Updated 4/9/20: As my stay-at-home time reaches about a month, here’s a list of things I’m watching that I’ve enjoyed in alphabetical order! No spoilers! No Tiger King here, also.
Evergreen note: The world is a crazy place right now. The global pandemic has forced everyone inside, in hopes of flattening the curve in our communities. Of course, that leaves folks with a lot of time to eat up, and what better way than to watch some movies. So, stay healthy, stay safe, and watch movies.
Ash is Purest White (Amazon Prime)
A story of two people and their ever-shifting love for each other over the course of about 17 years. But more thoughtfully, the film maps the duo’s trials and tribulations against the backdrop of a rapidly modernizing, expanding, and changing China. Set in three distinct time periods in modern China, Ash is Purest White exposes the viewer to the world’s most ambitious nation’s rapid growth while keeping the story grounded and personal through its co-leads. Watch on Prime // Read my thoughts.
Watch it if you like: Long Days Journey Into Night, The Souvenir
Director: Zhangke Jia. Starring: Tao Zhao, Fan Liao
Avenue 5 Season 1 (HBO)
An absurd bottle space comedy. Stuck on a space-liner for three years, hilarity ensues in the latest show from showrunner Armando Iannucci. Veep-lite in many ways, the first season isn’t a total grand slam, but worth of a watch. Quick 30-minute bites will keep you laughing and distracted. Watch on HBO // Read my thoughts.
Watch it if you like: Veep, Arrested Development.
Creator: Armando Iannucci. Starring: Hugh Laurie, Josh Gad, Zach Woods, Suzy Nakamura
Coffee & Kareem (Netflix)
Netflix’s latest foray into mid-budget studio comedy is a profane little buddy flick. Couple a hapless white cop and a wannabe tough black kid and you get Coffee & Kareem. There are some bright spots, but mostly it’s a mashup of themes that forgets to pick a lane. Watch on Netflix // Read my thoughts.
Director: Michael Dowse. Starring: Ed Helms, Taraji P. Hensen, Terrence Gardenhigh, Betty Gilpin
Watch it if you like: Spenser Confidential, The Other Guys.
Devs Season 1 (Hulu)
Devs is still currently running (season finale April 16) which means now is a great time to catch up on this moody, intelligent, and weighty sci-fi show. From the mind of Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation) the show ruminates on larger themes rather than focusing on action or sci-fi gadgetry. Slight caricaturization of the tech world and a little over serious, the show is still worthy of an hour of your isolation time as it takes on determinism, personal catharsis, and privacy. Watch on Hulu.
Watch it if you like: Mr. Robot, Black Mirror
Creator: Alex Garland. Starring: Nick Offerman, Sonoya Mizuno, Alison Pill, Jin Ha
His Dark Materials Season 1 (HBO)
His Dark Materials is a dramatic and sweeping fantasy epic based on Philip Pullman’s groundbreaking sci-fi trilogy. Following heroine Lyra Bellacqua (Dafne Keen) as she discovers a world full of magic, danger, adventure, and betrayal. Set in an alternate universe much like our 1940s, it chronicles Lyra and her allies’ fight against a magnificent threat as they unravel the mysterious of the universe. Watch it on HBO now.
Watch it if you like: The Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Naria. Or wanted more from The Golden Compass (same source material).
Starring: Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda
The Platform (Netflix)
One of the better streaming horror movies to hit the scene in a while. Body horror meets psychological terror in a fraught concept of a vertical prison. A not-so-subtle allegory for late stage capitalism, The Platform will delight, disgust, and and entertain. Watch on Netflix // Read my thoughts.
Watch it if you like: The Descent, If you wished Snowpiercer was a horror movie.
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia. Starring: Iván Massagué, Zorion Eguileor