After what seems to be forever, The Crown is finally coming back to us. With season two having dropped in December 2017, it has been almost two years since the critically acclaimed series was on our screens. But fear not because it is coming back and Netflix just released the first trailer for the upcoming season which arrives on November 17, 2019.
I should’ve known what we were going to watch after the great (and funny) short film that played before our screening of Extra Ordinary. But nothing could have prepared me for the non-stop jokes and the total bunker film that it was. Coming from Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, in their directorial feature debut, Extra Ordinary benefits from an all-star cast that makes the film what it is.
Netflix has had a monopoly on streaming originals for a while but now that the streaming war has started, their next batch of original will be their make or break moment. It will become a major factor if people will stay or migrate to other services. Raising Dion is part of the next wave of original content that Netflix hopes will keep its customers around. Produced by Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther) and based on the comic of the same name, Raising Dion tells the story of a widow trying her best to raise her child only to find out he has superpowers. While banking on it’s superhero nature to attract people, Raising Dion is much more than what it looks at first glance.
I grew up with DC comics, I wasn’t a Marvel girl, I was a DC girl. I just loved it and I know it so well. So imagine how sad I was when I never found myself super excited for the DCEU. That has changed a bit over the years with the great Wonder Woman, Shazam and Aquaman. But now, it seems that the DCEU has found its stride and it looks to keep it going with their newest addition, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
There’s something fascinating about Ryan Murphy and how he is able to create or produce, shows that are socially relevant and made at the right time. The timely arrival of Glee, the phenomenon that is American Horror Story, the true-crime obsession of American Crime Story and the wonderfully important Pose are just a few examples of how Murphy seem to just know what the audience wants and when. His latest creation, his first one under his new overall deal with Netflix, The Politician reunites him with his frequent contributors Brad Falchuck and Ian Brennan. But if The Politician tries to be a commentary on today’s world, it’s packaging into a funny and witty dramedy more often the none fails to hit the mark. The show ends up getting lost in its own narrative and tries way too hard to be too many things.
Noah Baumbach has created some amazing films, films that have cemented him as one of the great directors of his generation. I remember watching Frances Ha and thinking that this was his best film and that it would take a while for him to do better. Well, Marriage Story did that for me. It’s Baumbach at his best, his strongest. His steady hand is felt throughout and he never falters, navigating the film expertly and creating a devastating look at divorce and how it breaks everyone, even those with the best intention. Baumbach’s craft has never been this tight and it showcases how much he has grown as a filmmaker since his debut. Marriage Story is, in my opinion, his best work to date.
I didn’t grow up watching Mr. Rogers, he wasn’t someone we watched in Quebec. So I didn’t know anything about it, or barely anything until I sat down last year to watch the incredible documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbour? By the end, I left the theatre in tears and nothing but love for a man that I didn’t grow up watching. And then, Marielle Heller, who directed the great Can You Ever Forgive Me? from last year, was announced to be directing a film about Mr. Rogers with Tom Hanks attached and I was in. Well, let me tell you something, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a beautiful love letter to the man himself. In Heller’s hands, the film becomes so much more then it could.
Bad Education is wild. I don’t know how to really describe it because it’s such a bonker concept and yet, it’s real. Something that actually happened where taxpayers’ money was used for years and years by the school administrators. The only reason why this story broke? A high school student poked around and discovered the truth. Written by Mike Makowsky, who actually went to the Roslyn High School when it happened and directed by Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds), Bad Education blends drama and comedy perfectly in a film that once it gets going it’s unstoppable.
When Hustlers was first announced as part of the line up for TIFF, many raised an eyebrow. All we had really to base our expectations for the film was a trailer that, after watching the film, doesn’t do justice to the film itself. Based on an article published in New York magazine in 2015 from Jessica Pressler titled The Hustlers at Scores, Hustlers tells the story of Dorothy (Crazy Rich Asians’ Constance Wu), a stripper in New York City who with her mentor and friend Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) find themselves going from stripping to stealing from Wall Street guys during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash. Smart and empowering, Hustlers takes an out-there story that seems implausible and creates a film full of fully-formed women that take no prisoners.
Sports films are really formulaic, you know what you are getting but that’s not always a bad thing. Especially when you put James Mangold (Logan, 3:10 to Yuma), you might elevate it enough to make a decent film that entertains you just enough to look past its flaws, at least for a little while. It’s entertaining, a bit long but anchored by a great cast that creates compelling characters. A film that will entertain the masses, Ford v Ferrari is nothing extraordinary but it’s also extremely sweet and moving.