Instant Picks of the Week 1/19/18
Gone are the days of scrolling mindlessly through your queue! No longer will you have to sift through the vastness of what’s coming to the instant viewing wastelands this month! Whether you’re looking for a stellar film or an exciting new show to binge, Instant Picks of the Week brings you the hottest releases in film and television on instant viewing platforms that we know you’ll love, or at the very least not despise.
THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD (Netflix)
Doesn’t everything just absolutely suck when you’re a teenager? Stuck in the whole “too young to be taken seriously, but too old to just be a kid” stage for god knows how long (seven years feels like an eternity). Always thinking that nobody understands and nobody cares. And nowhere does that hold true more than for the two 17-year-old leads of THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD. Rebellious Alyssa (Jessica Barden) is the forgotten eldest child of her newly remarried mother, and apathetic James (Alex Lawther) lives alone with his inattentive and foolish father. Fed up with the way her mother and stepfather mistreat and often ignore her, Alyssa decides to skip town. “Let’s leave this shithole town, now. You hate it, I hate it. Our parents are dickheads. I’m going whether you come me with or not. You in?,” she asks James. James follows, but not to feel the freedom Alyssa seems to desire. Instead, he intends to kill her. The show is fun to watch, every shot is beautifully framed and colored, and the fun and retro production design constructs a delightfully sardonic world. However, what steals the show is really the two main characters and the way their relationship grows through the season—and consequently the arcs they end up having because of it. Adolescence is a confusing stage in life, and young love no doubt complicates things a whole lot. Though what THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD proves is that sometimes, genuine human connection and care can help you survive the worst. You can read the full review here. [Jordan Valdes]
THE POLKA KING (Netflix)
THE POLKA KING is even further proof of Jack Black working his ass off more than this, or any other of his recent films, deserves. His dedication is staggering, and so worthy of a wide variety of projects, but the blessing is that no matter what he does, he’ll never give less than 100%. THE POLKA KING is nice! It’s kind of like THE INFORMANT!-lite. It coasts along to the finish line thanks to the wild true story and has Black, Jason Schwartzmann, Jenny Slate, and a nasty Jackie Weaver to thank for finding its sense of emotional grounding, pleasant whenever it appears. It’s a breezy, entertaining watch, with some very big laughs scattered throughout. [Rocky Pajarito]