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We’re gearing up for summer, so it’s time to watch some movies and series that inspire us to get out there and explore! This week, we’re watching Sean Penn’s INTO THE WILD and Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s COSMOS. Buckle up.

But if you’re not into space and the great outdoors, feel free to look back at Episode 20 and Episode 19.

INTO THE WILD – Dir. Sean Penn (2007)

Based on the very true book written by Jon Krakauer from journal entries and first hand accounts, INTO THE WILD shares the amazing story of Chris McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) and his journey across the country. He decides to make this trek after graduating from college and giving away all of his savings to charity. His parents think he’s crazy, his friends don’t understand, but all he wants is to experience a life most people never will. Along the way he encounters all sorts of interesting people and has many unique experiences, culminating in his arrival in the vast frontier of Alaska.

This is a story about nature, survival, and the human spirit. It’s heartbreaking, motivating, and awe inspiring. Sean Penn takes us on the journey with Supertramp, played by the naturally gifted Emile Hirsch in his breakout performance. Jena Malone, Vince Vaughn, and Kristen Stewart round out the cast as the few people who support their friend’s quest. This movie isn’t likely to make you want to hitchhike to Alaska, but it very well may cause you to consider change in your life. The directing is superb, the characters are inviting, everything about this movie is fun to watch. But you may cry. Nature does that to people.

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY (Season One)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson brings us back into the stars with this reboot of Carl Sagan’s classic series. It’s informative and thought provoking with breath taking cinematography and out of this world concepts (literally). You don’t have to be interested in learning or have a penchant for science to enjoy this show. Tyson has a very warm personality that sucks you in and makes you want to watch cool stuff happen in space. That’s really all you need in a good program, right?

My favorite thing to do is put this show on when it’s raining out and I have nothing to do. First of all, it teaches you about space, which is really the coolest thing ever. Secondly, Tyson has the most soothing voice since Morgan Freeman in MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, so if you’re not really interested you can just go to sleep. And thirdly, it’s just a really beautiful show! I have to assume they’re making up what some of these galaxies look like, because they’re simply unbelievable. I freakin’ love space so much, man! Unfortunately, there’s only one season to enjoy, but you will certainly learn a lot.

Documentaries certainly aren’t for everyone. When picking a movie to watch, most people want something that will help them escape from their own world or from reality for 90 minutes. However, there are those rare occasions when you want the most human story imaginable or perhaps you even want to learn something new. Netflix is filled with wonderful documentaries that never seem to get enough love and attention. Some of them, on the other hand, are just plain fun.

But if you’re not into documentaries and don’t want to learn, check out Episode 18 and Episode 17

INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE (2012)

Indie_Game_The_Movie_posterLike I said above, the best documentaries are human stories. That means you don’t have to be a fan of video games to enjoy a great story about people. That’s what INDIE GAME is. Following the development and release of three various independently produced video games, this documentary captures the struggles and battles faced by artists in today’s society. Creating a video game is not a simple task. Creating a successful video game is nearly impossible. These creators face depression, poverty, and isolation to do the thing they love the most.

This is a documentary that can be translated into a wide array of topics. It’s not just about video games. It’s about art, culture, business, success, and failure. The lessons these creators learn can be attributed to any passion one might have. In this way, the story connects with an audience, which shows in the acclaim this movie has received. All of the subjects are incredibly likeable and interesting, albeit a little nerdy. They care so much about their work, that you can’t help but root for them. I’ve never played any of their games, but after watching this I wanted to go out and buy them; not just to support them, but because they actually just look really fun. If you’ve never watched a documentary before (which would be crazy) this is a great one to start with. It’s very entertaining and heart warming.

DOCUMENTARY NOW – One Season (2015)

295697-1Okay, I tricked you a little bit, because this isn’t actually a documentary. It’s a new series from IFC by Fred Armisen (Portlandia) and Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live) that consists of several short mockumentaries (mock-documentary, for the uninitiated) and it’s absolutely hilarious. These guys are funny as it is, but each episode is parodying another form of documentary filmmaking and they consistently hit it right on the head. It’s unlike any show I’ve ever seen, but I can really only recommend it to people who enjoy documentaries, otherwise the jokes are likely to go right over your head.

Without discussing too many specifics of the show, Hader and Armisen have amazing chemistry together. They star in each episode as the subjects or filmmakers of that chosen documentary. While some of their characters are a little more outlandish than others, I’ve yet to watch an episode where they didn’t crack me up. This show seems to have flown under the radar when it premiered on IFC, but hopefully it can cultivate an audience on Netflix so we can enjoy more seasons of this duo.

This week on What to Stream Right Now we’re heading across the pond for some great British comedy. But obviously we’re not actually travelling anywhere, because that would go against our rule of spending as much time on the couch as possible… Anyway! If you want to be scared check out Ep. 3 of our recommendations or if you feel like watching something cheesy, here’s Ep. 2. Let’s get into it!

HOT FUZZ – Dir. Edgar Wright (2007) IMDb

This is the second film in the “Cornetto Trilogy”, a group of films all directed by Edgar Wright and starring both Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, and if you ask me, it’s easily the best of the three. The other two films in the trilogy are SHAUN OF THE DEAD and THE WORLD’S END, which are both fantastic and hilarious films in their own right, but we’re discussing HOTT FUZZ. Pegg plays the very successful and serious, big city cop, Nicholas Angel, who is relocated to the tiny and quaint English village of Sandford. He’s partnered up with the Police Captain’s dim-witted son, Danny Butterman played by Frost. Together they attempt to keep the village in line until a series of murders plagues the local residents. This evolves into a town-wide conspiracy that no one believes but Angel and Butterman.

If you’ve seen any of Wright’s other films, you already know the style this movie is going to have. He and Pegg wrote it together and their incredibly witty dialogue shines through in a fabulous manner. For not being an “action” film, Hot Fuzz has plenty of excellent action scenes that are actually making fun of the action genre in itself. The entire movie is a parody of high budget Hollywood flicks, but it fails to cripple itself by staying contained to the satirical elements of parody. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously, which results in one of the most fun films I’ve ever seen.

AN IDIOT ABROAD – Three Seasons (2010 – 2013) IMDb

This is a great show for anyone who loves seeing the world, but doesn’t want to put the time, money, and effort into actually seeing it with their own eyes. AN IDIOT ABROAD is a documentary series starring Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant as the Executive Producers who send their loveable, British pal, Karl Pilkington on a journey to see the Seven Wonders of the World. Sounds great, except their main purpose is to make Karl’s trip as miserable as possible.

This is a hilarious show thanks to Pilkington’s terrible attitude toward everything the Producer’s throw his way. Rarely do we see him actually enjoying himself, and when we do, Gervais and Merchant make sure to change that… quickly. They continually remind him that he’s “Not on holiday” and that this is his job, but in all honesty, some of the things they put this poor fellow into are rather cruel. That doesn’t make it any less hysterical, though.

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