Instant Picks of the Week 5/12/17
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.
THE COMEBACK KID (Netflix)
John Mulaney hits the ground running and doesn’t slow down for the rest of the race. Right out of the gates, Mulaney meanders his way through jokes and tales, weaving webs of stories with bits of comedy generously thrown into the mix. It’s not even the fact that the stories themselves are so absurd or interesting (some are and some aren’t, but it’s an irrelevant debate), merely the way in which Mulaney describes the events and people around him is hilarious enough. Watching his Netflix comedy special THE COMEBACK KID, I find myself unable to contain my laughter. From little snickers and giggles to gut-wrenching, laugh-so-hard-your-stomach-hurts laughter (especially during his famous Bill Clinton finale piece), Mulaney packs a punch with nearly every line. His confidence and bravado are difficult to not be charmed by, and he speaks to the audience as though he’s merely in their living room, recounting a story from earlier that day. He always seems to be thinking of the jokes on the spot, a talent that can be rare in comedians, and is quite a treat. Another bonus: though I’m not offended or disgusted by raunchy comedy, I’m always impressed by those who are able to largely avoid it, and Mulaney does so masterfully. Mulaney’s blend of self-deprecation, reenactments, wackiness, and absurdity in THE COMEBACK KID is an undeniably satisfying success. [Hayley Bensmiller]
WHAT IF (Amazon Prime)
I just love Daniel Radcliffe, and in WHAT IF, we get to see him be a quirky romantic. This hilarious rom-com follows Wallace (Radcliffe), a med school drop out as he falls in love with Chantry (Zoe Kazan), a shy graphic artist with a loving boyfriend of five years. As their friendship blossoms, Chantry encounters a great challenge with her relationship, and her sister finds interest in Wallace. The chemistry between Wallace and Chantry is impeccable, and the obstacles they face are endlessly amusing. Director Michael Dowse delivers an incredibly aesthetic film, with the lighting and color palette contributing to the cinematography incredibly well. My favorite thing about this film is that we see Chantry’s animations move along city buildings. In this way, the audience gets to see the world through Chantry’s eyes despite the fact that we mostly sympathize with Wallace throughout the film. WHAT IF has all of the cute quirks of a great romantic comedy plus depth in its compelling decisions. [Lynnzee Highland]