Spotlight, Tangerine, George: Quarantine Streaming – Most of us are still adhering to the lockdown guidelines (although if you’re having trouble reading this may I suggest a trip to Barnard Castle to get your eyes tested?) and as such, we still have an awful lot of time on our hands. Time that we’re likely having to spend inside with not much to do.
Well, as I have done over the last few weeks, I’ve taken a plunge into the deep, dark depths of online streaming to see what’s out there to keep you all entertained through this most unusual time. As always, I’ve tried to cover all the basis, and I’ve tried to keep it as broad and open as possible.
So, with that little introduction out the way, let’s get stuck in.
SPOTLIGHT – BBC iPlayer
2015’s awards darling Spotlight, directed by Tom MacCarthy and starring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, and Liv Schreiber is a taught, well written, suspenseful drama about the real life uncovering of corruption and abuse in the Catholic Church by the Spotlight News Team at the Boston Globe. It’s efficient and economical with its storytelling, carried by excellent performances, and keeps you well and truly gripped throughout. This is well worth your time.
TANGERINE – All4
Another drama from 2015, this one with a comedy slant, Tangerine is Sean Baker’s directorial debut, and was famously shot on an iPhone. Despite its low budget, the film received critical acclaim for its portrayal of transgender individuals, as well as for its screenplay, and its direction. A funny, emotional look at the life of transgender sex workers, and was very much deserving of the praise upon its release. Check this one out while you can.
CAM – Netflix
I hadn’t heard much about Cam when I decided to watch it while scrolling through Netflix, and that’s probably the best way to see it. This 2018 horror about a camgirl who finds her online persona taken over by a doppelgänger is well written, well-acted, inventively shot, and really atmospheric and creepy. I’m reluctant to say anything else for fear of spoiling the fun but switch the lights off and settle in for an unsettlingly fun little movie.
READY PLAYER ONE – Amazon
Stephen Spielberg’s adaptation of the 2011 novel of the same name came under fire from fans of the book for making substantial changes. For me, however, having never read the book, this is Spielberg’s best family movie since Tintin back in 2011. It’s a fun, wild, exciting fantasy/sci-fi with some great visual sequences (The Shining scene is an absolute highlight) and so exception CG. Far more fun than it should, Spielberg proves he’s still got what it takes with this one.
GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE – Disney+
My reluctance to recommend anything too Disney during these features has been a source of some frustration when it comes to Disney’s streaming service. Most of the stuff on there is Disney, and the stuff that isn’t is Disney owned, so I’m in a tough spot. Anyway, that being said, George of the Jungle, Disney’s 1997 live-action adaptation of the Jay Ward cartoon of the same name, is way better than it should be, and deserves its place here on my list. Brendan Fraser leads a cast that also features Leslie Mann and Thomas Haden Church. It’s silly, slapstick fun, with some clever fourth wall breaks and a really dumb sense of humor. I love it.
RE-ANIMATOR – Shudder
If you haven’t seen Stuart Gordon’s 1985 Lovercraft adaptation Re-Animator, then you’ve truly missed out. Easily my favorite film on this week’s list, Re-Animator follows Dr Herbert West, played by the absolutely superb Jeffery Combs, who attempts to perfect a serum that will re-animate the dead. It’s wickedly funny, devilishly gross, and features some of the best practical effects the horror genre has to offer. It also co-stars Scream Queen Barbara Crampton. It’s a wonderfully deranged little movie that speeds along from gag to set-piece to bizarre “I can’t believe what I’m seeing” sequences that will genuinely stick in your mind long after you’ve finished watching. You should watch it. It’s an absolutely brilliant piece of batsh*t filmmaking that deserves your attention.
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