Sometimes shows go through a sophomore slump, when they can’t quite find what made their first season stand out from the ground. So going into the second season of Sex Education, I was scared because not only did I really enjoy season one but with the ending, it was obvious that the show could go in a lot of directions. But after being able to watch all episodes of the second season before it’s released, I am happy to say that not only did it meet my expectations but it also exceeded them. Now, this review will be spoiler-free because I do believe that all the little twists and turns that happen on this show make it even better and I want everyone to be able to enjoy it and freak out just like I did when I was first watching it.
Honestly, just because you can de-age someone, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. And yes, it’s so good, we had to write about it twice.
What feels like a lifetime ago, I wrote an article about Netflix and its original programming. Even then, I knew it was only a matter of time before we got bigger projects to appear exclusively for Netflix, but I never thought we would get a Martin Scorsese picture.
Why did Netflix fund the passion project? Besides just because they can, because it’s harder to get people into theatres to watch a three and a half-hour film. My screening was at 10 am and there was a very brief moment of me questioning if I have to see it. The answer was yes, of course, I do. And I’m very glad I had the opportunity to see it on the big screen (and if you live in Toronto, you can see it now at the TIFF Bell Lightbox). Yes, the film is long, but I never really felt it’s length. Only near the end of the film, but that was only due to the water I drank during the duration of the film. The positive of the film going straight to streaming services is that you would be able to pause the film for washroom breaks – but you also probably would check your Facebook or Twitter feeds if you were in the comfort of your living room.
The Irishman stars Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa and coming out of his retirement, Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino. I didn’t realize how much I missed Pesci’s presence until he appeared on the screen. The film follows Frank, as he remembers his life as a hitman while working with big mob bosses and including Jimmy Hoffa himself.
There are moments in the film in which we shy away from the violence, and there are moments we lean into the brutality of it all. The film is almost reminiscent of prior crime films that Scorsese has made, except this time, Scorsese isn’t proud of the violence. Frank may continue to be a hitman until it’s too late, but as he’s older, and then it lays heavy on him. You can see how he stays to be the last man standing, and he tries his best to stand tall. He doesn’t bulge, but he tries to talk to God as he’s sad for what he has done.
The Irishman is a film that’s made with wisdom, the understanding of recollecting your past. Or living with your regrets. A film that makes an argument for the streaming service while demanding to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
Last year, Netflix won big with Alfonso Caron’s Roma. It was a turning point for them and it was just a matter of time before more high profile filmmakers made their way to a streaming service. This year saw just that, a wave of filmmakers walk toward streaming services instead of regular theatrical releases. And Netflix found a film that might just propel them to win big once again at this year’s Oscar ceremony. It might be surprising to see Martin Scorsese creates a film and have it bow on Netflix instead of having the theatrical release one would be accustomed to seeing with a name like his. But after viewing The Irishman it’s easy to see why Netflix was not only the best choice for the film but also the only choice.
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.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a Sion Sono film and watch him unleash himself entirely, I’d never thought that you could do so from the comfort of your couch, due to it being a Netflix film. So this gives you no excuse for you to watch the film for yourself. Unfortunately, it’s released on the same day as the Breaking Bad film, I still suggest making time to watch all two and a half hours of The Forest of Love.
To say there’s a resurgence of Stephen King adaptations the way some say would make it out like there was a drought of adaptations, which is obviously not the case. The longest gap between adaptations was 1976 to 1980 (Carrie and The Shining respectively) and also 2009 to 2013 (Dolan’s Cadilac and funnily enough, Carrie). We are running through his material at an alarming rate though, as four were made in 2017, and four were made in 2019. And depending on your own opinion, out of the 7 I’ve seen (Doctor Sleep hasn’t been released yet), 6 are great and one is mediocre – and to be fair, Pet Semetery may not be great, but it had some fun stuff.
The Laundromat marks Steven Soderbergh’s second film released by Netflix in this year alone. This film wasn’t shot on an iPhone like his last two films, Unsane, and High Flying Bird. While visually and stylistically, Laundromat feels like classic Soderbergh, it still is too messy to be continuously enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, I very much was glad that I got to see The Laundromat on the big screen, and that others will be able to as well. I just personally believed that High Flying Bird should have had the same opportunity.
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.
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.
It seems like a new great comedy is on its way, this time courtesy of Amy Poehler and Netflix.