John David Washington and Zendaya in “Malcolm and Marie”… shot entirely in lockdown.

We’ve got meteorites, AIDS, archeology and covid-safe filming all covered in this week’s streaming column by NICK OVERALL.

METEORITES best be trembling in their boots, Gerard Butler is taking them on in Amazon Prime’s latest blockbuster “Greenland”.

Estranged husband and wife brought back together through doomsday therapy? Check. Annoying child whose unrealistic negligence causes most of the plot’s complications? Check. Big budget special effects? Check.

It’s as cliche as they come, but knowing that can still make for a good time. It delivers on its promise of watching a family try to outrun comets devastating the earth, and that’s pretty much all I asked for.

If a two-hour burst of entertaining distraction from the real world sounds like what’s needed, “Greenland” is a go.

IF staying down on the ground is of more interest though, the British television series “It’s a Sin” (streaming on Stan) has been generating quite the attention for the handling of its intense and important subject matter.

It takes audiences to the ‘80s, and follows three 18-year-olds recently moved out of home and their struggle with a virus the world was not yet ready to talk about: the AIDS epidemic.

An interesting structure sees the entire decade spread out across five episodes, offering viewers an insight into how perspective and conversation evolved throughout the crisis.

NETFLIX has a new film out that may get history buffs excited called “The Dig”. It’s 1939, the world’s on the brink of war, and a team of archaeologists are uncovering one of the most famous medieval graves ever to be discovered in Europe: Sutton Hoo.

Uncovered at the excavation site are treasures of unimaginable value from as far back as the sixth and seventh centuries, but I’ll leave the film to fill in the fascinating intricacies.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s based on a book of the same name, and uses the actual historical figures involved in the excavation to tell its tale. There’s certainly been more than a little creative liberty taken so as to add that human drama to the mix. It’s good drama though, and it’s drama that never pulls the focus away from the unique sliver of history at the centre of the plot.

Here’s DOUGAL MACDONALD’s January 15 review of the film:

Movie review / ‘The Dig’ (PG)

THERE’S another film streaming on Netflix catching attention called “Malcolm and Marie”, a manic and moody movie that was shot entirely during the peak of covid lockdowns.

It’s a fascinating feat when one considers just how minimal the production was due to the covid restrictions. Only 12 people were ever allowed on set at any one time, the entire cast and crew had to quarantine before, during and after production and sanitation and temperature checks were enforced daily.

The film’s only two actors, Zendaya and John David Washington, had to do their own make-up and costumes, as the crew did not have the room for such personnel on set.

Washington’s character is a filmmaker teetering on the edge of stardom, Zendaya’s an actress recovering from a drug addiction. 

The story is confined to a single night in a single house, where a vociferous war of words between two incredibly sharp people reveals the story of their relationship in real time, all shot in a stunning black-and-white style.

Lengthy monologues about the relationship between filmmakers and critics among other esoteric waffle means it certainly won’t be for everyone, but those intrigued enough by the premise to seek it out will likely take something interesting away. Despite its flaws, I certainly did.

Its confined production nonetheless makes for a fascinating example of what’s possible in the medium with some dedicated writing and a few talented people.

From the B-grade disaster flick end of the spectrum to the minimalist and pretentious opposite, it’s all certainly a showcase of the diversity of what’s out there to stream.

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Ian Meikle, editor