While things have slowed-down a bit in terms of new releases, we have a few watches which just might be worth your time! See our thoughts on these new releases, available now to stream.
ALLEN v. FARROW (CRAVE/HBO)
This four-part Documentary Series from HBO uncovers with first-hand accounts and never-seen-before footage, the sexual abuse allegations against American Film legend Woody Allen. Directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering explore in great detail the gray territory between Allen‘s wide critical acclaim and adoration in his craft, but also the very dark and disturbing trail of destruction he left behind. While Allen refused to respond or participate in the project and vehemently denies any wrong-doing, the evidence is compelling and upsetting. I mean, what could be expected of a man who took on his adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, as his lover? While it could be perceived as one-sided, using excerpts only from his Memoir to speak for him, the Documentary Series offers an empathetic lens to Farrow and family who experienced something devastating and not to be believed about it is even more hurtful. At 85 years of age Allen has escaped legal ramifications for his actions, though his career has been halted of late by a call for his “cancellation” post-#MeToo. It will be interesting to see the impact of the Series and what comes of this, especially seeing the public’s renewed interest in Britney Spears‘ conservatorship and a call to action following the arrival of FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS(which also is available now on Crave). New episodes arrive weekly on Crave at 9 PM ET.
SUPERVILLAIN: THE MAKING OF TEKASHI 6IX9INE (CRAVE)
This Showtime Docu-Series, now available on Crave, takes a look at Tekashi 6ix9ine, who made headlines after snitching-out out against his former associates after pleading guilty to an array of conspiracy to commit murder and armed robbery charges. Now completing his term on house arrest due to COVID-19, the three-part Series looks at his poverty and trauma-ridden childhood, which led him to take on the “supervillain” persona. He cites The Joker as his inspiration, stating good guys always die and villains don’t. We get interviews with his family and ex-girlfriend and learn of his obsession with gaining clout on Social Media, ultimately mastering it and using it as a platform for his own celebrity, no matter the costs and little regard for consequences – including child exploitation charges resulting from the use of a minor in one of his Music Videos. The Series isn’t so much about glorifying the character as it is about seeking to understand why he has been so intriguing with 23 million Instagram followers. And in that regard is ably does so as a statement about a new order where clout and worth are measured by followers. SUPERVILLAIN: THE MAKING OF TEKASHI 6IX9INE is available now on Crave.
GINNY & GEORGIA (NETFLIX)
This ten-episode Series has already proven a hit for Netflix, claiming the #1 spot, so expect more time come. The Dramedy centers on Georgia (Brianne Howley) and her daughter Ginny (Antonia Gentry), who arrive in New England to begin a new life. Georgia is a hustler, relying on her charm which more often than not works, but acts often on impulse. Ginny however is level-headed, navigating being the outspoken new girl at school and balancing boys. She also is conscious of not making the same mistakes her mom made having her at such an early age. The Series rests on Georgia always barely make it out ahead, getting herself into some tricky situations, but also offers a bit of sympathy as we flash back in time and see that who she is, has been a result of her being a survivor. Engaging performances from our two leads, particularly Howley who keeps things fun as the Series is still figuring out its balance between lighthearted and heavy. GINNY & GEORGIA streams now on Netflix.
IT’S A SIN (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)
Five-part Series IT’S A SIN recounts the ’80s as London encounters the HIV/AIDS pandemic. At the center of the story are a group of gay men including Ritchie (Olly Alexander), Nathaniel (Ash Mukherjee), Roscoe (Omari Douglas) and Colin (Callum Scott Howells) experiencing independence and sexual awakening for the first time. Alongside them is their friend Jill (Lydia West). Some fantastic performances to be found here from this Ensemble, as the young men are convinced of their invincibility but things take a turn for the tragic. Things get rather emotional in this Series written by Russell T. Davies and directed by Peter Hoar. We see how promising young men were robbed of their dreams by this pandemic and how difficult it was for men in, even more so in the time period, to confide in their families about their sexuality. A compelling Series which captures the emotions and paranoia that feels authentic to the era, in large part due to a fantastic re-imagined and nostalgic Soundtrack and impeccable attention to detail. Above this, Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry also make an appearance. IT’S A SIN streams now on Amazon Prime Video.
Funnywoman Amy Poehler makes her Feature directorial debut with Moxie, based on the Novel of the same name by Jennifer Mathieu. The Film centers on Vivian (Hadley Robinson), a teenage girl who gets inspiration from her mother (Poehler) and secretly creates a magazine which calls-out the misogyny at her high school. The magazine begins shaking things up at her school and some of the girls at school band together to fight the patriarchy and as trouble begins to stir, she finds herself trying to conceal her identity and her own unhappiness spills to other parts of her life including a blooming relationship with Seth (Nico Hiraga), with her best friend Claudia (Lauren Tsai) and mother. We begin to wonder if all of this was for the greater good after all. Some really great performances from this young and talented Ensemble Cast including our star Robinson who shows plenty of promise here. Tsai also is a scene-stealer as Patrick Schwarzenegger as the antagonist Mitchell is perhaps his most memorable performance yet. The Film smartly examines timely conversations about intersectionality, institutionalized sexism, entitlement and bullying and was a pleasant surprise, but should we expect any less of Poehler?
COMING 2 AMERICA (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)
We revisit King Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy) who learns that he has fathered a son back in his days in America. With only a daughter from his wife Queen Lisa (Shari Headley) and no male successor to the throne, he visits America once again to meet his son Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), bringing back also his mother Mary (Leslie Jones) to Zamunda. General Izzi (Wesley Snipes) hopes to pair his daughter together with Lavelle, in a powerful union which would unite the two families together, but as we see times have changed. Craig Brewer (Dolemite is My Name) reunites with Murphy to direct this follow-up to 1988’s delightfully-funny Coming to America, but even with three strong Screenwriters in Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, we get something outlandish that never hits the marks its predecessor did. Part of what made the first Film so funny was that comedic and political sensibilities were a bit different 33 years ago, so penis-bathing female servant jokes landed a bit differently back than they would in the now. Add to that an abundance of misguided McDonald‘s product placements, unnecessary musical numbers and an ill-conceived subplot that examines gender inequality that never quite says what it needs to, we were left underwhelmed. That aside, Snipes‘ performance is so committed, making for one of the few rewarding bright spots in this Sequel. We had such high hopes for this. COMING 2 AMERICA streams now on Amazon Prime Video.
COUNTRY COMFORT (NETFLIX)
So thrilled Katherine McPhee is back, it’s been so long! The former American Idol alumni stars as Bailey, a Country singer whose career has hit rock bottom. She finds herself an unexpected gig as a nanny for a widower named Beau (Eddie Cibrian) and his five kids in this Sitcom. The laugh track-humour gears a bit more to grown-ups and it does admittedly feel at times a little bit too familiar. If you loved Who’s the Boss in the ’80s this definitely takes some inspiration from that Series, with a musical twist and Cibrian‘s partner LeeAnn Rimes even makes an appearance! COUNTRY COMFORT streams now on Netflix.
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (NETFLIX)
This is the Documentary we didn’t realize we needed. OPERATIONS VARSITY BLUES: THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL lives up exactly to its juicy title, combining re-enactments with Matthew Modine as Rick Singer, plus interviews and footage surrounding the College Admissions scandal. As you might recall, the admissions cheating scandal landed high-profile types like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin in jail, exposing mastermind Singer who netted more than $25 million in bribes to before pleading guilty to racketeering charges. This is riveting, journalist-style storytelling from Director Chris Smith and in all of this, lessons to be learned and an exposé of corruption in the U.S. College System which enabled “backdoor admissions”. It streams now on Netflix.
At the forefront of discussion of late has been the College Admissions Scandal which rocked the world and landed celebrities in jail. OPERATION VARSITY BLUES: THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL is coming soon to Netflix, starring Matthew Modine, examining this news headliner.
An examination that goes beyond the celebrity-driven headlines and dives into the methods used by Rick Singer, the man at the center of the shocking 2019 college admissions scandal, to persuade his wealthy clients to cheat an educational system already designed to benefit the privileged. Using an innovative combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer and his clients, Operation Varsity Blues offers a rare glimpse into the enigmatic figure behind a scheme that exposed the lengths wealthy families would go to for admission into elite colleges, and angered a nation already grappling with the effects of widespread inequality. From Chris Smith and Jon Karmen, the filmmakers behind Fyre, and starring Matthew Modine as Rick Singer.
See the Trailer:
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal arrives on Netflix March 17, 2021.