There's a big weekend of content ahead of you with a new crime series 'Dark Winds,' the streaming debut of 'Ms. Marvel,' Adam Sandler showing off his range in 'Hustle,' big movie go boom with 'Interceptor,' a real-life legend narrating nature's showy brilliance in 'Live in Color,' the Paul Thomas Anderson instant classic 'Licorice Pizza,' and the viral Twitter thread that became a major motion picture, 'Zola.'
Dark Winds - AMC
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
I had the chance to check out an advance screener for the first episode of this intriguing crime and mystery thriller set in the Navajo nation during the 1970s. Based on Tony Hillerman's series of novels about tribal police officers, the story opens with a brazen armored car heist and a double homicide on tribal lands following the robbery. They might connect, but it seems up to Zahn McClarnon as Lt. Leaphorn, The Twilight Saga's Kiowa Gordon as Officer Jim Chee, and Jessica Matten as Officer Bernadette Manuelito to figure it out. While Hillerman (who passed in 2008) had been accused by some of cultural appropriation in writing his series, the show marks another entry in a slowly growing list of projects featuring Native Americans in front of and behind the camera. McClarnon himself appears to be having a moment with supporting roles in Reservation Dogs (also as a cop), the MCU's Hawkeye and the upcoming Echo, and HBO's Westworld. Jessica Matten recently also spoke with Cheddar about the importance of Native American representation in entertainment. The series premieres Sunday, June 12.
Ms. Marvel - Disney+
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
As a fully-grown man of East Asian descent, I still felt a major connection to Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, when she was first introduced in comic books as a teenage superhero super fan and a daughter of first-generation Pakistani immigrants. The show makes a few major changes, but the first episode gets across a lot of the major themes: awkward adolescence, self-esteem issues, assimilation versus holding onto one's birth culture, and obsessive fandoms. Since it's only the beginning, however, I still hope for more nuance in the way Kamala (played by a pitch-perfect Iman Vellani) has to navigate a lot of these issues — especially her Muslim heritage. Plus, of course, I want big superhero conflicts set in Jersey City, New Jersey!
Hustle - Netflix
Picked by Producer Jack Gallop
Adam Sandler’s new film Hustle is further proof that sports movies can tell a story that's more than just about the game. It follows Sandler as struggling NBA scout Stanley Sugarman as he tries to bring a Spanish prospect to stardom, in hopes of reviving his own front-office career. As a Sandler sports movie, “Hustle” falls somewhere between Uncut Gems and Billy Madison, in that it has some of the intensity of Gems, and some of the laughs from Madison, but not quite as much of either. Also, if you’re an NBA fan, you can’t miss this movie. It’s cameos-galore from NBA stars like Anthony Edwards and Dirk Nowitzki, while also featuring real Hollywood heavyweights like Queen Latifah and Robert Duvall. Netflix will likely have Hustle at the top of your homepage recommendations this weekend and for good reason: it’s a must-see sports drama that pretty much anyone can get on board with.
Interceptor - Netflix
Picked by Reporter Alex Vuocolo
Warning: this recommendation is for hardcore action movie fans only. Inceptor is a 96-minute action movie that prior to streaming probably would have shown up in a discount bin at a video store — and I mean that as a compliment. It's a deeply stupid military adventure about a decorated but disgraced soldier who must defend the United States from a nuclear attack. The acting is stilted. The budget is cheap. But somehow, despite all this, it's an absolute blast for a certain kind of movie fan. It moves at a quick pace, the fights are well-choreographed, and the villain is fun. I highly recommend it but only to those who have read all of the above and think: sweet.
Life in Color - Netflix
Picked by Sr. News Editor Dina Ross
There is nothing I can say about Sir David David Attenborough that the world doesn't already know — for goodness sake, he received a second knighthood this week! In Life in Color, the conservationist and voice-of-all-things-living takes viewers on a vivid tour of the beauty of the world. I enjoy a good nature documentary and confidently say this one is top-notch. I've watched the segment with the poison dart frogs several times. Maybe I'm just fascinated by poison dart frogs (I am), but the team behind the docuseries clearly made thoughtful decisions about which species they would shoot to dive into the beauty and necessity of color in nature. It's a beautiful watch.
Licorice Pizza - Amazon Video
Picked by Growth Associate Keara O'Driscoll
Here’s a conversation that I have had with at least five people this week:
Me: ‘Have you seen the movie Licorice Pizza?’
Five people this week: ‘No, but I’m dying to see it.’
Don't be one of those people and see it this weekend! Paul T. Anderson’s Licorice Pizza is already becoming a classic. This coming-of-age movie stars Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman as a young couple navigating life and love, a story told in a very unorthodox way. You might recognize one of the star’s last names from your playlist on Spotify. Alana Haim is one-third of the Grammy-nominated band HAIM. Her real-life sisters and bandmates also played her sisters in the movie. Other faces to look out for in the film are Bradley Cooper and director Anderson's partner, Maya Rudolph, who has a cameo. The only bad thing I can say about this movie is its lack of pizza!
Zola - Hulu
Picked by Producer Lawrence Banton
I remember this day in 2015 like it was yesterday. I was scrolling down my Twitter timeline when a viral thread about a stripper caught my attention. A woman by the name of Zola told the Twitterverse a story about a wild trip she took to Florida. Scandal, lies, prostitution, and kidnapping were the highlights; but with hindsight being 20/20, it's actually a sad reality that likely happens more often than we'd like to admit. Nonetheless, the unexpected twists and turns of the Twitter thread were enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, and after A24 Studios acquired the rights to the story, it was taken to another level on the screen. Head over to Hulu to stream it now.