Don’t Think Twice, the new low-budget indie from writer/director/star Mike Birbiglia, shot in SoHo last week. And your correspondent was there—as an extra. …Read More
Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs to Star in Mike Birbiglia’s Dramedy About “Bitterness and Backstabbing” in an Improv Troupe
Live comedy — in all its glorious forms — is now such a matter of cultural interest and excellence that making a film about beef between members of an improv troupe today doesn’t sound too different than making a film about the complex emotional inner workings of a rock band 30 years ago.
There aren’t any giant, ubiquitous hits among this week’s new streaming and disc releases; instead, it’s our favorite kind of week, full of great picks for viewers who are willing to take a risk. We’ve got an intelligent and prickly crime thriller, a period melodrama full of life and force, a horror/comedy that’s simultaneously terrifying and charming, a rehabilitated ‘80s flick, and a terrific female buddy comedy.
Going into Season 6 of Community, which premiered in the middle of the night with a pair of episodes on Yahoo Screen, the obvious question was whether the clever and wonderfully weird sitcom would lose anything in jumping from NBC to a website that’s known more for being a punchline about ancient technology than for its streaming content. While it can surely be argued that NBC didn’t treat Community as well as it could have, the comedy certainly belonged there, particularly during the earlier seasons, when it was a “Must See TV” staple along with the equally smart and weird 30 Rock, The Office, and Parks and Recreation.
Confession: I found this episode very difficult to watch. In Girls-land, a Hannah Horvath meet cute is the equivalent of the Jaws theme, a surefire sign that things are about to get (emotionally) gory and fast. So from the moment Fran the “17th century notions of utopia” teacher, played with familiar sweetness by Obvious Child leading man Jake Lacy, asks Hannah out in the faculty lounge of their fancy schmancy Brooklyn private school, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. And drop it sure as hell did.
As the long holiday weekend looms, the to-do checklist stretches out in front of us: buy food, buy booze, attempt insanely complicated recipe that sounded so delicious in the Times, drink, toss recipe away half-finished and just make a goddamn ham, drink more, order a pizza because the ham couldn’t possibly take that long, drink more, fill up with pizza and go buy a Christmas tree, drink more, leave the Christmas tree half-decorated to deal with the ham we totally forgot about, spend the rest of the night in a drunken stupor trying to decide what the hell to watch on Netflix. Well, we can help with the very last item on that list; watch or queue our suggestions now by clicking the title link.
This week, the Criterion Collection is releasing a double bill of the mid-‘60s Westerns The Shooting and Ride the Whirlwind, a treat not only for fans of revisionist Westerns and director Monte Hellman, but also for those who admire Jack Nicholson, here seen in two terrific performances that predate his breakthrough in Easy Rider. There’s a specific kind of pleasure in revisiting the early work of actors who would later become famous — not the roles that made them stars, but their earlier, quieter gigs, in which we glimpse an actor just trying to do good work, yet already exhibiting the spark that would mark them for fame. Here are a few of our …Read More