Today, Val Cameron joins the show to share her top three streaming picks for the week and some must-see movies in theaters now!

#3 House Of Dragon

     HBO Max, Hulu Premium and Youtube TV

     First Episode

     Grade: B-

Intriguing but overly violent. Cameron says you don’t have to have seen Game of Thrones to start this series.

#2 Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist (The Manti Te’o Story)

     Netflix

     Documentary

     Grade: B

Cameron says this documentary gives insight on how horrible people treat each other in the United States. One minute they’re a hero, the next they’re a joke.

#1 Top Gun Maverick

     Rent on Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play movies and Youtube

     Grade: A+

Cameron says this is one of the best movies of the year! She recommends this movie to be viewed on the biggest screen you have with the volume up.

In theaters, the following are playing now! 

“892” now titled, “Breaking” is a drama and rated PG-13.

First reviewed by Cameron in January of 2022, this film was originally called 892 and was reviewed during the Sundance Film Festival. It will be in theaters under the title “Breaking” starting today, August 26.

Going into the film, Cameron anticipated a good performance by Michael K. Williams (Django Unchained and 12 Years A Slave) and after a great performance in the Small Axe anthology by John Boyega. Intrigued by the combination of the two actors, this provided an exciting experience. This is also the debut feature from director Abi Damaris Corbin. Here’s the rundown of the movie!

Being a parent isn’t always easy. Most are just trying to get through the day. Adults work hard to follow through with efforts and promises. The film opens up with a desperate and broken man, Brian Easley, who wants to be a good dad, who wants what is owed to him and who has these same goals. Breaking is based on a true and attention-grabbing story. The powerful performance by John Boyega as the former U.S. Marine veteran Brian Easley portrays genuine humanity. His desperation takes a turn for the worst when he finds himself robbing a bank, but there’s a twist.

The character enters a bank not to rob it, but to shut it down and get the attention from our government that he deserves. He is polite, courteous and careful as he deals with the matter at hand. The two bank managers played by Nicole Beharie and Selenis Leyva aid him on this confusing, terrifying day. Michael K. Williams, in his final screen role, plays Eli Bernard, the hostage negotiator.

This film packs a big punch and opens the discussion to the mistreatment of veterans in the United States. Human life is not something to simply be thrown away, and people deserve to be heard and helped. When a man, a father and a soldier has followed all of the rules, but still doesn’t get what he has earned, can we blame him for going over the edge? This film is a compelling conversation starter, worthy of a rewatch. 

Cameron’s grade: A

Next up is “Three Thousand Years of Longing” which is rated R.

Director George Miller illuminates a modern-day Genie in the lamp story. Starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, this story features an Academic (Swinton) and a fantastical Djinn (Elba). Swinton’s character, Dr. Binnie, finds an odd glass bottle in a small shop while visiting Istanbul. She cleans the bottle and out pops the Djinn, or the Genie. She doubts her sight — how can a Genie be real? When given the opportunity to have three wishes of her greatest desire, she struggles.

Would you believe a Djinn was really there and would you think they had your best interests at heart? Do you know what your greatest desires would be? What would you wish for? Stories of wishes going dreadfully wrong have been made infamous. Are wishes a trick or a way to open yourself up and really understand what you want from life? These are all struggles for our characters in the movie. We learn the Djinn’s past, and dip into Dr. Binnie’s as well.

Miller does a great job showing us fantastical worlds, Cameron said. She mentions some FX issues in the beginning of the film, but as the movie progresses mesmerization takes over. The story also has some character plotlines that are difficult to follow, Cameron said. This movie can also spark conversation. Should we be able to let go of the fact that this Djinn is a black man basically being enslaved by a white woman? Is there a point being made by the filmmaker? Or should we drop the notion that race and color have anything to do with this film? Become enveloped in this fantastical world. Elba and Swinton deliver solid performances. Cameron described that by the end of this film, however, she was left without the magic. She felt that the movie makers left her with no specific way to feel, and there was no clear direction.

Cameron gave this film a B-.

 Follow Cameron’s reviews on her website and Facebook: What to See with Val