Pennywise gets a Last Dance. It’s that kind of #SetTheVCR week.
Monday, July 25
X (Anytime / Prime Video Canada)
In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: RATED R MARVEL MOVIES (ANYTIME / DISNEY+)
Did you hear the one about Merc with a Mouth hanging out with a mutant who believes: “I’m the best there is at what I do. But what I do isn’t very nice.”?
Deadpool, Deadpool 2, and Logan are now streaming on Disney Plus…America. This is a significant step forward as the streamer embraces Rated R content. In April 2020 it was discovered Disney Plus was editing butt shots with “weird CGI” for like harmless movies such as Splash. Hulu was meant to house their adult material; while originally the streamer was more family focused. A sort of church and state separation of all of Disney’s IP. (In Canada we have Star a Disney+ section and have had a number of Rated R movies for a while. Our children have not been corrupted, eh?) Deadpool 2 is lots of fun. However they have added the ah…coloured Logan; the version we all saw in the cinema. It’d be freshtastic if the streamer added the B&W Logan. Now that’s a good looking movie, bub. Programming Note: During Comic-Con this past weekend Marvel Studios confirmed the upcoming animated Marvel Zombies will be TV-MA and The Orville which features adult language will both be added to Disney Plus. So Deadpool is just the beginning: RRRRRR you excited?
Tuesday, July 26
MH370: Mystery of the Lost Flight (8 p.m. / History Channel)
The History Channel’s original documentary, MH370: Mystery of the Lost Flight, continues the investigation into the famous disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: PENNYWISE: THE STORY OF IT (ANYTIME / SCREAMBOX)
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, July 27
Street Food: USA (Anytime / Netflix)
Get a taste of the most beloved bites on American streets and, along the way, discover the heart, soul and wildly diverse real people behind the food.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: LIGHT AND MAGIC: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / DISNEY+)
An immersive series that chronicles the untold history of world-renowned Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the special visual effects, animation and virtual production division of Lucasfilm.
When we used to go to the movies; I’m talking classics like Star Wars there’s always a moment or two…a scene where viewers were like: how did they do that?? Famously Star Wars used matte paintings. The Imperial Army we see in Return of the Jedi is less impressive knowing that a dude patiently painted each stormtrooper: now that’s impressive. Currently viewers have a superficial grasp on special effects and chalk it all up to CGI. But there is a skill and a technique to making visual effects magic and ILM are some of the best magicians. We tend to have shallow discussions about movies; we pay for certain actors or rant about a particular director. Yet beyond those positions are editors, DOPs, and yes special effects people who fashion and sometimes even save the movies we all enjoy. Next time you’ve finished a Marvel movie and are waiting for the post-credit scene give a friendly salute to the names scrolling up. Thank you hard working people. Programming Note: all six episodes of Light & Magic premiere today; this limited series is not weekly.
Thursday, July 28
Citizen Ashe (Anytime / HBO Max)
Explores the tennis career of Arthur Ashe and his impact on tennis and HIV activism.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: HELL OF A WEEK WITH CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD (11:30 P.M. / COMEDY CENTRAL)
Hell of A Week with Charlamagne Tha God to feature influential guests and Charlamagne’s hilarious and unfiltered take on the most talked about topics.
Black Last Week Tonight returns for a second season with a new name. Originally called Tha God’s Honest Truth it explored politics, culture and social issues. I ain’t a Charlamagne fan (like at all!!) but I watched a handful of episodes. The guests were good and the conversations were decent. This season has a change in focus: “I’m thinking enough shows talking about problems; I want to discuss solutions,” said Charlamagne. I’m not sure what that means but it’s good enough for executive producer Stephen Colbert so tha works.
Friday, July 29
Surface: Limited Series (Anytime / Apple TV+)
Set in high-end San Francisco; Sophie, a woman who has suffered a traumatic head injury that has left her with extreme memory loss, believed to be a result of a suicide attempt.
A Unique Look at New York City’s Iconic and Trend-Setting Point Guards.
This documentary spotlights the ascent of Kenny Anderson, Mark Jackson, Stephon Marbury, God Shammgod, Kenny Smith, Rafer Alston, Rod Strickland and Dwayne “Pearl” Washington. Executive producer Kevin Durant is correct; there’s something distinct about a New York City point guard. Durant said: “and the point gods of this film were instrumental in changing the game for everyone. We are really excited to honor them through this doc, and I know basketball fans will really appreciate it.” So do I.
Saturday, July 30
Harley Quinn: Season 3 (Anytime / HBO Max)
The mayhem and madness continue in season three of this biting and uproarious adult animated comedy series.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: PAPER GIRLS: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
In the early morning hours after Halloween 1988, four paper girls – Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and KJ – are out on their delivery route when they become caught in the crossfire between warring time-travelers.
Are you sad Stranger Things is over? Try this. Set in 1988 but not really; there’s a lot of time jumps. This is the story of how four paper girls ended up in the war between time-travelers. Where Stranger Things is more horror; this is more science-fiction. Here’s a shovel; you’ll dig it. Paper Girls really…delivers.
Sunday, July 31
City On A Hill: Season 3 (10 PM / Showtime)
Welcome back to Boston’s high society Beacon Hill.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: DAVE MERHEJE: I LOVE YOU HABIBI (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
Crave brings more laughs with its fourth installment of new original stand-up special.
One of my favourite comics has released a new special. You may know Dave from Ramy, Mr. D; he’s been getting steady TV work. In this new one-hour comedy special Dave rants (it’s half ethnic talking loudly and half a rant…it’s a unique style you’ll see if you watch this…) about family, therapy, and his Dad’s porn watching habits. Oh yes; I cannot wait for this.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.