Netflix Nourishment: 28th Edition
What director Michael Showalter was able to do with The Big Sick and his leading man Kumail Nanjiani isn’t repeated with this bumpy action rom-com. He has a tough time turning its feeble plot into something hilarious and unforgettable. It also doesn’t help that scenes where it gets physical are dull to watch. However, the chemistry between Nanjiani and Issa Rae is off the charts. Portraying a couple calling it quits shortly before their car is used as a murder weapon, it’s their witty give-and-take that gets some laughs and keeps you involved. If it wasn’t for them, this light entertainment wouldn’t have much of a reason to exist.
ALL DAY AND A NIGHT
As a young man from the hood is thrown in the same prison as his father, director Joe Robert Cole takes us down the windy, violent road to redemption. Ashton Sanders and Jeffrey Wright are compelling as two fathers who want their kids to be nothing like them – to go on and do great things. Unfortunately, for every bit of cognizance and thoughtfulness this crime drama offers, they’re overshadowed by cliched characters, stereotypes, and one trite narrative.
Following the former First Lady on her book tour, the class and dignity Michelle Obama brings is front and center. Where she comes from, her accomplishments, her struggles – it’s all there if not quite delved into as some would hope. Still, director Nadia Hallgren captures intimate moments worth being apart of. We witness how genuine she seems to be with the public, how her words speak volumes to those who are willing to listen, and her high hopes for the youth. This inviting, feel-good documentary deserves more, but what it does provide is a woman who is now more free than ever to make a world of difference.
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: Adventures in Psychedelics
Through funky animated recollections and re-enactments, this psychedelia documentary is like listening to a crazy dream come to life, but since you weren’t there – you stop caring rather quickly. The bright colors and transformative shapes director Donick Cary throws in is hypnotizing, though his true purpose of demystifying psychedelic drugs and diving in to their untapped potential in the medical field is a lost cause. The funny famous folks sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly trips taken is what will keep you watching. Admittedly, the after school special portion is the most amusing.
When being taught the dos and don’ts while under the influence of these particular mind-altering remedies, the power they possess can open up minds, make one feel connected to the world, and show that love is all you need. Sounds comforting doesn’t it? Don’t expect any kind of revelations when coming down from this reiterative and unrewarding high.
THE WRONG MISSY
This new Happy Madison rom-com takes texting the wrong person to a crazy, cringeworthy level that should surprise no one. The real surprise lies with director Tyler Spindel having a variety of jokes that stick their landing. The difference maker is Lauren Lapkus. Playing the more serious role this time around, David Spade steps aside for her to run amok and make us crack up. It’s almost enough to not pay attention to how predictable and indolent the story is and its sham of a blooming romance. Almost. The audience knows what they’re in store for, and when the movie is funnier than its trailer…there’s no way you can be disappointed, right?
Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.