Streaming highlights August 21-27: Power Project, Chimerica & Beyond The Boundary

ON THE HUNT: Jamie Foxx plays Art in new Netflix action movie Project Power.
ON THE HUNT: Jamie Foxx plays Art in new Netflix action movie Project Power.

PROJECT POWER

Netflix

EVER watched a film with an interesting premise, but marred by poor execution? That perfectly sums up superhero action film Project Power.

Obviously big money has been splashed out on the special effects - some of the CGI action sequences are impressive - and they've cast genuine Hollywood stars in Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Despite this, co-directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost (Paranormal Activity 3 and 4) struggle to elevate Project Power anywhere near the standard of the Marvel superhero series in terms of story and action.

The streets of New Orleans are being overrun by mysterious yellow pills which provide people with superpowers for five minutes. Some become bullet-proof, or self-immolate or grow knives from their hands.

Gordon-Levitt is a cop investigating the dealers of the drug, while also using it illegally to help battle crooks. Foxx's character is also hunting down dealers, who he believes kidnapped his daughter.

The film establishes issues of power abuse, drug addiction and finding one's inner strength, but unfortunately tramples over in-depth exploration in the race for flashy fight scenes and explosions. Project Power isn't necessarily a bad film, but a missed opportunity nonetheless.

BLURRED LINES: Alessandro Nivola plays disgraced photojournalist Lee Berger in Chimerica.

BLURRED LINES: Alessandro Nivola plays disgraced photojournalist Lee Berger in Chimerica.

CHIMERICA

Stan

THE term "fake news" entered the lexicon thanks to US President Donald Trump, but in reality its purpose is censorship, which has existed for decades.

The four-part mini-series Chimerica, is based on Lucy Kirkwood's 2013 play, and explores censorship in the world's two modern superpowers, the US and China.

Acclaimed US photojournalist Lee Berger (Alessandro Nivola) made his name in 1989 by taking a picture of "tank man" in Tiananmen Square during the pro-democracy riots. Decades later in 2016 in the lead-up to the US presidential election, Berger is fired and publicly disgraced for doctoring a war photo from the Syrian conflict.

In a bid for moral and professional redemption, Berger searches for "tank man" in New York to shed light on the historic event which has been erased from history of the communist Chinese government.

However, the closer Berger gets to uncovering tank man the more opposition he faces home and abroad.

Chimerica is a frenetically fast-paced drama that questions the role of the media in the digital world and how it is increasingly threatened by government censorship and commercial objectives.

MISS HIT: Beyond The Boundary.

MISS HIT: Beyond The Boundary.

BEYOND THE BOUNDARY

Netflix

WATCHING scenes of the Australian women's cricket team celebrating with US pop star Katy Perry in front of 86,000 fans at the MCG feels like a lifetime ago.

However, it happened on March 8 this year, a matter of weeks before coronavirus wrecked havoc and shutdown the mass enjoyment of live sport.

The ICC Women's World Cup was a triumph. It attracted widespread exposure and felt like a new dawn for female sport.

Sadly the documentary Beyond The Boundary fails to match the quality of its subject. It's an hour-long highlights package of the cup, interspersed with interviews.

Unlike The Test, Amazon Prime's illuminating look at the Australian men's team's rebuild after the ball-tampering scandal, there's no drama or deep insight. At no point does the viewer feel like they're peering behind the curtain. The title, Beyond The Boundary, is just a catchy name.

Australian superstar Ellyse Perry is never even interviewed for the documentary despite her torn hamstring being one of the tournament's major talking points.

Cricket buffs will still enjoy Beyond The Boundary, but there's little to sustain the casual fan.