What To Watch: 12/23/2020

We’re about to either crash into or fade into Christmas, depending on if your mood is more Dave Matthews Band or Mazzy Star–although after betraying ourselves with that reference, we feel that much older and must sneak another sip from our flask of Bailey’s-tinted egg nog. Yeah, that’s the stuff. Where were we… oh, yes, a few exciting new movies that were supposed to debut in theaters but in the Pandemic-y year that is 2020, they are now on streaming services. Enjoy.

JASON’S PICK:
Sylvie’s Love [Amazon Prime]
If High Fidelity were set in the 1950s, had a mostly African American cast, and leaned even harder into the love story, it still would not be anything like this noir-ish film, but it is fascinating how many boxes it ticks there. Tessa Thompson plays a young engaged wannabe TV star who idles her time in her dad’s jazz record store. Her plans are thrown for a loop when a passionate, talented saxophonist takes a part-time job at the store and woos her off her feet. 

BRAD’S PICK:
The Midnight Sky [Netflix]
George Clooney and a little girl brave arctic conditions after a global catastrophe to help save a returning space craft. Emotional, hard sci-fi is difficult to do well. Does this ambitious movie succeed? Well if it’s any hint for some reason I’m getting vibes of Logan so there’s that.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • It’s a testament to how jam-packed 2020 was with silliness, absurdity, and tragedy, that the story of Buddy Valastro–aka Cake Boss‘s Cake Boss (Cake Boss! Cake Boss!)–having his hand crushed by his personal bowling alley’s pin resetter barely registered with us as a thing that happened. The Food Network special Cake Boss: Road to Recovery (Cake Boss!) focuses more on his extensive surgery and rehab than on his curious culinary creations. Really we don’t mean to make light, and wish him maximum Jersey strength as he revives.
  • Adapted from the memoir of Patrick Liu, the marvelously titled Your Name Engraved Herein tells the love story of two high school boys who come of age as Taiwan is swiftly transforming from a conservative country to more LGBTQ-friendly in the 1980s, but there were still homophobic roadblocks to encounter. The movie debuts on Netflix today.
  • A House Divided, the visually arresting series about a family of music moguls that is not named Empire, returns for a second season on UMC.
  • And it’s beginning to look a lot less like Christmas the closer that we get to December 25; however, there’s still one new Christmas movie from, where else, Lifetime, which brings us Christmas at the Castle. Whatever you’re imagining, it’s probably right, but it’s in Scotland as a busy perfume-selling American woman has come to do business. Is there a ruggedly handsome Scotsman, probably with a scruffy beard and ownership of a castle that they are likely trying to either sell or save (or keep secret). Do you have any doubt?

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