Payne’s Picks

by Sarah Payne

Upcoming Netflix releases


March 11th – Since March is turning out to be a very slow month at the movie theater, I thought I’d give a quick sneak peak at this eight-episode comedy series coming to Netflix. It’s set in Venice, California and stars Will Arnett as a self-help guru. Netflix posted a trailer for Flaked on YouTube, but not much else has been released about the show. Arnett and Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz developed the show, so there is hope that it will have a similarly dry sense of humor.

Redbox reviews

Steve Jobs

I am not a Steve Jobs fan. Sure, he was an incredibly successful business man. But I do not understand people who put him on a pedestal as a creative genius. Perhaps that’s why I liked this film so much, which was directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) and written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network). It stars two wonderful actors—Michael Fassbender as Jobs and Kate Winslet as Apple marketing executive Joanna Hoffman—and features Jobs as he prepares for three different product releases over the course of this life. It’s through these product releases that we see Jobs’ general disdain and ingratitude for those around him. Fassbender’s portrayal of Jobs is impeccable and borderline robotic. And the film highlights everything that made Jobs such a flawed man—that he took other people’s ideas without giving them credit and refused to acknowledge his daughter for most of her young life. I can even see some parallels between Steve Jobs and The Social Network, in that both films are about men with brilliant ideas who each lose sight of what matters.

Movie reviews

The Revenant

This is by far my favorite film of the year—with beautiful cinematography (you’ll want to move to Calgary, Canada after watching it) and a gut-wrenching performance by Leonardo DiCaprio (it’s good to see him back center stage). Even at 2 hours, 36 minutes, you never find yourself checking your watch. You may find yourself cold and thirsty after seeing what Leo’s character goes through when he’s left to die in the woods, though. Some of the most memorable scenes in The Revenant are in fact solo performances by Leo, like when he’s viciously attacked by a bear or when he maneuvers himself into the carcass of a dead horse so as not to freeze to death. So if you like wilderness revenge stories, and the idea of Leo and Tom Hardy battling it out, then The Revenant is definitely for you.

Music review

Anti by Rihanna

I’ve been a Rihanna fan for nearly 10 years now—since the early “Umbrella” days. She may not be one of the most authentic musicians out there, but she sure does churn out hits. And she’s an incredibly hard worker, making seven albums in seven years. But then she made fans wait nearly three years for Anti. She even released a couple songs last year that didn’t end up on the album, like “FourFiveSeconds.” Just when it seemed like the album would never be released, it was suddenly offered for free on Tidal and then on Spotify a week later. It was worth the wait, but it’s decidedly different from her other albums. It’s subtle and subdued. Josh Duboff from Vanity Fair describes it as, “a Sunday-afternoon album, not a Friday-night one. It would be perfect to listen to in the rain.” Six of the sixteen songs aren’t even three minutes long, which is frustrating. Did Rihanna leave them unfinished because she’s starting a tour next month? Perhaps we’ll never know. My favorite song is “Kiss It Better.” I’m fascinated with “Same Ol’ Mistakes,” which is a cover of song by the trippy alternative rock band Tame Impala. Is anyone else surprised Rihanna knows Tame Impala? The girl just keeps surprising us.