Watch List Weekly Recap 10/28/22

How to save money on streaming, PLUS camp Halloween horror and a new ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ movie in theaters.

Watch List Weekly Recap 10/28/22

This is the Friday recap of Ty Burr’s Watch List postings for the week. If you’d like to receive this weekly email ONLY, please go to your account page and under “Email notifications” uncheck every box except “Weekly Digest.” If you’d prefer to not receive it at all, uncheck just “Weekly Digest.”

In the Watch List’s never-ending quest to make streaming life easier and less costly, I introduce the concept of toggling your services on and off and then demonstrate how to do so for each of the major VOD platforms. Try it for yourself!

Toggle This
Today I want to talk about the virtues of toggling, a practice that lets media consumers in a multi-platform world keep up on the shows and movies they want to see while saving money and possibly sanity. The concept behind toggling is this: ONLY SUBSCRIBE TO A SERVICE WHILE YOU’RE WATCHING THE THING YOU WANT TO WATCH, AND WHEN YOU’RE DONE WATCHING, UNSU…

Paying subscribers got a midweek recommendation for this weekend’s Halloween viewing: Ken Russell’s deliriously goofy late-1980s monster movie “The Lair of the White Worm,” featuring a newly-hatched Hugh Grant and a sleekly sinister Amanda Donohoe (above.)

Fangs for the Memories
Shamelessly Bonkers Halloween Classic of the Week: “The Lair of the White Worm” (1988, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐, streaming on the Criterion Channel and for rent on Amazon, Apple TV, YouTube, and elsewhere). By the 1980s, British director Ken Russell had given up trashing the great artists of Europe (“Savage Messiah,” “Mahler,” “Lisztomania”) and applied his lubriciously gonzo style to genres like science fiction (“Altered States”) and the erotic thriller (“Crimes of Passion”). “The Lair of the White Worm,” adapted loosely from a late work by Bram “Dracula” Stoker, is Russell’s version of a horror film, and an over-the-top hoot it is – perfect for an All Hallow’s Eve drinking game or for terrifying the neighbor kids by projecting it onto the side of your house.

Some good options for the weekend, both in theaters (the ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ memory play “Aftersun,” above) and on demand (a fine Louis Armstrong documentary on Apple TV+, a woozy erotic thriller from Claire Denis on Hulu).

What to Watch: “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues"
Note: Starting this week, selected Friday reviews will be available for paying subscribers only. Documentary of the Week: “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” (⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2 , streaming on Apple TV+) — From music-critic-turned-director Sacha Jenkins, a long overdue assessment of one of the most important cultural figures of the 20th Century, a man who created an entire vocabulary of popular music and a still-extant grammar of instrumental soloing while remaining a public personality unique and irreducible. Armstrong has faded in the culture behind the musicians who owe him everything – Miles, Coltrane, Mingus, Monk – and Jenkins rightly treats this as a reclamation project, aided immensely by reels and reels of home audiotapes that bring us into Louis’ Queens, NY, home as he meets with friends and weighs in on the world with a candor he kept out of his public appearances. The 1960s rap on Armstrong as an Uncle Tom has long been debunked and the film lays it even more firmly in its grave; if anything, “Black & Blues” treats the artist’s stylized ebullience as a performative act of rebellion, a dirt-poor New Orleans kid’s way of staking a claim in a white world that would have nothing to do with him. Where Jenkins falls short is in examining the music – getting inside the solos and structures of the seminal

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