Weekly Shots: Top TV and Movie Recommendations from HITPLAY

Dive into this week’s selection of must-watch TV shows and films, carefully curated to satisfy your entertainment cravings. From suspenseful dramas to comedic gems, our recommendations include something for everyone. Let’s explore the captivating worlds these titles have to offer.

Movie Picks

‘Past Lives’ (Celine Song)

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“Past Lives,” directed by Celine Song and starring Greta Lee, is a romantic drama that delves into themes of love, destiny, and what-ifs. The film has garnered critical acclaim for its emotional depth and narrative structure and is a Best Picture and Original Screenplay contender at the 96th Academy Awards. The story of Nora, a Korean immigrant, reconnecting with a childhood friend, promises to be a poignant exploration of relationships and choices, set against a backdrop of exquisite storytelling.

Paramount+ (with Showtime)

‘Orion and the Dark’ (Sean Charmatz)

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DreamWorks Animation and Charlie Kaufman team up for “Orion and the Dark,” an animated fantasy based on Emma Yarlett’s book. The story follows Orion, an anxious kid who confronts his fear of the dark in an extraordinary way. With a voice cast featuring Jacob Tremblay and Paul Walter Hauser, the film explores themes of fear, friendship, and bravery. Its unique animation style and heartfelt storytelling are likely to appeal to both children and adults.

Streaming on Netflix

‘Shortcomings’ (Randall Park)

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Randall Park’s directorial debut, “Shortcomings,” is a nuanced dramedy based on Adrian Tomine’s graphic novel. Justin H. Min plays Ben, a young man grappling with his identity and relationships. This film blends humor with introspective themes, featuring a diverse cast including Ally Maki and Sherry Cola. It’s an exciting foray into filmmaking for Park, promising a thoughtful and entertaining exploration of contemporary issues.

Streaming on Netflix

‘Dicks: The Musical’ (Larry Charles)

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A24’s “Dicks: The Musical,” directed by Larry Charles, is an audacious R-rated musical that plays like a risqué version of “The Parent Trap.” It follows identical twins, played by Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, on a comical quest to reunite their parents. The cast includes Nathan Lane and Megan Thee Stallion, promising a blend of humor, music, and heart. This film represents a new direction for A24, known for its dramatic and horror films, and showcases their ability to diversify into different genres.

Streaming on Max

The Greatest Night in Pop (Bao Nguyen)

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Bao Nguyen’s The Greatest Night in Pop dives into the storied evening behind the recording of “We Are the World,” bringing together a constellation of music legends for a cause greater than themselves. Narrated by Lionel Richie, the documentary weaves together the tension and triumph of that night with unseen footage of icons like Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder. This film stands as a testament to the power of music to unite and inspire, making it a must-watch for fans of music history and cultural milestones.

Streaming on Netflix

The Beekeeper (David Ayer)

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January heralds the return of high-octane, mid-budget actioners with The Beekeeper. Jason Statham steps into the shoes of the titular character in David Ayer’s latest film, promising a thrilling ride for fans of the genre. Statham’s portrayal of a determined beekeeper with more than honey on his agenda offers a mix of intensity and charisma, ensuring that the action genre remains as engaging and dynamic as ever.

Streaming on VOD

Kokomo City (D. Smith)

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D. Smith’s Kokomo City challenges preconceptions by shining a light on the lives of Black transgender sex workers in New York and Georgia. Rather than adopting a somber tone, the documentary seeks to offer a different perspective on its subjects, focusing on their humanity, resilience, and the complexities of their lives. It’s a compelling exploration of identity, vulnerability, and the strength found in community, pushing the boundaries of traditional documentary filmmaking.

Streaming on Paramount+ with Showtime

Movie Skips

‘Wonka’ (Paul King)

Timothée Chalamet stars in “Wonka,” a musical that delves into the origins of Roald Dahl’s eccentric chocolatier. This film, directed by Paul King, combines whimsy with Chalamet’s proven dramatic chops. Willy Wonka’s tale of dreams, deceit, and determination is set against an impressive cast including Olivia Colman and Hugh Grant.

Streaming on VOD

TV Picks

‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ (Season 1)

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Mr. and Mrs. Smith brings a fresh take on the 2005 romantic spy thriller, with Donald Glover and Maya Erskine stepping into the iconic roles. This series reboot intertwines espionage and romance in a narrative filled with action and intrigue. As secret operatives unknowingly married to each other, the duo navigates their dual lives with a blend of humor and suspense, offering a modern twist on the classic tale.

All 8 episodes streaming now on Prime Video.

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ (Season 12)

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Larry David’s semi-autobiographical series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, returns for its 12th season, continuing the misadventures of its curmudgeonly protagonist. With David at his comedic best, expect more socially awkward situations, candid observations, and laugh-out-loud moments that have defined the series.

Episode 1 airs Sunday, Feb. 4 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO and Max.

‘Feud: Capote vs The Swans’ (Limited Series)

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Ryan Murphy’s Feud is back, exploring the tumultuous relationship between Truman Capote and his circle of high society women, “the Swans.” With a stellar cast portraying these complex characters, the series offers a deep dive into Capote’s life and the fallout from his betrayal of these women, blending drama with historical fact.

Episode 1 streaming now on Hulu. New episodes air Wednesdays on FX (via Sling or Fubo).

‘Genius: MLK/X’ (Limited Series)

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Genius: MLK/X presents the parallel lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, two of the most influential figures in American history. This series explores their journeys from childhood to their roles as Civil Rights leaders, highlighting both their differences and similarities in a compelling narrative.

Episodes 1 and 2 streaming now on Hulu. New episodes air Thursdays on ABC or NatGeo (via Sling or Fubo).

‘NASCAR: Full Speed’ (Season 1)

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Netflix’s NASCAR: Full Speed is a high-octane docuseries that follows the intense competition of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series. Offering an up-close look at the challenges and triumphs of top drivers, this series captures the spirit and excitement of NASCAR racing.

All 5 episodes streaming now on Netflix.

‘Clone High’ (Season 2)

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The cult favorite Clone High returns with its unique blend of humor and history, featuring teenage clones of historical figures navigating high school life. Season 2 continues to deliver clever satire, quirky characters, and a dose of educational fun, making it a standout in adult animation.

All 10 episodes streaming now on Max.

Wrapping Up

This week’s lineup offers a diverse range of viewing options, from thrilling spy dramas to insightful historical series. Whether you’re in the mood for laughs, action, or a deep dive into historical narratives, these picks are sure to entertain. Visit HITPLAY for more recommendations and to dive deeper into the world of entertainment.

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