Watch it now: Godless, Jim & Andy, She’s Gotta Have It
Logline: A female-led town in New Mexico comes under the threat of an outlaw gang.
Verdict: Netflix’s Godless is a Western romp with an erratic pace that never truly lets its story sing out. Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery) helps a New Mexico town, run by women, fend off a ruthless outlaw gang led by Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels). The production is rather lavish, starting off with an explosive train crash and dipping back & forth via flashbacks in an attempt to flesh out its heroes & villains. Unfortunately, as much as Jeff Daniels enjoys playing a classic villain, most of the characters are empty caricatures, the dialogue is stilted, and the flashbacks put the brakes on what could be a rollicking female-led Western adventure series. The vistas and production values make Godless a worthwhile binge, but it’s all a bit forgettable.
Logline: Jim Carrey’s method-acting as Andy Kaufman transforms him even more than it transformed the original film.
Verdict: In 1999, Jim Carrey starred in Man on the Moon, a biopic about the comedian Andy Kaufman, a mixed bag of a film that failed to properly dazzle at the box office or with critics. At the center was an obsessive and, frankly, disturbing performance as Kaufman from Carrey. Rumors and stories have circulated about how much Carrey poured himself into the role, but in this new documentary Jim Carrey reflects on the performance alongside newly released behind-the-scenes footage. It shows Carrey’s feud with wrestler Jerry Lawler, how he drove everyone to peak stress, and how his performance of Andy Kaufman playing Tony Clifton almost cancelled the production. Jim & Andy shows the lengths to which an artist will go for art, along with the corresponding narcissistic indulgence. Carrey, in interview, comes across philosophically reflective on the whole affair. It’s fascinating to watch him embody Kaufman in the past and compare with him embodying a whole new identity today.
Logline: A dramedy following the life of a young woman and her three lovers.
Verdict: Netflix gave Spike Lee a giant bag of money and told him to make the most Spike Lee-est thing evarr, and so we have the series She’s Gotta Have It. Based on Lee’s 1986 film, this series weaves vignettes across the life of Nol Darling (DaWanda Wise) and the men for whom she falls. This montage of black life is filled with incredibly lively characters like self-worshipping Greer (Cleo Anthony) and rascal Mars Blackmon (Anthony Ramos). There’s real heart and humor at the center of this love quadrilateral, and if you’re any kind of fan of Spike Lee, then She’s Gotta Have It is something you’ve gotta have.