By: Walker Speer
Hello everybody, I hope that y’all are doing well given the circumstances. I’m sure everybody has been using the abundance of free time to catch up on a show or watch some movies that you’ve been waiting to see. I’m here to give some recommendations for movies and tv shows that I think are worth checking out.
Uncut Gems: This thriller was directed by the Safdie brothers and stars Adam Sandler along with Idina Menzel and Kevin Garnett. The movie is probably one of the most stressful things you can watch right now but it’s worth every second. The run time is about 2 hours and 15 minutes but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. The story is centered around a jeweler who has a gambling addiction that gets in too deep with the wrong people and must find a way out of the increasingly deep hole he’s dug. The soundtrack for the movie is very good as well and will be of interest to anyone who enjoys 80’s sounding synths. The composer for the soundtrack, Daniel Lopatin was also a producer forThe Weekend’s2020 album After Hours. Overall, I would highly recommend you to watch this movie, especially if you were confused by the Oscar buzz that Adam Sandler was getting for his role in this movie. A little fun fact about the movie is that the word “Fuck” is used over 400 times. Available for rent or purchase on demand.
The Death of Stalin: This movie is a comedy surrounding the power struggle after the death of Stalin in 1953. It is based off of the graphic novel La Mort de Staline. The movie features Steve Buscemi and Simon Russell Beale. The movie is a little under 2 hours long and offers many comedic insults for one to add to their list of favorites. This movie was unsurprisingly banned in Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan for mocking the country’s past leaders. Available on Netflix.
Once Upon A Time In…Hollywood: This Tarantino film features Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as the stars in a movie about the end of the golden age in Hollywood. I can’t really say much about this movie that hasn’t already been said. This is one of those movies that you pick up on something different every time you watch it. The run time is about 2 hours 40 minutes. Available on STARZ.
The Scheme: Hey, remember when it was looking like college basketball was going to be shaken to the core by what looked to the biggest scandal in American sports history? This documentary tells the side of the man at the center of the FBI probe into college basketball, Christian Dawkins. The doc is pretty one sided but is very interesting as it details the case against Dawkins as well as now former NCAA assistant basketball coaches. One of the main points about this doc is how the FBI was trying to make something out of nothing. If you are interested in basketball, college sports or law, this is for you. It also features some pretty damning wiretaps that involve high level head coaches that are still coaching. Available on HBO.
TV shows and limited series:
Chernobyl: This miniseries is based on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. The series dramatizes the historical event and the people involved but it seems hard to imagine how much more drama is needed to be added to an already dramatic event. The series also seems prophetic in a way and serves a cautionary tale that is very relevant in our current world.
Shenandoah Connection: Jared Harris, who plays Valery Legasov is set to appear in Professor Anderson’s upcoming documentary film. Available on HBO.
Breaking Bad: Just watch it, stop putting it off and just watch it. When people say it’s probably one of the best if not the best tv shows in history, they are right. The character development that occurs throughout the show and the story arcs that become intertwined are fantastic works of art that suck you in and leave you thinking “one more episode”. Available on Netflix.
Dave: This comedy series stars rapper Dave Burd aka Lil Dicky and is about his comedic rise to stardom. The series is written and produced by Dave Burd himself. The show is probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. Available on FX/Hulu.
Tiger King: I haven’t seen this one yet but what list is complete without it in 2020?
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: This animated series is set timewise between Episodes two and three of the films. When I heard that Disney was making a final season for the animated series, I decided to go back and rewatch seasons one through six since it had been about nine years since I’d seen it. Upon rewatching it, I have found that it is a very deep and complex show that is enjoyable to any age and draws viewers in with its unique animation style. Available on Disney+.
The Last Dance: This is a 10 part documentary between ESPN and Netflix that documents the 1997-98 season with the Chicago Bulls and their undoing as a dynasty. This docu-series features interviews that range from former presidents to Justin Timberlake of all people. The backstory behind this is just as interesting as the story it tells. Michael Jordan has had full control of all the footage for about the last 20 years or so and it’s been sitting in a vault in New Jersey. The story goes that Jordan didn’t give the green light for this to be made until the day off the Cleveland Cavaliers championship parade in 2016 after they came back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals against the Golden State Warriors that broke the Bulls regular season record by one game and going 73-9. Originally, the series wasn’t supposed to be released until after the NBA Finals in June but since there are no sports on right now, ESPN decided to release it early. Parts 1 through 4 are currently available on ESPN with two new episodes being aired on Sundays at 9pm EST. The other episodes are available via Netflix for those outside of the US. Available on ESPN on Demand and Sundays at 9pm Est. Netflix (US) TBD