We recommend: The best new movies and TV
The Consultant: Christoph Waltz (of ‘Inglourious Basterds’ fame) is back as a business consultant in a dark, twisted, and comedic thriller series based on the popular book written by Bentley Little. When a gaming company’s CEO is murdered, Regus Patoff is hired to steady the company boat. But no one knows who Regus is, what his credentials are, and how exactly he landed the consulting gig. Employees are scrambling under his peculiar and scary management style, and the series follows their investigation of the dark mystery behind their new boss.
The series has received lukewarm reviews. Variety says Waltz is the “best part of The Consultant” and it has a “sinuous and creepy charm”. The Hollywood Reporter is more critical and says the show is “Neither terrifying nor trenchant, but watchable for Waltz.” Our take: Waltz at his cooky best in the backdrop of how modern day companies run? The entertainment value might just be worth the risk. The show came out yesterday on Amazon Prime.
The Reluctant Traveller: Fans of ‘Schitt’s Creek’, rejoice! Our fave father-son duo—Eugene Levy and Dan Levy—are back to the small screen with a new travel show. The eight-episode travelogue is hosted by Eugene Levy as he visits some of the world’s most beautiful destinations in Costa Rica, Finland, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Portugal, South Africa, and the United States, reluctantly exploring new places and cultures. He does warm up to the experiences eventually and gives us some striking visuals from his visits.
AV Club called Eugene Levy “the best” and said “it’s hard to deny, or stop rooting for, Levy and his disarming sweetness, that nearly cheerful orneriness, his resounding nerdy normalcy.” However, the show didn’t hit the mark as it was “meandering, less revelatory, and not very funny.” OTOH, Collider finds that the show is able to set itself apart from being “just another travel show” and concludes, “Eugene Levy might have reluctantly travelled to these places, but the viewer will happily go along for the ride.” Our take: As long as we get to see more of Levy’s genial charm on screen, we’re all in. The episodes dropped on Apple TV+ yesterday.
We Have a Ghost: Director Christopher Landon—known for his horror comedies ‘Freaky’ and ‘Happy Death Day’—now gives us a family-friendly ghost comedy. The film—adapted from the short story ‘Ernest’ by Geoff Manaugh—follows a black family that moves into a haunted house and discovers a mute ghost named Ernie—played by David Harbour. Unlike other horror stories, the family records Ernie on video and becomes an Internet sensation. The plot soon dives into the mystery surrounding Ernie’s mysterious past—even as the CIA gets involved.
The reviews for this ghost flick are mixed. Variety is of the opinion that the “horror comedy feels like a misfire”, calling it “rarely ha-ha funny and never scary”. Collider is more hopeful in saying that “there is plenty going on, with a mystery, a car chase, and other shenanigans, that may keep younger viewers entertained.” Our take: We’ll be watching this just for the wonderful Jennifer Coolidge—of ‘White Lotus’ fame—who plays a TV host recruiting the family for a segment on her show. The movie dropped on Netflix yesterday.
Missing: This is a recommendation for all the thriller fans out there. ‘Missing’ is a spin-off sequel to ‘Searching’—the 2018 film which became the talk of the town for being a successful computer screen movie. Although ‘Missing’ has a different story, it plays out in the same universe as ‘Searching’—on a laptop screen. The film follows 18-year-old June Allen (Storm Reid) who is searching for her mother Grace (Nia Long)—who goes missing while on a romantic trip to Mexico with her new boyfriend.
The reviews are good. Other than the critique that “there’s no reason that the film must be confined to a phone or computer monitor”, Variety says the film is “gripping”. The Guardian talks about the computer screen genre and says that the movie is “entertaining enough to show that this particular series does have more battery life.” Our take: Movies that try innovative storytelling are always a win in our book, and if this is anywhere as good as ‘Searching’, we’re logging in right away. ‘Missing’ released in India yesterday. Catch it in selected theatres.