Streaming Reviews October 1-5: The Starling, Star Wars Visions, Stand Up Comedy Drop | Review of northern beaches
The Starling is not as dire as some reviewers have written. Rotten Tomatoes has the comedy-drama languishing with a 21% rating, with much of the review focusing on the overly sentimental Matt Harris storyline.
Much of it is not fair. Corn Starling isn’t all that great either. It sounds like a missed opportunity.
All the ingredients are there. A fabulous cast led by Hollywood comedy queen Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, The boss), Irishman Chris O’Dowd (The computer crowd, Sapphires) and the legendary Kevin Kline (A fish called Wanda, Dave) and an adult story of how couples deal with grief.
Sadly, the awkward metaphor of a territorial starling protecting her young and learning to fly again is used too dominantly as McCarthy’s character Lily attempts to rebuild her life after her baby daughter’s death and the attempt suicide and the subsequent admission of her husband (O’Dowd). in a mental health facility.
Even worse is the abundance of melodramatic music in Starling more moving scenes. McCarthy and O’Dowd are proficient actors and the heavy ropes only hamper the drama and leave it wallowing near Hallmark Channel territory.
Kline is brilliant in her limited scenes, but her character’s role as a former psychiatrist turned vet helping Lily overcome her grief is going nowhere.
McCarthy is very competent in a serious role and she provides some of her trademark comedic flourishes, especially in the scenes where she is pelted by the angry starling.
In his heart Starling is about how people react differently to a tragedy and how coping with grief can either destroy relationships or bring them closer together. While execution could be better, Starling still offers an important message.
STARS WARS VISIONS
I generally don’t like anime, but I like Star wars so i was ready to give the new one Star Wars Visions spin-off a chance.
Basically, this is a series of standalone 14 minute episodes allowing the creators of Japanese anime to bring their own sensibilities and their own stories to the ever expanding galaxy of George Lucas. It’s fair to say it’s hit or miss.
For example the episode The dual mixes samurai culture with Star wars mythology to create a dazzling story about protecting a picturesque village from a Sith lord.
However, other episodes are less elegant. In Tatooine Rhapsody a rock band, Star Waver, attempt to win over Jabba The Hutt after their Green Slug bassist is captured by bounty hunter Boba Fett. It is unfortunately more Sailor moon than Star wars.
STANDING COMEDY STANDING
WE could all be laughing right now after months of confinement.
Paramount + has had little Australian content since launch, but that’s about to change with the Stand Up Comedy Drop, with specials from some of our funniest local talents such as Tom Gleeson, Celia Pacquola, Lano & Woodley and Anne Edmonds & Lloyd Langford.
Gleeson’s performance is taken from its five-star rating Lighten show earlier this year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.