There’s something about summer bank holiday weekends that feel ten times better than regular bank holiday weekends. I would say it’s the sunny weather but when is that ever reliable in Ireland?
Well, regardless of the colour of the sky, we’ve got some super streaming recommendations for you this week from both Netflix and the increasingly popular NOW TV. Check them out:
Portraying a “different kind of young urban blackness than we’re used to seeing on our movie screens” as one reviewer put it, Shameik Moore stars as Malcolm, a teenage self confessed geek, trying to survive life in a tough LA neighbourhood while juggling college applications, academic interviews and his SATs. A chance invitation to an underground party leads Malcolm more than several rungs up the ladder of cool. Could things be about to change for Malcolm in a big way?
With its core strength coming from its strongly anti-stereotypical messaging, critics loved Dope for its shining breakout performances, accomplished recreation of late 80s/early 90s staging (most notably its costuming) and the pleasing invitation for audiences to identify with the protagonist on the basis of his relatable interests, aspirations and vulnerabilities rather than any preconceived notions of race and social standing.
Give it a go: If you’re looking for the perfect summer movie.
Give it a miss: If you don’t like teen-centric movies.
An unconventional biopic, Love & Mercy presents a portrait of Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys. In a non-linear fashion the film alternates between two periods of Wilson’s life; the 60s during the production of Pet Sounds and the 80s where we find a heavily medicated Wilson start dating his second wife. The film intimately examines the personal voyage and ultimate salvation of the icon whose success came at extraordinary personal cost.
Lauded for its innovative and creative approach to capturing the sometimes harrowing nature of the creative process, Love & Mercy was critically acclaimed as one of the greatest musical biopics out there.
Promising critic review: “Love & Mercy is one of the most convincing depictions of the creative process and the effects of mental illness I've seen in a long time.”
Give it a go: If you’re looking for a biopic that satisfies neophytes and die hard Beach Boy fans alike.
Give it a miss: If you’d prefer lighter piece of entertainment.
The beyond outlandish, animated, nihilistic sci-fi adventure series returns to Netflix for a third season with new episodes released every week. Only two episodes in and as promised, it’s definitely the darkest season yet - but in a good way!
To the uninitiated, Rick and Morty follows the weird and wacky inter-dimensional adventures of the alcoholic, pretty repugnant and constantly belching genius Rick Sanchez and his awkward and anxious, socially outcasted grandson Morty. Jam-packed with pop culture references that you’ll miss if you blink, Rick and Morty has garnered quite the cult following since its debut. As one critic puts it; “Rick And Morty is a show that encourages - no, demands - smart viewers. It's a show that routinely breaks the fourth wall, that throws in jokes in a half second that take hours to parse.”
Give it a go: If you love off-kilter smart humour and high concept satirical sci-fi adventure.
Give it a miss: If you hate having to work to get the joke or hate inside jokes.
One of the best films of 2016, Nocturnal Animals is a beautifully shot thriller that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, revenge and redemption. The film stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal as a divorced and long time estranged couple. At the beginning of the film Adams is sent the manuscript for Gyllenhaal’s new book which is dedicated and named for her. Intrigued, Adams is drawn into the book and the film alternates between real life and the world of the novel.
A brutally tense story of revenge; critics universally praised director Tom Ford’s talented eye for striking imagery. The film has a respectable score of 73% on Rotten Tomatoes and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival.
Give it a go: If you liked The Talented Mr. Ripley or you like films where beautiful people do terrible things to each other.
Give it a miss: If you find it hard to suspend your sense of disbelief.
Universally and unequivocally adored by critics, the 10 episode comedy-drama series that follows two young rappers as they try to work their way up the ladder in the Atlanta hip-hop scene is now available to stream on NOW TV.
Created, written, directed and starred in by Donald Glover, Atlanta made huge waves when it premiered last year on FX. Insightfully and thoughtfully painting a portrait of ordinary black life, Atlanta presents “a grounded account of underground hip-hop fame, a no-nonsense love letter to Glover's hometown, a thorny relationship drama, and a fantastically funny comedy” as one reviewer put it.
Give it a go: If you want to see some of the finest work from a creative artist at the top of his game.
Give it miss: If you find it hard to buy into hype.
Check out last week’s recommendations.
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