Some jaw-dropping sci-fi movies and TV shows anchored a wide variety of on-screen goodies this week.
skyscraper: Tom Hiddleston’s character lives in what could be described as a monolith of modernity – it has everything from schools to supermarkets to an Eden-like garden on the roof.
To like Beautiful new worldThere is a strict social class within the building. The higher your floor, the more privileged you are. When electricity and water fail, these borders disappear and the chaotic class struggle begins.
The resulting clutter is a creepy and frightening cautionary story for the widening gap between rich and poor in our own world. It’s a wild experience. Check it out: Binge * / Stan
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Beautiful new world: Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel is considered a seminal literary work that explores ideas about individuality and state control. If you’re like me, you didn’t finish the book because you were a brutal 15 year old who didn’t do what your English teacher told you to do. Now there’s a TV adaptation, a nifty science fiction series set in a future where people are born without families and have a certain caste and role in life. And where happiness is only a striving, but is demanded by mood-enhancing drugs. Check it out: Stan, starting Friday October 16
SOMETHING WITH TIME TRAVEL
Star Trek Discovery S3: You don’t have to be a Trekkie to get a kick out of it discovery (Believe me, I wasn’t and I still am). With its female lead and its coterie of heroes and villains, the driving action series returns with a serious heart to its third season this Friday. Now the team is nearly a millennium in the future, moving further in time than ever before, opening up a new universe of storytelling opportunities. Check it out: Netflix, starting Friday October 16 (weekly)
Looper: Rian Johnson’s third feature is a compelling mix of science fiction and crime, with more than a shot of action in it. It is set in a future where time travel is possible, but it is being used by criminal syndicates to make bodies disappear. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays an assassin who has to reckon with the older version of himself (Bruce Willis) that he has to kill as part of his contract. Smart, curvy and exciting. Check it out: Binge / Amazon Prime / Stan
SOMETHING WITH A COURT OF JUSTICE
The Chicago Trial 7: Aaron Sorkin made his screen splash first Some good men and now he returns to the courtroom with this dramatized true story of a 1968 group of antiwar protesters charged by the government with conspiracy and incitement to riot. It may have Sorkin’s signature rhythmic dialogue, but this is a more cynical charge against the institutions of American power. Check it out: Netflix, starting Friday October 16
The Company: This paranoid legal thriller has everything you could want, a paranoid legal thriller – suspicious deaths, a plot with rich bastards and Tom Cruise. Based on John Grisham’s novel, it’s an action thriller that manages to keep the tension going until the end. Check it out: Amazon Prime / Stan
SOMETHING WITH POSH ACCENTS
Talking heads: In the groundbreaking series by the playwright Alan Bennett from the 1980s, prominent thespians were featured who gave monologues to the camera. It might sound boring, but marry a talented actor with great writing, and it’s gripping stuff – why Talking heads has held out to the point that there is now a remake. The 2020 collection includes appearances by Harriet Walter, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jodie Comer and Imelda Staunton. Check it out: BBC First on Foxtel Now / Fetch on Sunday October 18
Love and friendship: Based on Jane Austen’s posthumously published novel Lady SusanThe story focuses on a scheming young widow who manages to win wealthy husbands for herself and her daughter. The film with Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny and Xavier Samuel is as funny and beguiling as Lady Susan herself, an enchanting comedy of manners. Watch it: Stan / SBS On Demand
SOMETHING WITH CHEEKY HUMOR
Gruen: When you think back to Gruen (then called The green transfer) was discussed first, no one thought that a show about advertising broadcast on a channel that prohibits commercial mentions would last 12 seasons. But it has – because it neatly sorts through the bullcrap we feed all the time – OK, Bankwest, you are tired of “bank stuff” but you belong to the CommBank? I wonder if that Gruen Team will have something to say about spin state in 2020? Check it out: ABC iview from Wednesday October 14th
Best in Show: We can all ride on one Schitt’s Creek Wave of love, but don’t forget the films Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara are best known for – Christopher Guest’s Mockumentaries. Underneath, Best in Show, a satire of the crazy world of competitive dog shows. With Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins, Michael McKean, Jane Lynch and Jennifer Lynch, separating the animals from their bizarre owners is difficult. Check it out: iTunes / Google Play
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