Netflix Nourishment: 7th Edition
HOLD THE DARK
Director Jeremy Saulnier has quite the knack for creating amazing atmospheres, and the bleakness of this one is downright chilling. Regardless of confusion getting in the way with his ambiguous storytelling, the film stays absorbing in barbaric fashion as the madness emerges in an uncivilized, evil place and wondering if its clench is inescapable. The quality cast is willing to brave the darkness in this mixed bag of nature, noir and horror, but they do not come with easy explanations as to why people do what they do.
SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER
Here’s the thing—you’ve seen this all before & done better. With that said, director Samuels still assembles a sincere teen romance w/ a big heart that centers around acceptance of who you are & even more so of those who are quick to judge w/o getting to know you. You can rely on Purser’s fantastic standout performance to push the plot through any annoyance.
The animation is solid, but this sci-fi adventure’s story doesn’t feel functional and made up of hand-me-down parts. It’s a kids Transformers where the love of blowing up robots is endless, yet there’s a shortage in overall entertainment.
Dan Stevens is outstanding and brings the intensity to a horror thriller where his sister has been kidnapped and held for ransom by a forlorn cult. But that’s only scratching the surface of director Gareth Evans‘ mystery story that slowly descends in to dementedness. It’s not quite scary, though hardly typical. Its stellar strangeness unsettles the nerves until all hell breaks loose and the bulked-up brutality takes over. Things get nasty from there, which should be surprising to no one if you know the filmmaker’s resume.
A soulful, adoring portrait of an icon who has his fingerprints all over music history. Directing alongside Alan Hicks, Quincy’s daughter Rashida Jones takes us on an intimate journey of an artist who couldn’t be boxed-in as well as a man with mortality weighing heavy on his mind. Being the first to walk through so many doors invites infuriating racism and leaves scars of the sacrifices made to have such a legendary career. But with family by his side and the humanitarian he continues to be, it’s nothing short of inspiring. His generosity is almost as extraordinary as his accomplishments.
This monotonous medium story doesn’t have the smarts to get creative or – at the very least – pull some jokes out of it. It’s a scam of a scary movie where there are no scares and no surprises. If you wanna be bored this Halloween season, here’s your chance.
A commonplace comedy out in the open sea about a father and daughter drinking, swimming, and singing their way to reconciliation. Kelsey Grammer and Kristen Bell are fantastic together, making their bonding experience more entertaining than expected.
THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY
A charming, old-fashioned romance about how reading became a great rescuer during and after WWII’s aftermath. Lily James is terrific as a writer whose curiosity gets her involved in a book club with secrets. Yet, as appealing and sweet as the movie may be, the emotional and mystery elements don’t quite add up to keep us intrigued nor involved throughout.
TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE
A comforting teen rom-com about secret crushes, the awkwardness of first-time dating, and the bond of sisterhood. Even while having those constant cliches of the genre, director Susan Johnson makes the material feel genuine and relatable. And her terrific cast helps with that, specifically Lana Condor and Noah Centineo. Their chemistry is contagious as they fake it til they make it.
THE LAND OF STEADY HABITS
An authentic mid-life crisis story carried by a wonderful performance from Ben Mendelsohn playing a self-destructing father/husband who wants to reinvent himself after leaving his wife and going in to early retirement. With his every move, there are consequences for him and his fragmented family. Writer/director Nicole Holofcener does a splendid job of inserting comedy in to tragic circumstances, maturely depicting parenting, growing-up, and loss.
An eye-opening, effective documentary about how Roe vs. Wade came to be, and how a private matter became a political one. Directors Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern get both sides of the story, each strong in their beliefs about abortions and who it’s saving. It’s a deeply, divisive issue that women appear to be getting shunned out of and they’re getting sick and tired of it.
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“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.