By: Henry J. Fromage –
Criss-crossing the country again led to delving into some Netflix series I’ve been meaning to, as well as some unique viewing experiences.
233. Five Came Back
Netflix’s adaptation of Mark Harris’s acclaimed nonfiction work really adds life to the story of the WWII experiences of five of Hollywood’s biggest directors, John Ford, Frank Capra, George Stevens, John Huston, and William Wyler. Covering every theater of the war from the perspective of the documentary and propaganda films they made in support of the war effort, this miniseries is a fascinating new angle of WWII and its after-effects from a little explored angle. Going to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans this week after watching this was a perfect pairing. A Toast.
234. Narcos: Mexico
The original fictionalization of the rise of and international police efforts to take down the Colombian cartels ran its course last year, so Netflix’s spin-off series takes the logical next step- charting the rise of the Sinaloan cartels to fill the power vacuum created by their fall. This series has a shakier start (Diego Luna’s Batman voice takes some getting used to), but his and Michael Pena’s performances and some interesting history lessons make this continuation very worthwhile. Three Beers.
235. Parasite (big screen)
I’m kinda cheating by including a second viewing of this film, but being as the Korean streaming option I first availed myself of wasn’t ideal viewing conditions, giving this my full attention in the theater is worth another write-up. Like most of Bong Joon-ho’s oeuvre, rewatches are rewarded by new wrinkles and setups you missed the first time, and you can’t help but gain appreciation of how his meticulous plotting falls mercilessly together. The comedy and shocks, sometimes in stunning juxtaposition, are even more powerful in an audience as well. A Toast.
236. Beyond all Boundaries
Another mild cheat, as this National World War II Museum special presentation doesn’t quite clear an hour of entertainment. However, this (of course) Tom Hanks-narrated 4-D experience rumbles you through a well-paced overview of the war and takes an approach you aren’t likely to have seen before for the 3rd of its 4 Ds. An absolute must see if you visit the museum (which is definitely worth a day of any New Orleans vacay). A Toast.