When I first saw the trailer, I was excited to buy a ticket and see it in a theater. Much to my surprise, this very high budget, globe-trotting movie was made for streaming on Netflix. With Michael Bay producing and directing, the action scenes are beautifully shot and choreographed but the story is a little challenging to follow. This feel looks and feels shockingly expensive for a streaming service. I have to admit when Michael Bay has an R-rating, it is a guilty pleasure of mine. Grade: B minus.
Will Smith drags Martin Lawrence out of retirement for this unnecessary but pretty fun ride. Looked and felt like a Bad Boys film even though the original Director didn't return. Some truly ridiculous plot twists in the third arc leave a bad taste. Worse ways to spend a snowy winter day. Grade: C plus
This movie lives and dies on the chemistry between its lead actors - Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson. I am a fan of both of them but there is no particular chemistry between the two that suggests this movie should have gotten past the screen test stage. Everyone is just going through the motions with few surprises or chuckles to be had. I did like the opening credits sequence though. That was well done. Grade: C minus.
Noah Centineo starts in his third romantic comedy created by Netflix but this time he is the lead as opposed to the foil for the female lead as in his past two films. He continues to show that he can hold his own opposite his strongest cast yet. The movie boasts both Laura Marano (Austin & Ally) and Camila Mendes (Riverdale) as the other leads but Mendes is clearly "click bait" as she barely appears in the movie more than what is shown in the trailer. This movie is clearly a vehicle for Centineo opposite a surprisingly talented Marano but the plot remains too obvious with little to enjoy other than the rising star of Centineo. Grade - C
Unfortunately, I expected better. The movie ends up having two roles. First, it is an origin story about Captain Marvel. As such, it follows the regular Marvel formula and does so satisfactorily but brings little new other than the hero is amnesiac. Second, the movie acts as an unnecessary prequel taking place in the 90's. As such, it answers random questions. Because of the weight of Infinity War and that we know all these characters will survive this film, it has no suspense. The jokes and plot are insufficient to carry the film alone. Plus the Disney de-aging technology used on Samuel Jackson (and others) is just creepy and is 94% successful which has a really weird rendering effect on the actor(s). Had this film come out in a different part of the sequencing of Marvel films, I would have been more kind. Sadly, I need to give it a "C".
A solid film with an outstanding performance by James McAvoy and some really interesting camera angles. Add in a strong score for good measure. Over all - a solid "B".
By now, you probably are aware that two different documentaries regarding the failed 2017 Fyre Festival are available on Netflix and Hulu. I watched them both one day apart. Either one is a fascinating look into the arrogance and gross identity consumerism that afflicts a certain group of young adults. They are not conflicting documentaries, so it is not critical you watch both to get the full story. From pacing to telling a more rounded story of perspectives/victims, the Netflix documentary is far superior. The only advantage that Hulu has is they have the exclusive interview with the fraudster at the center of the whole thing. But that interview is pretty useless and not super informative. Overall - Netflix (Fyre) - Solid B. Hulu (Fyre Fraud) - C+