Instant Picks of the Week 5/19/17
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.
TRAIN TO BUSAN (Netflix)
I absolutely despise zombies and all they’ve done to dilute horror, so I went into TRAIN TO BUSAN fully expecting to get my grump on. Little did I know I would find one of my favorite genre films of the year! While there are a multitude of lazy comparisons to SNOWPIERCER simply because both are set on moving trains, Yeon Sang-ho’s live action debut is an entirely separate entity. An uneasy father-daughter duo travel to Busan to drop the girl off with her mother, but find themselves in a fight for survival when a passenger infected with a viciously efficient viral agent begins turning everyone into the living dead. While it certainly resides more on the thriller spectrum, the effects portraying the infected are impressive, and there’s plenty of gore and dismemberment to keep the more hardened horror crowd happy. But better than all that is the fact that TRAIN TO BUSAN is some of the most fun you’ll have with 2016 cinema, regardless of genre. The stylized action is a treat to watch (I’ll allow some comparisons to THE RAID), and the film does a great job of continually upping the stakes while also giving the characters more information on how to beat the hordes. Topped off with some moral ambiguity revolving around what it takes to survive, this is my favorite Korean export of last year. This blurb originally appeared here.
UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT Season One (Netflix)
After the undeniably disappointing second season and a lukewarm start to the third, I at least owe it to what once was Netflix’s shining original property to reflect fondly upon its glory days. The first season is so, so good! I’ve watched it three times! Initially promising us a rival to the hallowed golden calf of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, the jokes in UKS’s first time around the block were whip-smart, delivered at blazing speed, and existed in a world of complex visual cues and callbacks, just like the Promised Land once populated by the Bluths. What’s even more important, the overarching narrative involving a grown woman returning to the world after spending her formative years locked away informed each episode with a strange and occasionally dark undercurrent, lending each episode a more prominent thrust of integrating back into society than what we’re expected to slog through now. With a blessed absence of the cringe-worthy musical numbers that infect the following two seasons and a more tasteful restraint applied to characters such as Lillian and Jacqueline, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT had me fall in love oh so many sun-kissed summer nights ago. And yes, “Pinot Noir” is a Hell of a lot of fun.