Stream Police: Stuff To Watch
This week's Stream Police has a few Netflix exclusives, no particular theme, and consists mostly of things I just watched. I tried to give a little bit of everything a shout out, and hopefully, there's at least one thing in this list that leads to a cool discovery for you. Without further delay, I present this week's Stream Police.
The newest creation by the Wachowskis (and Netflix exclusive), Sense8, follows a group of 8 people around the globe who obtain some psychic powers from the death of one woman. As the show progresses, the seemingly unconnected stories come together. Admittedly, I haven't finished the first season, but I am enjoying the show, even though I'd be lying if I said I knew exactly what was going on. The cast is fairly diverse, and the show tackles many social issues (with an emphasis on sexuality and gender), while giving a weird sci-fi twist. It's definitely high concept, which is a Wachowski specialty, although it lacks many of their visual effect sensibilities. The show is co-helmed by frequent collaborator Tom Tykwer, who also worked with the Wachowskis on Cloud Atlas. It's bizarre and it's different, but it's interesting and worth a watch.
For fans of: The Wachowskis, Inter-connected stories, vignettes
Yes, it's an Adam Sandler movie, but it's hardly similar to most of his films. The Cobbler follows Max Simkin (Sandler) as he runs a generational shoe repair store in New York, when he discovers a magical stitching machine that allows him to take the identity of any person while wearing their shoes after using the machine. His character is mostly aimless, although his love for his mother is his one driving force. The shoes act as a sort of cautionary tale for him, and it is refreshing to see Sandler in a role where his character grows in front of our eyes. Also starring Steve Buscemi, Dustin Hoffman, and Method Man, the cast is pretty solid, and the plot offers a few interesting (although somewhat ridiculous) twists as well. It's not amazing, but it's a cool little film.
For fans of: Adam Sandler, cautionary tales, stealing people's identities
Orange is the New Black
This is hardly an unknown show, but I bring Orange is the New Black to your attention because Season 3 has just arrived on Netflix. Based on a real life memoir, Orange is the New Black follows Piper Chapman as she survives an incarceration caused by an old lover years after she was an accessory to a crime. Focusing intensely on the individual inmates and what makes them tick, Orange is the New Black succeeds by having no wasted characters, and truly caring about each member of the cast. The first season was more comedic than the second, as it took a darker turn (and was weaker, although still enjoyable), and the second season ends on a pretty significant status quo shift. I'm pretty interested to see where the show goes from here, so now's as good a time as any to jump in.
For fans of: Dark comedies, prison drama
The Taking of Deborah Logan
One of the better found footage horror films I can recall, The Taking of Deborah Logan follows a crew documenting an elderly woman's descent as she battles Alzheimer's Disease; however, it soon becomes clear that there is something far more sinister than the degenerative condition at play. Without delving too far into spoilers, you get your share of secret murder's, people transforming into snakes, and creepy old ladies, all told through the lens of a video camera, by people who are not equipped to handle the situation. If you want an effective horror flick, check this one out.
For fans of: Found footage horror movies, VHS, Rec, The Blair Witch Project
Following the moral crisis of a hitman played by Collin Farrell, In Bruges offers a funny yet dark tale about life, death, and the value of existence. After a botched assignment, Farrel's character stays in the city of Bruges (hence the title) along with is partner (played by the always wonderful Brendan Gleeson), and he begins to question what he is doing in life as he forges new relationships and sees life from a different perspective. Truly one of my favorite films of the last several years, In Bruges is as must watch as it gets.
Watch if you like: Seven Psychopaths, Collin Farrell, Dark Comedies, You Kill Me