- Published: Tuesday, 29 September 2020 08:14
- Written by Lupe R Haas
In this week's watch list, my viewing options have been influenced by current events in America. After Supreme Court darling Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed, it was time to finally watch the RGB documentary and the movie based on her life with Felicity Jones playing the Notorious RBG in ON THE BASIS OF SEX. Check out my other recommendations for the week.
Below is a list of new streaming series and movies watched this week which includes documentaries, a Spanish family film, Ryan Murphy's Netflix series, "Ratched," Hilary Swank's Netflix series, "Away," Tom Holland in THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME, ANTEBELLUM, and a review of the latest episode of "The Boys."
RGB (Hulu) 👸🏻🙌🏽
The documentary from Betsy West and Julie Cohen chronicles the rise of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a woman fighting for a place in a male-dominated profession. It's a heartwarming story of someone who didn't take no for an answer, and her rise into an icon status was made possible thanks to her endearing husband who supported her career and recognized her brilliance. She went on to fight for the equal rights of both men and women in court before becoming a favorite as an U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice since 1993.
RGB's status as an American icon and an inspiration for women of all ages is cemented in this movie. It's a must watch for everyone.
ON THE BASIS OF SEX (Showtime, VOD) 👋🏽
Felicity Jones (ROGUE ONE, THE MIDNIGHT SKY) stars as the Notorious RBG with Armie Hammer playing her husband Martin Ginsburg, along with Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston and Kathy Bates. ON THE BASIS OF SEX is based on her life starting with her college days when she was only 1 of 9 women among 500 white male students. When her husband is diagnosed with cancer, she handles her coursework as well as Martin's while also being a mother to a toddler and a caretaker for Martin. The film also covers her inability to secure a job at a law firm because she's a woman so she takes on a teaching job. Regardless she didn't give up and found a way to litigate her first case with support from her husband through his law firm. That led to her arguing her first historic case.
The movie version only covers a short period of her life, and doesn't give a full picture unlike the RGB documentary. However I'd recommend a double feature to fully understand her accomplishments and her fight for equal rights. If you only have time for one, the Hulu documentary is much more of an in-depth look at her life.
ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY (Amazon Prime) ✊🏽 😡
The new Amazon documentary creates a timeline of the 155 years of voter suppression in the United States against African-Americans, and is still rampant today. Stacey Abrams, a voting activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate provides her expertise and and perspective on the subject matter.
With the 2020 presidential election fast approaching, ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY is timely and informative. Voter suppression has taken many forms throughout the two centuries, and the new Amazon movie depicts how this is still even possible in present day. The documentary will surely open your eyes to the injustices against African-Americans, perpetrated mainly from the GOP today.
ANTEBELLUM (VOD) 🤷🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️
From producer Jordan Peele comes ANTEBELLUM, a thriller starring Janelle Monáe as a successful author who ends up trapped in the antebellum south on a plantation. Writer/directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz make their first feature film with Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons and Gabourey Sidibe also starring.
ANTEBELLUM was a disappointment in that it didn't deliver the goods with a surprising twist much like GET OUT or US. After the second trailer, the twist was easy to decipher given the political climate. However that's not to say you're not rooting for Janelle Monáe to come out unscathed. What is satisfying is watching the end when the bad guys get their comeuppance.
PADRE NO HAY MAS QUE UNO (Amazon Prime, VOD) 😹
The 2019 Spanish hit from popular filmmaker Santiago Segura is now available on VOD, and it's a hilarious family comedy in the vein of MR. MOM (1983). PADRE NO HAY MÁS QUE UNO stars Santiago Segura as a husband and father of five who encourages his wife to take a vacation away from the family. He assures her he can handle the children along with his 9 to 5. When he gets in over his head, hilarity ensues.
Foreign family comedies don't usually translate well in other markets, but PADRE NO HAY MÁS QUE UNO is a universal comedy about parenting - a language everyone understands. For American Latinx, the Spanish humor translates although you may need the subtitles for words particular to that culture. It's a great option for a Spanish-speaking family.
THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME (Netflix) 👏🏼
The new Netflix movie boasts a star-studded cast with exceptional performances from Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Jason Clarke, Bill Skarsgård, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough and Mia Wasikowska.
Based on the novel by Donald Ray Pollock (also narrates the film), the setting is rural southern Ohio and West Virginia at the end of World War II. Filled with unsavory and violent characters, the story explores how corruption and brutality are past down through generations. Arvin (Holland) is taught by his WWII veteran father that you often have to resort to violence to protect their family. Around Arvin are violent characters from preachers to a husband and wife team of serial killers who ultimately have an effect on Arvin's family.
Directed and adapted by Antonio Campos, THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME is a hard watch because of the subject matter but it's beautifully shot with mirroring scenes that shows how generations carry on good and bad traditions. The performances are exceptional with Tom Holland turning in a powerful performance as a likable but flawed character. Robert Pattinson is eery as a pedophile preacher as is Jason Clarke as a deranged serial killer. It's funny to note that three of the main characters are British and Australian playing backwood folks in America.
THE INVISIBLE MAN (HBO, VOD) 👍🏼
Leigh Whannell's THE INVISIBLE MAN is now playing on HBO so a second viewing was in order. Elisabeth Moss plays Cecilia, a battered woman who escapes her now deceased captor but she still feels like she's being haunted by her ex, but is he a ghost or is he still alive?
The thriller is a creative take on the Universal horror classic with a modern twist. The domestic violence makes it all the more real and horrific. THE INVISIBLE MAN is one of those films you can play on repeat, and enjoy time after time.
THE BOYS (Amazon Prime) 🍆👏🏼
Episode 6 in the second season proved to be another shocker with a huge revelation that Stormfront (Aya Cash) is a widow to a Nazi scientist and the first Supe he created. And just when you thought impaling a whale couldn't be topped - Mother's Milk is choked out by a massive penis, and one of our Boys is severely hurt in the melee.
As usual, the Amazon show provides outlandish scenes, gore, comedy, action, very human connections and a fun distraction to real life.
AWAY (Netflix) 👍🏼
Hilary Swank plays an American astronaut and commander leading the first mission to Mars.
The 10-episode Netflix series delves deep into each character, and explores how isolation from one's family becomes a distraction in the face of many life or death situations in space. Motherhood and guilt plays a huge part of the conflict but it's not a particular situation only to women astronauts. A famous Russian cosmonaut also ponders the parenting issue seeking his adult daughter's forgiveness for abandoning her for space.
AWAY isn't short on action, suspense and space exploration. It's an easy binge.
CHALLENGER: THE FINAL FLIGHT (Netflix) 👍🏼
After binging AWAY, Netflix suggested the 4-episode series, CHALLENGER: THE FINAL FLIGHT - a docuseries that chronicles the events that led to the explosion of the Challenger mission in 1986 which killed seven crew members including the first teacher selected to go into space. The series includes testimonials from the widows of the crew members, former engineers from the rocket booster contractor Morton-Thiokol whose rocket led to the disaster and others with insight into what went wrong.
Of course I took the bait. Watching CHALLENGER: THE FINAL FLIGHT will certainly leave you feeling angry towards NASA who ultimately knew of the problem with the rocket booster's O-Ring after multiple warnings. The freezing temperatures before the launch also added to the problem, and NASA yet again ignored warnings from the contractor Morton-Thiokol about its safety.
RATCHED (Netflix) 👎🏼
Ryan Murphy ("Glee," "American Horror Story") brings Nurse Ratched's origin story to Netflix as a series. The cold, heartless tyrant caretaker from Ken Kesey's, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST novel and 1976 Milos Forman film gets the Ryan Murphy treatment in RATCHED.
Sarah Paulson plays Nurse Mildred Ratched, and Murphy's frequent collaborators Finn Wittrock, Jon Jon Briones, Jessica Lange appear in the series in addition to Corey Stoll, Judy Davis, Sharon Stone, Cynthia Nixon ("Sex and the City"), Amanda Plummer and others.
In RATCHED, Nurse Ratched is much more diabolical than the film version played by Louise Fletcher. While Fletcher's character was much more of an authoritarian, Murphys' nurse is downright mental and dangerous, for example she encourages a patient to slit his own throat.
RATCHED comes off as an extension of "American Horror Story" with familiar faces, storylines and horrific acts of violence. The last few storylines for AHS have been sloppy and twisted. "Freak Show" and "Coven" were probably the best seasons for the FX anthology series, but the others have sunk into deranged nightmares. So if you're a fan of AHS - this is right up your alley.
After episode three, I called it quits as this Nurse Ratched seems like an entirely different character with no relation to the original material.