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The Bell Breakdown for your March 19 weekend

Posted at 11:58 AM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 15:18:37-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — If you're in need of some entertainment this weekend we might be able to help!

From serious to goofy, film critic Josh Bell has his two picks in this week's Bell Breakdown.

First up this week is "The Courier," now playing in theaters. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as an English businessman who played an unheralded crucial role in Cold War diplomacy in this fact-based espionage thriller. Cumberbatch's manufacturing salesman is recruited by MI6 and CIA agents to act as a go-between for a Soviet official passing classified information to the West. It's an old-fashioned but solidly constructed movie, with suspenseful set pieces and strong performances from Cumberbatch as the everyday bloke in over his head and Merab Ninidze as the principled Soviet functionary who becomes his ally and friend. It may be the kind of story that has been told before, but it doesn't need to be groundbreaking to be compelling. That's "The Courier," now in theaters citywide.

Now streaming on Shudder is the horror-comedy "Slaxx." What if your jeans tried to murder you? That's the hook for this silly but entertaining Canadian low-budget movie, in which a shipment of fancy new jeans at a hipster clothing store come to life and start killing off the employees. Filmmaker Elza Kephart balances the goofiness of a pair of pants writhing across a floor with some genuine suspense and incisive social commentary about corporate responsibility. Even after a long explanation about the jeans' origin story, "Slaxx" remains lively, returning to its over-the-top horrors and snarky humor. The message never overshadows the absurdity, and the movie stays enjoyably ridiculous throughout its short but satisfying runtime. That's "Slaxx," now on Shudder.