The big release of the week is the David Fincher film Mank. The film is a loving tribute to Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, telling the story of his adult life in Hollywood during the writing of Citizen Kane. The film is structured like Kane, telling stories across multiple timelines of a man in different stages of his life. It also has a lot of the same visual elements (such as echoing the editing of Kane and the framing of shots).
The film won’t be for everyone. And frankly, anyone unfamiliar with Citizen Kane and, to an extent, the behind the scenes struggles to get it made will probably find watching Mank to be a bit of a struggle. I thought it was great. Mileage will definitely vary.
If you’re looking for Christmas cheer from the streaming services you will not be in short supply for the next few weeks.
While ordinarily I’d say bah humbug to it all, can I just draw your attention to the Mariah Carey special coming up on Apple TV+. One of the two credited directors is Roman Coppola (Son of Francis Ford Coppola). Roman has directed a number of films and TV in the past - I am very fond of his debut film CQ which is a really stylish film starring Jeremy Davies as an aspiring director in the 60s who gets his big break taking over directing a collapsing production in Paris about a futuristic sexy sci-fi spy (think Modesty Blaise meets Barbarella). His relationship with his girlfriend is falling apart, prompting him to fall further into the dream-world of the movie he’s making.
This is my way of saying that the Mariah Carey special might be a bit more interesting than you expect. Oh, and you should also be one of the ten people who can say they saw the film CQ.
SEAL Team (s4), Big Mouth (s4), MacGyver (s5), Magnum PI (s3), Blue Bloods (s1)
Mank - Netflix
Stars: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins
Follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz's tumultuous development of Orson Welles' iconic masterpiece Citizen Kane.
The Holiday Movies That Made Us - Netflix
Stars: David Berenbaum, Jon Berg, Todd Komarnicki
Unwrap the real stories behind these iconic Christmas blockbusters, thanks to insider interviews and behind-the-scenes peeks.
Alien Worlds - Netflix
Stars: Stuart Armstrong, Anna Dornhaus, Michael Foale
Applying the laws of life on Earth to rest of the galaxy, this series blends science facts and fiction to imagine alien life on other planets.
Selena: The Series - Netflix
Stars: Rico Aragon, Luis Bordonada, Jesse Posey
Late Tejano singer Selena as her dreams come true, and her family makes life-changing choices on the singer's journey to success.
Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special - Apple TV+
Stars: Mariah Carey, Tiffany Haddish, Ariana Grande
When the world is faced with a holiday cheer crisis, the North Pole knows only one person who can solve it: Santa's great friend, Mariah Carey.
Stillwater - Disney+
Stars: Eva Ariel Binder, Judah Mackey, Tucker Chandler
Kids with typical kid challenges have Stillwater, a wise panda, as their next-door neighbor. Through his example, Stillwater gives them a deeper understanding of their feelings as well as tools that help them face their own challenges.
Godmothered - Disney+
Stars: Isla Fisher, Jillian Bell, Santiago Cabrera
A young and unskilled fairy godmother ventures out on her own to prove her worth by tracking down a young girl whose request for help was ignored.
The Hardy Boys - Hulu
Stars: Alexander Elliot, Rohan Campbell, Jennifer Hsiung
When the Hardy boys, Frank and Joe and their father, Fenton arrive in Bridgeport they set out to uncover the truth behind the recent tragedy that has changed their lives, and in doing so, uncover something much more sinister.
Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny’s 24-Carrot Special - HBO Max
The Looney Tunes are here to get you in the holiday spirit with Bugs Bunny's 24-Carrot Holiday Special. Duck the halls with Porky and Daffy as they travel to the North Pole on a mission to save Christmas. Don’t miss out on all the holiday sales when Granny and Tweety go hunting for deals…
My Gift: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood - HBO Max
Stars: Carrie Underwood
Carrie performs a combination of beloved traditional favorites celebrating the joy and hopefulness of the holiday, as well as new original material from her first-ever full-length Christmas album My Gift.
That’s it for this week. Let’s be careful out there.