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What To Stream This Weekend

The Screen Geek Streaming department took a small break but we’re back and better than ever. We’ve got a large list for you to decide on what to watch and it has a little bit of everything. Give this bad boy a read to help you decide on which poison will be your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

Spectral (2016)

Science Fiction

Recently released on Netflix, this interesting little war movie/sci-fi movie mashup shares a great deal of DNA with the likes of Battle Los Angeles and Independence Day, only, operating on a considerably smaller budget. Oh, and it’s not invading aliens that are the problem this time ‘round. Instead, it’s “grunts versus ghosts”. Having adopted its usual movie mantle as the guardians of the free world, the US Army finds itself deployed in a peacekeeping role during a Central European civil war, only for its troops to start mysteriously dying, struck down by an invisible and lethal enemy.

Luckily, Jeff Goldblum– sorry, James Badge Dale (Iron Man 3) is on hand, in the familiar role of a humble tech genius who is able to develop a system of revealing the invisible murderers. Whilst the special effects aren’t quite as polished as they could be, when the entities are revealed, they make for an intriguing and menacing opponent. Are they actually ghosts? Are they some form of new Special Forces weapon? Whatever the case, they’re bloody hard to kill, and a huge number of disposable characters get cut down before the predictably small band of survivors start to retaliate with grenades packed with iron-filings and ghost-revealing searchlights strapped to their tanks.

The movie chooses not to take any real risks, treading a somewhat predictable path in terms of its narrative and dialogue, but it does contain some memorable set-pieces, and overall, it’s suitably well put together and engaging to make for a satisfying watch. If you’re a fan of either genre, or just want something not to have to think too hard about, then this the perfect option for a quiet evening’s viewing.

Streaming on Netflix

Recommended by Simon Andrews

 

The House of Small Cubes (2008)

Animated Short Film

In a world of rising waters, an old man continues to live in his drowning home, building onto it, cube by cube. A dropped pipe leads to a journey.

It will take you longer to read this list then it will to finish this short film. Beautifully animated and scored, The House of Small Cubes tells a simple story that will make you want to pull a loved one a little closer. It’s hand drawn animation, a rarer find in recent years, from Japanese director Kunio Kato, but even if cartoons are not your thing, I believe it’s well worth your time. Come on, you got 12 minutes, right?

Streaming on Netflix

Recommended by Sylvia Maixner

 

Barry (2016)

Drama

Netflix continues to find unique ways to update their original content, with the acquisition of Barry from the Toronto Film Festival being their latest big move. The film is a semi-biographical take on Barack Obama’s college years in New York City, when he was a man who was trying to find his place in the world.

Compared to Southside With You, which also was focused on Obama, Barry is a much more substantial achievement. Director Vikram Gandhi has a strong voice behind the camera, tackling issues of race and class differences with a keen eye. Devon Terrell’s performance as Barack is more than just a good impersonation, as he makes the character stand out.

Streaming on Netflix

Recommended by Matt Conway

 

Crazyhead (2016)

Horror, Comedy

Crazyhead is something familiar with a British sense of sarcasm and dry humor that is right up your alley if you’re looking for that kind of thing. Think of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer like show with the creator of Misfits behind the helm and you’ve got yourself Crazyhead, which is both funny and very entertaining.

It follows Amy and Raquel; two strangers brought together by the fact that they are able to see the truth around them. Demons masquerade as people and there are oncoming invasions from hell. The show is enjoyable and the characters are likeable as well. One of things that will keep you coming back is the story likes to keep you on your toes with well placed cliffhangers that has the show moving at a steady pace.  You’ll want to binge watch it to the very end, so plant your silly arse down and enjoy your serving of some Crazyhead.

Streaming on Netflix

Recommended by Mark Salcido

 

Broadchurch (2013 – Current)

Crime

A dead boy is found on the beaches of small tourist town Broadchurch, and it is down to home-town cop Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and her twitchy, new boss, Alec Hardy (David Tennant).

This show is hard to get through. From the get-go, Broadchurch thrusts its viewers unapologetically into the emotional devastation that stems from the death of a child and the turmoil that it brings to a seemingly tight-knit community. Colman as Ellie Miller is amazing – strong, vulnerable, and endearing, and more than capable of carrying the weight of the story while Tennant broods and sweats. Jodie Whittaker as Beth Latimer, the mother of the aforementioned dead child, is also a stand-out.

Set against beautiful, cloudy coastal England, with excellent pacing and a strong score, Broadchurch may not be the most original crime thriller you will watch, but it is solid television that will have you aching when it’s done with you.

Streaming on Netflix

Recommended by Sylvia Maixner

 

Atari: Game Over (2014)

Documentary

If you’ve ever owned a game console of any kind, then you’ll easily be engaged by the story told in this concise and colorful little documentary. In reality, there are two stories being told here. Whilst the movie focuses on a small group of fans, who are exploring the urban legend of a giant hoard of Atari cartridges buried under a landfill site, it also uses that tale as a means of exploring the huge crash in the video game industry in the 1980’s, prior to its subsequent salvation by Nintendo and Sega a few years later.

Atari had very much been an industry success story, populated by young programmers and designers who spent as much time getting loaded and wasted as they did working. The company hammered out a huge number of titles of varying quality, totally flooding the market with consoles and cartridges until the inevitable bubble burst in 1983. One of the contributing factors to that fateful market crash was their movie tie-in game, E.T.

Having promised to deliver the game in an entirely unrealistic period of time, what the company produced was so poor, it lead to them burying 700,000 copies under the desert in New Mexico. The documentary spends three days with the fans as they try to locate and recover the legendary haul, whilst also interviewing the people responsible for making, arguably, the worst video game of all time. And then, quite randomly, George R.R. Martin makes an appearance. It’s no wonder he never gets anything written. Intercut with old game footage, TV ads, and news reports, it’ll most likely prompt you to have a hunt around the attic for your old consoles, harking back to the frustrating days of pre-internet gaming.

Streaming on Netflix

Recommended by Simon Andrews

https://youtu.be/yk7wuI7VafQ

 

LET’S BE COPS (2014)

Comedy

Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson star in this comedy about two guys who attend a costume party dressed as cops. The rest, you can probably guess. Not very well received by critics, I find this film quite underrated. The chemistry between the two is enough to carry the humor, and even if it’s not a solid plot, it is actually a really funny film and a lot of fun.

The pair has worked as a duo in New Girl, and if you like the humor in that, or even just Damon and Jake’s characters in it (Coach and Nick), I can guarantee this film will have you laughing. If you’re not bothered about being immersed into an intricate story, and just want a good laugh, stick this on; it won’t fail you. I admit that the main reason I like the film is because of the comedy duo, but they had me laughing throughout, so it’s fine by me.

Streaming on Apple iTunes, Google Play

Recommended by Rory McNeil

 

HAIL, CAESAR! (2016)

Comedy

Despite being directed by the Coen Brothers, Hail, Caesar! seemed to be one of 2016’s more forgettable flicks for some people. The film takes place in the 1950’s, following a Hollywood fixer dealing with a bevy of unique movie star problems.

In my opinion, Hail, Caesar! got an unnecessarily bad rap with audiences, as it’s one of last year’s most entertaining flicks. The Coen Brothers’ unique comedic stylings are always enjoyable to watch, and their homage to the 1950’s era cinema are often done in impressive set pieces. It may meander a bit too much for some, but fans of the Coens will certainly dig this.

Streaming on HBO Go

Recommended by Matt Conway

 

A Single Man (2009)

Drama

In 2009, a film directed by a fashion designer was released that piqued the interest of many filmgoers, so much so, that it began to win awards for the people behind the film. A Single Man is the reason why Tom Ford is becoming a recognizable filmmaker for the style and beauty that goes into his projects. If you have seen his recent film, Nocturnal Animals and enjoyed it, then you should definitely see A Single Man.

The film, on the surface, is a simple story about a single day in the life of George Falconer (Colin Firth) as he struggles with the loss of his long time lover. What appears on screen is an artful exploration into the mind of the main character and the hardship he must face. The movie is beautiful in playing with the color scheme of the film and the acting is amazing. By the end of the film, I was in tears and was ready to watch it for a second time. Be prepared because the movie is a bit slow, but that allows you to absorb the feelings of each scene that makes this movie truly special. Give it a try, and see why Tom Ford is a director that deserves the nobility that he is getting right now.

Streaming on Netflix

Recommended by Mark Salcido

 

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Action / Drama

You’ve probably seen this one by now (if not, what the hell is wrong with you?), but it’s worth as many repeated viewings as you have time to give it. And since it’s new to Netflix, watching is easier than ever.

Following the destructive events of Age of Ultron, the governments of the world have come together to draft the Sokovia Accords, giving the United Nations official oversight of any and all actions taken by the Avengers. The team isn’t left with a great deal of choice: they can either sign willingly, or become fugitives next time they intervene against the world’s supervillains.

World leaders are coming together to ratify the Accords, and the Avengers are asked to attend and publicly endorse the policy. However, not everyone is on the same page. The team is split down the middle: Tony Stark believes that the Accords are necessary, because the team has done so much damage, even though their intentions were always good. Joining Team Iron Man are Rhodey, Black Widow, Vision, and (the total scene-stealer) Black Panther, as well as a young new face with some pretty amazing abilities – even if he does have homework.

On the opposing side, we have Steve Rogers, who believes (and rightly so, thanks to Hydra) that governments can’t always be trusted to have their citizens’ best interests in mind. He knows that the Avengers are a force for good, and is vehemently opposed to the oversight. Hawkeye, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Ant Man, and the Winter Soldier round out Team Cap.

The ensuing battle is extremely personal. Friendships are broken, loyalties are tested, and life-altering secrets come to light. Add in some kick-ass fight scenes, great performances by even the most minor characters, and Marvel’s trademark snappy dialogue, and you have a rare thing indeed: a popcorn blockbuster that’s also a great drama, with a real moral message at its core.

Streaming on Netflix, Microsoft, iTunes, Google Play

Recommended by Jennifer Huneycutt

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