This week’s Millard at the Movies column will be a little different than normal. There will be a review of the Mare of Easttown television show, the comedy special Bo Burnham: Inside, and Coming 2 America. Things such as tv shows, documentary and comedy special reviews will be included in this column going forward.
Mare of Easttown (2021), HBO and HBO Max
Mare of Easttown is a murder mystery show in the vein of HBO classic True Detective and genre favorite Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Easttown Township is a real town in Pennsylvania, but the events and people in Mare of Easttown are fictional. The show stars Kate Winslet (Titanic), Evan Peters (American Horror Story), Guy Pearce (Memento) and David Denham (The Office). Peters and Winslet shine the most out of the rest of the cast, partially due to their slight Philadelphia accents. It is a limited series, with only seven episodes totalling an average length of 58 minutes, so it is very easy to binge. The ending of the show did leave me wanting more. I needed to see more of these characters. A tv show that allows your imagination to run wild like that doesn’t come around too often. Scotty’s Score: 96/100.
Bo Burnham: Inside (2021), Netflix
Full disclosure: I’ve been a big Bo Burnham fan since my sophomore year of high school in 2007-2008. I remember watching him as an awkward kid playing piano and singing funny songs about new math and playing the oboe. Bo Burnham: Inside is a technical marvel. Burnham not only wrote the jokes and performed the songs; he shot and directed the special at his home. Since the COVID-19 pandemic had ruined any opportunity for Burnham to perform in front of a crowd, Burnham improvised. He talked about how the pandemic wreaked havoc on his mental health. Some of Burnham’s comedy can make a person feel greatly uncomfortable, which is kinda what makes it work. I found myself worrying about his mental health, questioning the line between performance and reality. My favorite song in the special was “Turning 30”, which was extremely relatable for me, since I turned 30 earlier this year. While not all of the jokes and songs hit, the technical aspects of the special are something to behold. Scotty’s Score: 88/100.
Coming 2 America (2021), Amazon Prime
When I first sat down to watch Coming 2 America, the sequel to 1988’s comedic classic, I was worried. I remember being excited for several other sequels that took decades to come to fruition, only to be let down. That was the case once again with this movie. While I love seeing Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall back together again, it seemed like a case of too little, too late. There were some funny moments, but it didn’t have the magic of the original. It was never going to have that charm. It was awesome to see some of the original’s cast return, especially the smaller performance of Louie Anderson, who was a childhood favorite of mine. The addition of Wesley Snipes as the bad guy was interesting, but again, his performance was wasted. There is a difference of 33 years between movies. The difference should have been much, much shorter than that. Scotty’s Score: 49/100.