Who Ya Got? Lots of battles in this week’s #SetTheVCR: taking on a lion, NBA #GOATs, Pennywise…fierce fights. I bet you’ll have a good time no matter who wins or loses.
Monday, June 26
Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham (Anytime / HBO Max)
An ancient evil awakens and only Bruce Wayne can save 1920s Gotham City.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: DURAN DURAN: A HOLLYWOOD HIGH (ANYTIME / PARAMOUNT+)
A feature-length docu-concert film about the fantastic band.
Post-pandemic Duran Duran wanted to return to LA and did so with a rooftop performance that anchors this musical documentary. To promote their latest album Future Past, released in October 2021, and inclusion for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022, The Wild Boys performed on the roof of The Aster. Right in the shadow of the classic Capital Building. Talk about a View To A Kill. Sooner or later every major band on Planet Earth has done an outdoor performance and/or a rooftop gig. It’s a Notorious milestone and they commemorate it with this doc. You’ll Come Undone if you miss this. You know how Careless Memories can be right? (Though this is a movie I had a hard time working in Girls on Film; you’d think that would be an obvious reference but it was difficult to shoehorn.)
Tuesday, June 27
Through My Window: Across the Sea (Anytime / Netflix)
A sequel to the 2022 Spanish movie: Through My Window. After a year of long-distance, Raquel and Ares reunite on a steamy beach trip. Faced with fresh flirtations and insecurities, will their love prevail?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: PENNYWISE: THE STORY OF IT (ANYTIME / SCREAMBOX & HOOPLA)
An in-depth look at the 1990 mini-series based on Stephen King’s novel.
Typically Stephen King book to movie is a lousy genre (see you in hell The Langoliers with Bronson Pinchot). A notable exception is the 1990 mini-series adaptation of It. Most especially because of Tim Curry’s sinister Pennywise. (Heh this doc isn’t just focused on the past it explores the lasting impact Pennywise has has on all of us…and on the horror genre. No doubts.) Cast members Richard Thomas, Seth Green, and Tim Curry, to director Tommy Lee Wallace and special effects makeup artist Bart Mixon are featured in this horror doc along with the standard archival material and never-before-seen footage. If you weren’t there in the 90s it’s difficult to explain the impact of It. 30 million viewers in America; it clocked additional viewers when released in the UK, France and other similar places. More if you factor in the rise of the VCR; you better believe lots of people literally #SetTheVCR for It.
Wednesday, June 28
Home Improvement: The Series (Anytime / Disney+)
The daily trials and tribulations of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, a television show host raising three mischievous boys with help from his loyal co-host, loving wife, and eccentric neighbor.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: HIJACK: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / APPLE TV+)
Follows the journey of a hijacked plane as it makes its way to London over a seven-hour flight, and authorities on the ground scramble for answers.
Idris Elba vs hijackers. Who ya got? (This limited series unfolds in real time just like Nick of Time a 1995 movie with Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken.)
Thursday, June 29
In the wake of the race riots that upended Chinatown in season two, Mai Ling uses her government connections to consolidate power, while Ah Sahm and the Hop Wei must find new ways to survive.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE MATCH (6:30 P.M. / TNT)
First-ever NFL vs. NBA superstar showdown with Teammates from two-time Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs & four-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors in an epic 12-Hole Competition at Wynn Las Vegas.
Patrick Mahomes & Travis Kelce vs. Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson. Who ya got?
Friday, June 30
Is It Cake, Too? (Anytime / Netflix)
MMMM: Cake. Higher stakes, wilder bakes. Hungry cake artists compete for an even bigger cash prize in a fresh season of this mind-bending baking contest.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: JACK RYAN: SEASON 4 (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
The fourth-and-final season finds the titular character on his most dangerous mission yet: facing an enemy both foreign and domestic.
Welcome back to the Ryanverse: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Universe. “As the new CIA Acting Deputy Director, Jack Ryan is tasked with unearthing internal corruption, and in doing so, uncovers a series of suspicious black ops that could expose the vulnerability of the country. As Jack and the team investigate how deep the corruption runs, he discovers a far-worse reality – the convergence of a drug cartel with a terrorist organization – ultimately revealing a conspiracy much closer to home and testing our hero’s belief in the system he has always fought to protect.” What will Jack uncover next? Can he control the political chaos? Thus ends the latest actor to play Jack Ryan. Who is gonnna be the next Jack Ryan?
Saturday, July 01
Parks and Recreation: The Complete Series (Anytime / Crave)
The latest sitcom after Crave added The Office. Parks & Rec is a mockumentary that follows Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, and the absurd antics of her fellow public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their city a better place.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: ROCK HUDSON: ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWED (ANYTIME / HBO MAX)
Examines the life and legacy of one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars. Born Roy Fitzgerald and renamed “Rock Hudson” by his agent, with his 6’5″ frame, strong physique and chiseled good looks, Hudson was the embodiment of romantic masculinity and heterosexuality.
When Magic Johnson told the world he tested positive for HIV we all assumed this was a death sentence. Magic’s press conference was held on on November 7, 1991. This was shortly after Rock Hudson died from AIDS on July 25, 1985. In death Rock Hudson’s legacy became cemented since his passing was one of the earliest mainstream celebrities to have been diagnosed with the disease. Yes he’d starred in Giant with James Dean, as well as cinema classics such as Magnificent Obsession (1954) and All That Heaven Allows (1955) but his demise to this strange disease overshadowed all of the work. The 80s were a dark time; it was believed you could get AIDS from a drinking water fountain. (We just lived through a pandemic, remember the confusion and ignorant produced fear? At one point some people were microwaving their mail. That made zero sense; it’s not even science. But that’s the emotion of what it was like in the 80s as AIDS went mainstream.) More? This is a fascinating glimpse of the studio system: Hollywood was a strange business in the 50s and 60s. So are you gonna Rock this documentary?
Sunday, July 02
Burial (Anytime / Hulu)
During the last days of World War II, Nazi werewolves attack Allied soldiers who are trafficking Hitler’s remains out of Germany.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: BEAST (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
A father and his two teenage daughters find themselves hunted by a massive rogue lion intent on proving that the Savanna has but one apex predator.
Idris Elba vs a rogue lion. Who ya got?
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.