What: Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Why: Awkward, unsettling, provoking, infuriating, ridiculous, ridiculously funny… Between Two Ferns: The Movie is everything that Between Two Ferns the show is. Fans of the show, which has Zach Galifianakis insulting celebrities with questions that no talk show host would ever ask their guests, would love this full-length feature on Netflix. And those who find the show obnoxious, are best advised to stay away.
Sample some of Zach’s new onslaughts. To Paul Rudd: “Some people have it all. Looks, talent. How does it feel to only have looks?” To Benedict Cumberbatch: ““You once said you’re your own worst critic. So you haven’t read any of your reviews?” To Matthew McConaughey: “What was the marijuana budget on True Detective?” To Peter Dinklage: “Dinklage? Is that an STD?”
These one-line roasting routines are hilarious, yes but the attempt to string together these interview snatches into a movie is quite lame. Will Ferrell plays Zach’s crazy boss who asks him to travel around America and get him a dozen interviews within a stipulated time for him to earn his own talk show. The road trip that follows involves Zach bonding with his three-member crew and it never quite hits the spot and even the 82-minute running time seems a bit of a stretch.
But then again if you are going to check this out, it will not be for a moving motion picture experience but for lines like: “I’d love to see an all-male reboot of Ocean’s 8!”
Why: Leave everything you are doing right now and watch this new miniseries on Netflix. It lives up to its name not only in the story it tells but the way it tells the story. Can you imagine an eight-episode mini-series where two of the three protagonists do not even appear in the first episode? And what an intense first episode it is, where a girl in Lynnwood, Washington is made to recount the night she was raped so many times by the authorities that she finally isn’t sure whether she was actually violated or she just dreamt it.
Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning news article, the series goes on to become a riveting investigative drama about two lady cops trying to find the connection between a series of rapes between 2008 and 2011 in and around Washington and Colorado. Reminiscent of David Fincher’s masterpiece Zodiac, Unbelievable is meticulously constructed, episode by episode, taking you through the emotional turmoil that not only the rape victims go through but also the police detectives possessed by the case.
The three actresses – Toni Collette and Merritt Wever as the cops and Kaitlyn Dever as the first rape victim – are at the top of their games but it’s ultimately the humanity and warmth that the writing and directing bring to an investigative procedural that give Unbelievable the binge pull. Not surprising, given the first three episodes are helmed by Lisa Cholodenko, who directed the brilliant The Kids Are All Right and also Olive Kitteridge.
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