|MARK RUFFALODARK WATERSTHRILLERREVIEW|
One highlight of this Coronavirus quarantine turning us all into hermits? There's plenty of time to binge all of the new offerings from HBO. The network is pumping out some prestige originals and bringing back a favorite comedy series this month. First up is Mark Ruffalo's limited series that sees him playing both leads. For those needing a laugh in these dark times, Issa Rae's Insecure returns, and a new series from Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge lands.
Here's everything coming to and leaving HBO this April.
I Know This Much Is TrueMark Ruffalo stars in this limited series adapted from Wally Lamb's best-selling book. Ruffalo pulls double-duty, playing a set of identical twins with the series following their parallel lives. One suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, the other from PTSD, and both rely on each other to navigate their complicated family dynamics. Ruffalo will probably win an Emmy for this but even if not, it's a gripping drama with a stellar cast.
RunThe team behind Fleabag read: Phoebe Waller-Bridge brings us this rom-com series starring Domhnall Gleeson and Merritt Wever. The story follows a woman bored with her domestic life who receives a text from her college sweetheart and subsequently drops everything to meet him in New York to fulfill a pact they made 17 years earlier.
InsecureIssa Rae's critically-beloved comedy returns for another season this month and fans should expect plenty of romance drama this time around. Issa and Molly are dating roommates this season, which might put their own friendship to the test, while Issa's business partner gets serious with her ex-boyfriend Lawrence.
Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, Docuseries Premiere 4/5
Insecure, Season 4 Premiere 4/12
Run, Series Premiere 4/12
Entre Hombre, Series Premiere 4/19
Shadows, Season 3 4/20
We're Here, Series Premiere 4/23
I Know This Much Is True, Limited Series Premiere 4/27
High Maintenance, Season 4 Finale 4/3
The Plot Against America, Series Finale 4/20
Bad Education 4/25
Autism: The Sequel 4/28
Dragged Across Concrete, 2018 4/1
Galveston, 2018 4/1
Good Boys, 2019 4/4
It: Chapter 2, 2019 4/11
Stuber, 2019 4/18
Ola De Crimenes AKA Crime Wave, 2020 4/3
Pepito, 2019 4/3
Slipping Into Darkness, 2019 4/3
The Serenade AKA La Serenata, 2019 4/3
Las Herederas AKA The Heiresses, 2020 4/17
2019 Latinx Short Film Competition Winners:
Pepito, 2019 4/3
Slipping Into Darkness, 2019 4/3
The Serenade AKA La Serenata, 2019 4/3
Starting April 1:...
The world is…interesting right now, to say the least. And there’s a fairly good chance that you’re suddenly stuck inside your house right now, or at least hesitant to go out. Not to worry: You can stay in and watch some Blu-rays. You don’t even have to leave the house to get them – order them online and have them show up on your doorstep. And if you need some help regarding what to pick up, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.Uncut Gems
It’s the movie everyone can’t stop talking about – the movie that many thought would ensure Adam “The Sandman” Sandler an Oscar nomination. It’s Uncut Gems, the Safdie Brothers‘ anxiety-inducing saga of gambling addict Howard Ratner Sandler, a jeweler who thinks he has a sure thing in the form of a rare black opal. But nothing goes according to Howard’s plans – he ends up handing the opal off to Kevin Garnett playing himself, and then his life proceeds to spiral completely out of control. His gambling debts put him in potential danger, and to make matters worse, every time he has a chance to climb out of the hole, his poor decisions put him right back in there. It’s perhaps a reflection of our troubled, turbulent times that so many people took to this movie, which is 135 minutes of screaming, tension, and jaw-dropping horror it’s pretty funny, too. While I didn’t love Uncut Gems as much as some I prefer the Safdie’s previous film, Good Time, I can’t deny the skill at work here. And Sandler is just as good as everyone says. Hell, he’s better.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
I sure wish this release came with more special features – there’s only one, a making-of. A commentary would’ve been ideal – especially if they had managed to talk Sandler into doing it. Alas, it was not to be. But Uncut Gems is worth picking up anyway. But be sure to hold onto it tight – and whatever you do, don’t lend it to Kevin Garnett.
Special Features Include:“Money on the Street: The Making of Uncut Gems” Featurette Charlie’s Angels
Charlie’s Angels, the latest attempt to reboot the TV series of the same name, has a lot going for it. The leads – Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska – are incredibly likable, and they all have a fun, easy-going chemistry with one another. There’s also a handful of funny moments – mostly from Kristen Stewart, who shows a real knack for comedy here. But the film ultimately suffers from a rather blah script, and some uninspired direction. Elizabeth Banks directs, as well as co-stars. And while I think Banks is a genuinely good performer, she’s yet to hit her stride and find her voice when...
Netflix has released the first trailer for Extraction. This one, on paper, has a whole lot going for it. For one, it's one of few new blockbuster-level releases viewers will be able to watch this month, as movie theaters all around the country remain closed. It also features Chris Hemsworth in the lead. To top it all off, he's reunited with Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Avengers: Endgame, who are producing the original thriller. And, based on this first trailer, this could certainly be something to look forward to this month.
The trailer opens up with Chris Hemsworth doing some intense cliff diving/meditation before some of the action kicks in. We get the sense that Hemsworth has something of a death wish. We then get to the heart of the matter, which sees this man having to rescue the son of a drug lord, who was kidnapped by a rival drug lord. Things escalate, to say the very least of it, and Hemsworth is left trying to fight off impossible odds to keep this kid safe. This does seem to lay everything out on the table, seemingly not leaving much up to the imagination, but it's an impressive trailer. Lots of action. Real stakes.RELATED: Netflix's Extraction Poster Shows Chris Hemsworth as a Deadly Black Market Mercenary googletag.cmd.pushfunction ;
New Netflix original Extraction centers on a hardened mercenary's mission, which becomes a soul-searching race to survive when he's sent into Bangladesh to rescue a drug lord's kidnapped son. The cast also includes Rudhraksh Jaiswal, David Harbour, Derek Luke and Golshifteh Farahani. Taking to Twitter, Chris Hemsworth expressed his excitement in sharing the trailer, especially at this moment in time, given what's going on in the world.'So happy to finally be able to share the trailer for Extraction with you all! This has been a difficult few months for all of us, and we hope this will provide a bit of entertainment while we are all staying home.'
This trailer arrives after an Extraction poster proved to be quite popular after it was unveiled. Netflix has been ramping up its work with A-list filmmakers in the past few years and this is a huge example of that. The Russo brothers, coming off of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, have been busy producing a number of high-profile projects. In this case, Joe Russo wrote the screenplay and is producing alongside his brother, Anthony Russo. Re-teaming them with Hemsworth, who plays Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, makes this an impressive package deal.
Sam Hargrave, a longtime stunt coordinator who has worked on quite a few massive blockbusters in his day, including Captain America: Civil War with the Russo brothers, is making his feature directorial debut. Hargrave also worked on Atomic Blonde, The Hunger Games series and Suicide Squad, as well as a few other MCU titles like Thor: Ragnarok. So he knows his way around a big...
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...