NFLX2017 December 15, 2017: Bright

Bright. David Ayer. 2017. ☆☆★★★★

I started watching this and then I realised that I hadn’t seen the movie, so I thought I should do that first.

Amusingly enough, when I search for “Bright” in the Netflix app, it is not among the about 50 or so hits. Apparently “Lucifer”, “Triple Frontier” and “Isn’t It Romantic” are better matches for me according to the Netflix search programmers.

Searching for “will” got me it, though, while “will smith” got zero matches.

Good job!

So… this movie is basically Alien Nation?

Will Smith is pretty good in this… he’s got the somewhat racist cop (but good hearted) thing down.

I think my main confusion (so far; I’m only 30 minutes in while typing this) is that I don’t understand why this movie sparked so much interest. I seem to remember there being a bunch of articles written about it at the time, and… well, the reason I’m watching it is 1) I watch anything that’s sci-fi and 2) that hour-long youtube thing. But here I am watching it, so I guess I got sucked into the vortex, too.

This had a $90M budget, apparently, of which you can see approx. zero on the screen. They consistently use the old “well, people in this reality don’t like lights” schtick to avoid showing anything when doing CGI. It looks cheaper than an average episode of Stargate: SG1.

I’m guessing $87M of that budget went to Will Smith.

And it’s just… boring. It’s tedious beyond belief. Nothing happens, and it takes hours for not to happen. Cops shouting BACK THE FUCK UP at each other for seemingly hours. There’s a very simple MacGuffin plot going on, but it seems to move weirdly slow. And the world building aspects of it all… oy vey. On this Earth, humans, elves and ocs have lived together for millennia, and the societal impact is basically nil. I guess that’s one way of playing it, but it’s just… moronic.

So is that what they were going for here? A fantasy/sci-fi movie for the bro crowd? I just don’t get that either, because it’s just doesn’t work on that level either.

But in that case: Bro! Bro? Bro…

This post is not part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 August 30th: Back to School

Back to School. Remy Four, Julien War. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★

Hey, it’s a French comedy!

As is often the case with Netflix movies, it’s got a classic plot: Two nerds going to a school reunion. These things usually suck, and… it’s not that bad? There’s hi-jinx and mistaken identities and all that kind of stuff. It’s basically jocks v. nerds.

There’s a bunch of scenes that are super-embarrassing, but many don’t quite go the way you expect, which is nice.

It’s a bit creepy, though, with one of the protagonists using the mistaken identity to apparently try to have sex with an old crush. But that sub-plot is exploded pretty quickly to it doesn’t get too “eek”, I guess.

The final twist (which I think you have to be brain-dead not to see coming) will probably piss some people off.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 August 29th: Falling Inn Love

Falling Inn Love. Roger Kumble. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★

This is a likeable easy-on-the-eyes romantic comedy thing.

It’s a classic set-up: Stranger arrives in little town; lots of comedy hi-jinx fixing up an old house and romance ensues.

It’s got a good, relaxed vibe going on: It’s very secure in its genre conventions, but that doesn’t get in the way of adding laugh-out-loud funny bits.

Some of the scenes are way tired (like the scene with the douchy guy in the office), but most are pretty fresh (like when she breaks up with the boyf).

For its type of movie, it’s hard to fault it. I mean, this isn’t a cinematic masterpiece or anything, but it’s just about pitch perfect for what it is. Very impressive. It reminds me of oldee tymee romantic comedies. It’s even got a musical number! (Sort of.)

I also love that some people absolutely loathe this movie. There’s reams of those! So funny.

(The last half hour or so isn’t as strong as the first hour, and that’s unfortunately typical for the genre, too: The third act has to have All The Drama.)

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 August 16th: Sextuplets

Sextuplets. Michael Tiddes. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★

Wayans namechecks Tyler Perry early on in this movie, and for good reasons: The gag here is that Wayans plays six different characters.

It’s an unpretentious, silly movie, and there are jokes that work. But they don’t come along very often.

Looking at imdb, apparently a large number of people really hate this movie. “Complete garbage” and the like. Have these people never seen a movie before?

I mean, it’s not, like… good… but I’ve seen thousands of movies that are worse than this. (Half of them are from Netflix this year.) Is this a racist thing?

It’s not annoying and there were plot points (FSVO) that I didn’t see coming. That counts for something.

On the other hand, the script seems pretty much like a random walk.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 August 2nd: Otherhood

Otherhood. Cindy Chupack. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★

The Netflix recipe is to put a bunch of actors we like watching into a movie, and not really spending any money whatsoever on anything else, like directors or a script.

But so what? Bassett, Arquette and Huffman are fun to watch.

This starts off like it’s a lighthearted middle-age comedy, but then it turns out not to be not very funny at all. In a good way. It’s a wistful, melancholic movie about relationships. I was initially very confused and found it a bit formless, but it’s kinda interesting.

I like all the shots from the streets of Manhattan. Very romantic.

I loathe the three act structure that everybody tries to shoehorn their movies into (it’s “serious”), so when the last half hour started and the protagonists started having a fallout I assumed that the rest of the movie was going to suck, because that’s the norm. And, yes, there’s choppy waters, but it’s fine.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.