We recommend: The best new movies and TV series
Renaissance: A film by Beyonce: This is Beyoncé’s concert film, shot during her recent tour. The film features her on-stage performances which are followed by back-stage anecdotes, giving it a more personal tone. She is braver with her story and her performances. Not to mention her newest 80s-disco-inspired album is just fantastic.
Reviews are great! New York Times writes: “Renaissance” is daring to be true. For we have before our eyes an entertainer at peak command of her art and therefore herself. The Guardian absolutely loved it: “It almost goes without saying that the concert itself is staggeringly accomplished. On the level of sheer professionalism, it’s jaw dropping: the dancing, the graphics, the countless costumes, the props, the lighting — and grounding it all, Beyoncé’s still-flawless voice.” Our take: It is a must-watch for any BeyHive because only Beyoncé can tell you who run the world! You can watch it in theatres.
Dream Scenario: Wacky Nicolas Cage movie alert! Yup, Nicolas Cage is back to serve us another to-be cult classic hit. He plays a University professor named Paul Matthews who has an ordinary face. But the same face appears in multiple peoples’ violent nightmares, even those who haven’t met him personally. And thus starts the satirical and surrealistic tale which comments on internet culture of becoming a viral celebrity overnight.
Reviews are quite good. While BBC Culture writes, “Dream Scenario lives perfectly balanced on the border between the real and the surreal,” it also says: “Yet the film doesn't completely hold up.” Washington Post says: “[The] footing isn’t quite as sure. Still, this clever, adroitly executed taxonomy of contemporary fame… makes it one of the most intriguing and satisfying movies of the season.” Our take: The Guardian has the best wordplay to sum up the movie: “Nicolas Cage has perhaps never been Nicolas Cagier in what could be his Nicolas Cagiest performance ever.” This is convincing enough for us to watch it in theatres.
Delicious in Dungeon: This one’s for all the food and fantasy lovers out there. This anime is set in a world where a mysterious dungeon has appeared, and adventurers from different races are navigating this dungeon while battling different monsters, collecting treasures and making a name for themselves in this pursuit. But, the focus of this series isn’t on the action, it is a comedy about a group of adventurers who are figuring out what to eat every single day. Every episode is a fun little adventure and like a cooking show, invites you into what folks in this world eat, and how they eat them.
Our take: We love food shows in general, and this one has the promise of an exciting adventure and some delicious food scenes. We won’t be watching this one hungry though. You can stream it on Netflix.
The Brothers Sun: Aren’t we all loving the Asian content from Hollywood these days? This is a gangster comedy involving an unassuming Taiwanese-American family—elder son Charles (Justin Chien), his mother Eileen (oscar-winner Michelle Yeoh) and his naive younger brother Bruce (Sam Song Li). Their mother reveals that they are the head of Jade Dragons—one in Taipei’s deadliest societies—and will need to protect themselves from the assassins who are after their heads.
Reviews are great and praise Michelle Yeoh’s performance. The Guardian concludes: “The Brothers Sun is not bothered about surprising us if it can keep entertaining us, which it just about does.” According to Variety: “‘The Brothers Sun’ has the perfect mix of comedy and drama. Our take: We trust in our oscar-winning Queen Michelle Yeoh and will tune in to watch all her recent projects—including this one. The 8-episode show dropped on Netflix yesterday.
Society of the Snow: This is a Spanish film directed by Juan Antonio Bayona—best known for his 2007 horror film ‘The Orphanage’ and the fifth Jurassic Park movie ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’. The movie is based on the real-life event where the Uruguayan rugby team got stranded on the snowy mountains of Andes in 1972. This incident became infamous as an account of cannibalism. FYI: the film has been selected for an Oscars nomination.
Reviews are mixed. New York Times finds that some scenes are “frighteningly visceral” and that “the material is fundamentally gripping, and parts of it are tough to resist”. OTOH, CNN says that the film “grimly captures the harrowing ordeal without bringing much that’s new or distinctive to the portrait.” Our take: A number of filmmakers go back to narrating stories around cannibalism. We think those who are fascinated by the subject and enjoy psychological horror should give this one a shot. It was released on Thursday on Netflix.
Good Grief: Daniel Levy of Schitt’s Creek fame makes his first directorial debut in this film about grief, love and friendships. Marc (Dan Levy) is an artist, whose husband Oliver dies in a car accident. Marc navigates the first year of his life without his husband, with the help of his friends Sophie and Thomas who are also creative professionals. Soon after the death, Marc finds out surprising things about his husband, and together with his friends spend a few days in Paris to figure out what happened and deal with the pain of losing a loved one.
Reviews are mixed. The New York Times praises Levy’s earnestness and notes that this is the “sort of film you want to live inside” while The Hollywood Reporter notes that there is nothing “too deep here”. Our take: We are big fans of Dan Levy and will definitely tune in to watch his earnest take on grief.
Here’s a new chapter…
Geongseong Creature Part 2: This one is for Kdrama fans! Set in 1945 when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule, owner of the biggest pawnshop Jang tae Sang (Park Seo-jun) and a sleuth Yoon Chae-ok (Han So-hee) investigate and try to rescue the captives from a hospital that is being used as a lab for creating superhuman weapons by the Japanese military. The first part of this historical survival drama was released two weeks ago. It is back on air with the concluding episodes which you can watch on Netflix.
Death’s Game Part 2: Here is another Kdrama that everyone is talking about. Adapted from the webtoon with the same title, ‘Death's Game’ is about protagonist Choi Yi-jae (originally Seo In-guk) ends his own life after losing everything. But this angers Death (Park So-Dam) who punishes him by reincarnating and killing him 12 times in a sadistic-game like manner. The episodes of the second part have dropped on Amazon Prime.
Cubicles Season 3: This is a hilarious Indian corporate office comedy centering on Piyush Prajapati who has risen up the corporate ladder and become a new manager who has to lead the team composed of his friends. While navigating mixing friendship and work, we get a glimpse of how the corporate world works. The third season droppe on SonyLiv.
Fresh off the big screen…
Kaathal - The Core: This Mammootty-Jyotika-starrer which completely won over the critics, is now available to watch at our homes. Directed by Jeo Baby—best known for his greatly loved social drama ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’—the Malayalam movie focuses on a difficult divorce between Mathew Devassy and Omana, who have been married for 20 years. She files for divorce stating the neglect of her physical needs because her husband is a homosexual—which becomes the talk of the town, affecting Devassy’s election nominations and their relationship with their son.
A more convincing reason to watch: The Hindu writes: “[O]ne cannot overstate the importance of what Kaathal beautifully achieves by using a conventional family drama setting to tackle a subject which is still largely a taboo in the industry and the larger society. It is quite a triumph in that sense.” The movie is streaming on Amazon Prime.
Foe: This sci-fi film is straight out of a Black Mirror episode. Set in the year 2056, the plot focuses on the married couple Junior and Henrietta—played by the charismatic Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan. When Junior is called by the government to work at the space station, he is replaced by his AI version and we get a glimpse of a very intrusive and intimate love triangle between the characters. You can watch the film on Prime Video.