Binge viewing: it’s your citizen’s duty

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      The world has hit the pause button, meaning it’s time to grab the remote and press play. Stock the pantry with peanut M & Ms and other immune-boosting foods and sit back: here’s what’s coming to the streaming platform of your choice in the next couple of weeks.

      Rather thoughtfully, March has already provided an endless array of shiny new releases, with Netflix offering the Mark Wahlberg–Winston Duke action-comedy Spenser Confidential and veteran documentarian Alex Gibney’s takedown of Jared Kushner in Season 2 of Dirty Money. Thursday (March 19) sees the arrival of Altered Carbon: Resleeved, with the third seasons of both Black Lightning and Ozark following a little down the line, on March 26 and 27. Hang in a few days longer for two of the most enduring goofball comedies in recent memory, Step Brothers and Pineapple Express (both March 31).

      Things are already swinging over at HBO Canada/Crave with the much anticipated third season of Westworld sucking up most of this week’s attention. But don’t miss out on The Plot Against America, which debuted on March 16. Based on the Philip Roth novel, this six-parter takes a Man in the High Castle approach to U.S. history, imagining what fascism would look like under President Charles Lindbergh. Winona Ryder and Zoe Kazan star, with Wire creator David Simon producing.

      Crave-wise, the rest of the month includes Friday’s debut of The Dead Don’t Die. The film was met with puzzled indifference on its theatrical release in 2019, but that’s because people expected a zombie movie, not a Jim Jarmusch zombie movie, which is a very different thing. Bill Murray and Adam Driver star—laconically. Canadian PM William Lyon Mackenzie King is a chronic masturbator with incestuous feelings for Mother in The Twentieth Century (March 26), one of the most artfully twisted Canadian films we’ve seen since Guy Maddin was running the show. And hippie 9/11 (a.k.a. the Manson killings) gets a rethink when Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood finally hits the small screen on March 27.

      Stick with Crave for the four-part Unabomber: In His Own Words (April 3), which uses writer Theresa Kintz’s extensive taped interviews with Ted Kaczynski for its insights into the killer. (Hear his glib chuckle when he describes “trying not to get blown up”.) Even more astounding is actual audio of the Harvard/CIA depatterning experiments that a 16-year-old Kaczynski volunteered for.

      Amazon Prime opened the month with Todd Haynes’s glorious Carol (2015). Less auspicious (but still fun) are recent adds including 2019’s Child’s Play remake (with Aubrey Plaza and Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky) and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot—courtesy of newly anointed Vancouver Film School creative ambassador and Rio Theatre fan Kevin Smith. Renée Zellweger’s Oscar-winning turn as Judy comes to the streaming service on March 27.

      Finally, if all you have is a laptop and wi-fi, a deep dive on YouTube can yield all kinds of public-domain pleasures. The channel Flick Vault offers hundreds of intriguing titles in HD, mostly with a Brit bent, including Alan Clarke’s classic 1979 juvie drama Scum, Derek Jarman’s wild take on The Tempest from the same year, and Norman J. Warren’s deliriously stupid Alien rip-off, Inseminoid (1981). The latter stars onetime ’60s starlet Judy Geeson as a space-station worker impregnated by one of the worst-looking special effects in screen history. In other words: a stone classic!

      But here’s an even better recommendation. From 1973, Horror Hospital stars Michael Gough and permanently horny Mick Jagger look-alike Robin Askwith in one of the bloodiest U.K. horror films of the period. Director Antony Balch was previously known for his film collaborations with William S. Burroughs, no less. Campy ’70s thrills from slumming avant-gardists? There couldn’t be a better time for it.