Greetings programs and welcome to this week’s episode of the Awesome Friday Podcast. Simon is back after his week off and we are talking about two new streaming releases. First up is the new Netflix Sci-Fi thriller Spiderhead, starring Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, and Jurnee Smollett. Following that we have Sundance darling Cha Cha Real Smooth, the sophomore effort from writer, director, and star Cooper Raiff and co-starring Dakota Johnson, now released on AppleTV+.
There are streaming links powered by JustWatch a little further down this page, and the episode should be live wherever you listen to podcasts (including on this page) now.
Continue reading “Podcast: Spiderhead & Cha Cha Real Smooth”
On this week’s podcast, we take a closer look at the hit AppleTV+ comedy The Afterparty and the upcoming Disney+ drama The Dropout.
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Greetings programs! This week on the podcast, we’re talking about Macbeth and Peacemaker. One is a timeless tale of a power-hungry man who tries to take control of his life with a trail of unthinkable violence, and the other is Macbeth. Both of them are excellent, too. We also discuss James Gunn as a writer and director, which goes to some interesting places, especially in the wake of further revelations about Joss Whedon.
Continue reading “Podcast: ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ & ‘Peacemaker’”
How does one end up in a cult? It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at some point. How does someone end up entirely under the sway of another person’s will? The Shrink Next Door can’t answer that question for everyone, but it can answer it for Marty Markowitz, a successful but anxiety-ridden new york businessman who ended up in the thrall of his psychiatrist for nearly thirty years.
As with many shows that are based on real-life, the story is almost too much to be believed. Markowitz (played by Will Ferrell), struggling with his business and an ex-girlfriend, seeks therapy from Dr Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf (Paul Rudd). Herschkopf’s methods immediately stand out as skirting the line of professional ethics –he literally tells off the ex-girlfriend, in person, while Marty stands there nearly helpless– but Marty is enamoured. “People take advantage of you,” Herschkopf says, “but not anymore. I am going to take care of you.”
It wouldn’t be a series of things didn’t get weird. These eight episodes of television chronicle just how deeply Herschkopf ingratiated himself into Marty’s life, and serve to showcase excellent performances from stars Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell.
Continue reading “Review: ‘The Shrink Next Door’ is a showcase for Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell”
Greetings programs! This week on the Awesome Friday Movie Podcast, we take on the new Tom Hanks boy-and-his-dog-and-his-robot-post-apocalyptic-road-trip movie Finch and the most expensive movie Netflix has ever made, the Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson, and Gadot adventure heist movie Red Notice. Join us!
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There are a few basic premises for films that are simply pure, and two of them are the road trip movie and the boy and his dog movie. You can find countless examples of each, and I am sure they have been mashed up before as well. That’s the case again in Finch, a road trip story starring Tom Hanks and an adorable dog, but that also happens to be set after the end of the world and co-starring your latest favourite movie robot of the year.
Continue reading “Review: ‘Finch’ has Tom Hanks in fine form on a post-apocalyptic road trip with a naive robot and a dog”
Here’s a true fact: I grew up watching musicals. I spent a lot of time at my grandmothers house when I was a kid and she had lots of them on VHS. It is my heartfelt belief that she loved them, but it was probably also that they were super long and could keep us distracted for hours at a time. Anyway, the point is that I have seen a lot of the classic musicals and my appreciation for the musical continues to this day.
So it is easy to see why I really like AppleTV+’s new series Schmigadoon!, which features two modern day characters dropped into the middle of a classic 1940s musical.
Continue reading “Review: ‘Schmigadoon!’ is hilarious, fun, and clearly made by people who love musicals”
Here’s a confession: I love Justin Timberlake. The guy is a triple threat. He can sing, he can dance, and he can act. Not everything he has been in has been gold, but he’s put in enough good performances that I am ready and willing to see just about anything he is in these days.
It has been a few years since Timberlake has been seen in person in a film, and Palmer represents exactly the kind of movie that an actor looking to re-assert themselves after a bad role or an absence (or both) would take. So is it any good? Yeah. Mostly.
Continue reading “Review: ‘Palmer’ is pretty good!”
If there was once magic in this world, then progress has likely snuffed most of it out. Our relentless expansion into the spaces where Mother Nature lives destroys our ecosystems and in many ways the wonders of this world. This is the conflict in Wolfwalkers, the new AppleTV+ exclusive from Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon.
It’s the mid-1600s, and the English are in Kilkenny to expand the empire and force their rule on the Irish. The city is being expanded, and the woods next door are being logged for resources to do it. The problem is the deadly pack of wolves who make the forest their home, who defend it at all costs. This is the reason Bill is in the city, a hunter by trade from Yorkshire, he lays traps in the forest to try to make it safe for the men working. What few realize is that there is something more in the forest.
Continue reading “Review: ‘Wolfwalkers’ beautiful Irish fairy tale is one of the best animated features of 2020”
Every relationship has that point where you are so comfortable that you become uncomfortable. In these moments we can either behave rationally, or we can freak out, or we can do anything in between.
With On The Rocks, Sophia Coppola tells a story about a successful Manhattan couple who have reached this point, where despite all their success and comfort, something doesn’t feel quite right. Rashida Jones plays Laura, a successful author and mother of two who is stuck in this rut but. She begins to think there is more going on when her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) stumbles home from a work trip one night and begins a passionate embrace, only to then seem like maybe she was someone else.
Her suspicions are not without cause, her father Felix (Bill Murray) cheated on her mother and in later life has become a serial philanderer. Laura can’t help wondering if every man is like her father. Felix assumes that every man is exactly like him, and so the adventure begins.
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Dozens, if not hundreds, of new shows debut every year now. That might be hyperbole, but it certainly feels true. Every network has original programming now, and so does every streaming service. Everyone needs to offer unique content, and they’re all spending millions of dollars to make their films and series stand out.
It’s amazing then that all they had to do was be nice.
Ted Lasso, the new series from AppleTV+, concludes its first season today. The series has become one of my favourite things of the year and it did so not by being dark, or edgy, or cynical, but by being positive, uplifting, and relentlessly good-hearted.
Continue reading “‘Ted Lasso’ has one of the best first seasons of TV in years”