Netflix’s first ostensible blockbuster of the year drops today. Spenser Confidential harnesses the considerable star power of Mark Wahlberg in a bog-standard crime story that sees an ex-cop-ex-con team up with a fledgling MMA fighter (Winston Duke) to uncover a conspiracy. It’s easy to watch, it’s not much effort and it’s likely to spawn a series — perfect Netflix fodder, in other words. Marc Maron appears in a small role in Spenser Confidential, which you could consider a sort of amuse-bouche for the release of his latest special, End Times Fun, on March 10.
Chef David Chang’s Ugly Delicious is almost certainly my favourite food show of all time — possibly because the food Chang likes seems to be more or less the food I like — and the belated second season of the show drops today, March 6. MESSAGE: Reality show fiends who barreled through The Circle will be pleased to learn that the Brazilian version of the show (imaginatively titled The Circle Brazil) will start airing on Wednesday, March 11. Even as someone who has barely consumed any reality TV in the last 15 years, I have to admit that I got sucked into The Circle. SEND.
Also premiering this week: the Korean medical drama Hospital Playlist (March 12), season 2 of Alex Gibney’s docuseries Dirty Money (March 11), season 3 of the inner-city YA drama On My Block (March 11), season 3 of the Turkish fantasy series The Protector (March 6), Hindi-language sexual-assault drama Guilty (March 6) and French LGBTQ romantic drama I Am Jonas (March 6).
New on Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime doesn’t have nearly as deep a slate as Netflix, but I have to say they have the whole “morbid curiosity” thing on lock this week. First up is the Child’s Play remake starring Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry, which got surprisingly decent reviews but tanked at the box office last year. That’s followed up on March 12 by Killerman, a crime drama from Fantasia favourite Malik Bader (Cash Only). The presence of Luke Hemsworth in the lead suggested this was a more mainstream attempt from Bader, though the film got a very nominal release last summer.
New on Crave
Crave subscribers can catch up with Xavier Dolan’s much-maligned The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (March 6), the closest thing he has to a film maudit thus far. I don’t hate John F. Donovan, though I have to admit that it’s more interesting than good. On the flipside, you have Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, a film beloved by a few but hated by most. In case you forgot, it tracks the ascension of a young singer-songwriter in a world where only he remembers the Beatles. Montreal ex-pats Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini’s joint comedy special, The El-Salomons: Marriage of Convenience, premieres on March 6 as well. Finally, March 9 sees the streaming release of Everybody’s Everything, a documentary about the late rapper Lil’ Peep that’s, improbably, executive-produced by Terrence Malick!
New on the Criterion Channel
Criterion Channel presents a partial retrospective of director Kelly Reichardt’s career in time for the American release of her new film, First Cow (it hits theatres in Montreal next week). You can catch up with her debut River of Glass as well as subsequent films Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy and Meek’s Cutoff. Starting March 8, eight films by Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky are also coming to the Channel. Two films from the Criterion Collection will be streamable on March 9: Todd Haynes’ Safe and Delmer Daves’ 3:10 to Yuma, which spawned a remake some 50 years later. Finally, three of Peter Bogdanovich’s best films (Targets, The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon) start streaming on March 12.
New on Tou.TV Extra
Although we don’t often feature French-language streaming premieres in this column, I would be remiss if I did not mention my #1 most-anticipated TV event of the year: François Létourneau and Jean-François Rivard’s C’est comme ça que je t’aime, which streams on Radio-Canada’s Tou.TV Extra as of today. Rivard and Létourneau are behind two of the best TV shows of all time (Les invincibles and Série noire), as far as I’m concerned, and I could not be more hype for this ’70s-set crime drama starring Létourneau, Patrice Robitaille, Marilyn Castonguay, Karine Gonthier-Hyndman and Jean-François Provençal. ■
See what’s new on Netflix Canada here.
See what’s new on Crave here.
See what new on Amazon Prime here.