Barry. Season 2 of the Emmy Award winning HBO series kicks off this weekend. Bill Hader returns as Barry, a depressed, low level hitman from the Midwest, who, upon working on a West Coast job, discovers a love for acting. He’s drawn into the local L.A. acting community, but his old life is keeps coming back to haunt him, forcing Barry to decide what’s his true calling. Hader is perfectly cast as the brooding hit man, as is Henry Winkler, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Barry’s revered acting coach, Gene Cousineau. A welcomed return to this unique, original dark comedy. Season 2 of Barry premieres Sunday night at 10pm Eastern on HBO. You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.
The Brink. To some, he’s a patriot and skilled political operative. To others, he’s a racist and a white supremacist. But who is the real Steve Bannon? The answer is the heart of the new documentary by Alison Klayman. The film focuses on Bannon – who was a chief advisor to the President – trying to rally all of the alt-right forces around the nation to support candidates in line with the President’s agenda during the 2018 midterms. It also shows Bannon making moves internationally, meeting with right wing leadership in France and Italy with the hope of forming global alliances. The doc also covers how Bannon became the fall guy in the wake of the ‘Unite The Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia which led to the death of a counter protester. Klayman plays it straight, being more of a fly on the wall in the midst of Bannon’s day to day activities. Bannon comes off at times, indifferent, combative, yet oddly charming. It’s a warts and all portrait of one of the most polarizing political figures in recent memory. The Brink opens this week in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. You can also go to www.thebrinkfilm.com for more information.
Screwball. Director Billy Corben (Cocaine Cowboys) looks back at the 2013 Biogenesis scandal with this entertaining and surreal documentary. Told largely by founder Anthony Bosch, it shows how, by playing fast and loose with regulations, Bosch was able to create a company that provided performance enhancing drugs for some of baseball’s biggest names including Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez. The doc also covers how one missed payment to one of Bosch’s co-conspirators set into the motion the biggest doping scandal in baseball history. Corben uses a style and pace that’s more Coen Bros than Errol Morris, keeping a levity to a story by employing child actors to renact some of Rodriguez’s and others comedy of errors. Despite all of missteps and being a key player in one of baseball’s darkest hours, Bosch is also a great storyteller, still displaying the swagger and confidence of the players he emulated. A wild ride of a doc that plays as a cautionary tale and a history lesson. Screwball is in theaters this weekend and available on Itunes April 5th. You can also go to www.ScrewballFilm.com for more information.
Action. Luke Korem directed this 4 part Showtime series looks at how professional gamblers, oddsmakers, and handicappers were affected when the Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in the spring of 2018. We see this world through the eyes of Bill ‘Krack’ Krackomberger, a professional gambler; Handicapper Kelly Stewart; ‘Vegas’ Dave Oancea, a professional betting consultant; and self professed ‘degenerate gambler’ Todd Wishney are they try to make their mark through what is now a legal 500 billion a year industry. All of them bring a unique perspective as to why they love it and Korem deftly pulls the veil off a world very few of us get to see. Much like a day at the casino, it pulls you in and its hard not to let go. Action airs Sunday nights at 8pm Eastern on Showtime. You can also go to www.sho.com for more information.
One Nation Under Stress. In the 1960s, Americans had one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. Today, among major developed nations, it’s near the bottom. The root cause of this drop: Stress. Why the top nation in the world is so stressed out is the basis of the new HBO documentary from Marc Levin and Daphne Pinkerson. Narrated by Emmy-winning CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, they travel across the country to speak with everyday Americans, their families and medical experts to explain why economic instability, loss of a loved one and other factors have led to dramatic spikes in addiction, illness and depression, despite being the leading nation that spends money on health care. The doc also cites the tireless efforts of those affected and help spread the word on how to mitigate stress and lead viable, healthy and productive lives. It’s a must see doc dealing with an issue that affects all of us. One Nation Under Stress is available now on HBO, HBO Go and HBO Now. You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.
New York City: Andy Warhol – From A To B And Back Again. Here’s your last chance to catch the exhibit that has been drawing huge numbers since November. The first major Warhol retrospective in over 30 years, it spans his entire career featuring over 300 works. It will include his work as an in-demand Madison Avenue illustrator; hand pained pop pieces, mechanical reproductions, silver screens, installations, portraits, films, collaborations and much more. An essential exhibit for the hardcore fan and newbie alike. Andy Warhol – From A To B And Back Again will be at The Whitney Museum through Sunday. You can also go to www.whitney.org for tickets and additional information