The Defiant Ones
HBO/HBO Now/HBO Go
This four-part documentary provides the backstory on Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, the record producers who famously joined forces on the Beats headphones that were eventually sold to Apple for a record-breaking $3 billion. Eschewing longwinded evolution, the documentary focuses on the two men’s histories, detailing the gangsta
rap days of the 1990s and the incredibly intense (and lethal) rivalry between East and West Coast rappers. Likewise, it brings to light Iovine’s amazing knack for discovering talent rather than making it. Besides Iovine and gentle giant Dre, The Defiant Ones’ in-depth interviews include an interesting assortment of rap and rock megastars—Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Bono, Trent Reznor, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks and Gwen Stefani. A long story to be sure, but well worth watching from beginning to end.
– Joni Williams
The Incredible Jessica James
Written and directed by James C. Strouse, this charming and moving romantic comedy sees Jessica (Jessica Williams), a theater teacher and playwright, navigating her life post-breakup in New York City. She gets set up on a date with Boone (Chris O’Dowd), a recent divorcée, and they come to bond over the messiness of post-breakup actions and feelings. It’s a movie that provides a realistic take with depth and comedy on love in the digital age, career frustrations and successes, and what true love and support can foster.