Film & TV

Epoch Watchlist: What to Watch This Week

TIMEDecember 19, 2021

New Release

‘Mixtape’

Tween girl Beverly (Gemma Brooke Allen) finds a mixtape that belonged to her parents, who died in a car accident years prior. Longing to know more about them, she decides to track down each of the tape’s songs to feel more connected to who they were.

This film takes place in the late ’90s, so viewers from that era will probably feel nostalgic. It manages to have a feel-good quality, without being loaded with schmaltz. Overall, it highlights the importance of family, friendship, dealing with loss, and being true to one’s self.

Comedy | Drama | Family
Release Date: Dec. 3, 2021
Director: Valerie Weiss
Starring: Gemma Brooke Allen, Julie Bowen, Audrey Hsieh
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
MPAA Rating: TV-PG
Where to Watch: Netflix
Rated: 4 out of 5

Indie Pick

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‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’

Based on the harrowing, real-life struggles of 13-year-old William Kamkwamba (played by Maxwell Simba), this sobering film documents an African village’s troubles with a greedy logging company and political discrimination, as well as the relationship between William and his father, Trywell (Chiwetel Ejiofor).

This film features some fantastic direction by Chiwetel Ejiofor and solid performances by its talented cast. At its heart as much a father-son tale is an exposé of class discrimination in the modern third world.

Biography | Drama | History
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Director: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maxwell Simba, Felix Lemburo
Runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes
MPAA Rating: TV-PG
Where to Watch: Netflix
Rated: 4 out of 5 stars

Raucous Comedy

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‘Office Space’

Cubicle life hijinks and the sometimes monotonous environs of modern corporate work culture are on full display as we follow a colorful cast of characters, led by Peter (Ron Livingston) and his cubicle neighbors.

This light-hearted adult comedy pokes fun at the kind of interoffice politics that many people have had to endure. Things are taken to the next level when a couple of twists transpire, involving Peter’s workplace motivation (or lack thereof) and a dopey get-rich-quick scheme gone awry.

Comedy
Release Date: February 19, 1999
Director: Mike Judge
Starring: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, David Herman
Runtime: 1 hour, 29 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Where to Watch: Redbox, DirectTV, Vudu
Rated: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Quintessential Christmas Classic

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‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

When George Bailey’s (James Stewart) father suddenly passes away in the town of Bedford Falls, the family business is threatened by a greedy developer who’s taking over the town one business at a time. A financial error complicates things as well.

Wholesome family entertainment and a positive message about not taking life for granted permeate this solid American Christmas classic.

Drama | Family | Fantasy
Release Date: Dec. 20, 1946
Director: Frank Capra
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Rating: PG
Where to Watch: Tubi, Redbox, DirectTV
Rated: 5 out of 5 stars

Ian Kane
Ian Kane is an U.S. Army veteran, author, filmmaker, and actor. He is dedicated to the development and production of innovative, thought-provoking, character-driven films and books of the highest quality. You can check out his health blog at IanKaneHealthNut.com