What to Watch

A few things I have watched recently:

The Courier–a taut, spy drama about the true story of Greville Wynne, an ordinary British businessman who was recruited by the British and American spy services to courier information in the 1960s from Russian agent Oleg Penkovsky–information that proved crucial to the United States during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Brosnahan. On Amazon Prime.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard–I thought this action-comedy was hilarious (in the spirit of Deadpool). The plot makes no sense but who cares? It stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek all of whom are clearly having a good time. Salma Hayek’s over-the-top performance makes the film. It even has an attack on occupational licensing. Saw it on a plane.

Worth–who would have thought that debates about estimating the value of a life would make a good movie? Michael Keaton plays Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer who headed the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. How much for a waiter? How much for a Wall Street trader? This is the philosophical question that gets the movie going but more practical problems also intercede. What do you do when the wife and the mistress both file for compensation? In the end, the movie bails on the big questions but succeeds on the quality of the performance by Michael Keaton. The tort system is a very expensive way to compensate victims. The Victim Compensation fund was a successful application of no-fault rules. On Netflix.

Billions–I will finish out the the fifth season but the plots are now repetitive and while I wouldn’t say it has jumped the shark it will never rise again to the heights of The Third Ortolan. I did appreciate the Neil Peart reference but it should never have been explained. Love Jason Isbell but it feels like the writers are reaching for relevance. On Showtime.

Only Murders in the Building–An old-time murder mystery starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. It’s fun but will they pull off a satisfying ending? I hope so. A show I can watch with my wife. On Hulu.

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