A recording of Tyler Perryâs final show as Madea debuts on BET+. And a new Netflix documentary looks at the history of the Paralympics.
TYLER PERRYâS MADEAâS FAREWELL PLAY Stream on BET+. Last year, Tyler Perry threw on his gray wig, lipstick and thick, square glasses, and hit the road: He was going to retire his most famous character, Madea, but first he was taking her on a final tour. The show he presented, âMadeaâs Farewell Play,â covers familiar Madea territory: wisecracks, music and a plot built on a law school graduation that brings the family back together â comfort food for fans who stream this recorded version. âThat old broad has been good to me, so who knows â maybe one day Iâll tell the story of Madea in the â70s and hire a real actress to play the role,â Perry wrote in an essay in The New York Times last year. âBut the time of playing her has come to an end.â
RAVI PATELâS PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS Stream on HBO Max. The comic actor Ravi Patel drinks margaritas with a table full of retirees, interviews a cognitive behavioral therapist and gets smacked in the face by his young daughter in this travel documentary series. Each episode finds Patel in a different part of the world, exploring how four different cultures approach four facets of human life: parenting (in Japan), work (South Korea), retirement (Mexico) and immigration (Denmark).
RISING PHOENIX (2020) Stream on Netflix. The 2020 Paralympic Games had been scheduled to take place this summer in Tokyo. Of course, it was postponed because of the pandemic. So what better time to take stock of the history of the event? Thatâs what the directors Ian BonhÃ´te and Peter Ettedgui (âMcQueenâ) do in this new documentary, which traces the Games over decades and collects interviews with star athletes like Tatyana McFadden, Ellie Cole and Jonnie Peacock. In her review for The Times, Natalia Winkelman wrote that while the film is inspiring, it vaults over tough subjects. âComplicated topics, like the fraught relationship between the Paralympics and the Olympics, which take place in the same facilities but can receive uneven attention, are skimmed or skirted,â Winkelman wrote. She added that âby avoiding complexity, âRising Phoenixâ preserves its inspiring mood, but offers only a platform for champions who already dominate the arena.â
AMY (2015) 5:50 p.m. on Showtime. âLook, we all know how this ended. There are no surprises here. It wasnât pretty, and we have to deal with that.â Thatâs what the director Asif Kapadia recalled saying to his collaborators before he started making this Amy Winehouse documentary. (Kapadia spoke to The Times about the film in 2015.) A character portrait painted with the help of over 100 interviews and a surplus of archival footage, âAmyâ gives an in-depth look at the story of a star whose basic biography â talent leads to fame leads to early death â is well worn. The result is a movie that is âspikier, tougher and more interesting than the usual official biographies-hagiographies,â A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The Times.
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