Weekly Shots: Curated Shows & Movies To Watch This Weekend

This Weekend’s Streaming Guide: A Rich Tapestry of Drama, Comedy, and Documentary

As the weekend unfolds, a treasure trove of television and cinematic experiences awaits across streaming platforms, promising to cater to a wide range of viewer preferences. From gripping historical dramas like ‘Manhunt’ on Apple TV Plus, which revisits the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, to the intriguing mystery of ‘Apples Never Fall’ on Peacock, showcasing a family’s unraveling secrets, the selections are as varied as they are engaging.

For those drawn to political narratives, ‘The Girls on the Bus’ on Max offers a riveting look at journalism on the campaign trail, while ‘Girls5eva’ Season 3 on Netflix injects humor into the aspirations and realities of a girl group’s comeback tour. ‘Invincible’ Season 2 Part 2 continues its superhero saga on Prime Video, offering a blend of action and emotional depth.

The weekend also introduces a range of must-see movies, from Ethan Coen’s ‘Drive-Away Dolls’ on Prime Video, a thrilling chase with a stellar cast, to Ava DuVernay’s ‘Origin,’ a profound exploration of societal structures. ‘Sometimes I Think About Dying’ offers an introspective look at solitude and connection, and ‘Stopmotion’ merges horror with the art of animation. For music fans, ‘Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version)’ on Disney+ and ‘Frida,’ a documentary on Prime Video, provide immersive experiences into the worlds of music and art. Lastly, ‘Dream Scenario’ on Max features Nicolas Cage in a surreal comedy that explores fame and identity.

This eclectic mix of TV shows and films ensures that there’s something for everyone, from history buffs and political enthusiasts to fans of comedy, documentary, and superhero action.

Movie Picks

‘Drive-Away Dolls’ (Ethan Coen)

YouTube player

Ethan Coen emerges from the shadows of the Coen Brothers to present his first solo directorial venture, ‘Drive-Away Dolls.’ This film introduces viewers to Geraldine Viswanathan and Margaret Qualley, who portray Jamie and Marian. These characters navigate life’s challenges and embark on a journey to Tallahassee, Florida, seeking rest and relaxation. However, their plans are upended when they become entangled in a chase involving a mysterious briefcase and a band of relentless criminals. ‘Drive-Away Dolls’ showcases a stellar cast, including Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Bill Camp, Matt Damon, Joey Slotnick, and C.J. Wilson, bringing to life a story filled with twists and turns.

Streaming on Prime Video

‘Origin’ (Ava DuVernay)

YouTube player

Directed by Ava DuVernay, ‘Origin’ stars Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor in a poignant role as Isabel Wilkerson, an author grappling with personal loss while undertaking a global journey to pen her nonfiction book, ‘Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.’ Isabel’s quest involves engaging with individuals across a spectrum of beliefs, aiming to underscore her thesis on racism’s foundations in the caste system. The film features performances by Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Niecy Nash-Betts, Nick Offerman, and Blair Underwood, offering a deep dive into themes of identity and societal structure.

READ MORE  Weekly Shots: Indy 5, One Piece, The Wheel of Time

Streaming on Prime Video

‘Sometimes I Think About Dying’ (Rachel Lambert)

YouTube player

“Sometimes I Think About Dying,” featuring Daisy Ridley as the reticent Fran, unfolds as a dramedy steeped in a palette of beige and brown tones that mirror the subdued essence of its lead character. This film distinguishes itself by sidestepping the conventional thrills of romance to delve into the complexities of forging human connections amidst profound solitude. Ridley’s portrayal of Fran is a testament to the potency of understated performance, capturing the essence of a reclusive character navigating the mundanity of office life in a Pacific Northwest port authority. The narrative’s pacing and tone are deliberately restrained, embodying the film’s thematic focus on introspection and the gradual, often awkward journey towards intimacy. However, the film’s commitment to subtlety may test the viewer’s patience, with significant stretches of minimal dialogue and action, reflecting the film’s thematic contemplation of life’s quieter moments.

Streaming on Prime Video

‘Stopmotion’ (Robert Morgan)

YouTube player

In a unique blend of live-action and animation, ‘Stopmotion’ emerges as a standout piece in the horror genre. Directed by Robert Morgan, the film follows Ella Blake (Aisling Franciosi), a stop-motion animator coping with the death of her mother. Determined to complete her mother’s final film, Ella’s journey takes a sinister turn when advice from a mysterious young girl leads her down a disturbing path. ‘Stopmotion’ is a testament to the power of creative storytelling, combining psychological horror with the artistry of stop-motion animation. The cast includes Aisling Franciosi, Stella Gonet, Tom York, and James Swanton, crafting a narrative that’s as eerie as it is visually captivating.

Streaming on Prime Video

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version) (Sam Wrench)

YouTube player

‘Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour,’ a concert film that not only captures the essence of Swift’s record-breaking tour but also includes exclusive songs and footage not previously shown in theaters hits Disney+. The film, directed by Sam Wrench, offers fans a chance to experience the magic of Swift’s performances, featuring hits like “Maroon,” “I Can See You,” “You Are In Love,” and “Death By A Thousand Cuts.” Swifties who missed the cinematic release now have the perfect opportunity to enjoy the concert film from the comfort of their homes.

‘Frida’ (Carla Gutierrez)

YouTube player

Prime Video introduces ‘Frida,’ a documentary directed by Carla Gutierrez that explores the life of the legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Utilizing Kahlo’s personal diaries, letters, essays, and interviews, the film paints a vivid picture of her life, from her harrowing trolley car accident to her tumultuous relationships, including her marriage to Diego Rivera and affair with Leon Trotsky. The documentary also highlights Kahlo’s time in America and features stunning animation inspired by her artwork.

READ MORE  Weekly Shots: Greta Gerwig's Barbie, Nolan's Oppenheimer, and our latest streaming picks

Streaming on Prime Video

‘Dream Scenario’ (Kristoffer Borgli)

YouTube player

Nicolas Cage stars in ‘Dream Scenario,’ a surreal dark comedy directed by Kristoffer Borgli. Cage plays Paul Matthews, a college professor whose mundane life is upended when he inexplicably starts appearing in people’s dreams worldwide, transforming him into an overnight sensation. However, the dream appearances soon turn nightmarish, leading Paul down a path of social ostracism. The film, produced by Ari Aster, features a cast including Julianne Nicholson, Michael Cera, and Tim Meadows, offering a blend of fantasy and satire.

Streaming on Max

TV Picks

‘Manhunt’ (Limited Series)

YouTube player

“Manhunt,” led by Tobias Menzies, delves into the aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination with a gripping narrative that blends detective work with a poignant exploration of America’s tumultuous post-Civil War era. While the series is lauded for its meticulous direction and strong performances, particularly from Menzies and Anthony Boyle, it struggles with pacing and historical compression, at times feeling rushed or oversimplified. Despite these issues, “Manhunt” excels in its rich character development and the portrayal of a nation at a crossroads. The inclusion of lesser-known historical figures alongside the main storyline adds depth, but the series’ attempt to tackle the enormity of its subject within a limited runtime sometimes leads to a lack of nuance. Overall, “Manhunt” is an ambitious and compelling look at a pivotal moment in history, marred slightly by its narrative execution.

Streaming on Apple TV Plus

‘The Girls on the Bus’ (Limited Series)

YouTube player


“Max’s The Girls on the Bus” captivates with its portrayal of four journalists covering the Democratic nominee campaign, despite its narrative and pacing imperfections. The series shines through the performances of Melissa Benoist, Carla Gugino, Natasha Behnam, and Christina Elmore, whose chemistry and character depth transcend the show’s occasional sluggishness. While it struggles to balance personal and professional storylines, resulting in uneven pacing, the series excels in depicting the emotional turmoil of its characters against the backdrop of political reporting. It navigates the complexities of political views and journalistic integrity, offering a blend of drama, introspection, and camaraderie rarely seen on TV. Despite its flaws, the show’s strengths lie in its talented cast and the authentic representation of the challenges and dynamics of campaign trail journalism, making it a compelling watch with potential for further exploration in future seasons.

Streaming on Max

‘Girls5eva’ (Season 3)

YouTube player

“Girls5eva” Season 3 on Netflix triumphs as a musical comedy, effortlessly blending humor, original songs, and a dash of absurdity. Saved from cancellation by Netflix, the series continues to evolve, striking a perfect balance between comedy and heartfelt moments. The script, under Meredith Scardino’s direction, maintains its quirky essence, resonating with fans of Tina Fey’s distinctive humor. The show’s strength lies in its self-awareness and the ability to navigate sensitive topics with a light touch, complemented by catchy tunes that are both hilarious and thematically relevant. Renée Elise Goldsberry shines as the standout performer, leading a cast that excels in delivering both comedy and character depth. Despite occasional misses, the series’ vibrant energy and smart writing make it an enriching viewing experience, further solidifying its place as a must-watch for those seeking intelligent, fun entertainment.

READ MORE  Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Jokes Larry David is 'F---ing Crazy'

Streaming on Netflix

‘Invincible’ (Season 2 Part 2)

YouTube player

“Invincible” Season 2, Part 2 revitalizes the superhero genre with its vibrant animation, emotional depth, and intense action. The series continues to stand out amidst the backdrop of superhero saturation, offering a fresh and engaging narrative that captivates viewers. Steven Yeun’s performance is particularly highlighted for bringing a poignant depth to his character’s struggles. Although the pacing at times feels uneven, the series’ focus on character development and emotionally charged fight scenes more than compensates. The detailed animation and attention to emotional storytelling set “Invincible” apart, proving that superhero narratives can still offer unique and thrilling experiences. This part of the season underscores the series’ ability to navigate complex themes while maintaining its entertainment value, making it a standout offering on Prime Video.

Streaming on Prime Video

TV Skips

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (Season 20)

YouTube player

Hulu brings back “Grey’s Anatomy” for an impressive twentieth season, continuing to engage audiences with its blend of medical drama and evolving character arcs. Despite the departure of many original cast members, including a reduced role for Ellen Pompeo, the series welcomes back familiar faces like Jessica Capshaw and Alex Landi. The new season addresses lingering cliffhangers and introduces fresh challenges for the beloved characters of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

Streaming on Hulu

‘Apples Never Fall’ (Season 1)

YouTube player

“Apples Never Fall” emerges as a prime example of the failing formula within the family mystery thriller genre, as per its critical reception. Despite a high-profile cast led by Annette Bening, the series disappointingly navigates through a murky narrative, burdened by underdeveloped characters and a lack of engaging mystery mechanics. Its attempt to diverge slightly from Liane Moriarty’s storytelling style does little to salvage the seven-episode journey, which critics describe as dragging with moments of potential lost in “rotten apple mush.” The show’s reliance on worn-out narrative techniques, such as parallel timelines, further detracts from its appeal, making the viewing experience a test of patience rather than an engaging puzzle. This adaptation, while showcasing moments of Bening’s talent, is criticized for its superficial treatment of potentially complex themes and character dynamics, ultimately delivering a narrative that feels as disengaged and disenchanted as its portrayal of the central family unit.

Streaming on Peacock

EXCLUSIVE MEMBERShipspot_img