Instant Picks of the Week 6/24/16
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 FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING (Netflix)
Ideally suited for date night, THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING is best consumed as something akin to comfort food, hitting all of our favorite emotional beats and grooves and leaving everyone feeling warm and fuzzy by the end. Nothing here challenges the overall form or intent of independent dramatic comedies, but both Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts turn in stellar performances that manage to push both of their acting chops, and even the typically hit-or-miss Selena Gomez manages to keep her scenes afloat. However, most surprisingly, the film rarely relies on Trevor’s physical disability for its character beats, instead working the inherent difficulties it injects into his lifestyle into the larger narrative arc of achieving self-confidence and courage. A modest feel-good outing that knows exactly what it is and performs its duties admirably, THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING may not be a perfect film, but it’s the first from Sundance 2016 to be featured exclusively on Netflix, so any self-fashioned fan of independent cinema would be remiss to not at least give it a whirl. [Thomas Seraydarian]
O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA (ESPN Go)
For people 25 and younger, OJ Simpson is a bit of a cultural conundrum. So the guy went on a low speed car chase through LA, who cares? So his trial was complicated and racially charged, aren’t there more important cases involving race and the LAPD? Why would anyone care about a football player whose glory days were 20 years behind him by the time of his notorious arrest? Thanks to Era Edelman’s exhaustive, obsessively researched five-part documentary series, O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA, grants these questions stark, unsettling answers. OJ’s unique position in American racial politics is comparable to only a handful of other figures in popular culture, and his fall from grace has a lot to teach us all about race, power, privilege, and celebrity. [Carter Moon]