Most of us are under lockdown and turning to online entertainment. Some nights, I don’t even know what to watch, and I write about film and series for a living. So, I thought it would help for me to sift through the jumble by compiling a list of every title that a) I have ever reviewed positively and b) is available online. This is Part II of II, split into films versus series. Find Part I here:
It is just under 10 minutes long; it was made by one guy – a guy with no budget whatsoever and no backers to keep happy. What bliss. It is called Rosa and it is tterly breathtaking.
This is a very subtle, simple love story that does not fit the Hollywood mould in any way. It is a slice of life with no answers given. The always undervalued Jena Malone and surprisingly engaging Riley Keough (yes, granddaughter to Elvis) deliver nuanced, quiet performances. For the arthouse crowd.
Paddington 2 (DStv/Showmax)
It is worth seeing simply for Hugh Grant as a camp criminal mastermind. But yes, everything else in this film is top-notch. For the whole family.
Jumanji: The next level (Netflix)
Jumanji: The next level is genuinely funny. The best one-liners were not reserved for the trailer. They just keep on coming. Also with some slapstick, a perfect cast, some digs at society and non-stop action, this blockbuster is going to be worthy of the money it would have made anyway.
With Hollywood action flicks going overboard at the end of films with mindless, bigger-than-the-last-scene action involving buildings, planes and sometimes whole cities disappearing, I really appreciate the fact that Leitch swung to the other side of the action spectrum. Atomic blonde slows it down towards the end and leaves you with a long, simmering scene between Lorraine and Percival.
Baby driver (Netflix)
Yes, I know it is pitched as a movie about cars. It is called Baby driver, after all, and the car chases are stellar, mind you. Yet, at its core, it is a striking, choreographed and heartfelt ode to music, love, the (mostly) good guy and, yes, cars.
Vir die voëls (Showmax)
Vir die voëls het vier maande gelede afgeskop met ’n amper perfekte lokprent. Dit het my hardop laat lag, maar ook laat wonder of die vollengte rolprent so goed soos die lokprent sou wees. Die antwoord? Ja. Regisseur Quentin Krog en sy formidabele span akteurs, skrywers, ens het hulleself oortref.
Noem my Skollie (DStv)
Die gehalte van Suid-Afrikaanse, en veral Afrikaanse, films is verbysterend. Ons het van die beste akteurs, kameramanne, produksiespanne, skrywers, regisseurs en stileerders. Nog belangriker, ons het die stories. Soos met Modder en bloed neem Skollie een van ons inheemse stories en omskep dit in ’n meesleurende film. Die storie gee mens insig in die ontstaan van bendes, in die bekoring van behoort aan iets. Tien uit tien daarvoor.
Sy klink soos lente (Showmax)
Die energie tussen die hoofakteurs, en tussen Stiaan en sy mechanic buddies, is die gom wat die film aanmekaar bind. Die regte akteurs is gekies en hulle het goeie leiding by Corné van Rooyen ontvang. Elize Cawood en Wilson Dunster se kamees steel egter die kollig. Ek sal enige tyd na ’n spin-off kyk met dié twee in die hoofrolle.
Johnny is nie dood nie (Showmax)
Die film begin met Rolanda Marais wat wakker word, regop sit en vir die kamera kyk. Dan begin die kamera terugbeweeg, uit die kamer uit, in die gang af. Jy sien Rolanda steeds in die bed sit. Sy kyk steeds vir die kamera. Ek het reeds hier geweet Johnny is nie dood nie is iets besonders.
Django unchained (Netflix)
This is another Tarantino masterpiece, and you are either going to love it or hate it, but if you have seen other Tarantino films, you know what to expect walking into the cinema – buckets of blood, dark humour, priceless cameos and razor-sharp dialogue. The only surprise element is the romance. Even though Django gets as down and dirty as the "baddies", he is doing it for loooove. Ahhh.
It makes us laugh and it makes us value our friends, even when they go off their heads and wrestle a giant cookie to the ground.
50/50 se invalshoek is vars. Dit fokus nie soseer op die pasiënt en sy emosies nie, maar eerder op sy verhoudinge met die mense om hom en die ondersteuning wat elkeen in staat is om hom te bied.
Friends with benefits (Netflix)
Friends with benefits gaan nie enige Oscars wen nie. Ook nie die filmindustriewiel herontwerp nie. Dit is wel ŉ bogemiddelde komedie, met ŉ skerp, effens onhebbelike draaiboek en twee sexy, uiters bekwame hoofspelers in die vorm van Mila Kunis en Justin Timberlake.
easy A (Netflix)
It is first and foremost an incredibly clever film – it did, after all, draw stalwarts like Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci to the film – but it is as funny as it is clever, without taking on a judgemental tone (okay, except perhaps for the label "Jesus freaks", which I quite enjoyed).
What a poignant, slow-burn exploration of the devastating effect that ultra-orthodox religion has on an individual, especially a woman. It is not a one-sided condemnation of religion or men, as it shows you the sense of community found within religion and, more importantly, that the men can be trapped by it, too.
An almost perfect mix of sit-on-the-edge-of-your-chair suspense, sharp humour, choreographed action, flawed yet lovable characters and a surprisingly arthouse feel.
Money heist (Netflix)
Who does not like a great heist? This series is binge-worthy entertainment that will take your mind off C-19. The characters are larger than life. They all get a sumptuous backstory. It is beautifully shot, full of heart, pulpy to the max and full of twists and soap-like redemption for most of the characters. It is great fun.
Sex education (Netflix)
Do not be put off by the title or the subject and think this is a mere comedy about teenagers and sex. It is all that, but so much more. It has a humanity and vulnerability to it that will make you melt. And it is really, really funny.
Russian doll (Netflix)
You must be a fan of foul-mouthed Natasha Lyonne to enjoy this zany Groundhog Day-style love letter to New York. As she relives the same day over and over, Lyonne carries the series – the humour, the grumpiness, the heart.
A fascinating series about the FBI agents who realised that serial killers were a different kind of killer, one that needed to be studied in order to be stopped. Characters are well drawn, from the creepy killers to the flawed cops.
This is not a brilliant series, as it is formulaic at times. Why is it on the list? It has plenty of heart and soul in season one, and I suspect it will only improve with season two. Cobie Smulders delivers a dedicated performance as an army vet turned PI with a dark past and a drinking habit.
This is for the crime noir fans. Every frame of this show is styled, framed and filmed to perfection. It is pulpy, sexy and incredibly violent. Carla Gugino drops a bombshell of a performance as a retired thief fresh out of jail and trying real hard to stay out of the game.
The good fight (Showmax)
An entertaining, funny and smart legal drama dealing with current issues faced in America.
Revolting rhymes (Showmax)
The Revolting rhymes short will delight loyal Dahl fans, but also intrigue a new generation of fans.
A black lady sketch show (Showmax)
If you want to disappear down a wormhole right now, watch this sketch show. Some skits are better than others, but, as a whole, it is clever and fresh.
The Kominsky method (Netflix)
Alan Arkin puts Michael Douglas to shame in this old-fashioned tale about friendship, loss and forgiveness. It won’t satisfy everyone, as it is not as edgy or dark as most offerings today (Dark, Sharp objects, etc), but it has enough heart (and wit) to make up for it.
Four countries (and languages). Three episodes per country. Same set. Same concept. You sit in an interrogation room alongside a suspect, one or two interrogators and sometimes a lawyer. You watch alibis being destroyed or created; people crack or cover up their sins.