NFLX2019 May 30th: Chopsticks

Chopsticks. Sachin Yardi. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★

Hey, yet another Indian movie…

They have been of more variable quality than the American movies (which are mostly er not very good), so perhaps this’ll be good? It’s a comedy, at least.

This is mainly a Hindi-speaking film (I think?), but when they speak English (as all Indians seem to do at the drop of a hat), the subtitles disappear and it’s all pretty incomprehensible.

It’s got some pretty charming actors. Especially the lead, Mithila Palkar, is great as the hapless young woman doing her level best to live her life. The problem is that that level is so modest that you can’t help respond to most of these scenes with OH NOOOOOOOES! So there’s some cringe, but it winds its way through its plot in a quite pleasant way. It’s well made, but slight.

I laughed out loud at the antics here and there.

Uhm:

Like the inconvenient cutlery it is named after, there’s little reason to try it if there are alternatives to be found.

That’s a weird flex, but whatevs.

The plot is basically Pygmalion, but in a very tidy Indian underworld. The education she’s subjected to feels more than a little abusive at times, though. And some of the twists are just too too.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 May 31st: Always Be My Maybe

Always Be My Maybe. Nahnatchka Khan. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★

Hey, this looks cute. It’s about two friends growing up?

Wow, that’s a weird song choice. Young Americans (by David Bowie) in a horrible cover version? Didn’t want to pay for the rights or would it be too obvious that that’s a horrible choice of a song to play over a montage of two kids having fun at a fair?

Other than that weird scene, this is such a slick movie. It’s so professional: All the sets are perfect; the actors are just right for the characters; the lines zip as if they’ve been polished just the right amount of time; the cinematography is colourful and stylish.

Which sounds like I think this is a bit soulless? A bit too calculated? A bit too generated by a Netflix algo?

But no, I’m really enjoying this. It wouldn’t have worked without the charming actors, but it just meanders amiably, which I like. While it’s obvious what some of the beats in the movie are going to be, the plot isn’t completely predetermined.

It’s funny. And Keanu is hilarious playing a fictional version of himself.

(The jokes about high-end food are a bit tired and the pivot to “genuine” food is *eye roll*.)

After I started this Netflix blog project I’ve been asked several times (that is, three?) whether there’s any of the movies I’d just randomly recommend. My answer has been “no” until now. I loved Paris Is Us, but I know that nobody else did, and Polar was nihilistic fun, but, again, everybody else hated it. But I think this may be the first Netflix Original that I’d say “yeah, watch that”. It’s not a great movie, but it’s almost perfect for what it is.

Bring all your hankies.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

Eclipse to Pacific

Last summer, I did a little separate blog on Eclipse Comics, and nine months after I wrote the last blog article “proper” for the blog, I finally got the documents about the
Toren Smith vs. Eclipse Enterprises court case.

So now that that blog is over for reals, I thought it might be fun to write a bit about a comics company often mentioned whenever somebody mentions Eclipse: Pacific Comics.

It’ll be a much shorter series of blog articles, and I’m aiming at one article every other day, but we’ll see.

The first introductory article should be up now, unless I messed something up…

NFLX2019 May 24th: Rim of the World

Rim of the World. McG. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★

It’s a sci-fi movie by the guy who produces Supernatural? Sure, I’m in.

Oh, it’s a movie for children. Oh, well.

Hey, it’s kinda amusing. Lots of kooky characters; some great lines.

Heh heh. I laughed out loud in real life loudly. This is funny!

As with Malibu Rescue, I’m not totally sure whether this is meant for children or whether it’s a for stoned adults. Sine of the gags are a bit too gross for them to be for children, and the body count is too high, you’d have thought… But perhaps not?

And weirdly enough, once the aliens finally attack, it gets less interesting. There are individual scenes that are funny, and there are good action scenes, but something about the timing seems off. It’s not that it’s hugely over-long or anything, but it doesn’t zip the way it should. And some of the CGI is pretty unimpressive.

But… it is fun.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 May 24th: The Perfection

The Perfection. Richard Shepard. 2018. ☆☆☆☆☆★

I’m not sure in what sense this is a “Netflix Original”. It’s a Miramax movie released in 2018… but then Netflix bought the exclusive distribution rights? Or something?

OK, I’m hiding the rest of the text because if you want to watch this movie, you should be un-spoilered. Click here at your own risk!

This is a pretty stylish horror movie. At least I think it is (15 minutes in): The tension is ratcheting up very nicely.

There’s more throwing up and diarrhoea than you’d expect in a random movie, but at the 30 minute mark I started guessing whether this was going to turn into a zombie movie or a vampire movie, and then she started throwing up maggots.

If you’re not into movies where people throw up maggots this is not a movie for you.

And then… WOW! OK, I can’t write any more about the plot of this movie because you should know absolutely anything about the plot of this movie before you watch it.

Forget I even said the bit about the “wow”. I’m flabbergasted. It’s so refreshing to get a total upset in the middle of the movie. I don’t think it’s signalled that heavily, but everything just makes more sense after the reveal: Even the way the actors are acting.

I like pretty much everything about this movie: The actors are fresh, the cinematography is perfect for this movie, and the storyline is so out there. OK, at one point towards the end it devolves into stupidity of such proportions that it threatens to negate any positive feelings you may have about the movie.

Very twisty.

It’s a grisly, gruesome movie.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 May 17th: See You Yesterday

See You Yesterday. Stefon Bristol. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★

What’s this then? From the name it sounds like a science fiction movie… but it’s produced by Spile Lee? Is that what he does these days? I kinda lost track of him in the 90s after a couple of kinda boring movies he did after the initial burst of great movies…

I was so intrigued that I did something that I rarely do before watching these Netflixes: I googled the movie.

Intriguingly enough, it’s got a 94% rating on Rottentomatoes, and an impossibly low 4.9 rating on imdb: When you get below 5 in imdb, you’re usually way into home movie territory… or the movie is subject to a Nazi block voting campaign.

And you can see why nazis would get upset about this movie: It’s about a teenage girl (*gasp*) who’s smart (*gasp*) and a nerd (*gasp*) and (*gasp*) black (*gasp*).

So I’m intrigued. Let the movie start!

The actors are very likeable. The cinematography bucks the current Netflix trend of colour-correcting everything into washed-out greys and leaves at least some splashes of colour, which I appreciate. I like that it’s very difficult to even tell what this movie is going to be about: Sure, there’s kids building a time machine, but at least this far (I’m 20 minutes in), it’s mostly like interpersonal drama and stuff.

Oh! And then the plot really starts at the mid-way point. I can understand them spending time on getting us to know the characters so that it feels important for the plot to work out… and it worked. Still, it feels excessively slow, and not in an interesting way.

The movie lacks energy.

I’m going to guess that the ending is going to annoy a lot of people, but I think it works.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 May 16th: Good Sam

Good Sam. Kate Melville. 2019. ☆☆★★★★

Watching Netflix Originals in this way, one by one based on release date but knowing nothing about them, I find myself playing the What Genre Is Netflix Making A Generic Movie In Now? game.

This is about a scrappy TV reporter? It’s very efficient: In the second scene, the scrappy TV reporter is being chewed out by her sergeant I mean managing editor for being too reckless and “it’s gotta stop”. Movies in this genre usually wait until at least the fifth scene to do that bit.

This movie has the odd distinguishing factor of being the first Netflix Originals movie that’s in modern TV format (i.e., 16:9): All the previous ones have been wider. This makes it look even more like a TV series, which I’m going to guess is on purpose. Or perhaps it was made as a TV series pilot?

It’s a very Made For TV Movie: The actors are attractive, but not particularly er good; things keep happening without anything being too intense; the cinematography is… there…

There’s also a “mystery” in here, but the solution to the mystery is so obvious that it’s *eye roll*.

It’s intensely pedestrian, but it’s not particularly annoying. I can well imagine that many people would find this a perfectly inoffensive way to spend 90 minutes.

IT”S SO BORING!

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.