Cartoons, kidnappings, killers and computers

Some television ideas for the holiday.

Watching television (Illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Watching television (Illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The Passover vacation, where kids are typically off from school for two weeks, can feel very long. YES 5, the children’s movie channel and YES VOD are coming to the rescue by showing all 19 full-length Pixar Disney animated films, plus shorts, until April 7. These movies include Coco, the Mexican-themed movie that won the Best Animated Film Oscar (Pixar’s ninth win in this category) earlier this month. The older Pixar classics will be shown as well, including the Toy Story films, which I believe are among the best children’s movies of all time, if not the best. Steve Jobs was among the founders of Pixar, and their movies are remarkable for their originality, humor, graphics and, perhaps most of all, their memorable characters. What all this means is that these movies don’t talk down to kids, and you can all enjoy them together. The movies will be shown on YES 5 all day and on YES VOD 24/7. Coco will also be shown on HOT VOD Movies starting April 5.
Seeing the wealthiest people in the world wallowing in misery and cruelty is endlessly enjoyable – we can tell ourselves that money doesn’t buy happiness.
That may explain why the extremely unpleasant story of the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III, the grandson of J. Paul Getty, then the world’s wealthiest man, has been dramatized twice in the last few months, first in Ridley Scott’s feature film All the Money in the World, and most recently in the television series Trust, directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire). Trust started running on March 29 and will continue on Thursdays at 10 p.m.
on YES Edge. It is also available on YES VOD.
What sets this kidnapping apart from so many stories is that the boy’s grandfather had more than enough money to pay any ransom but chose not to, leaving the boy’s mother, long estranged from his father and grandfather, to try to negotiate with the kidnappers on her own. No spoilers here for those who don’t remember the incident, but the kidnappers were incredibly brutal.
Donald Sutherland plays the elder Getty here with all the flourishes he can, and Hilary Swank is the boy’s frantic mother, while Brandon Fraser plays the Getty family’s fixer. Trust is more entertaining than All the Money, but it dwells more on the violence, opening with the suicide of the kidnapped boy’s drug-addled uncle and featuring many gory scenes. It’s a bit like a train wreck: You’ll want to look away, but it’s somehow fascinating.
I’ve never been a huge fan of funny — they’re usually described as “darkly comic” — hit men, but this is a premise Hollywood returns to again and again.
Fans of Dexter will definitely want to check out Barry, the new HBO series starring former SNL cast member Bill Hader as a disenchanted contract killer who goes to Los Angeles and tries to break into acting. He enrolls in an acting class taught by an intense instructor (Henry Winkler) and finds that he is quite adept at tapping into his inner rage.
The theme that a criminal who is violent and used to living on the edge is perfectly equipped to navigate the hypocrisy of Hollywood was mined to greater comic effect in both the movie version of Elmore Leonard’s novel Get Shorty in the 1990s, and the recent television series starring Chris O’Dowd. Barry is entertaining, though, and Hader is believable as both an insecure aspiring actor and a cold-blooded killer – no mean feat.
Barry airs on HOT HBO on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. and on HOT VOD, and on YES Oh on Mondays at 5:30 a.m. 10:30 p.m. and on YES VOD.
As big tech companies such as Facebook face controversy, turn to the show that explains the tech world better than the news, Silicon Valley. The new season airs on HOT HBO on Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. and HOT VOD and YES Oh on Mondays at 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. and on YES VOD.