WANT A BALLSY FLICK? There hasn’t been a shit ton of great movies to see this year but HELL OR HIGH WATER belongs on every year-end Best Of list. The modern day Western is like THE TOWN + NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN with a side of THE BIG SHORT. Chris Pine, who has never been better, and Ben Foster, who is the best lunatic available in Hollywood, play a pair of West Texas bank-robbing brothers. The legend himself, Jeff Bridges, plays the grizzled, mumbling Texas lawman on their tail. This is more than your standard heist movie in that it makes no bones about who the real villains are. It’s tremendously acted, fun ride with a sharp, funny script that should get a nomination. Any or all of the three main dudes are worthy of acting nods (Pine for Best, Foster and Bridges for Supporting). Throw in Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography noms as well. This movie is fucking great. See it. It’s available on video, both in physical and digital forms.
NEED SOMETHING ON NETFLIX TO MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD? Put on SING STREET. This Irish charmer will have you grinning like a goofball as you try to get “Drive It Like You Stole It” out of your head. Kinda has a SCHOOL OF ROCK meets ’80s classic HEAVEN HELP US with a dash of THAT THING YOU DO vibe. The original songs are great, the lead kid Cosmo is charismatic as hell, and the chick is a knockout. Bonus if you’re a child of the ’70s and/or ’80s because the music is pretty killer, too.
IF FOR SOME REASON, YOU’RE STILL BUMMED OUT? Give EDDIE THE EAGLE a whirl on one of the 72 HBO channels. It’s one of these Brit-flicks that feels like an ’80s movie (yes! a montage!) but still entertains the hell out of you. Maybe because it based on the true story of Michael “Eddie” Edwards, who captivated the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary with his limited ski jumping skill and affinity for enjoying life and became Eddie the Eagle in the process. Taron Egerton absolutely nails Eddie, with his thick glasses, underbite, and goofy charm. Hugh Jackman looks like he’s having a blast in The Manager Looking For Personal Redemption role. This is the epitome of a crowd-pleaser and a fun introduction to the story if you’re unfamiliar.
WAIT—YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED YOU’RE THE WORST YET?!? What the fuck are you waiting for? Seriously. The funniest show on TV reached some creative peaks with secondary characters in the last excellent season, particularly the episode about Edgar’s PTSD. It was pretty daring stuff at times but the top notch cast always stuck the landings. I can’t wait to see what the next season brings. Available to download on FX apps and other shady spots I’m sure.
LOOKING FOR A QUALITY SHOW THAT SHOWS BLACK CULTURE IN A GENUINE, UNAPOLOGETIC WAY AND MAKE YOU LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF IN THE PROCESS? Look now further than Donald Glover’s brilliant take on trying to make it in the record business with his cousin and cousin’s homeboy while just trying to get by in Atlanta. Sharp dialogue and great performances buoyed this fantastic debut from the multi-talented Glover. Looking forward to Season 2. Also available to download via FX apps and other locales.
IF YOU’VE ALREADY LISTENED TO EVERY EPISODE OF EVERY PODCAST IN THE BARSTOOL NETWORK. And you need a new podcast, make it CRIMETOWN…
“Welcome to Crimetown, a new series from Gimlet Media and the creators of HBO’s The Jinx. Every season, we’ll investigate the culture of crime in a different American city. First up: Providence, Rhode Island, where organized crime and corruption infected every aspect of public life. This is a story of alliances and betrayals, of heists and stings, of crooked cops and honest mobsters—a story where it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Hosted by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier.”
I’m about halfway through and the shit is dynamite so far. Of all the mob cities that deserve a movie, Providence is at the top of list. Most people have no idea how much juice the town had/has. But then you add in Buddy Cianci and it’s off the charts when it comes to storytelling. Hopefully, this excellent podcast will put a movie/HBO miniseries in motion because it’s fascinating, stranger than fiction stuff.
A FAN OF THE BLUES? DIG THE ROLLING STONES? Have I got a treat for you. The band that started on the path to GOAThood with covers of blues classics by the old black legends who sowed the seeds of rock and roll, returned to that same form after 50+ years of mastering the craft. The results are nothing short of fantastic. Shot in just three days, this is the best album the Stones have dropped since TATTOO YOU in 1981. Jagger and his harp are prominently featured and the spry old man lets his passion for the sound pour out of him, as do his longtime mates. If you want to hear the best there ever was lovingly and reverentially pay tribute to the musical style that changed their lives and the history that followed, listen to this album.
DO YOU HAVE KIDS AND WANT TO BE HORRIFIED BY A DOCUMENTARY? If so, pop on AUDRIE AND DAISY. “Girl gets drunk. Girl gets assaulted. Girl gets harassed for getting assaulted. Girl gets house burned down for getting assaulted.” I don’t have the little shits but I would tell parents to watch this because they’re all gonna be online at some point and to watch preferably with your kids, however awkward it may be. And whether you have sons or daughters, that doesn’t matter because each can take something from it. There’s some pretty fucked up things in this doc (like one dipshit cop who stands out). People who raise kids today, God bless ya for dealing with this shit. Almost makes you long for the rotary phone again.
IF YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST WATCH CHRIS PINE AND BEN FOSTER IN THE SAME MOVIE AGAIN AFTER WATCHING HELL OR HIGH WATER? Then throw on THE FINEST HOURS on Netflix. It’s about the 1952 Coast Guard rescue of a shorn oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod. Pine actually has a passable Masshole accent, a true rarity in Hollywood. It’s not gonna blow you outta the water or anything (get it?) but it’s a decent enough movie that pays tribute to the Coast Guard. Casey Affleck also shows up for “aaahhhhh”s and “guy”s.
WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY TO TRANSPORT YOU BACK TO THE MOTHERLAND AND PRETEND YOU ARE IN A PUB IN IRELAND TO FORGET ABOUT YOUR SUCK LIFE FOR 75 MINUTES. Titled simply THE IRISH PUB, the homey Netflix doc talks about the storied, important role about the neighborhood pub in Ireland. If you’ve been to Ireland only once (like myself), that’s all it takes to become enamored with the place and this doc helps make you feel like you’re back if only for a little while. There really is something magical about sitting in an old pub in a tiny fishing village having a Guinness. THE IRISH PUB will have you Googling flights to Shannon in no time (then realizing you can’t swing it).