The Binge: The Mandalorian S1 (#DisneyPlus)
Here is the future of Star Wars, one not mired in the narrow threads of the movies’ mythology, but a story that acknowledges that there is a whole big complicated wonderful galaxy to explore.
The Binge: Mrs America (#FXonHulu/#BBC)
Apart from the value of its explicatory gloss on anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly, there is entertaining, gratifying drama in the clash of so many complex feminist women working against her.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm movie review: punching way the hell up (#AmazonPrime)
A work of breathtaking audacity. This is as perilous as comedy gets, and it’s very, very funny, often shockingly so. Sacha Baron Cohen’s scathing cultural strikes land like extinction-level asteroids.
Love and Monsters movie review: building a future at the end of the world
This pleasantly silly-sad apocalypse, melancholy with a dash of optimism, smashes clichés and finds fresh angles on the familiar. Dylan O’Brien has a self-deprecating charm; there’s a great dog, too.
Totally Under Control documentary review: detailing Trump’s coronavirus catastrophe
If you’ve been paying attention, not much is surprising in muckraker Alex Gibney’s timeline-driven rundown of Trump’s COVID crimes. But there is immense value in seeing it all laid out so clearly.
Faith Based movie review: God is in the details
I love the initial cynicism of this sendup of Christian cinema, and love even more how it goes on to punch up rather than down, and embraces sincerity and friendship with good cheer and gentle zing.
2067 (aka Chronicle: 2067) movie review: future schlock
Generously, this is a 15-minute short padded out to an unforgivable, patience-trying two hours, there’s so little in the way of fresh ideas or engaging characters. Kudos for making time travel boring.
All In: The Fight for Democracy documentary review: the pushback against voter suppression (#AmazonPrime)
Enlightening, enraging history of all the ways in which the United States has tried to bar citizens from voting, plus a primer on what Americans can do right now to ensure that our voices are heard.
I Am Woman movie review: more a purr than a roar
A winsome Tilda Cobham-Hervey leads a rote rags-to-riches tale, though its rampant sexism is a villain women will recognize. Needs to be seen, even if it’s not quite the tribute Helen Reddy deserves.
The Binge: Years and Years (#BBC/#HBO)
I’m obsessed with this British miniseries following one family through a dystopian 2020s. It’s completely harrowing, very nearly soul-crushing. Yet I cling to its tenuous optimism and profound beauty.
H Is for Happiness movie review: Q is for Quirk, F is for Forced
Offbeat portrait of an unconventional girl is all over the place, sometimes detouring into the cringeworthy, as it tries to depict the emotional familial confusion its tween protagonist is navigating.
Blackbird movie review: the bell tolls, ever so tastefully
The to-die-for cast can’t quite save this melodrama from its trite obviousness, in which rage and grief are matters of tasteful, upscale lifestyle. But they at least make it passingly watchable.