BY // MAX GREENHALGH
Want to be a good citizen and practice social distancing (hint: you should be doing that by now!)? It can be pretty boring being cooped up inside all day. But with all this free time, you can watch some stuff that you might have missed during your busy normal lives when commitments to friends and loved ones took up much of your time. Lucky for you, I don’t have any friends, so I’ve had time to see some of the media you’ve missed. Here are a few things that I recommend checking out on Netflix to help the hours fly by faster:
Good Time – I’ve been talking about this movie for the last month or so, and I’m sure anyone who has been unfortunate enough to encounter me in real life is already tired of me gushing about it. This film is directed by the Safdie brothers, who also directed Oscar snubbed Uncut Gems this past year. If you’ve seen Uncut Gems, you should expect similar things here: lots of close up shots, frantic dialogue, and moments that make you groan “what are you DOING?” while still rooting for the main character whose seemingly endless faults become more and more apparent over the course of the film. Robert Pattinson gives an incredible performance as protagonist Connie, and pulls viewers into an anxiety-inducing ride. This film really excels in its ability to make characters doing awful things feel authentic. I’ll leave the specifics alone, as they need to be experienced without spoiling to be fully appreciated.
The Umbrella Academy – I originally watched this series right when it came out, and thought about it for an unusual amount of time. This one will stick with you, and I can’t wait for the next season. If you are tired of superhero media, but love it at the same time, this is one’s for you. While there are certainly superpowers and big action scenes to be found here, The Umbrella Academy is at its best when it considers the effects of superpowers on an average person, and mixes that all up with a twisted family dynamic and a ticking time bomb until the world ends. Ellen Page stands out as having an incredible performance, even if she just seems like she is playing Ellen Page. And the soundtrack is so catchy you’ll be humming these tunes during your multiple frantic visits to depleted grocery stores to pick up microwavable meals.
James Acaster: Repertoire – In the stand-up comedy realm, James Acaster’s incredible series of sets is not discussed enough. Is it because he’s English? That doesn’t make any sense, everyone loves English accents! Whatever the reason, I’ve heard no in-person hype surrounding Acaster’s work, which is a shame, because he’s accomplished something spectacular with Repertoire. His use of callbacks, color, audience manipulation, and a sense of humor that will likely throw you off a bit before you fully buy-in, come together to create a remarkable show split into four 50-ish minute chunks. If you like this, then congratulations! You’ve won an all-expenses paid trip down a James Acaster YouTube rabbit hole, from highlights of his appearances on British television to surprising guest spots on music channels, such as theneedledrop and Dead End Hip Hop.