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AV Brew: Wine, Popcorn & Stream – August Edition

John Grisham? Yes, please.

August ended up having an unusual theme. There were only two new releases that caught my attention. The rest of my choices were a series suggested by Netflix and some films from 90s.

I’ll start with the new releases.

Netflix

The Power Project

The Power Project 100% fits into the summer superhero movie category that we are currently missing on the big screens. This film was always going to be released on Netflix; however, a big-screen debut should not have been off the table. A new synthetic drug has hit the streets of New Orleans. The buyers of “Power” do not get high; the drug unlocks its takers’ superpowers for five minutes. The powers vary from person to person, and if the powers are used for good or evil is also questionable. Art, a former soldier who the drug was tested on, comes to town in search of his kidnapped daughter.  Art eventually teams up with Robin, a street-level drug dealer, and Frank, a cop, to take down the drug cartel and get his daughter back.

With its unique premise, outstanding CGI, and strong performances from Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Dominque Fishback, The Power Project is fantastic.  Definitely running head to head with The Old Guard as the best movie I’ve seen this summer.

The Lost Husband

After the untimely death of her husband, Libby and her children move to her Aunt Jean’s farm. Soon after arriving at the farm, Libby is introduced to James, the farm manager, and he teaches her how to run the farm.

About a year ago, I heard a reviewer on the radio say, “if broadcast TV is having success with a show, Netflix is coming to eat your lunch.” This statement covers a lot of ground when talking about The Lost Husband. This film is a moodier version of a Hallmark Channel movie. All of the Hallmark tropes are present and accounted for: the fish out of water; they hate each other when they first meet but are forced to work together; etc, etc. They threw in a few additional plot points to make it interesting and take it a little beyond its usual territory. As we head into the closing days of summer, it is a perfect lazy afternoon watch.

Madam Secretary

This show was suggested to me by Netflix because I watched The West Wing. Madam Secretary is an American political drama set in the office of the Secretary of State that ran for six seasons on CBS. The show covers varying domestic and international issues, espionage, and how the stress of the job affects her marriage and family. As of the writing of this article, all six seasons are available for streaming on Netflix.

Currently, I am in season 3 and thoroughly enjoying it. The writing is strong and does not shy away from complex international issues, alongside the ordinary day to day office life. If you are looking for a new show to stream and like political dramas, I highly recommend it.

Amazon Streaming Rentals (2.99 – 3.99)

Now onto my 90s movies! These were all fun to revisit. Maybe I wanted to be transported out of the craziness that is 2020. While I will not write a full review or post the trailers, I will give a brief synopsis, and post a video of my favorite scene if it’s available.

The Rock (1996)

A mercenary marine squad takes hostages on Alcatraz to exhort money from the US Government. They have installed stolen missiles filled with dangerous gas.  The Pentagon brings in FBI Special Agent Dr. Stanley Goodspeed, a chemicals expert, and an imprisoned Captain John Patrick Mason to assist with rescuing the hostages and to disarm the weapons.

The driver’s dialogue while trying to save the cable car just cracks me up.

The next three are all based on John Grisham novels, and all are faithful adaptions of the source material. This part of my streaming was inspired by the podcast, This Had Oscar Buzz.

The Rainmaker (1997)

The Rainmaker is the story of a recent law school graduate taking on a shady insurance company that denied a standard medical procedure that leads to the death of the plaintiff.

Rudy’s Closing Argument…

The Firm (1993) (Currently, available on Netflix)

Mitchell McDeere is recruited from Harvard Law to work in a firm in Memphis, TN. The firm operates in all areas of law, but they are very intertwined with the mafia. McDeere is blackmailed by the FBI to help them getting the firm’s records so they can get to the mafia bosses.

If this is not blackmail, I don’t know what it is. Plus, I love the actor playing Voyles.

The Pelican Brief (1993)

Two supreme court justices are murdered on the same night. Tulane law student stumbles onto a theory as to who is responsible for the murders. Her idea finds its way into the wrong hands and puts her life in danger. She enlists the help of a Washington reporter to bring all responsible parties to justice.

This one gets the trailer as I cannot find a lot of clips online.

The last film falls outside of the 90s but still a Grisham adaptation. 

The Runaway Jury (2003)

A fired employee returns to the office and shoots several of his former colleagues. One of the murder victim’s wives sues the gun manufacturers. The defendants hire a jury consultant who promises that the case will be decided in their favor. Their plan almost works until Nick Easter gets himself onto the jury and makes sure the case is decided fairly. 

What show or genre should I dive into for September? Let me know in the comments and in the meantime check out my video series: The Movie Remix and I’ll see you next month.

About Simply Sherri (27 Articles)
Poet, writer, movie nerd and historian.
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