video archivist who unearths a series of sinister pirate broadcasts and becomes obsessed with uncovering the dark conspiracy behind them. With tapes missing out of the story, he goes on a frantic search to complete the whole tale and, in the process, keeps making strides to his possible doom. This film is insidiously creepy and keeps you on the edge of your seat with each reveal and the disturbing imagery the is found on each tape. The ending may leave you with some questions but I think that is its appeal for fans of the genre.

Last Shoot Out – I began getting excited seeing a new western on the horizon this week but much like some shots in classic films of the same ilk, as it got closer and closer, the excitement began to fade like some weathered old chaps. The fact that the film features Bruce Dern gives it some cowboy credit but the man is in his mid-eighties so you have to think most of his onscreen time in this is sitting down like in The Hateful Eight from Quentin Tarantino. The film is about newlywed Jocelyn who is forced to flee when she discovers that her new husband Jody had her father shot down. She is then rescued by gunman Billy Tyson, who safeguards her at a remote outpost as he staves off Jody’s attempts to reclaim his bride. This movie is a low budget, uninspired and badly acted, giving you zero foothold into getting behind any of the characters. You can see that the money was only enough to keep some of the experienced actors on screen for mere moments and the inexperienced getting the majority of face time and it reflects in the final product. It feels like passable westerns are few and far between in the modern era but I guess kind of cheap to make.

The Monkey King Reborn – Well Go USA sent me this animated adventure and it hits me on two levels as I love a good martial arts movie but it’s subtitled so my daughter has almost no interest in it. The Monkey King myth has always interested me ever since I saw a dumb mini-series in the early 2000s than the Jackie Chan and Jet Li team up, The Forbidden Kingdom. With a live-action adaptation on the way, this feature is a bit of a tide over, the story follows the short-tempered trickster Monkey King who destroys a magical tree and accidentally releases the ancient King of Demons after he is insulted while visiting a temple with his master Tang Monk. Enraged, the ancient enemy kidnaps Tang Monk as revenge for his long imprisonment and the Monkey King and his fellow disciples must rescue their master within three days, before the Demon King regains his full power and unleashes his armies to destroy the earth. This movie is an exhilarating adventure with great action and dazzling animation throughout. It’s a loose adaptation to Journey To The West, which was done best by Stephen Chow, but this is a great way to get the kids into it. You know, if they’ll watch it with you.

Steve’s Blu-Ray Geekouts:

The Naked Spur – Alright, readers, time for some geek-outs provided by Warner Archive and for this one we’re heading 1953 for a western drama thriller featuring the heavyweights of James Stewart and Robert Ryan. The screenplay for this was nominated for an Academy Award but lost out to the Barbra Stanwick Titanic, and, surprisingly director Anthony Mann was never nominated despite having an incredible resume with El Cid and The Glenn Miller Story, both coming afterwards. The story has Stewart as Howard Kemp, a bounty hunter who’s been after killer Ben Vandergroat, played by Ryan, for a long time. Along the way, Kemp is forced to take on a couple of partners, an old prospector named Jesse Tate and a dishonourably discharged Union soldier, Roy Anderson. When they learn that Vandergroat has a $5000 reward on his head, greed starts to take the better of them with Vandergroat taking every advantage of the situation, sowing doubt between the two men at every opportunity and finally convincing one of them to help him escape. This film is great and plays on that 3:10 To Yuma feeling in a little way. Stewart is an incredible leading man and Ryan does such a great job at being the foil to every situation. This is an era where the performances led and this one is indicative of that.

RWBY: Volume 8 – I have said time and time again that I have to have some sort of mental block between my film and television sensibilities ad the format of anime because I largely don’t get it. This was my initial thinking when I picked up this box set but I had no idea that Monty Oum, Rooster Teeth contributor and Red vs. Blue writer, had my back and had crafted a show that felt like it was skewed to exactly that kind of viewer. The story takes place in the world of Remnant, which is filled with supernatural forces and shadowy creatures known as the Grimm. Before the events of the series, mankind waged a battle of survival against the Grimm before discovering the power of a mysterious element called Dust, which allowed them to fight back against the monsters. In the present day, Dust is used to power magical abilities and weapons whereas those who use these abilities to battle the Grimm are known as Huntsmen and Huntresses, focusing on four girls who form a team at Beacon Academy, training for that battle role. Cool animation drives this action-packed series that gets better with each passing volume. I’m digging all of it.

I Spit On Your Grave & I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu – I do a podcast on the Three Angry Nerd network called Tremble and we had the distinct pleasure of covering this late seventies exploitation vengeance horror from writer and director Meir Zarchi but not it’s follow up, so these were very cool movies to get on blu-ray. The original film is about an aspiring writer who is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men that then systematically hunts down each of them to seek out brutal and harrowing revenge. Forty years later, Zarchi returned to follow it up with Deja Vu, which had original actress Camille Keaton come back as well after being acquitted for the results of the first film. She is later kidnapped with her daughter, sparking a whole new game of cat and mouse with new oppressors. These are grindhouse-style features that will appeal to a certain audience but I applaud their mark on cinema, especially genre filmmaking, and the precedence it set. These films are special in their regard.

The Outsiders: The Complete Novel 4K – When I was in elementary school I fell in love with the works of S.E. Hinton, all starting with us reading this novel in class. Quickly after finishing it, I got to see this classic Francis Ford Coppola with an incredible cast and I was hooked on everything the author would write as well as all the movies to come from them. For those under a rock for close to forty years, the story follows a teen gang in rural Oklahoma known as the Greasers who are perpetually at odds with the Socials, a rival group. When Greasers Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) and Johnny (Ralph Macchio) get into a brawl that ends in the death of a Social member, the boys are forced to go into hiding. Soon Ponyboy and Johnny, along with the intense Dallas (Matt Dillon) and their other Greaser buddies, must contend with the consequences of their violent lives and while some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends. This version of it, on glorious 4K, has both the theatrical version of the film as well as Coppola’s definitive director’s cut of the movie, which he called the Complete Novel version. This movie is a total masterpiece and only gets better with age.

Television:

Nicole Byer: Big Beautiful Weirdo (Netflix) – After multiple seasons of her hilarious showcase of epic baking fails in Nailed It, a favourite in my household courtesy of my daughter, and fantastic guest spots on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place and more, Nicole Byer is finally getting her own stand up special and she’s making the most of it. She experiences some catharsis and healing by aiming for something that affected us all, this damn pandemic and the year it shaved off of our lives in any productive sense. Byer has her brand of humour which is on display in her Netflix series as well as when she is alongside John Cena on Wipeout but this is a hyper-focused version of it. If you want some new stand-up to digest this holiday season, Netflix has finally rewarded you with the hilarious Nicole Byer.

Saturday Morning All-Star Hits! (Netflix) – Saturday Night Live writer and cast member Kyle Mooney is tapping into my generation’s childhood with this new animated and live-action hybrid that lives through VHS static and bad tracking. Much like the MTV2 mind trip Wonder Showzen and with the flavour of Mooney’s feature film Brigsby Bear, this series takes the childhood tropes of classic shows and turns it on its head with a spice of nihilism. The show plays like you’re watching a Saturday morning marathon of cartoons on Nickelodeon or YTV and follows twin hosts Skip and Treybor, both played by Mooney, and as they celebrate all that is the 80s and 90s television with parodies of Care Bears, He-Man, Thundercats and so much more. I enjoyed the first episode a lot but it is an acquired taste and not many people will see its appeal. I thought it was darkly funny and messed up and I’m intrigued to see what its endgame is.

The Expanse: Season 6 (Amazon Prime) – Now this is a show that Drex got me into, really pushing me to watch the series that I think reminiscent of a show like Battlestar Galactica where it is the human interaction that drives the story and the politics of the immediate crisis at hand it keeps you fully engaged and on the edge of your seat. I was immediately so happy that we got a Season 4 out of this show as it was cancelled at their original Network, SyFy, which I believe they are already regretting because Amazon has now journeyed out with two new seasons beyond that network’s limited scope. Just to give a vague synopsis, the series is set two hundred years in the future and initially follows the case of a missing young woman which brings a hardened detective, played by former Punisher Thomas Jane, and a rogue ship’s captain, played by former heartthrob Steven Strait, together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history. Believe me, if you get the pilot under your belt you will be immediately hooked on the rest. It’s that simple.

Voir (Netflix) – This is a series made for the ultimate film nerd, like me exactly, as it is produced by this generation’s Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, and delves into cinema as we’ve never experienced before. Curated by producer, editor and writer Tony Zhou, this series is six episodes of in-depth and fascinating film essays in visual form. Film lovers examine the cinematic moments that thrilled, perplexed, challenged and forever changed them in this collection and I feel like I related to so much of it as I cruised through each episode easily. The first episode, focusing on the relationship between movies and television over the years, blew my mind entirely, something I could write an essay on myself. This one is special, friends, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

And Just Like That (Crave) – After the 1998 series that ended in 2003 and six seasons and two films that went from passable to a complete waste of time, Carrie Bradshaw and her girls minus one are back to be glamorous on the streets of New York City for our return to the world of Sex And The City. Is this necessary? No, it seems like a cash grab but as a guy who enjoyed the series in its entirety, I’m a bit curious to see how it turns out. The series will follow Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s. And just like that, the target audience feels seen and old, right? I hope this one turns out well because it’s rumoured that the hatchet could be buried between Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Catrall and we could get the best thing about this story back, the lovely Samantha Jones.

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