This week we’ve got an eclectic mix recommendations that we hope cover all of your entertainment bases. We’ve certainly got enough to see you through the weekend with two new hot arrivals from Netflix, including the third season of family drama Bloodline.
Hot New Arrivals: Bloodline Season 3 and War Machine
Bloodline: Season 3
The third season of Bloodline drops on Netflix today and sees the return of The Rayburns for the final chapter of their story after the series was shortened from the creators’ original five-six year vision. Season two ended on a number of cliffhangers - Meg about to tell Sally about Danny’s death, Kevin standing over Marco’s body after bashing his skull in and John driving away into the night. Season 3 is set to continue Bloodline down its dark path, with all of the characters becoming less and less forgivable as time goes by.
Initial reviews are favourable and fans of the show should be left satisfied. As one reviewer wrote; “Bloodline has never been easy viewing — it’s always dialled up the suspense and drama to levels that border on uncomfortable. But its characters have always been superbly written and performed, so even when the narrative spills over into fanciful, it’s still a compelling series.”
Netflix Original Film: War Machine
Based on the book The Operator: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan by Michael Hastings, this Brad Pitt and Anthony Michael Hall led film is a satirical comedy that focuses on American military involvement in Afghanistan. The biting story views the conflict from the perspective of the men leading the military campaign.
The film was released today on Netflix and so far the reviews have been mixed. The script is being reported as sharply witty and the performances are solid and engaging with Brad Pitt, Anthony Michael Hall and Tilda Swinton all putting their best feet forward. However, the story suffers from poor execution that “keeps its fact-based story from cleanly hitting its targets” as Rotten Tomatoes put it.
Thrill seeker? Try 10 Cloverfield Lane
Set in the same universe as 2008’s Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane presents a much more paired down, claustrophobic thriller of a story that’s in a totally different genre to its earlier monster-mash counterpart. Holding an extremely respectable 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, 10 Cloverfield Lane starts out as one kind of film - where your standard creepy conspiracy theorist bunker dweller kidnaps an unsuspecting car crash victim - to seamlessly shift into something entirely different, and decidedly pulpier.
I don't want to give too much away but suffice to say it is a superbly acted thriller that makes the most of it’s bunker setting. I guarantee you’ll be on the edge of your seat from start to finish and you’ll be guessing what’s going to happen next until the very last shot.
10 Cloverfield Lane is available to stream on Sky’s NOW TV now.
One for the school leavers: Dazed and Confused
Given the time of year, I thought this was an appropriate entry into this week’s recommendations. Set over the course of the last day of school, May 28th, 1976, Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused is a wonderfully nostalgic look at the youth culture of bygone era. The story, in Linklater’s signature sprawling style seen in the likes of “Slackers” and “Everybody Wants Some!!” follows the random activities of a group of Texas high schoolers as they celebrate the beginning of the summer.
We see the stories of the younger fresh-faced students intersect with those of their jaded upperclassmen at various events including a freshmen hazing, a local pool parlor and later on, at a house party. Dazed and Confused is a high school movie classic and simply oozes that unforgettable “school’s out” feeling. It’s the perfect movie to kick off the summer for any age.
Romance in the uncanny valley: The One I Love
Looking for a rom-com with an offbeat, semi-sci-fi twist? The One I Love sees Ethan and Sophie, a married couple in their thirties on the brink of separation seek counsel from their therapist who recommends they take a holiday away together. He offers them the keys to a beautiful secluded villa for the weekend. The couple arrive and everything seems wonderful until events take a turn for the surreal… Sophie isn’t quite Sophie anymore and neither is Ethan. What’s going on?
An intriguing exploration of the dynamics of intimacy and the idealisation of our romantic partners, The One I Love is nothing if not an unusual and unpredictable piece of cinema. An interesting alternative to your standard Friday night rom-com and is available to stream on Netflix.