What we’re watching this week, in cinemas and streaming

From Hundreds of Beavers to The Acolyte and Colin From Accounts S2, here's what Silvi Vann-Wall and Rochelle Siemienowicz are watching and rating this week.
Manny Jacinto as Qimir in The Acolyte. Image: Disney+/Lucasfilm

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

Hundreds of Beavers

Silvi Vann-Wall: Rarely does a film come along these days that I could watch hundreds of times without getting bored – but Hundreds of Beavers is the real deal, folks. Made on a tiny budget and imbued with a palpable passion for silent film, slapstick, and silly sight gags, Hundreds of Beavers is the indie film everyone’s waving enthusiastically about this year (no talking allowed).

Set in the 19th century, a drunken applejack salesman must go from zero to hero and become North America’s greatest fur trapper when he loses his whole operation in a fire and is stranded in the wilderness. Facing starvation, he must survive in a surreal winter landscape surrounded by (you guessed it) Hundreds of Beavers – all played by actors in full-sized beaver costumes. Using nothing but his dim wits, he develops increasingly complex traps to battle the beavers and win the hand of a mischievous lover.

Tragically, Hundreds of Beavers has not yet had a nation-wide cinematic release, but I am told that’s coming soon (9 July, to be exact, thanks to Lightbulb Film Distribution).

Who’s in it? Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, Olivia Graves, Wes Tank

Who directed it? Mike Cheslik

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

Watch it if you like: Silent comedy films of the 1920s – anything Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin or Harold Lloyd – plus Star Wars and Indiana Jones (don’t ask me why, just watch it).

How to watch Hundreds of Beavers in Australia: There’s a screening this Friday 21 June in Adelaide at The Mercury. Keep an eye on film festivals throughout the year for additional screenings, and check your local cinema’s line up in July.


Stan – Hacks, Season 3

Rochelle Siemienowicz: The third season of this Emmy-winning odd-couple comedy starts strongly, with an obviously bigger budget, an expansion to LA, and writing so sharp it cuts. In the first episode, ageing comedian and dysfunctional diva Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) is so successful she’s bored. Meanwhile, her estranged young comedy writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder) is living a healthy but unrequited life away from drama. Seeing them reunited in work and friendship is just the start of the pleasures of a show that can make you wince, holler with laughter and genuinely feel the pathos of failure, the emptiness of fame and the joys of fizzy creative collaboration.

Sadly, it’s rare to see a female main character winning and sassing into her 70s, and hopefully the success of this show will pave the way for more of them. I’m only three episodes into the third season, but I’ll be staying until the end.

Who’s in it? Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Lorenza Izzo, Rose Abdoo, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Paul W Downs.

How many seasons are there? Three so far, with a fourth in the works.

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

Watch it if you like: Hacks Season 1 & 2, Peep Show, The Marvellous Mrs Maisel.

Read: Hacks Season 3 review: savagely funny

Binge – Colin From Accounts, Season 2

Rochelle: Another odd couple comedy, but this time of the romantic kind, Season 2 of Colin From Accounts is even more enjoyable than the first.

The Australian dramedy, created by and starring real life couple Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer, has been a hit both at home and abroad, with its gross-out humour, well-observed cameos of contemporary Aussie types, and genuine chemistry between the leads – who in real life would be incredibly annoying.

In this season, semi-professional inner-city Sydney couple Ash and Gordon are living together but facing endless challenges, from their missing special-needs dog (the one that started it all) to uninvited houseguests and surprise announcements from Gordon’s ex girlfriend (an excellent Annie Maynard). The whole ensemble cast is delightful, and hanging out with the gang is fun, especially when things get weird and dark, like the recent episode where Ash loses her phone and wanders the streets lost at night. It’s enough to make you memorise your loved-one’s mobile number and resolve to help a stranger in need. The good-heartedness amidst the grossness is what makes this show shine.

Who’s in it? Patrick Brammall, Harriet Dyer, Emma Harvie, Genevieve Hegney, Helen Thomson, Michael Logo, Annie Maynard, Darren Gilshenan.

How many seasons are there? Two. New episodes of Season 2 weekly.

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

Watch it if you like: Colin From Accounts S1, Hacks, Upper Middle Bogan.

Netflix – The Sandman

Silvi: It’s taken me two years to check out The Sandman, a show I admit is designed to be like catnip to people like me (nerdy and depressed, but somehow still whimsical).

After years of imprisonment, Morpheus – the King of Dreams – embarks on a journey across worlds to find what was stolen from him and restore his power. Neil Gaiman co-developed and executive produced this adaptation of his iconic comic series starring Tom Sturridge as Dream.

In a nutshell: it’s moody, intriguing, and fun, plus it’s different enough to all the other fantasy offerings out there that you’ll find yourself wanting more when the season is over – and luckily, more is on the way.

Who’s in it? Tom Sturridge, Patton Oswalt, Gwendoline Christie, Boyd Holbrook.

How many seasons are there? Two. (The second season is in production)

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

Watch it if you like: Good Omens, American Gods, Coraline.

Dropout – Game Changer, Season 6

Silvi: Once again I’m talking about the little-known streaming service Dropout (which specialises in comedy) and urging people to purchase a subscription – it’s one of the only services I can confidently say has an entire catalogue worth watching. There’s not a dud show among them, and Game Changer may just be the crème de la crème.

The show has a simple premise: a group of rotating contestants, typically three players that are well-versed in improv comedy, participate in a brand-new game show every episode. The players come into said show with absolutely no knowledge of the premise and/or rules of the game. Will they be competing to see who can do the best impressions? Who can follow absurd physical movement instructions the best? Or will they be answering simple questions under the proviso that they must locate a hidden buzzer first?

The sixth season of Game Changer, which just concluded, is one of the best iterations of the show so far, culminating in an uproarious finale in which contestants compete in a parody of popular reality series The Circle.

Who’s in it? Brennan Lee Mulligan, Zac Oyama, Katie Marovitch, Jacob Wysocki, Grant O’Brien, Ally Beardsley.

How many seasons are there? Six.

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

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

Disney+ – The Acolyte

Silvi: I’m someone who used to watch the Star Wars films religiously, so by all means The Acolyte should be making my ‘top shows of the year’ list. But with the factory-like output of Star Wars IP that Disney churns through each year, I’m becoming sick of lightsaber-and-robe stories.

The Acolyte, which takes place some time before The Phantom Menace and focuses on an investigation into a crime spree that makes a young Jedi (Mae, played by Amandla Stenberg) the top suspect, is certainly well produced. The funding available to Disney and Lucasfilm certainly makes the series stand out in both aesthetic and scope, but it’s simply not enough to generate interest when the story loses steam so quickly.

That being said, I do love seeing the Star Wars series expand its diversity in ways that make toxic fanboys furious, so I’m gonna stick The Acolyte out, for spite reasons.

Who’s in it: Amandla Stenberg, Dafne Keen, Jodie Turner-Smith, Manny Jacinto.

How many seasons are there: One.

How many stars would you give it? ⭐⭐

Watch it if you like: Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Mandalorian