A creepy, confronting blockbuster

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“Raised by Wolves”… another of Ridley Scott’s philosophical sci-fi spectacles.

Streaming columnist NICK OVERALL covers the creepy, the surreal and the moving in this week’s “Watch It!”.

ARTIFICIAL intelligence? Alien planets? A dash of Greek mythology and a whole bunch of rather obvious religious symbolism as a backdrop? I don’t think you could get any more “Ridley Scott” if you tried.

Nick Overall.

In his television directorial debut, the famous filmmaker who’s brought us hits such as “Blade Runner”, “Alien”, “The Martian” and “Prometheus”, has whipped up another of his philosophical sci-fi spectacles with “Raised by Wolves”. 

Set hundreds of years in the future, the story tells of two artificially intelligent androids programmed to raise a colony of human beings after a war on Earth, fuelled by religious differences, tore it apart.

Streaming on the Foxtel Group’s Binge, it’s creepy, confronting and has a blockbuster budget to back it all up. 

INTERESTINGLY, we’re seeing more and more widely known and successful filmmakers continue to shake hands with streaming companies to get their big new productions to viewers, rather than go down the usual cinematic-release route.

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is another example of this, a film produced by Netflix and dropped earlier this month.

It’s the newest effort from the weird and wonderful mind of Charlie Kauffman, famed for his writing and production of strange films such as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation”.

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is certainly no exception. A sad and surreal head scratcher, it feels as if you’re walking through a dream. For anyone who likes a bit of a challenge in their viewing – I do – or a movie that rewards a close eye to detail, this is definitely one for you. 

WHILE we’ve got Netflix on for this week, I’d be remiss to not talk about “Cobra Kai”, its newest original show (streaming now) that’s turned into quite the hit and, again, represents a series inspired by a classic film.

Remember Daniel Larusso’s arch-enemy in the 1984 classic “The Karate Kid”? The one who copped the rough end of that epic crane kick in the final tournament? Well “Cobra Kai” revisits him some 34 years later: down, out and washed up after his loss to our hero from the original film.

Now he seeks redemption and reopens his famous Cobra Kai dojo and wants to reignite his rivalry with Daniel to make something of himself. The series is quick witted, entertaining and very watchable, especially for fans of the original film (I’m happy for a Twitter debate from anyone who didn’t). The Netflix-watching community have been loving it, with it holding the top spot in the trending Top 10 for a solid while. 

STAN also had an original movie trending this week, the homegrown Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman”. It tells the story of how Ms Reddy and her famous song, for which the film is named, became an anthem for the women’s movement of the 1970s – and beyond.

The film’s inspirational story tells of how Reddy arrived in New York in 1966 with nothing but her three-year-old daughter, a suitcase and $230. Five years later, she’d become one of the biggest stars of her time, with an incredible eight number one US singles. Still alive today, at 78 she continues to share her talents, collaborating on the film.

How fascinating it is to see storytellers of all different kinds now offering their talents and tales to streaming companies eager to present to their viewers. Seems almost like everything old is becoming new again in a movement where we may yet see our generation, too, “waxing on and waxing off”.

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