As far as I'm concerned, the big release of the week is The Underground Railroad. It's Barry Jenkins first TV series and I think it's rather incredible. I discuss this during my review for it in this week's Screen Watching podcast, but it's a challenging watch. Not just for the difficulty of watching a slave-focused story with all of the brutality and humiliation that those stories feature, but Jenkins doesn't make it easy for audiences to find a way into the story easily. The characters aren't there for you to immediately latch onto - if you're going to enjoy this series, you really are expected to put in the work and let the show reveal itself to you over time. And even by the end of the first episode, you won't be entirely hooked into the world of this show.
It is challenging, but worth the effort.
The other big show of the week is Netflix's Ewan McGregor starrer Halston. There's surprisingly limited buzz around that one.
Worth a trip to the cinemas is the rather good Angelina Jolie action film Those Who Wish Me Dead. It's a late 90s style action thriller of sorts written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. I had a great time with it, but don't expect the complexity of his other films (Hell or High Water, Sicario). It is in cinemas in Australia and the US, but US viewers can also find it streaming via HBO Max.
It's a huge week for movies with not one major release this week, but two. Will audiences flock to the new Saw franchise installment Spiral? Or will they instead check out the new Angelina Jolie film Those Who Wish Me Dead? Simon and Dan checked out both films and have some differences of opinion. It's also a big week for TV with the debut of the eagerly-awaited Barry Jenkins series The Underground Railroad.
Inside No 9 (s06), Castlevania (s04), Love Death + Robots (s02), Trying (s02), High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (s02)
The Underground Railroad - Amazon Prime Video
Stars: Thuso Mbedu, Chase Dillon, Joel Edgerton
A young woman named Cora makes an amazing discovery during her attempt to break free from slavery in the deep south.
Those Who Wish Me Dead - HBO Max
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Finn Little
A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert tasked with protecting him -- and a forest fire threatening to consume them all.
Halston - Netflix
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Rory Culkin, Rebecca Dayan, Sullivan Jones
It tracks Halston as he leverages his single, invented name into a worldwide fashion empire that's synonymous with luxury, sex, status and fame, literally defining the era.
Hacks - HBO Max
Stars: Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Rose Abdoo, Paul W. Downs,
Explores a dark mentorship that forms between Deborah Vance, a legendary Las Vegas comedian, and an entitled, outcast 25-year-old.
The Upshaws - Netflix
Stars: Wanda Sykes, Mike Epps
It centers on a working-class African American family in Indiana struggling to make it work and make it right without any blueprints.
The Woman in The Window - Netflix
Stars: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie
An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors, only to witness a disturbing act of violence.
Have a great, safe weekend. Get some sunshine. Let's be careful out there.