In May, I find myself still mainly stuck in a never-ending loop of West Wing episodes. I mean, it’s amazing and I will be genuinely bereft when the series finishes, but I think those around me will be relieved when I stop talking about Martin Sheen, budget negotiations, and pledging allegiance to the flag etc. Anyway, my point is that I have actually made time to watch some other stuff and will continue to do so, especially with these new releases coming to Netflix in May.
School of Rock
This is objectively one of the best films ever made. Sorry but it is. It’s not even a matter of opinion, it’s just a cold hard fact. Jack Black is in his element. Joan Cusak is a queen. The music is on point, There are enough quotable moments to fuel an entire frat party. It’s just a genuinely excellent movie. There’s no excuse not to watch it. You can’t see it enough times and it’s never too late to watch it for the first time either.
I have never actually seen Below Deck. The reason for this is that I have an actual reality TV problem. I have a very addictive personality, so I genuinely can’t watch reality TV otherwise I become horribly obsessed with it. In previous years, when I have slipped and watched an episode or two of I’m A Celebrity, I have then gone on to watch the extra episodes on ITV2, read magazine articles about witchity grubs in the supermarket… it’s embarrassing. Nevertheless, Below Deck is supposedly very good, and probably highly addictive if you are as weak as I am. Watch with care.
The Last Days
This harrowing historical documentary portrays the cleansing of Hungary in the second world war. It was supported by Stephen Spielberg and the Shoah Foundation and as such, is produced brilliantly. The story it tells is horrific, shining a light on a country that is not discussed in as much detail as German, Austria, France and Poland during the war, and the survivor testimonies are hugely moving, brave and emotional. An incredible piece of film making, horribly sad, but as one reviewer said: ‘a testament to hope and humanity’.
Jupiter’s Legacy season 1
This is the first of the new productions from Netflix’s own comic book universe, presumably intended to be a rival to Disney’s Marvel and the DC universe… Millarworld. The jury’s out on this one, but if you’re into comics and superheroes and you’re not a diehard Marvel fan for example then maybe this is for you. It’s worth a try at least.
This Netflix original on the other hand looks set to be an instant classic. This adaptation of Walter Dean Meyrs’ incredible book was produced by John Legend amongst other people and includes a remarkable cast. I really can’t wait for this film and whilst I’m pleased it was picked up by Netflix, I wish I could see it in the cinema. If you’ve not read the book, you should. It’s written as a movie screenplay so it makes the adaptation a particularly interesting response. The story is timely but besides that, it’s an examination of race, masculinity, power… and film and representation are woven throughout its fabric.
The Woman in the Window
This is a psychological thriller starring Amy Adams which is about all you need to know that you ought to watch it. Adams is one of the best white female actors around at the moment, think of her performance in Arrival, Sharp Objects and more recently in Hillbilly Elegy; she absolutely shines on screen. The film is directed by the brilliant Joe Wright, so we can expect some gorgeous, signature cinematography. Anthony Mackie and Gary Oldman are also onboard alongside Adams.
Colony (Season 3)
The long-awaited new season of the sci-fi series starring Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies.
StartUp (Seasons 1-3)
Imported from Crackle, this show stars Martin Freeman as a crooked FBI agent set on ruining the lives of some tech entreprenuers.
Selena: The Series (Season 2)
The delayed second season of the biopic of the ‘Queen of Tejano music’, starring Christian Serratos.
The Circle (Season 2 – Finale)
More reality TV, this one suited to our technology-addicted times.
Read our review of this horror movie twist on the traditional superhero story.