TIGER | Binge now, first on Showmax
HBO’s two-part Tiger Woods documentary, Tiger, offers a revealing look at the rise, fall, and epic comeback of the global golfing icon.
At age 2, Tiger appeared on TV to show off his putting skills. His father, Earl, told the presenter that Tiger had picked up a golf club at three months and started playing at eight months. According to multiple voices in the documentary, including his own, Earl believed he had been chosen by God to groom Tiger for greatness, not just on the golf course, but as a world-changer on the scale of Buddha, Gandhi, Jesus or Mandela.
As if that wasn’t enough pressure, when Tiger went pro at 20 and soon after signed a multi-million-dollar endorsement deal with Nike, he was hailed as the first superstar golfer of colour in a traditionally white sport – as “Michael Jordan in long pants.” It was a lot of pressure, especially for someone who famously told Oprah he thought of himself not as African-American, but as “Cablinasian,” an abbreviation of his mixed Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian ancestry.
The documentary series contextualises Tiger’s triumphs and tragedies through never-before-seen footage and interviews with those who know him best, including his former caddy and close friend, Steve Williams; golf legend Sir Nick Faldo; Tiger’s first true love, Dina Parr; and Rachel Uchitel, the woman at the centre of the sex scandal that forever altered Tiger’s world, breaking her silence for the first time.
Based on the 2018 New York Times No. 1 best-selling biography penned by Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict, Tiger is executive produced by Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and directed by Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, A Private War) and Emmy nominee Matthew Hamachek (Amanda Knox). Tiger has an 8/10 rating on IMDb, with Variety hailing it as “urgent and powerful viewing that withholds judgment, but nothing else.”
THE COMEY RULE | Binge now
With all eyes on America right now, the turbulent events surrounding the 2016 US election that brought Donald Trump to power come under the spotlight in the topical political drama The Comey Rule.
The four-part mini-series stars Emmy winner Brendon Gleeson (In Bruges) as Trump; Emmy winner Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) as former FBI director James Comey; and Oscar winner Holly Hunter (Succession) as acting attorney general Sally Yates.
Based on Comey’s autobiography A Higher Loyalty, The Comey Rule is written and directed by Billy Ray, who was nominated for an Oscar for his script for Captain Phillips and also wrote the box office phenomenon The Hunger Games.
AV Club says it’s “damned compelling… with a real-life tale that still beggars belief and a fantastic group of actors to tell it,” while Entertainment Weekly says, “For the pro-Trump crowd, The Comey Rule is destined to be dismissed as more #FakeNews from liberal Hollyweirdos. For everyone else, it offers the uniquely punishing experience of repeating history even as we continue to live through it.”
SHOWBIZ KIDS | Stream now, first on Showmax
Written and directed by former Broadway child star Alex Winters (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure), Showbiz Kids is a raw look at Hollywood and the toll that early success can have on young professionals.
Highlighting the shared experiences of prominent former child stars, the documentary features intimate, revealing interviews with the likes of Henry Thomas (Elliott in E.T.), Mara Wilson (Matilda in Matilda), Evan Rachel Wood, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Milla Jovovich.
Showbiz Kids has a 96% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Both a celebration of child actors and a cautionary tale about the profession, Showbiz Kids offers a revelatory perspective on the pitfalls and rewards of Hollywood stardom.”
The documentary’s soundtrack, by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and his sons Sammy and Spencer, was nominated for Best Score at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards.
BABY GOD | Stream now, first on Showmax
If you thought Three Identical Strangers was fascinating, Baby God will have you glued to the screen.
The HBO documentary is a haunting examination into the work of infamous Nevada fertility specialist Dr Quincy Fortier, a man who deceived countless women struggling to conceive by using his own sperm — without their knowledge or consent — to impregnate them.
Of course, when you have potentially hundreds of children, the odds increase that one of them will become a detective, and sign up to Ancestry.com. Using an at-home DNA kit, retired detective Wendi Babst discovers a slew of half-siblings she never knew she had. This unsettling discovery prompts her to open a personal investigation into her family tree, revealing ever more difficult truths about her father.
Through interviews with her father’s patients and children, a shocking, extensive pattern of deceit, malpractice, and sexual abuse emerges, leaving Wendi and her half-siblings to question which of their biological father’s traits they may have inherited. As Wendi probes her own identity, she wonders, “Do you want to say your father was a monster? And what does that say about you?”
“Why would Dr. Fortier do this? He was far from the only one,” says director Hannah Olson. “At least 22 others have been exposed for committing this previously undiscoverable crime, affecting many more patients than we’ll ever know. I was interested in this unraveling – how we try to make sense of ourselves through our families and what happens when we can’t connect the dots.”
Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed
We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.
When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.
A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.
The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.
This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.
Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.
Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.
After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.
Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.
In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.
After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.
Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.
Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.
Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.
In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?
Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.
We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.
What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.
We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.
Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.
First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’
Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.
First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe, the world ready to let old baggage go.
The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.
Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it
‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.
The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.
While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.
When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.
With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.
It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.
We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.