Belushi Documentary

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Belushi

Where You Can Stream It: Showtime

The Pitch: A feature documentary from award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler about the too-short life of John Belushi, the once-in-a-generation talent who captured the hearts and funny-bones of audiences worldwide. Told using previously unheard audiotapes, this film examines Belushi’s extraordinary life in the words of his collaborators, friends, and family, including Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Penny Marshall, Lorne Michaels, Carrie Fisher, Chevy Chase, Harold Ramis, Jane Curtin, Ivan Reitman and his high school sweetheart and later wife Judy Belushi.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: There are plenty of documentaries profiling some of the most famous names in history, science, literature, sports, cinema, television, music, and more. But it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a documentary like Belushi that focuses on a force of nature in pop culture in such an intensely intimate fashion. Instead of using the traditional talking heads in the homes of those who crossed paths with comedian John Belushi, director R.J. Cutler has pieced together an impressive array of personal photos, home videos, stylish animation, and never-before-heard audio interviews from those who knew him best. Read More »

quarantine stream 30 coins

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: 30 Coins

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: An over-the-top phantasmagory of body horror, religious horror, and cosmic horror, 30 Coins follows a disgraced exorcist who is banished to a small town in Spain. Once there, all sorts of spooky shit starts happening, and the priest is forced to join up with a curious veterinarian and a surprisingly ripped mayor to combat the forces of evil.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Vulgar, scary, endlessly entertaining, and more than a touch sacrilegious, 30 Coins is like 30 different horror movies packed into one series. So if you’re craving new horror, here’s the show you’ve been looking for.

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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The SeriesLupin

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: Assane Diop (Omar Sy) is a dashing thief who is inspired to take on a life of crime by the exploits of fictional gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, and by the arrest and suicide of his wrongfully convicted father after he was framed for the theft of a precious necklace. When the necklace resurfaces 25 years later, Assane vows to prove his father’s innocence and to find the people responsible for his death.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: You may have noticed an odd French series taking one of the top 10 spots on Netflix last weekend — the first French-language series earn one of those spots in the U.S. You might have thought, what’s the deal with Lupin? Is it that good? Well, I’m here to tell you: it is.

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Thief

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Thief

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: James Caan plays a jewel thief who’s trying to get out of the game. But when he gets entangled in the web of a Chicago gangster, extricating himself from the world of crime proves more difficult than he anticipated.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: If you’re a fan of Michael Mann movies like Heat, Collateral, and Miami Vice, Thief is essential because it’s the foundation on which all those other projects are built. To quote a term from the Black Check podcast, it’s Mann’s Rosetta Stone movie: the one which announces his intentions as a filmmaker and reveals pretty much everything you need to know about his style and interests. (Plus, the fantastic score by Tangerine Dream lives up to the hype.) Read More »

A Night at the Roxbury

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: A Night at the Roxbury

Where You Can Stream It: Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

The Pitch: Despite being well into adulthood, brothers Doug (Chris Kattan) and Steve Butabi (Will Ferrell) still live at home and work in the flower shop owned by their dad (Dan Hedaya). They exist only to hit on women at discos, though they’re routinely unsuccessful until a chance run-in with Richard Grieco (Richard Grieco) gets them inside the swank Roxbury club. Mistaken for high rollers, they meet their dream women, and resolve to open a club of their own.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Movies based on Saturday Night Live sketches are rather difficult to pull off simply because it’s hard to expand a premise for a sketch that lasts only a few minutes into a full-fledged feature film. One of the less commendable attempts is undoubtedly A Night at the Roxbury starring Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan as the club-hopping, head-nodding losers who are always trying to dance with hot ladies with zero success. There’s no way that I can call this movie essential viewing, but I can tell you that I shamelessly love this stupid comedy thanks to the dimwitted antics of Ferrell and Kattan, who make for a hilarious pair of brothers whose arrested development results in some immature but entertaining gags. Read More »

quarantine stream pretend it's a city

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: Pretend It’s a City

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: Martin Scorsese directs a seven-part series about writer Fran Lebowitz and, by extension, New York City. There’s a lot of laughing.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Look, we could all use a distraction right now, and Pretend It’s a City is like a balm for the soul. I’m not saying this is a “feel-good” series because it’s not (there’s too much complaining on hand for it to earn such a label). But it will make you feel good.

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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The SeriesBatman Beyond

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: 20 years after the Dark Knight’s retirement, headstrong teen Terry McGinnis ends up under the tutelage of an elderly Bruce Wayne as the new Batman, protecting Neo-Gotham from all kinds of new threats and rogues.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Because it’s streaming on HBO Max and it rules as hard as ever!

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The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

Where You Can Stream It: The Criterion Channel

The Pitch: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and a teenaged Shirley Temple find themselves in an unlikely (and totally insane) love triangle.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Because this movie features one of the most bonkers premises ever committed to film. Read More »

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The SeriesBattlebots and Battlebots: Bounty Hunters

Where You Can Stream It: Discovery+

The Pitch: Ladies and gentlemen…it’s robot fighting time! Folks from around the world gather for one purpose and one purpose only: to see if they can best opponents in the ring using 250-pound robots they built specifically to fight other robots. Some robots smash. Some lift. Some flip. Some are slick and gorgeous to look at. Some look like they were cobbled together in a garage. Some are made by people whose entire lives are based about robotics. Others are the work of people who have made this niche sport their very peculiar hobby. But one thing unites everyone: they all love building robots…and using those robots to break other robots.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: No one gets into “combat robotics” hoping to get rich or famous. Despite the existence of this slickly-produced series (which has run off and on for over two decades across several networks), this is essentially an underground sport fueled by passion. This means Battlebots is somehow one of the purest shows on television. The people building and breaking these robots are on this show – and investing their blood, sweat, tears, and money – because they love doing this. There’s literally no other reason to build a combat robot. What this means is quietly profound: this is a televised competition with no ulterior movies and no cynicism. It’s just people who really love robots, using their robot to compete against people who also really love robots.

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The Foot Fist Way

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: The Foot Fist Way

Where You Can Stream It: Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

The Pitch: Fred Simmons (Danny McBride) is one of the world’s most gifted practitioners of the Korean fighting style known as Tae Kwan Do — or at least that’s what he likes to tell people. Despite his supposed skills, Fred teaches students out of a dingy dojo, where he browbeats kids into learning the aggressive points of the martial arts without having much understanding of the philosophy or reasoning behind it.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Before writer/director Jody Hill and and actor Danny McBride gave us Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals and The Righteous Gemstones, they made waves in the indie cinema world with the low budget, dark comedy The Foot Fist Way. Take The Karate Kid (or the sequel series Cobra Kai), mix it with the oddball nature of Napoleon Dynamite‘s Rex Kwan Do, and throw it in a blender with beer, cigarettes and a myriad of narcotics, and you have the perfect recipe for The Foot Fist Way. This is the movie that launched Danny McBride into Hollywood, introducing us to his signature deadpan one-liners, abrasive antics, and oblivious arrogance that would define so many of his characters to come. Read More »