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Netflix picks: what we're watching this weekend

It’s set to be an absolute scorcher of a weekend (especially for May) with temperatures expected to reach highs of 18 degrees in Dublin! Some might say it’s absolute sacrilege to waste the sunshine by staying indoors but just in case an unexpected downpour rears its ugly head (as it is wont to do in Ireland) here’s our top 5 Netflix picks for this weekend.

Hot New Arrivals: The Mars Generation & Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie

The Mars Generation:

Released today, this Netflix Original documentary centres on a group of teenage space-camp trainees at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. We follow the training of these aspiring engineers, astrophysicists and astronauts of tomorrow all the while gaining interesting insight into the historical, philosophical, and technological implications of becoming a multi-planetary species. It appears that Mars isn’t as far away as we think.

What the critics are saying: “Does a good job of tapping into the inherent hope of exploring outer space and providing a realistic examination of what it will require.”

Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie

Also released today, Handsome follows the misadventures of an LA homicide detective played by Jeff Garlin whose competence in his career is completely at odds with his inability to sort his own personal life out. Taking to his role with his signature brand of deadpan humour, Garlin shines in this farcical comedy and is joined by a host of other comedy greats including Natasha Lyonne, Amy Sedaris, Christine Woods, Steven Weber, Eddie Pepitone, Timm Sharp, and Leah Remini.

What the critics are saying: “Handsome looks like a fun way for co-writer/director/star Garlin to showcase his stand-up comedy and sitcom talents alongside veteran comedians in a good old-fashioned murder mystery.”

Stylish & Visually Striking Arthouse: The Neon Demon

Fans of 2011’s Drive will recognise director Nicolas Winding Refn’s signature visually striking style in this psychological horror film starring the ethereal rising star Elle Fanning. The story follows an aspiring model who moves to LA to find that her beauty and youth generate intense fascination and jealously amongst her peers within the industry.

Upon its release last year, The Neon Demon received very mixed reviews with some critics criticising Refn’s penchant for visual style over narrative depth; “The Neon Demon provides plenty of eye candy, but not much food for thought.” Yet others praised Refn for his cutting portrait of the fashion industry; “Refn takes a morbid pleasure in showing young and glamorous people behaving in a very ugly and self-obsessed fashion” and “Imagine an issue of Vogue with Maleficent as guest editor.”

Stunning Nature Documentary Series: Wild Japan

Looking for something to fill that Planet Earth II sized hole in your Sunday evenings? This BBC awe-inspiring three-part nature documentary series exploring the wild islands of Japan will have you transfixed.

Each episode focuses on a different island (or chain of islands as the case may be) and showcases a colourful collection of diverse and often unexpected wildlife, stunning weather conditions as well as the most intriguing local cultural traditions that this far flung country has to offer.  

Discover the world’s smallest wild boars, a community of elderly women who hunt sea snakes in the dark in their spare time and how wild bears and fishermen live in harmony. Simply fascinating stuff that is beautifully shot and informatively narrated.

Hilarious Offbeat Comedy: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

If you loved the likes of What We Do in the Shadows and Flight of the Conchords you’re going to adore Hunt for the Wilderpeople. This Kiwi gem was released last year and follows the hilarious and often charming exploits of Ricky Baker, a young victim of the foster care system who finally finds himself in a loving home only for tragedy to strike. Preferring to take his chances in the wild bush rather than risking being sent back into care, Ricky and his foster father Hec go on the run together and so begin the biggest adventure of either of their lives.  

Receiving an incredible 97% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, Hunt for the Wilderpeople delighted critics and audiences alike and masterfully blends moments of farcical dry wit with genuinely touching moments of emotional depth, helped along with stand-out performances from Sam Neill as Hec and Julian Dennison as the young Ricky. Be sure to check this one out.

Want to check out last week’s Netflix recommendations? Click here


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