Although comparisons to the similarly queer themed teenage rom-com Love, Simon from earlier this year are inevitable, writer-director Craig Johnson’s raunchier Netflix original film Alex Strangelove has more in common with the American Pie franchise than John Hughes, and that shift from gentility to risqué behaviour works greatly in its favour.
Netflix has reimagined Lost In Space, and the fun, dramatic, and action-packed new series debuts tomorrow. Making its premiere in Toronto with a fan screening last night, star Molly Parker was in town for the big event, and I had a chance to sit down with her to talk about the Robinsons and their journey ahead.
Lost In Space is landing in Toronto on April 11, with star Molly Parker (“Maureen Robinson”) and Canadian astronaut, Col. Chris Hadfield, coming out for the big premiere, and Netflix is giving away tickets to fans.
An odd duck even by the eclectic standards of most Netflix original movies, director and co-writer Duncan Jones’ Mute isn’t a movie that will please everyone, but it’s an admirably dark and sleazy sci-fi thriller that wears its cynicism like a badge of honour.
The darkly comedic biopic The Polka King is a well made example of a “straight to Netflix” film. This “stranger than fiction” look at a former oom-pah-pah baron and Grammy nominee who perpetrated massive amounts of fraud in the 1990s is lean, fast paced, almost completely devoid of filler, and likely works better at home than it would in the confines of a theatre. Netflix is the perfect place for a film like The Polka King, and that’s not in any way a knock against the talent and effort that went into making it.
We take a look at three high profile releases from Netflix arriving in time for the holiday viewing season: the feature film Bright, starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, the Errol Morris documentary series Wormwood, and the return of the sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror.
Change is empowering women–from the Women’s Marches in the United States, and female mentorship programs like Sheryl Sandberg’s #LeanInTogether–and on television Netflix has been a strong supporter of bringing women together, and to the forefront of their own stories.
As a work of cinema, Chasing Coral is ambitious and unprecedented. As a work of advocacy, it has the power to open eyes and make people at least try to save something that we frighteningly might have done too much damage to already. It’s also a film that isn’t afraid of making its advocacy into a personal crusade for the people involved, but it does so without being hokey, preachy, maudlin, or sentimental. It’s honest, unflinching, and unabashed in how it depicts coral as an unseen force that should unite us all. It’s also one of the most unmissable films of the year.
Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho delivers another fantastical allegory with Okja, following similarly themed, but perhaps more action packed efforts like The Host and Snowpiercer. While those films were a lot darker and more relentless in their approach and aims, don’t let Okja’s overall gentility and flashes of kindness fool you. This is just as cutting, biting, and insightful as his previous works. It’s still not a subtle effort, and a lot of the messages can easily be seen on the film’s surface without much digging or unpacking, but that approach works well with Joon Ho’s tendency towards science fiction and the ethereal.
We talk to filmmaker Brian Knappenberger about the infamous Gawker vs. Hulk Hogan trial, the rise of Donald Trump, threats to the media, and the director’s latest film, Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, now streaming on Netflix.