What to watch this week: the stuff we dig right now in cinemas and streaming

From Challengers and Furiosa, to Eno and After the Party, here's what ScreenHub writers are watching and loving – or not – this week.
The Righteous Gemstones. Image: Binge

Are you stuck staring at the endless mountain of streaming options whenever you turn on your TV? Do you get overwhelmed by all the movie choices at the cinema?

Here are a few of the films and shows, old and new, that ScreenHub staff writers Silvi Vann-Wall and Rochelle Siemienowicz are watching in Australia this week – and what we really think.

In Cinemas

Challengers and Furiosa

Silvi: The last two films I saw in cinemas were both bangers! Challengers has been much-hyped but absolutely delivered the goods in a sweaty, bass-thumping tribute to Achilles and Patroclus, if instead of fighting in the Trojan war they did tennis and extramarital affairs. I saw this flick at the newly-established FOMO cinemas in Brunswick, and though the built-in iPad gave me some tech troubles, I managed to order two gluten free corndogs to accompany my viewing, which, in hindsight, was the funniest food choice imaginable.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga was probably this year’s most anticipated Aussie release, but at the same time I think its box office performance shows that waiting almost ten years after Fury Road to release a prequel has cooled potential audiences down too much. As a rule I really don’t like prequels, but this one is an exception because it doesn’t dedicate half its runtime to explaining the iconic moments of its predecessor – a trap that far too many franchise films fall into these days. Furiosa has a great sense of style – as expected from the always-surprising George Miller – and the high-octane action doesn’t disappoint. Though I did find myself thinking about how much I just wanted to watch Fury Road instead.

Challengers

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Who’s in it? Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist.

Who directed it? Luca Guadagnino.

How many stars would you give it? ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Watch it if you like: Y Tu Mama Tambien, Call Me By Your Name, Jules and Jim, Match Point.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

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Who’s in it? Anya Taylor Joy, Chris Hemsworth.

Who directed it? George Miller.

How many stars would you give it? ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Watch it if you like: Mad Max: Fury Road

Eno: the world’s first generative cinematic documentary

>Eno (2024) © Film First Co.

Rochelle Siemienowicz: On Monday night I had the pleasure of attending a really special one-off screening at ACMI of Eno, which is billed as the world’s first generative cinematic documentary.

Eno (2024) focuses on the career and creative strategies of legendary music producer Brian Eno – one of the music industry’s great innovators, from his glam rock experimentation with Roxy Music in the 1970s to working with the likes of David Bowie, U2, Talking Heads and so many more.

The 100-minute screening was attended in person by director Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Rams). Hustwit builds a unique experience for the audience every time the film is screened, by combining pieces of footage in new ways from a console on stage, using proprietary software he developed with digital artist Brendan Dawes. Thus the film has millions of possible variations as it draws from original interviews with Brian Eno as well as his treasure-chest archive of hundreds of hours of never-before-seen footage and unreleased music.

The result was a very special experience that paid tribute to the nature of creativity itself, and to Eno’s philosophies and practices that continue to evolve even now as he is in his 70s and contemplating how we use art in the environmental crisis. Sadly, this is a viewing experience I can’t point you to because it was ephemeral! But you can read more about Eno here.

Who’s in it? Brian Eno, David Bowie, Laurie Anderson. (Each screening features differently.)

Who directed it? Gary Hustwit.

How many stars would you give it? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Watch it if you like: Helvetica, Moonage Daydream.


Streaming

ABC iview: After the Party

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Rochelle: Did he do it, or is he innocent? That’s the question driving this Australian-New Zealand drama series about the aftermath of an accusation of pedophile abuse. The devastating accusation is made by a fiesty middle-aged high school teacher, Penny (Robyn Malcom, in a stunning and grumpy performance) against her husband, Phil (Peter Mullan – who seems to have a career playing unlikeable Scotsmen living in New Zealand, as he did in Top of the Lake.)

This is the show people are talking about at dinner parties I’ve been to lately, and with good reason. Set in windy-wild Wellington, NZ, it’s tense, relentless and relevant – though at times I wanted a bit more levity and variety in tone. These aren’t happy or likeable people, even when they’re heroic, but they do feel real!

Who’s in it? Robyn Malcolm (Upper Middle BoganHarrowTop of the Lake) recently won Best Actress in Series Mania’s International Panorama, for her role here as Penny. Peter Mullan (OzarkTop of the Lake) stars as Phil. The cast also includes Tara Canton, Ian Blackburn, Loren Taylor, Elz Carrad and Dean O’Gorman and a variety of other good NZ talent.

How many seasons are there? One season of six episodes.

How many stars would you give it? ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Watch it if you like: The Secrets She Keeps, The Slap.

Read: After the Party, ABC iview review: smartly observed, sharply told NZ drama

Netflix – John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s in LA

Silvi: I’m a burnt-out millennial and former gifted kid, so when comedian John Mulaney steps up to voice an opinion on something, of course I’m listening. Everybody’s in LA feels like the next evolutionary step of the tried-and-trusted talk show format, with an MC played by Richard Kind, couch segments about random topics that bring together one celebrity and one expert in the field, call-ins from viewers, and pre-recorded segments that usually involve parodies of modern reality shows. The best way I can describe it is ‘the fever dream you have when you’re home sick from school and all the midday TV shows you watch on free access suddenly blend together’.

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Who’s in it? John Mulaney, Richard Kind, Jon Steward, Sarah Silverman.

How many seasons are there? One.

How many stars would you give it? ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Watch it if you like: John Mulaney’s stand up, and The Sack Lunch Bunch.

Binge – The Righteous Gemstones

Silvi: I cannot believe it took me this long to get onto one of the best comedy series of the 2020s. The Righteous Gemstones comes from the genius creative mind of Danny McBride, and follows a famous, batshit crazy family of televangelists that run the Gemstone Church franchise. Similar to McBride’s Vice Principals, the show focuses on the most childish, horrible people humanity has to offer – and it is so, so addictive to watch them walk into one disaster after another. Plus, the satire on megachurches and their often shady dealings is extremely cathartic.

Who’s in it? Danny McBride, John Goodman, Edi Patterson, Adam DeVine.

How many seasons are there? 3.

How many stars would you give it? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Watch it if you like: Vice Principals, Game of Thrones (mainly for the Lannister-style family politics).

Dropout – Very Important People

Silvi: We don’t often talk about the niche streaming services at ScreenHub, but I can tell you right now that Dropout is definitely worth your time and money. Featuring improv comedy shows, live DnD games, and unique game shows lead by some of the funniest people in the US right now, this rebrand of College Humour has some excellent and unique offerings that set it apart from other subscription services.

My favourite of the bunch at the moment is Very Important People, a show where comedians are put in a mystery costume and must come up with a character on the spot, before being interviewed, in character, by host Vic Michaelis.

Who’s in it? Vic Michaelis, Brennan Lee Mulligan, Zac Oyama.

How many seasons are there? One.

How many stars would you give it? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Watch it if you like: Who’s Line Is It Anyway?, Make Some Noise, Dimension 20.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports