alexa BlackBook: California Girl: Drew Barrymore — Who’s Starring on Netflix’s ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ and in a New Campaign for Crocs — Shares Her Sunny Design Finds

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For the latest issue of alexa BlackBook, actress and star of the hit Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet Drew Barrymore rounded up her go-to picks for stylishly gearing up for spring.

 

“Admittedly, I’m a hat lady. This sun hat provides true UV protection while still looking super stylish.”


Beach hat with UPF 50+, $49.50 at Coolibar.com

 

“Yellow is the new pink! I love this sweatshirt because it is easy to wear but still whimsical and happy.”


Sweatshirt, $125 at ClareV.com

 

“I love to change up my shoe look by adding an ankle sock. These socks are a perfect mixture of silly and chic.”


“Liza” sparkle ankle socks, $18 at HappySocks.com

 

“Nothing beats a day at the pool with the kids. This is the perfect accessory to liven things up.”

 

 

Fred Segal x CB2 “Love One Another” pool float, $80 at CB2.com

 

“When in doubt, put a rainbow on it! That was my thought when designing an everyday tote that I didn’t want to be a typical everyday basic.”


Dear Drew by Drew Barrymore “Rainbow” vegan-leather tote, $95 at Amazon.com

 

“I own these in several colors. I love them because you can change out your color with your current mood. Current mood: Tangerine Dream.”


SunglassLA rimless sunglasses, $13 at Walmart.com

 

“These are my current go-to jeans. They combine comfort and style with a megadose of ’90s nostalgia.”

 


Levi’s “Wedgie” high-rise jeans, $98 at UrbanOutfitters.com

 

“Wearing Crocs’ iconic ‘Classic Clog’ is about more than making a comfort statement. It’s about being comfortable in all that you do and not being afraid to poke holes — no pun intended — in conversation.”


“Classic Clog” shoes in “Tropical Teal,” $38 at Crocs.com

 

“My go-to carry-on for 
last-minute weekend getaways. Not only is it functional, it’s also fun to look at.”

 


Dear Drew by Drew Barrymore “Take Me 
With You” carry-on suitcase, $125 at Amazon.com

 

“Move over dresses, it’s time to suit up for spring. Lately, all I want to wear is a suit. I love this one because it takes a typical fall silhouette and lightens it up for spring.”

 


Double-breasted blazer, $119, at Zara.com

 

“I love statement earrings because they can transform your look in seconds and make an LBD way more interesting.”

 

Bianca Mavrick “Otis” drop earrings, $108 at Anthropologie.com

 

Photos Courtesy of the Designers.

 

Netflix Releases Preview for Civil Rights Drama ‘Mudbound’

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Netflix might have finally struck cinematic gold. The streaming giant just released the trailer for Mudbound, a film they bought for $12.5 million at Sundance earlier this year – and it looks ready to rack up the awards.

Set in the Mississippi Delta after World War II, director Dee Rees’ civil rights drama follows two impoverished families – one black and one white – who are thrown into the racist dramas of the Jim Crow era. Not only does the preview give us harrowing images of Ku Klux Klan members and segregated buses, but it also shows off an all-star cast. Indeed, the screen is electrified by the notable performances of Jason Clarke,  Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige and Garrett Hedlund.

Mudbound is set for release on Netflix this November 17. There is no theatrical release yet planned – but that could yet change. Stay tuned.

 

In Bed With Netflix and Armond White

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Foreplay: Memento (2000)

This high-concept thriller about a man who cannot trust his senses made director Christopher Nolan’s reputation as the millennium’s new Kubrick. The jigsaw puzzle plot starts with Guy Pearce’s inability to store new memories or make sense of his old ones. He tries to solve the mystery of his wife’s murder—and the peculiar tattoos that cover his body. Inked with clues, his very being is marked-up as a desecration against standards of human values and conventional storytelling. Nolan settles for being unsettling even when he solves Pearce’s mystery and this unsatisfying storytelling practice ushered in the era of Hollywood nihilism. Movies and humanity would never be the same again.

Press Play: This is Spinal Tap (1984)

This rock and roll satire about a British Heavy Metal band is the work of comics—Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner who all wrote and starred. Its sarcasm is more like Guest’s other semi-improvisational sit-coms (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) than Reiner’s other sappy Hollywood movies (Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally) so take Reiner’s directorial credit as lightly as the band’s inane cock-rock lyrics. (Credit must have been decided over a poker game.) The film’s mockery of music takes backseat to mocking it’s documentary pretense, giving birth to the concept of The Mockumentary. Movie storytelling would never be the same again. Next up in this untrustworthy media vaudeville: Michael Moore.

Playtime: Crossfire Hurricane (2012)

This is a 50th-anniversary retrospective on The Rolling Stones, the musical act formerly billed as “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”—until Hip-Hop changed the game. Director Brett Morgen goes for real innovation by using archival footage and overlaying it with his recent interviews on the soundtrack. This makes pop history both vintage and vital. The title comes from “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” the surly, locomotive biography of a bad boy who won’t be tied down—a figure who personifies these ever-aging bad-boy rivals of Beatles. What you already know about them (and what you don’t know) gets enlivened by concert and recording footage and simply thrilling to their undeniably infectious creativity. Pop stardom would rarely be so sensational again.

In Bed With Netflix and Armond White

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Illustration by Hilton Dresden

Foreplay: Woman in Gold (2015) Helen Mirren wasn’t always the grande dame of serious cinema. Her full-frontal nude entrance in Ken Russell’s 1972 Savage Messiah paraded one of the shapeliest female forms in movie history. That hot chick Helen could have posed for Gustav Klimt’s famous painting that is at the center of this new film’s legal and moral controversy. Helen plays a Holocaust survivor who sues to win possession of the Klimt masterpiece from the Austrian government. Comic actor Ryan Reynolds breaks type as her novice lawyer but without ever cracking wise; his character experiences a personal victory. This time, Helen is fully dressed in righteousness. She’s serious, not sexy. But the problem is, the movie also lacks surprise. You already know she’ll win her case but you might also wish, to quote comic Rodney Dangerfield, that she would show more of her Klimt.

Press Play: Corpse Bride (2008) For those who like their women—and their animation–ghoulish, Tim Burton takes another leap at his unaccountably admired The Nightmare Before Christmas. Johnny Depp voices a 19th century swain who accidentally pronounces his wedding vows in a cemetery, wedding him to a drop-dead scary bride voiced by Helena Bonham Carter (Mrs. Burton). This might have been more tolerable as a live-action film, giving the great Helena room to stretch her likably eccentric craft. Instead, Burton’s puppet animation (manipulated by an army of technicians) ensures that everything remains freaky. That includes Danny Elfman’s music score, less annoying than in Nightmare. This new nightmare was also a hit, spawning a 2016 short and a 2017 TV sequel. Just think, had Helena and Depp performed this live-action, we wouldn’t have had to suffer through Burton’sSweeney Todd.

Playtime: Contact (1997) Is Jodie Foster more lovable than Amy Adams? That is the question Contact poses in defense of its rip-off by the recent Amy Adams vehicle Arrival. Jodie plays a scientist who, since childhood, explored astronomy with an interest in communicating with extraterrestrial species. (The plot includes her Spielbergian wish for an absent father, also a space scientist.) When Jodie’s efforts result in an astonishing close encounter, director Robert Zemeckis goes full tilt sci-fi, digital F/X crazy. This film is even more of a technical marvel than Arrival and Jodie sustains an emotional response that surely inspired likable Amy Adams as well as Christopher Nolan. Note to Memento fans: Nolan showed the great influence of this movie in his own rip-off Interstellar. And guess what? Matthew McConaughey stars in both! But time has shown that Contact is, in every sense, an original.

In Bed With Netflix and Armond White

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Illustration by Hilton Dresden

Foreplay: Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Tim Burton turns his adolescent rebellion against social convention into this live-action and slow-motion animation feature. An anti-Christmas movie, it’s for Scrooges everywhere. Its story replaces the Christmas wish on “Peace on Earth, Good Will to All Men” with the childish threat and ghoulish horror of All Hallow’s Eve. The skull-and-bones-skinny king of Pumpkin Town, Jack Skellington (voiced by composer Danny Elfman), replaces the figure of gift-giving (life-giving) Santa Claus by arousing a graveyard full of ghouls to celebrate dead humanity. It’s a case of Tim Burton giving-in to his own bad dreams and forcing nightmares upon the movie-going public. This is a family movie for victims of emotional homicide. Elfman (who voices Jack) wrote the song score that is incessantly hyperactive, maybe the most annoying soundtrack in movie-musical history.

Press Play: Magic Mike (2012) Stephen Soderbergh’s bisexual hit uses Channing Tatum’s own Southern-trash biography as the basis for this film about male strippers. The story confuses entrepreneurship with social-climbing but there’s also an undeniable amount of sexual curiosity. Is Tatum and his crew of hunks (Alex Pettyfer, Joseph Manganiello and Matthew McConaughey) just working for a living or are they giving way to secret sexual instincts? The film isn’t good enough to explore that issue. Instead, Soderbegh exploits it. This is his unacknowledged, soft-core sequel to the film that was his career breakthrough, Sex, Lies and Videotape. This time Soderbergh and Tatum indulge in the digital-video age’s post-porn dishonesty. Tatum’s Mike mixes his entrepreneurial instinct with his horn-dog tendency; it’s about the way capitalism corrupts the erotic instinct. Wait for the sequel, Magic Mike XXL. It’s also trite, but at least the dancing is better.

Playtime: Babe: Pig in the City (1998) Speaking of sequels, here’s a rare example where the sequel to a good movie surpasses the original. This hasn’t happened since The Godfather, Part II and Pig in the City is equal to that masterpiece. Mad Max director George Miller takes over and his antic, sarcastic personality turns the sweet original fantasy into a super-intense Animal Farm metaphor that contemplates life’s difficulty. Children will appreciate the fright and adults will be moved to think. Away from the beloved Hoggett farm, Babe (voiced by E.G. Daily) and Mrs. Hoggett (Magda Szubanski) must face mortgage bankers and big city diversity (cats, dogs, chimpanzees as varied as the human populace). Babe’s courage gets challenged by a Pit Bull Terrier in an extended chase scene so expertly executed and terrifying that it takes on existential dimensions. “Why?” Babe heartbreakingly cries. It is one of the most profound moments in movie history.

Here’s What’s New on Netflix This Month

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It’s a surprisingly huge month for Netflix users: a collection of big ticket items will join the streaming service’s platform over the course of February. Notable adds include American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, which is currently slaying awards season. Fans of semi-nude men will be excited to hear that Magic Mike will soon be on laptops everywhere, and if you’d rather have a bit of murder with your male strippers, there’s also King Cobra arriving on Valentine’s Day. Comedy fans will rejoice to hear that Superbad and a new Mike Birbiglia standup special become available for streaming over the course of the month, as well as the second season of the CW hit Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Perhaps the two films we’re most excited to see in our queue are Clouds of Sils Maria, the critically-acclaimed lesbian drama starring Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche, as well as Seth Rogen’s raunchy blockbuster Sausage Party, about humanized food leaving the grocery store for the first time.

Check out the full list below.

TELEVISION
February 1

Les Beaux Malaises
: Seasons 1–4
Masha’s Spooky Stories
: Season 1
The Furchester Hotel
: Season 1–2

February 2
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
Frequency
: Season 1

February 3
The Santa Clarita Diet 

February 11
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 2

February 14
Project Mc 2
: Part 4

February 17
Chef’s Table: Season 3
DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge
: Season 4
The Seven Deadly Sins
: Season 2

February 19
Girl Meets World
: Season 3
When Calls the Heart
: Season 3

February 24
Legend Quest
: Season 1
VeggieTales in the City
: Season 1

MOVIES

February 1
Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies, and Cyber Attacks

Babe

Babe: Pig in the City

Balto

Balto 2: Wolf Quest

Balto 3: Wings of Change

Contact

Corpse Bride

Eleven P.M.

Finding Dory

From This Day Forward: A Trans Love Story

Gun Runners

Hell-Bound Train

Highly Strung

Hot Biskits

I Am Sun Mu

Invincible

Magic Mike

Mother With a Gun

Paris Is Burning

Project X

Sun Belt Express
Silver Streak

The Blair Witch Project

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe

The Five Heartbeats

The Girl From Chicago

The Longest Day

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Twilight

Women in Gold

February 3
Daniel Sosa: Sosafado

Imperial Dreams

February 4
Superbad

February 5
Elvira I Will Give You My Life But I’m Using It

Los Herederos

February 6
Girls Lost
Me, Myself and Her

February 7
Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special

February 8
Tiempos Felices

Girl Asleep

February 10
Abstract: The Art of Design

David Brent: Life on the Road

February 11
Stronger Than the World

February 12
Clouds of Sils Maria

February 13
Code: Debugging the Gender Gap
Magicians: Life in the Impossible

February 14
Girlfriend’s Day

Katherine Ryan: In Trouble

King Cobra
White Nights

February 15
Aram, Aram

Before I Go to Sleep

Fire Song

February 16
Milk

Sundown

February 17
Kill Ratio 

February 19
Growing Up Wild

Tini: El Gran Cambio De Violetta 

February 23
Sausage Party 

February 24
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

Ultimate Beastmaster

Ultimate Beastmaster Mexico

February 26
Night Will Fall 

February 27
Brazilian Western 

February 28
Be Here Now

Michael Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes

In Bed With Netflix and Armond White

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Foreplay: Blair Witch Project (1999) A classic is not always a classic. This is the film that started the found-footage pheenom of movies that take place in real time to show scary, supernatural events. You know the con. It began with this amateurish home movie about three filmmakers who venture into the woods in search of an urban legend about a witch. They disappear, leaving behind video tape of their fright and suspicion. What it comes down to is an illustration of film-savvy yuppies who don’t know basic Boy Scouts of America principles like carrying compasses and wilderness survival. Directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick depend on viewers being ignorant about point-of-view and coherent narrative. Their big coup is letting actress Heather Donahue get so close to the camera (the first selfie?) that the film’s most suspenseful moment is waiting for her boogers to drip.

Press Play: Invincible (2006) In this grid-iron Rocky, Mark Wahlberg confirmed his all-American movie stardom. He acts out the real-life story of Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender who pursued his dream of being a professional football player by winning a try-out and joining the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. Director Eric Core knows how to shoot action (he was cinematographer on The Fast and the Furious); he highlights movement and spectacle, putting you inside Papale’s shoulder pads and helmet while simultaneously enjoying his adventure from the best stadium seats. This is also a movie about camaraderie; Wahlberg’s average-guy realness provides the vicarious thrill felt by Papale’s friends, neighbors and girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks). Like Rocky, it’s a movie about hometown pride. It’s not just rousing, it’s uplifting, too.

Playtime: Babe (1995) A pig who thinks it’s a dog becomes a shepherd on an Australian farm. It’s a fantasy but it’s also an allegory about self-esteem, self-identity and how love emanates from a personal example to a social ideal. Director Chris Noonan combines live-action photography with human voice-overs to update the humane life-lessons made famous by the children’s book Charlotte’s Web. (James Cromwell plays Farmer Hoggett who utters the classic line “That’ll do, pig” and Roscoe Lee Browne provides the dulcet narration.) But Charlotte’s Web didn’t have a Camille Saint-Saens soundtrack or a theme song as lovely as “If I Had Words” sung by a trio of soprano mice whose reggae lilt and symphonic harmonies combine The Supremes with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This irresistible movie experience is not just for children. It could, officially, be the greatest Australian film ever made. (Rivaled only by the sequel Babe: A Pig in the City.)

In Bed With Netflix and Armond White

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Foreplay: Superman Returns (2006) 

As Netflix’s Superman month draws to a close, here’s a real piece of demoralizing Kryptonite. Director Bryan Singer treats the Superman legend with the same juvenile cynicism of his X-Men movies—turning comic book heroism to passionless displays of brutality. The scene where the Man of Steel is relentlessly pummeled, or bluffs a bullet to his eyeball,  neglects the audience’s awareness of his invulnerability. It’s just dumb, repetitive violence which becomes particularly offensive when Kate Bosworth’s Lois Lane is brutalized during an airplane flight. What happened to chivalry? It got chewed-up in Singer’s perversely sexualized clichés. Who else but a Hollywood hustler would cast Superman for fashion model beefcake blankness? Don’t blame young actor Brandon Routh who smiles appealingly. It’s not his fault that the movie was sold via the salacious meme “Routh rhymes with mouth.”

Press Play: Vanilla Sky (2001) 

After the success of Jerry Maguire, writer-director Cameron Crowe must have thought he could get away with anything. This is his bid at imitating French New Wave montage—playing games with time, memory and expensive special effects—in this story of a publishing magnate (Tom Cruise) who, after an accident, undergoes plastic surgery and memory reassignment about his selfish love life. Penelope Cruz plays the barely intelligible Spanish side chick and Cameron Diaz plays the scorn psycho chick but Cruise gets lost in the director’s obnoxious homages to Francois Truffaut and Bob Dylan. Nothing exceeds like excess and Crowe’s background as a highly successfulRolling Stone magazine writer parallels Cruise’s dilemma but it adds nothing to this story of wealth, privilege and selfishness beyond wealth, privilege and selfishness.

Playtime: Boogie Nights (1997) 

Not as much fun as the disco-skating film Roller Boogie but this Paul Thomas Anderson film does have Rollergirl, a sad sack porn star who screws with her skates on. She’s one of the lowlifes employed in the San Fernando Valley porn industry. Anderson explores that subculture like ripping-off a condom to expose America’s greedy, skanky, drug addicted and brain-dead essence. This is a Robert Altman carnival with STDs. Mark (Marky Mark) Wahlberg plays the moronic teen who becomes Dirk Diggler, the X-rated stud whose little head is attached to a big moneymaker. Burt Reynolds got an Oscar nomination for playing the shady skinflick entrepreneur and Anderson won acclaim as the new Tarantino simply for scoring all the screwing and coke sniffing to ‘70s radio hits. Stay tuned for the big reveal: Diggler unzipping and hauling out what is too-obviously a rubber night stick.

In Bed With Netflix and Armond White

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Illustration by Hilton Dresden

Foreplay: The Angry Birds Movie (2016) So many people have played Angry Birds on their cell phones it’s no wonder Hollywood animators took the next step and turned their boredom, excitement and digital addiction into cartoon characters. Imagine using that brightly-colored world of collapsing houses for social satire. The easily triggered animals are given the voices of top comedians: Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph play Red, Bomb and Matilda, contented birds on their own island who get angry when their bubble is invaded by Green Piggies. (Think “Piggies” from the Beatles’ White Album.)  It’s a clever parody of phone-gamers trying to reclaim childhood in their own private world, a comic community of Millennials. Let the envy wars—and the laughs—begin.

Press Play: Toys (1992) People who hold on to their affection for the toys of their childhood will respond instantly to the look of Toys. It’s an imaginary world writ large—like living inside a 20th century toy chest or Santa’s workshop. But this nostalgic concept never carries over to Barry Levinson’s attempt at political satire. He stars Robin Williams as a child-man who competes with his militaristic brother (Michael Gambon) for the family’s toy-making company. Levinson wars with the idea of innocence; his preachy seriousness is at odds with the movie’s dream-like environment. Toys was the last film designed by Ferdinando Scarfiotti, the visionary genius responsible for the look of Scarface, The Conformist and The Last Emperor. His toyshop set designs salute Surrealist artist Rene Magritte as well as Walt Disney and are more impressive than Levinson’s jarringly violent anti-war message. (L.L. Cool J makes a charming Hollywood debut as a boyish soldier.)

Playtime: Harry and the Hendersons (1987) Steven Spielberg produced this good-natured fable about a family who takes in Sasquatch. It’s the same affection as if the Henderson’s had run-over Bambi and took the deer into their own home. But Harry, the hairy benevolent beast (played by six-foot, five-inch African American actor Kevin Peter Hall) is more than a pet; he’s an alien—like Spielberg’s E.T.–who has a tough time being domesticated by the customs and peculiarities of human family life. Like Bambi and E.T., Harry belongs to his own world, a life lesson learned by the Hendersons (John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon and their two kids). Director William Dear repeats Spielberg’s affectionate humor, creating a world of cartoon-like sweetness. Think about its theme: It’s a secular Christmas movie in time for the holidays.