Netflix is streaming a new, one-woman stand-up special starring Iliza Shlesinger, 35. Shlesinger’s humor is in the vein of Amy Schumer, 37, if a notch or two less clever. Still, she’s worth watching. Nice to note: On May 12, Shlesinger wed Noah Galuten, 35 (the wedding photos show a particularly lovely chuppah). The groom is a Los Angeles restaurant owner, food critic, food book writer and James Beard Award nominee. Mayim Bialik, 42, attended.
“How It Ends” is an original Netflix movie that began streaming on July 13. Will (Theo James) and Samantha (Kat Graham, 28) are a Seattle-based couple who hope to marry soon. Will flies to Chicago to ask Sam’s father, Tom (Forest Whitaker), for his permission to wed his daughter. Will and Tom don’t hit it off. Tom goes to the airport and finds out that a huge earthquake has hit the West Coast and all flights are canceled. Shortly thereafter, the two decide to drive to Seattle, and along the way many bad things happen. Graham is the daughter of a Liberian father and an American Jewish mother. She was raised Jewish and has an Israeli half-brother. She has a strong music recording career, but has been looking for a breakthrough acting hit. In 2017, she co-starred in the Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez on Me.” Sadly, “Eyez” flopped, and “How it Ends” has been getting negative reviews. Graham’s “hit hunt” will continue.
“Extinction,” an original Netflix film, begins streaming on July 27. Capsule plot: Peter (Michael Peña) is plagued by dreams of a space alien invasion. His nightmare comes true when an extraterrestrial force begins exterminating the people of Earth. However, Peter, we learn, may have been born with the psychic power to stop them. Lizzy Caplan, 36 (“Masters of Sex”), co-stars as Peter’s wife Alice.
“Castle Rock” began streaming on Hulu on July 25. Co-produced by J.J. Abrams, 52, it weaves together parts of Stephen King’s large body of work. He often sets his novels in the fictional Maine town of Castle Rock. Veteran actor Scott Glenn, 77, co-stars as the world-weary, retired sheriff. Jane Levy, 28 (“Suburgatory”), is also a series regular.
“Like Father” is a comedy that begins streaming on Netflix on Aug. 3. Kristen Bell plays Rachel, who is left standing at the wedding altar. Her father (Kelsey Grammar), whom she has not seen since she was a small child, shows up for the wedding uninvited. They both get drunk and decide to take her prepaid honeymoon cruise together. Seth Rogen, 36, co-stars as a nice guy Rachel meets on the cruise ship, and gradually sparks fly. The film was directed and written by Seth’s wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, 35. She has had small acting parts in a number of films, including several starring her husband. The only full-length feature she co-starred in (and co-wrote) was the 2012 comedy “For a Good Time Call.” I thought it formulaic and not very funny. I’m hoping “Like Father” is much better.
He’s got the barista vote
More than rumors are flying that Howard Schultz, 67, the recently retired head of Starbucks, is considering a presidential run. Last month, he indicated in a CNBC interview that he was thinking about the idea. This led to a spate of articles, including a July 13 article in Vanity Fair that also noted Starbucks investors were worried that a Schultz run could result in a boycott of the chain by Trump supporters.
I was struck by the opening of the Vanity Fair piece, which listed a group of “centrist billionaires” who are rumored presidential candidates. Several are Jewish: former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, 76, Disney head Bob Iger, 67, and reality TV star and entrepreneur Marc Cuban, 59).
Schultz probably has a political leg up on these guys because he came from a really poor family and there is no Wall Street, Hollywood or high-tech blather about how he made his money. Plus Jimmy Fallon gave him a campaign slogan in a recent monologue: “Make Americano Great Again.”