We recommend: The best new movies and TV
The Idol: From the same executive producers as ‘Euphoria’, the Idol tells the uneasy and Hollywood-esque story of a cultish “self-help” guru—played by Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye—who enters into a complicated relationship with a rising pop idol—played by Lily Rose Depp.
Fair warning: most reviews about the first episode are bad for its overtly graphic representations. Forbes calls it “strange” for its incoherent storyline and writes: “Despite being from the creator of Euphoria, it feels like a much worse parody of that show.” The Guardian delivers a softer blow by saying: “The Idol dutifully tries to fulfil its role at the centre, but it all feels a bit stiff.” Our take: The show has created too much of a buzz for us to not check it out. The show will have six episodes, and the first episode dropped on Monday on Jio Cinema Premium.
Crowded Room: This is a mini-series adapted from Daniel Keyes’ 1981 novel ‘The Minds of Billy Milligan’. The story follows Danny Sullivan—played by the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man actor Tom Holland—who is arrested following his involvement in a shooting in New York City in 1979. Academy Award winner Akiva Goldsman—best known for ‘A Beautiful Mind’—pieces together a series of interviews and Sullivan’s past to give us ten episodes of gripping psychological thriller.
Reviews are mixed for this one. The Guardian notes that “diffuse sense of unease and confusion is well done” but the drama “goes on for a long, long time.” Hollywood Reporter tells us the good part: “The miniseries is well-intentioned, meaning to engender empathy for Danny and other souls like him, and it’s convincing in its case that what he needs is care and not punishment.” Our take: We are majorly tuning in for the cast—Tom Holland and Amanda Seyfried look hauntingly good in this serious thriller. The first three episodes landed on Apple TV+ yesterday.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts: This is the 7th movie in the Transformers series to come out. This time, the Autobots led by Optimus Prime need to team up with the primal Maximals to fight the evil Terrorcons, led by Unicron who wants to destroy Earth. The movie is set in 1994, presumably to reboot the franchise and move away from the past films. The movie features voice acting from Michelle Yeoh, Pete Davidson, Peter Dinklage and is directed by Steven Caple Jr (of ‘Creed II’ fame).
The movie has okay-ish reviews. IGN says the movie won’t impress the Academy, but gets the job done and makes you “feel like a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons again, only on a grander and more exciting scale” The Guardian is not impressed and calls the move “a careless fumble put together without a hint of effort or interest”. Our take: We’ve been following Transformers for a long time now, since we were kids and are excited to watch some classic robot-beat down action! The movie has been screening in theatres since yesterday.
Bloodhounds: Here’s a K-drama recommendation for you. Set during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, two amateur boxers get caught up between the vilest of the loan sharks and gangsters run by a con artist and a former cop. How will the underdogs repay their debt and bring them down?
The reviews are good. South China Morning Post says the drama “packs a mighty punch” and notes that it “draws compelling parallels between the pandemic and the financial crisis in the late 1990s that forced South Korea to turn to the International Monetary Fund for bailout funds.” NME writes: “Like a mix between Oldboy and Netflix’s own Daredevil, the action is grounded, gritty and careful not to portray our protagonists as superhuman.” Our take: We can’t resist a good underdog taking down a gangster story so we are definitely putting this one on our binge list. Catch the show on Netflix.
Here’s a new chapter…
Never Have I Ever: This teenage coming of age drama charts the high school years of first generation Indian-American Devi and gives a unique desi lens to school, teenage romance and family. Created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, the show is going into its fourth and final season with Devi graduating. The episodes are out on Netflix now.
Fresh off the big screen…
TÁR: This Cate Blanchett-starrer is a story about Lydia Tár—a renowned female orchestra conductor who becomes a target of cancel culture in the already male-dominated music industry. The filmmaker visually represents paranoia and mental trauma, making it an intense watch. Earlier, this year, the film got an Oscar nod and is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.