At Home : Cosby, Peacemaker, Red Rocket, Gridlocked, Angel by Thursday

The staff of Moviehole review this week’s small-screen releases


We Need to Talk About Cosby

Streaming. Well-detailed and appreciably raw, W. Kamau Bells’ 4-part documentary on the rise and fall – and fall, and fall, and fall – of Bill Cosby is a difficult but confronting chronicle on the man who, let’s be honest here, fooled us all.

Fixing on our shock and reel from discovering the once prime time king’s crimes — “We Need to Talk About Cosby” sees Bell speak to cultural commentators, fellow comedians and Crosby’s victims, in an effort to understand the man behind Dr.Huxtable’s stethoscope.

While the doc does explore Cosby’s career, it’s largely interested in the side he hid from the public. Per Bells, Cosby was never a comedy icon than a criminal, he was always both concurrently.

A challenging but recommended watch. [CC]


Red Rocket

Digital. In one helluva comeback performance, actor Simon Rex- whose most well-known film consists only of the “Scary Movie” flicks – taps into his own backstory in porn, playing an ageing adult-movie actor who returns to his hometown after his career and finances hit the skids. Its there that he decides to shack up again with his estranged wife and disapproving mother-in-law, all while romancing the barely-legal waitress at the local donut shop.

Funny, raw, kinky, and packed with a rousing, hilarious performance by Rex, the Sean Baker directed comedy reminds budding filmmakers they need a lot of dough to make a good movie – it just all starts with a solid script and, in this case, a hungry lead. [CC]


Angel by Thursday

Digital. Featuring an inspired and immersive performance by Olga Kalashnikova, some beautiful Hawaiian locales, and delicate direction from Jeff Wallace, “Angel By Thursday” is the kind of all-distracting story-first character-drama we need during these worrying times.

The central story – involving some scarring incidents in the past that threaten the oaths and soundness of the central family – isn’t primed for a WGA award but the execution of the libretto, handled beautifully by an ensemble cast and writer-director Wallace, pushes it above the normal Lifetime drama trappings. [ML]


Peacemaker : Season 1

Streaming. If you could’ve told me “Book of Boba Fett”, particularly after the terrific “The Mandalorian”, was going to pale in comparison to HBO Max’s “The Peacemaker” series, I’d have forced you into the cold shower to help you ween off the drugs.

A spin-off of James Gunn’s largely enjoyable “Suicide Squad” reboot, the series has John Cena’s extremist murderer – who believes he’s on a quest for peace – teaming up with a group of government aides to tackle a strange, supernatural enemy. Cue the butterflies!

Like “Boba Fett”, and quite a few other similar-themed series in recent times, “Peacemaker” isn’t a knockout each and every week but by golly if there aren’t gold ingots in each and every episode. From Cena’s sublime performance and his chemistry with a talented support cast (their foot work in the opening credits is a must see, too!), to Gunn-staple splashings of adult humour and cartoon violence, and a somewhat paper-thin but workable plot, the first 7 episodes of “Peacemaker” have been nothing but effortless, enjoyable watches.

On the eve of the season finale we only imagine HBO Max are gearing up to hand the keys to their superhero vault to the man who has breathed new life into DC. [CC]



Gridlocked : On Tour With The Briggs

Digital. One of the most perceptive and entertaining rock documentaries in years, director Kevin James Barry’s filmed travelogue with The Briggs – the Lost Angeles punk band fronted by Joey LaRocca -shows us warts-and-all how tough, but rewarding, it can be to “get the band together”.

Though all of the Briggs’ members feature prominently in the piece, James’ camera has an especial love for LaRocco who struggles with how the comeback tour is being perceived as it draws closer.

One for anyone – even those who avoid ear-splitting concerts. [ML]

Interview : Marty Krofft on Land of the Lost, H.R Pufnstuf & more!

Those Who Walk Away Review : Message gets lost in the madness