Weekly Shots: Barbie, The Morning Show and Demonic Possessions

Dive into the world of cinema and television with “Weekly Shots” – your curated guide to the week’s most compelling movies and TV shows. Handpicked for the discerning viewer, each recommendation promises a unique viewing experience, ensuring you never miss out on the best of the big and small screen.

Shortcomings (Randall Park)

YouTube player

Without Justin Hong-Kee Min, Shortcomings would be sour to watch. His character, Ben, floats through Randall Park’s directorial debut with a mountain of unlikability. Throughout the audience has watched Ben be awful to his girlfriend, his best friend, his best friend’s new girlfriend, a new date, a woman he dates for three weeks, and so on and so forth. He isn’t amicable in any way, opting instead for self-serving, sarcastic remarks that place him above the person, place, or thing he’s discussing. Somehow, though, Shortcomings is enjoyable, at times even delightful.

Streaming on VOD

Talk to Me (Danny and Michael Philippou)

YouTube player

Featuring a great premise from which to build a franchise, YouTube creators Danny and Michael Philippou’s directorial debut Talk To Me is a refreshing retread, imagining tantalizing “micro-possessions” that get stronger the more you use them. The premise is simple enough: a possessed hand that seems to have been passed down for generations opens a supernatural portal to the unknown, which can offer a brief moment of clarity before it inflicts unthinkable violence. As far as the violence goes, the film checks all the boxes with a murder/suicide opening sequence at an out-of-control house party, setting the affair in motion without giving away what’s to come.

Streaming on VOD

Theater Camp (Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman)

YouTube player

Welcome to AdirondACTS Theater Camp in gorgeous upstate New York. Led by founder Joan Rubinsky (Amy Sedaris), the kids, a menagerie of the precocious and hyperactive, are about to put on a production of Bye Bye Birdie. The stage lights are on and––oh, wait. Never mind. Joan has just suffered a seizure from the strobing, so she’s in the hospital. Apparently the “documentary” filmmakers have only been on location for a day. Alas, we only know that because a title card tells us. We don’t really get to see anything, and via another card we learn Joan’s techbro of a son, Troy (Jimmy Tatro), has arrived to salvage the camp.

Streaming on Hulu

Aporia (Jared Moshé)

YouTube player

What would your life be like if you didn’t go to work the day an accident would otherwise change everything? How much of your future might shift if you decide to simply alter your schedules to better accommodate picking up your child from school? One question seems bigger than the other, yet the second may actually impact what occurs next more. Because you can’t know for certain. And there aren’t any do-overs. Perhaps it’s better that way, to accept and move on rather than risk an even worse fate. Or is it? That’s what writer-director Jared Moshé seeks to contemplate with his grounded science fiction drama Aporia.

Streaming on VOD

Barbie (Greta Gerwig)

YouTube player

Gerwig is undoubtedly doing the thing: making Barbieland a hyper-stylized reality full of musical numbers, unique props, and arcane lore. The world she’s built for her Barbies, under either government system, is really funny, dense with jokes and asides and winks towards the brand’s long, complicated history. It’s a relief to watch a big-budget movie this summer that spent its money on a unique visual language. There’s not just one dream house, but a whole cul-de-sac of dream houses. The hills are alive with the sound of Barbie! At its sharpest, Gerwig and Baumbach’s script harken back to the former’s work in coming-of-age comedies––Frances Ha, Mistress America, even Lady Bird. Gosling gets the majority of the laugh lines, Ken’s men’s-rights awakening pushing his limited brain capacity to its very limit as he learns how to oppress.

Streaming on VOD

El Conde (Pablo Larraín)

YouTube player

No one hates to report an underwhelming Pablo Larraín like I do, but his newest—a socio-political fantasy in which Augusto Pinochet is actually a vindictive vampire who’s been fighting the voice of the people ever since his beloved King Louis XVI was guillotined in the town square centuries ago—only earns its weight in cinematography. At age 75, Ed Lachman still refuses to turn in a below-average assignment. While El Conde suffers in nearly every other department (especially the empty screenwriting, which bafflingly took home Best Screenplay at Venice), Lachman’s crisp black-and-white aesthetic takes advantage of the imaginative nature of the story. If for nothing else, watch for the opening sequence—at least 10 minutes of showstopping, surreal cinematography set to a feverishly fun recharacterization of the Chilean dictator that eventually brings us into the present of the narrative… where it all falls apart.

Streaming on Netflix

The Morning Show season 3

YouTube player

The pandemic screwed up a lot of industries, though broadcast news wasn’t one of them. Yet when The Morning Show returns for season 3, UBA and its A.M. centerpiece are in deep trouble. The company gets hacked, which threatens to put all their dirty laundry on display for the public to see.

Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) is concerned that her personal life will be leaked, while Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) focuses on getting more of a say in the future of UBA. New cast member Jon Hamm plays a tech titan who might save the day — or bring about their downfall.

Streaming now on Apple TV Plus

Welcome to Wrexham season 2

YouTube player

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney rode into the Welsh town of Wrexham with big bank accounts, big social media followings and big goals – namely, to inject enough cash and inspiration into Wrexham AFC to boost them out of the fifth tier of the English football league system.

Season 1 didn’t get the Hollywood ending; instead, Wrexham’s bid fell just short with a heartbreaking loss. In season 2, Rob and Ryan are still as optimistic as ever and the club even gets a visit from King Charles III. But they can’t quite cover up the fact that the clock is ticking on this wild project.

Streaming now via Hulu
Episodes air Tuesdays on FX (via Sling or Fubo)

The Other Black Girl

YouTube player

The mundane horrors of being Black in a mostly-white setting initially powered Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which is a guiding light for this adaptation of the suspense novel by Zakiya Dalila Harris. Like Get Out, The Other Black Girl starts with irritating microaggressions that transform into something much more sinister.

Nella Rogers (Sinclair Daniel) is an editorial assistant at a prestigious book publishing house in New York City. She’s underappreciated and constantly dealing with the subtle racism exhibited by her white colleagues. Then, a new Black woman joins the company and Nella is thrilled to bond with Hazel (Ash

leigh Murray). But her arrival coincides with some strange, unsettling occurrences, leading Nella to make some shocking discoveries.

Streaming now on Hulu


YouTube player

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned — and Taylor Swift will provide the soundtrack to her vengeance. Based on the novel by B.E. Jones, the story follows a British couple, Liv (Jenna Coleman) and Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), that seems to have the picture-perfect marriage and life.

Liv follows her husband to New York City for his high-powered job. But their bliss is a facade which comes crumbling down when Liv discovers Will is having an affair with a co-worker (Ashley Benson). Heartbreak is quickly subsumed by a more powerful emotion: rage. When Will proposes a fresh start in the form of a road trip to some of America’s National Parks, Liv sees her opportunity to get revenge. Cue Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.”

Streaming now on Prime Video

The Gold

YouTube player

Inspired by real-life events, this miniseries centers on the 1983 robbery of £26 million of gold bullion. The crackerjack cast is made up of notable British actors including Hugh Bonneville, Dominic Cooper, Jack Lowden and Sean Harris.

Six armed men break into the Brink’s-Mat security depot near London’s Heathrow Airport. The heist began as a fairly typical armed robbery but became infamous not just for the scale of the theft (the biggest in history at the time) but for its legacy. The bullion went on to help create the international money laundering scene and provided the dirty money that field the London Docklands property boom.

Premieres Sunday, Sept. 17 at 3 a.m. ET on Paramount Plus


YouTube player

Ohio Valley Wrestling of Louisville, Kentucky once polished the rough edges off stars like John Cena, Dave Bautista, Randy Orton and The Miz. But in recent years, the gym has hit hard times. Manager Al Snow is fiercely committed to wrestling’s ability to tell stories, and a few diehard fans continue to show up, but the gym is struggling to keep the doors open.

Al has to sell a majority stake to a group of local businessmen, including the popular radio personality Matt Jones. They bring an infusion of much-needed cash but demand results — Al has the summer to turn things around.

Streaming now on Netflix

This article may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you purchase through these links.