Weekly Shots: Arthouse gems, The Witcher, Futurama, Nicolas Cage’s devil, Harley Quinn and more

This week’s curated selection of films offers a delightful blend of charm, insight, and suspense. Each cinematic masterpiece we’re about to unfold provides an exciting escape for film enthusiasts across the board. So sit back, relax, and embark on a journey through some truly exceptional storytelling.

‘The Beanie Bubble’ – The Rise and Fall of a Craze (Kristin Gore, Damian Kulash)

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This year has seen an influx of corporate biopics, and ‘The Beanie Bubble’ is no exception. This dramedy delves into the Beanie Babies mania that swept through the mid-90s. The story unfolds around Ty Warner, played by Zach Galifianakis, the creator of Beanie Babies, who initially grapples with sluggish sales after their launch in 1993.

With the help of three female colleagues, portrayed by Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Snook, and Geraldine Viswanathan, he devises a plan that momentarily makes Beanie Babies as sought-after as gold. However, with great rises often come steep falls, a reality that this film encapsulates brilliantly.

Where to Stream: Apple TV+

Knock at the Cabin (M. Night Shyamalan)

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‘Knock at the Cabin’, a small-scale, high-concept film by M. Night Shyamalan, delivers thrilling, Twilight Zone-esque chills. It’s an exhibition of the director’s empathetic approach towards storytelling.

Where to Stream: Prime Video

Sympathy for the Devil (Yuval Adler)

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In ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, Yuval Adler takes us on a gripping journey into the life of a man who never misses a beat, exploring the complexities of human nature. An entertaining, messed up Collateral rendition of sorts.

Where to Stream: VOD

Blue Jean (Georgia Oakley)

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In Georgia Oakley’s riveting feature debut ‘Blue Jean’, we follow the journey of a PE teacher who lives a clandestine life as a homosexual during the aftermath of Britain’s controversial Section 28. Streaming this remarkable film promises a frank exploration of self-acceptance and rebellion.

Where to Stream: VOD

Earth Mama (Savanah Leaf)

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In her directorial debut, ‘Earth Mama’, Savanah Leaf masterfully encapsulates the struggles of a pregnant single mother fighting her way through a system that seems stacked against her. This poignant portrait of human strength and resilience is not to be missed.

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Where to Stream: VOD

Joy Ride (Adele Lim)

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In ‘Joy Ride’, director Adele Lim adds a fresh and compelling twist to the girls-trip formula. It’s a heartening and hilarious exploration of friendship, identity, and societal expectations.

Where to Stream: VOD

Once Upon a Time in Uganda (Cathryne Czubek)

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‘Once Upon a Time in Uganda’ by Cathryne Czubek reveals the journey of Ugandan action filmmaker Isaac Nabwana and his project, Wakaliwood. It’s a thrilling peek into the Ugandan rural film industry.

Where to Stream: VOD

Passion (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

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In ‘Passion’, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi unfolds the complex love triangle between a group of friends, delivering a rich narrative reminiscent of his previous works. It’s a candid exploration of love, desire, and the consequences of unrequited feelings.

Where to Stream: VOD

Revoir Paris (Alice Winocour)

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Alice Winocour’s ‘Revoir Paris’ offers a poignant exploration of life after a traumatic experience. The film follows a woman attempting to rebuild her life after a terrorist attack.

Where to Stream: VOD

Shin Kamen Rider (Hideaki Anno)

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Hideaki Anno’s ‘Shin Kamen Rider’ is an immersive journey into Japan’s pop-cultural landscape, filled with familiar iconography and unexpected twists.

Where to Stream: Prime Video

Susie Searches (Sophie Kargman)

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Sophie Kargman’s ‘Susie Searches’ presents an engaging mystery with a strong female lead. Watch as Susie Wallis solves the world’s mysteries, driven by her love for her ailing mother and a passion for true crime.

Where to Stream: VOD

War Pony (Riley Keough and Gina Gammell)

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In ‘War Pony’, Riley Keough and Gina Gammell offer a fascinating tale about friendship and self-discovery. Set against the backdrop of South Dakota, this cinematic gem is a must-watch.

Where to Stream: VOD

‘The Witcher’ Season 3 Volume 2: The Final Appearance of Cavill

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In the concluding part of The Witcher season 3, we witness Henry Cavill’s last portrayal of the main character, Geralt of Rivia. With the role passing to Liam Hemsworth in the forthcoming fourth season, we remain in the dark about how this transition will unfold.

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In this suspenseful volume, Geralt finds himself in a dangerous predicament, held at knifepoint by Dijkstra, portrayed by Graham McTavish. Alongside Yennefer, played by Anya Chalotra, they realize their grave error in identifying Stregobor, acted by Lars Mikkelsen, as the mage meddling with the powers of half-elvens like Ciri, played by Freya Allan. The real puppet master turns out to be Vilgefortz, portrayed by Mahesj Jadu. Now begins the tense race against time to thwart Vilgefortz’s evil plans.

Where to Stream: Netflix

‘Good Omens’ Season 2: A Four Year Wait Ends

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After an unusually lengthy hiatus exacerbated by the pandemic, Good Omens season 2 finally arrives, quenching fans’ anticipation. This intriguing fantasy buddy comedy is a product of Neil Gaiman, adapted from the novel he co-authored with Terry Pratchett. The leads remain Michael Sheen, who plays the fussy angel Aziraphale, and David Tennant, the unpredictable demon Crowley.

Having successfully prevented an apocalypse, Aziraphale and Crowley find themselves back amidst humans in London. An abrupt encounter with the amnesiac archangel Gabriel, played by Jon Hamm, at his bookstore catapults Aziraphale into a whirl of mystery. He enlists Crowley’s aid to untangle this predicament, while under the watchful eyes of both Heaven and Hell.

Where to Stream: Prime Video

‘Harley Quinn’ Season 4: The Battle of Love and Duty

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The beloved on-screen duo, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, portrayed by Kaley Cuoco and Lake Bell, return in Harley Quinn Season 4. They are as smitten as ever, yet they find themselves on conflicting sides of the law. Harley Quinn has renounced her criminal past to fight for justice alongside the Bat-family, while Batman finds himself imprisoned. Concurrently, Poison Ivy, now leading the Legion of Doom under the notorious Lex Luthor, played by Giancarlo Esposito, takes on her new role.

However, their endeavors in the streets of Gotham begin to drive a wedge between them. Adding to this complexity are Harley’s new teammates – Batgirl, Nightwing, and Robin, played by Briana Cuoco, Harvey Guillén, and Jacob Tremblay, who grapple with adapting to her chaotic style.

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Where to Stream: Max

‘How to With John Wilson’ Season 3: A Sweet Farewell

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The return of the docu-comedy ‘How to With John Wilson’ for its third season comes with a tinge of sadness as this marks the final journey with our awkward yet endearing host, John Wilson.

Wilson continues his exploratory voyage through New York City, filled with revelations, surprises, and peculiar situations. Audiences are once again treated to his unique perspective as he tackles such everyday challenges as finding a public restroom, keeping fit, and cleaning one’s ears. Read more about it here.

Where to Stream: HBO and Max.

‘Dark Winds’ Season 2: A Hidden Gem

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Don’t miss out on this overlooked drama ‘Dark Winds’. This is your opportunity to catch up on the first season before diving into the weekly unfolding of the second season. The show has played a role in increasing the on-screen representation of indigenous people.

The narrative follows Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, portrayed by Zahn McClarnon and Kiowa Gordon, as they pursue a menacing murderer in the arid expanses of Navajo County. The tables turn when the suspect targets them, challenging Leaphorn’s moral and professional compass. With Sgt. Manuelito’s, played by Jessica Matten, assistance, they aim to apprehend their assailant and restore peace to their community.

Where to Stream: AMC

‘Futurama’ Season 11: Rising From the Ashes Again

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Reintroducing the perpetually-revived ‘Futurama’. Matt Groening’s animated sci-fi comedy returns once again, promising at least 20 episodes featuring the original voice cast.

The show continues to follow the exploits of the slacker pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry, voiced by Billy West, who falls into a cryogenic pod and wakes up a thousand years later. In season 11, we leap forward to the year 3023, where contemporary issues like cryptocurrency, cancel culture, and streaming TV continue to dominate.

Where to Stream: Hulu

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