“image

I Can Recommend: Movies to Stream

This week I have three very different movies to recommend. In fact, you could say that the theme of the week is variety.

Stowaway (Netflix) A team of three is on a mission to Mars and discovers that someone else is on the ship. I enjoyed this movie because it’s well made, futuristic, and centers on ethical dilemmas more than action. I didn’t expect Anna Kendrick as an astronaut, but it works.

Sound of Metal (Amazon Prime) A heavy metal drummer in a band with his girlfriend loses his hearing and quickly transitions to a new life. This is a great film that’s raw, human, and well-acted. I came away with a new perspective on deafness. Riz Ahmed was great in The Night Of (HBO) and he delivered in this film as well. Paul Raci was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting performance.

Booksmart (Hulu) Booksmart made me LOL. Two high school seniors realize they’ve wasted time being focused on grades and decide to start partying before college. This, of course, leads them on myriad adventures. Fun and easy; a modern Superbad with female leads and a female director, Olivia Wilde. The soundtrack makes it even better.

? Go to all Recommendations

I Can Recommend: Octopus Edition ?

I Can Recommend: Octopus Edition ?

Octopuses are having a moment right now and I admit to being fascinated by them. If you’re wondering, the plural of octopus is not octopi because the word comes from Greek and not Latin. Anyway, here are my recommended octopus stories in four forms:

  • My Octopus Teacher (Netflix) – This film won a well-deserved Oscar. It’s the story of a filmmaker who befriends an octopus for over a year. But it’s so much more. The filmmaker, Craig Foster, free-dives in frigid water off the coast of South Africa and captures the drama of octopus life in beautiful form. Watch the Trailer.
  • Octomom (Radiolab Podcast) – A team of researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium discover, via a robotic submersible, a deep-water octopus who is protecting 160 eggs a mile beneath the surface. They visit her each month for four years and document her unbelievable process of hatching the eggs over time.
  • The Soul of an Octopus (Book by Sy Montgomery) – Sy is a nature writer who became fascinated with octopuses. This book is her story of learning about and getting to know a handful of giant pacific octopuses behind the scenes at aquariums and in the wild. It’s a little woo-woo in spots and I wish it had more science, but was a fun read if you don’t mind the idea of animals in captivity.
  • Salish Sea Wild: Shaking Hands with the World’s Biggest Octopus (5 minute YouTube video) – This feature was made by our friends on Orcas Island at the SeaDoc Society, which is a science-driven nonprofit focused on ocean health. Watch more Salish Sea Wild.

? Go to all Recommendations

I Can Recommend: Chef Movie, Chef Show, Nomadland

I Can Recommend: Chef Movie, Chef Show, Nomadland

The recommendations below also appeared in my weekly newsletter: Ready for Rain, Issue #95 – This Fireplace Sucks


The Chef Show (Netflix) – My first impression was “oh boy, another celebrity cooking show, no thanks” but a friend suggested giving it a try and we’ve enjoyed it. Jon Favreau, Chef Roy Choi and special guests cook a wide variety of dishes while Jon plays the inquisitive beginner. It’s not often about fancy food, but everyday food, done well. I also love the stop-motion sequences.

Chef (Netflix) This movie, starring Jon Favreau as a chef, inspired the TV show above. Roy Choi consulted on the movie and the story is inspired by Roy quitting a high profile job to start a food truck. Worth a watch. Food is love.

Nomadland (Hulu) This movie just won a Golden Globe for best picture (drama) and I can see why. What I love is the immersive style of production. It feels like you’re seeing life through the eyes and ears of Fern, the main character, played by Francis McDormand, as she becomes a member of a community of nomads who live out of vehicles. It’s directed by Chloé Zhao and has amazing performances by actual community members who were found as the film was being made. Zhao also won best Director, a first for a woman of color. We’ll be hearing more about her, I’m sure. More here

Go to all Recommendations

I Can Recommend: In and Of Itself ✅

I Can Recommend: In and Of Itself ✅

The recommendations below also appeared in my weekly newsletter: Ready for Rain, Issue #94 – The Dogs of the House Project


Rainier Panorama

Derek DelGaudio’s In and Of Itself (Hulu) – I went into watching this with no context and it kind of blew my mind. It’s a film that captures a one-man stage show that was performed every day for over 500 days. It’s part philosophy, part creativity, part sleight-of-hand, part memory competition. I especially loved his description the time between sunset and darkness that his grandfather called “The time between dog and wolf”. It’s the time in the evening when you can’t tell which is which. It’s a metaphor for much of the show.

Killing Eve (Hulu) – We recently watched the movie Sideways, which we both love, and it reminded us that Sandra Oh is the star of Killing Eve. We’ve completed most of the first season and really enjoyed the cat-and-mouse spy thriller. I especially like the psychopathic Villanelle character, played by Jodie Comer. Unlike over-the-top portrayals of fictional psychopaths, Villanelle feels real.

The Dig (Netflix) – In our house, calming British dramas are common. This movie is based on a true story of an aristocratic widow in England with mysterious ancient burial mounds on her property. She enlists the help of an excavator (amateur archeologist) played by Ralph Fiennes, to find out what’s inside the mounds.

If you’re considering watching Ava (Netflix), starring Jessica Chastain, maybe keep looking.

Go to all Recommendations