TFS Weekend Streaming Picks: February 23rd
Welcome to TFS Weekend Streaming Picks, our guide for the best content currently available on services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, FilmStruck, and more for your viewing pleasure.
Our writers have put together their recommendations for what to check out while relaxing on the couch - from recent releases, classics, and even some hidden gems you may not have heard of.
Here’s what to consider watching this weekend:
I’m in love with this psychedelic phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Doctor Strange introduced us to new realms in its super trippy mind-bending sequences. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 pushed forward the wackiness of the universe James Gunn helped create. And, now available on VOD, Thor: Ragnarok may be the most bizarrely entertaining film in the now 18-film-run of the superhero franchise. Disney gave Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) all the money to put Thor and Hulk on a garbage planet run by a wacky Jeff Goldblum (essentially playing himself) and the fashionable New Zealander manages to toss in an anal sex joke in your comic book movie. With Cate Blanchett and Tessa Thompson in the cast, boy, you’ve got one hot and hell of a fun trip through the galaxy.
- Marcelo Pico
Kenneth Branagh’s latest directorial and starring effort brings together an all star cast to retell the classic Agatha Christie detective tale. The film ultimately suffers from glaring script issues and unimaginative big budget camerawork, and thus the 1974 version remains the definitive adaptation, but this is still worth watching to see the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, and Penélope Cruz ham it up in garish period garments on a train. Because of the script issues, the ending ultimately falls flat, so if you don’t already know the exciting twist ending it might be a better idea to search out the 1974 version.
- Marcus Irving
Over the past decade, GKIDs has been slowly gaining a reputation as the prestige independent animation distributor. They’ve barely been around for a decade, and they already have ten Best Animated Feature nominations under their belt. They focus on foreign, hand drawn animated movies that offer a view into a world that traditional animated studios aren’t interested in. The Breadwinner is no different. Set in modern Afghanistan, it tells the story of a young woman who disguises herself as a boy to make a living without being punished by the Taliban. It’s a empathetic look into a culture that for a long time has been demonized by America’s Islamophobia. The animation is beautiful, and the characters are all fully realized. It’s the rare movie that is set in a war zone and is also family friendly, but it’s boldness pays off.
Available on Netflix.
- Mark Watlington
In the past few years, we’ve seen TV reboots of Heathers and Scream, neither of which seemed very necessary. Both of those films were products of their times, satires of cultures and tropes that no longer exist in the same ways. Tragedy Girls is the natural successor to both of these films, combining Heathers’ nihilistic satire of high school movies with Scream’s meta look at horror culture. The film focuses on two teenages who run a true-crime Instagram account and will go to any length to make sure there are local murders to report on. This plot is given life by the incredible chemistry between its two leads, Brianna Hildebrand and Alexandra Shipp, who X-Men fans might recognize, both having recently played under-utilized mutants. Featuring supporting turns from Josh Hutcherson and Craig Robinson, Tragedy Girls is both a gripping slasher and one of first unique views into the culture of Gen-Z.
- Mark Watlington
For more than eleven years, Joel McHale hosted the only show worth watching on the E! Network, The Soup. The show presented outlandish clips from reality television and made fun of them. The writing and production values weren’t the best, but it was always fun to watch the ridiculous clips and Joel McHale’s infectiously antagonistic anti-energy. His mean-spirited dry wit is finally being well-utilized again with the launch of his new Netflix series, which is for all intents and purposes, a Soup rip-off. And a great Soup rip-off, at that. Featuring many of the same writers, regular faces, and celebrity cameos, it feels like the show never left the air. Only the first episode is available now, with new ones dropping every Sunday.
Available on Netflix.
- Marcus Irving
Taking various cues from the French New Wave era, Noah Baumbach’s tribute to being young and figuring out life is a pleasing dramedy with an amazing, defining lead performance from Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig. A disorganized dancer’s life begins to unravel as career prospects, friendships, and love life take on a different course than the one she imagined. Coming face-to-face with the realities of saying goodbye to your twenties, what results is an endearing humorous portrait of growing up while not growing up. With Gerwig’s solo directorial debut on its way to Oscar gold, now would be the perfect time to revisit Frances Ha, or even watch it for the first time.
Available on FilmStruck.
- Rob Trench
Do you have any streaming recommendations? Hit us up at @TalkFilmSoc to let us know what you are watching this weekend.