Stream Police: The First Daze of Summer

Posted in The Screening Room by - June 01, 2015

Summer is finally here for most of y’all, except for me because Nebraska’s weather is totally insane. However, summer means some of you are free from the shackles of academia or are taking vacations. With that in mind, I offer to you my humble suggestions on what to check out this week on Netflix during the first week of summer. 


Whitey: The United States vs. James J. Bulger

Johnny Depp is set to play Whitey Bulger this fall in Black Mass but, if you’re like me, you want the non-Hollywood version of the story. The documentary chronicles both the defense and prosecution as they gear up to take on Whitey Bulger’s case. Bulger is one of the most notorious gangsters in the United States, and was even placed on the FBI’s most wanted list. It’s a one of a kind look at the inner-workings of a high-profile criminal case as it progresses, along with demystifying the Bulger character.

For fans of: True Detective, The Jinx, true crime


The X-Files

The X-Files is the show that I measure every other show that I watch against. It had two great leads in Duchovny and Anderson, both of which had palpable chemistry on-screen. Couple that with a fantastic mythology involving aliens and government conspiracies that started with the first episode, and while it didn’t really go anywhere after season six, it was really enthralling for the first six. I can’t speak enough about how much I love the show, and with a new season in the works, there really isn’t a better time to check out the exploits of Mulder and Scully. 

For fans of: sci-fi, conspiracy theories, character-driven stories


Frank

Michael Fassbender is slowly becoming our generation’s Johnny Depp. He takes roles that most wouldn’t expect him to take, and Frank is no exception. Fassbender is under a papier-mache head for 90% of the film, and he completely loses his German-accent, replacing with a strange one. If he wasn’t billed in the credits, I wouldn’t have known until he takes the head off towards the end of the film. The real star of the film is Fassbender and everything else is just alright along with his stellar turn as the eponymous band leader.

For fans of: Spinal TapThe History of Future Folk, Christopher Guest films  


Grace and Frankie

If you own Netflix, which I’m assuming you do since you’re reading this, then you’ve already seen the scrolling advertisement for Grace and Frankie. I watched it on a whim, and I was pleasantly surprised by how touching yet hilarious the show is. It features Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as the title characters who, after finding out their husbands are in love with one another, have to put their lives back together. It’s an honest and sometimes heart-breaking look at what happens when the nuclear family falls apart. Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen are the real highlight of the show for me with their turns as Sol and Robert, the two gay husbands, being so far outside of their usual roles it’s surprising how believable they are. 

For fans ofEverybody Loves Raymond, Will & GraceParenthood


Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie

Morton Downey Jr. was the progenitor for Jerry Springer and Howard Stern, with his brash, no-holds barred attitude showcased on his Morton Downey, Jr. Show. However, the man behind the microphone is often more interesting than the people he is talking to, and such is the case with Downey, Jr. The documentary follows Downey Jr. from his early days to his iconic TV show, all the while providing interviews with those who knew him. It’s an interesting look at what drives someone to make “trash TV”, along with a look at Downey, Jr. the man as opposed to the character he portrayed on TV. 

For fans of: documentaries, Salinger, trash TV


This post was written by
Chris Stachiw is the Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Kulturecast. He's a native Californian with a penchant for sarcasm and a taste for the cinematic bizarre. You'll often find him wandering the wasteland of Nebraska searching for the meaning of life and possibly another rare Pokemon.
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