We recommend: The best new movies and TV series
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar: Wes Anderson is releasing four short films based on lesser-known Roald Dahl books—‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’, ‘The Swan’, ‘The Ratcatcher’ and ‘Poison’. This is the first. The 39-minute short film follows a wealthy and opportunist man named Henry (Benedict Cumberbatch) who discovers Dr Chatterjee’s (Dev Patel) journal that details his encounter with Imdad Khan (Ben Kingsley)—a man who could see without using his eyes. Henry tracks them down and learns a skill or two.
Reviews are great as expected. The Guardian says: “This film is intriguing, even exhilarating, in its way, and maybe no other director could have represented the material as well.” Independent UK calls it “a lovely, immaculate, and extremely faithful” adaptation. Our take: We’re sure you already know why this is on the top of this week’s watchlist. All four shorts will be streaming on Netflix.
The Creator: From the director of ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Gareth Edwards, this is a sci-fi movie set in 2070 where humans and armed cyborgs are at war. In the midst, our protagonist Joshua (John David Washington) is sent to New Asia to destroy a mysterious AI source Nirmata who turns out to be a cyborg in the face of a little girl (Madeleine Yuna Voyles) whom he doesn’t want to harm. Also in the movie: ‘Eternals’ actor Gemma Chan.
Most have given it rave reviews. BBC Culture absolutely loved it saying: “What makes The Creator unique is its balance between escapist blockbuster fun and downbeat war-is-hell naturalism.” The Guardian calls it “intriguing, stimulating, exhilarating movie, which really does address — with head and heart — the great issue of our age, AI.” While Variety finds that “it can hardly even keep its premise straight.” The movie is in theatres.
Fukrey 3: Here is a crass comedy from Bollywood, a genre everyone thought should be left behind. But ‘Fukrey 3’ seems to be utilising toilet humour as a device to make this election satire funny. The Fukrey gang include: Hunny (Pulkit Samrat), Choocha (Varun Sharma), Lali (Manjot Singh) and Pandit (Pankaj Tripathi) and Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadha).
The reviews are mixed. Hindustan Times writes: “It's hilarious, humorous and over-the-top, especially if you enjoy slapstick and brainless comedy.” Scroll says: “Absurdist, scattershot and slow-burning by design, the movie takes a long time to kick in.” OTOH, FilmCompanion says the first instalment was better. Our take: We think this movie can be enjoyed with friends. You can catch it in theatres now.
Gen V: A spinoff of the new age cult classic ‘The Boys’, this one takes place in the prestigious superhero college highlighting the twisted world of Supes. We meet Marie Moreau (played by Jaz Sinclair who has been part of ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’)—who can manipulate blood and aspires to be the first black woman in The Seven. Fair warning: expect a lot of gore. You will also see A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), Ashley Barrett (Colby Minifie), and Adam Bourke (PJ Byrne) from the main series.
Reviews are good. Variety finds that it “retains the edge, cynicism and (aptly) adolescent humor that make its parent show tick.” This quote from Hollywood Reporter makes us want to watch it more: “Gen V is all about the women and all about these female characters exploring traditional adolescent insecurities and rites of transformation through a supernatural prism.” The first three episodes premiered on Amazon Prime yesterday.
Charlie Chopra and The Mystery of Solang Valley: Vishal Bhardwaj is back with his first Agatha Christie adaptation of the book ‘The Sittaford Mystery’, which neither has Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. Instead, we meet Charlie (Wamiqa Gabbi) in Manali, whose fiance Jimmy has been arrested for the murder of Brigadier Rawat. Over the course of six episodes, we follow Charlie’s amateur sleuthing of unearthing a web of secrets and figuring out who is the actual killer.
The reviews are mixed. The Quint came out of the “show feeling underwhelmed but with a lingering feeling of satisfaction”. OTT Play says that the movie “gets lost in the blizzard of plot twists but keeps the suspense alive”. Our take: We love a whodunit and are fans of Vishal Bharadwaj’s previous literary adaptations, so we are definitely going to grab our popcorn and figure out who the mystery killer is. The series came out on Sony Liv on September 26.
The Worst of Evil: This korean crime-drama is set in the 1990s and focuses on a covert police investigation launched to take down a major drug cartel based in Gangnam, intercepting the trade between Korea, Japan, and China. The best part is the cast—Ji Chang Wook from ‘K2’ and ‘Suspicious Partner’ fame who plays the undercover cop and Wi Ha Joon from ‘Squid Games’ and ‘Little Women’ fame who plays the leader of a gang.
This review from South China Morning Post convinces us that the series may be worth our time: “The Worst of Evil makes little effort to deviate from tried-and-true techniques beyond that, but when they are executed as effectively as this it’s hard to be too finicky about the show’s lack of originality.” Our take: K-dramas have become a routine watch suggestion now but we will definitely be tuning in for the versatile lead actors who have previously starred in good action dramas. The first three episodes dropped on Disney+ Hotstar on Thursday.
Choona: If you are looking for a heist series from India, ‘Choona’ has got you covered. The plot follows some everyday misfits who were wronged by a superstitious politician (Jimmy Shergill). They plan a heist to steal the politician’s money.
Our take: We love heist tv shows and movies. ‘Choona’ has a desi twist, and we can’t wait to watch how these misfits try to make some money. The show is available to stream on Netflix. It comes out today.
Fresh off the big screen…
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: This one’s a treat for all Spider-Man fans! The sequel to ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ which is hailed for its half Black half Latino Spidy Miles Morales and distinctive animation is finally streaming on Netflix. Spoiler alert: it has an Indian Spidy!