Recommended Weekend Movies: Netflix SA and Showmax

It’s been a long, long week. Deadlines and only about 2 hours of TV time this week, so hopefully I can fit in some movies this weekend. Last weekend I had the American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on my watch list but didn’t get time to watch it so it’s back on my list for the weekend. I watched the Swedish adaptations previously and was looking fo

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Showmax

This adaption of the first novel in the Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series stars Rooney Mara as a hacker, Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig as journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Blomkvist is asked by a rich businessman to investigate the disappearance of his niece Harriet. Salander, who’s already been hacking Blomkvist’s computer, secretly helps him uncover clues. Salander meanwhile has her own problem with a sadistic legal guardian.

The movie is directed by David Fincher and is 158 minutes long.

Trainwreck

Stars Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in what I assume to be a typical Judd Apatow film. A raunchy romantic comedy is what I’m expecting.  Schumer plays Amy a magazine writer who loves to party and is who is sent to do an interview with a sports doctor named Aaron (Bill Hader).

The film is 125 minutes long and is directed by Judd Apatow.

American Hustle

Inspired by true events American Hustle is about two con artists played by Amy Adams and Christian Bale who is forced by an FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), to help with a sting operation involving corrupt politicians.

The movie is directed by David O. Russell and is 138 minutes long.

Review: Irreplaceable You (Netflix)

Irreplaceable You is a Netflix movie about a woman named Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who is in her early 30s and had just become engaged to her long-time boyfriend. She thinks she might be pregnant, but her doctor diagnosis with stage  IV cancer instead.

Abbie’s a Type-A personality, a total control freak, so she tries to arrange a partner for her fiancee, Sam (Mikiel Huisman), for after she dies. From the first scene in the movie, we’re told that this is Abbie’s story. Which needed to be said, because we have no idea how Sam feels about his fiancee’s imminent death. He does get upset when he finds out that he’s planning for life after her death. Although he never gives the impression that he would have a tough time moving on. He actually never gives the impression that’s he’s madly in love with her either.

Abbie’s best scenes are with the Dominic (Timothy Simons), a nurse who sits with her through chemotherapy and Myron (Christopher Walker), a fellow cancer sufferer she meets at a support group for cancer patients.

I only found the Irreplaceable You emotional in the last 20 minutes or so and started tearing up after Abbie died. All the emotion of the movie is kept until the last few minutes.

It was the first time I’ve seen Gugu Mbatha-Raw onscreen and she’s beautiful to look at. I believe she has three more projects on Netflix which I’ll check out. However, I didn’t like either Abbie or Sam. Sam was almost a nonperson throughout the movie and Abbie was so shallow or up her own ass as Myron described her to his wife.

It was also kind of weird that Abbie showed little anger at the disease that was taking away her life or anger for the future she’ll never have. Other than obsessing over a partner for Sam, she seemed to have nothing left on her bucket list.

I would recommend this if you like chick flicks and tearjerkers on a Friday night. It’s a pretty harmless movie,

 

 

Chris Rock’s Tamborine on Netflix (A review)

So last night I watched Chris Rock’s new standup comedy show called Tamborine on Netflix. If you don’t like swearing in a show, then this one definitely is not for you.  Chris Rock swears constantly. Apparently, Black middle-aged American men are angry, very angry. And according to Chris Rock, the reason for his anger is 50% his fault and 50% American society.

As a Black South African woman the level of anger towards American society, especially towards the police and White America, in general, is pretty shocking. You kind of wonder why a rich American with lots of choices puts his children through living with such anger when he can just live someplace else with them.

In the first part of Tamborine, Chris Rocks talks about the police and Trump and teaching his children to be suspicious of the colour white.

And Rock moves onto his private life, the fact that he’s divorced and was a custody battle. Listening to Chris Rock, you kind of get why the courts make it difficult for men, especially Black men to get custody of their children. From the way he described his lifestyle before the divorce, the impression I got was that if he had got custody of his daughters he would probably have just continued being an arsehole indefinitely. Having to fight for his girls seemed to have made him a better father. It also makes for funny comedy. Certainly my favourite part of the show.

The tamborine in the title of the show was in reference to marriage, and I guess life in general, where he says that sometimes everyone has to play the tamborine at some stage. Be the person who doesn’t do the glamour stuff.

Chris Rock tells men not to mess up their marriages, tells us he cheated on his wife, behaved in whatever way he wanted to, then gives us an hour of angry comedy and says women, children and dogs are more loved than men are. I wonder why?

Would I recommend the show? Look, if you like Chris Rock, and you like angry comedy and you have an hour to spare, I’d say yes. There’s some great insight into what middle-aged divorced men are thinking. There’s some insight into what it’s like being male and Black in America. There’s even some insight on dating on Tinder. Which made me think, “Wow. I’d never want to date someone like him.”

 

 

 

 

Review: Queer Eye (Netflix)

Late last week I noticed Queer Eye on the featured lineup on Netflix. I’d just read about it earlier in the day on Twitter so was keen to check it out. I knew about its predecessor, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but had never watched an episode before.

So this last week I watched all eight episodes of Queer Guy over about 4 days.

The premise.

If you don’t know what Queer Eye is about, it’s five gay guys who make over the life of a guy at the request of someone close to him. They go in and redo his wardrobe, teach him to cook a meal/mix drinks, makeover his home, help him groom and teach him some life skills. This series of eight episodes is set in Atlanta in the US. Seven of the men are straight and one was still gay, but not completely out at the time the five guys arrived.

Who are hosts?

I’d never heard of any of the Queer Eye hosts before. They are: Tan France (fashion), Jonathan Van Ness (grooming), Bobby Berk (interior design), Karamo Brown (culture), and Antoni Porowski (food and wine). As per the title of the show, they’re all gay and throughout the episodes, we get to know bits of their coming out stories. Some of the best parts of the show is seeing how at least of the guys identify with aspects of the men they are making over.

Who are the makeover candidates?

The men makeover candidates all have issues with their self-confidence which manifests in the how messy their homes are, their dress sense (or lack of it) and the way most of them keep people at arm’s length. By the end of the show, they experience some sort of emotional breakthrough. I do wonder how long it lasts though. I hope there’s some sort of follow-up show.

Would I recommend Queer Eye?

I would most certainly recommend Queer Eye. I enjoyed seeing the transformation especially the personal makeovers. A haircut and personal grooming can make a huge difference! I like all five of the fab five. They’re likable and real, if sometimes a bit hyper. I already can’t wait for the next season. I could never stand watching the makeover shows on TV before because of all the breaks and advertisement. The best thing about Netflix? Not one single ad break!

Netflix South Africa vs Showmax

For the past two years or so I’ve been streaming my TV series and movies via Apple TV first from Netflix and then later both Showmax and Netflix. My TV viewing has completely changed in that time. I’ve watched very little ‘normal’ TV in that time. Who in their right mind would use ‘normal’ TV with all those advertising breaks above streaming? Not me! That’s for sure. I tried to sign up for Amazon as well, but they wanted a credit card number and I didn’t want to give that information, so no Amazon for me. If Amazon accepts Paypal in the future, I will likely sign up there too. I love having access to as much TV as possible!

The difference between Netflix and Showmax

There are a few TV series and movies that are on both streaming services: like Suits, The Affair, Friends, etc. The difference is on Showmax you’ll find South African movies and series which of course is not available on Netflix. I haven’t yet watched any SA movies or series on Showmax. Showmax does have some exclusive streams to US TV shows. Showmax has Game of Thrones, which was a huge plus for me. GOT Season 7 was online almost immediately after the series ended in the US. Mr Robot season 3 was streaming on Showmax pretty much as the episodes concluded in the US.

Netflix has original programming like Stranger Things and Stranger Things 2, 13 Reasons Why, The Queen, Dynasty, etc. Unfortunately, some of their original programmes were sold to DSTV before Netflix arrived in South Africa, so House of Cards, for example, is far behind on Netflix. HOC season 4 arrived last year and HOC 5 hasn’t even arrived yet.

Which do I use most?

It’s hard to say. I go through phases of watching Netflix almost exclusively, but then a few weeks later I’m back with Showmax for a few series. Fortunately, I don’t have to choose at the moment. But if I had to, I’d probably choose Netflix. Mainly because some of their original programmes are amazing. It’s a close thing though.

Let me know if the comments below if you have a favourite or if traditional TV is still your thing.