Category: Netflix

Da 5 Bloods: Battle scars never fully heal

Four men – aging Vietnam vets laden with the scars of their service – return to the land that forged them in search of their fallen commander’s grave and the gold bullion that lies with it. For a filmmaker like Oliver Stone, this story would be a bombastic tale of frustration and anger boiling to the surface without much humanity under the surface. Director … Read More Da 5 Bloods: Battle scars never fully heal

The Half of It: Dig deeper into Netflix’s vault

Two out of every three Netflix Original films aren’t worth the price of admission. They’re the bargain bin, direct-to-DVD level fodder usually starring David Spade or that one girl who used to be on that one television show back in the day. You don’t remember her name, but it doesn’t really matter. With the coronavirus pandemic keeping movie theaters closed, it’s prime ground for … Read More The Half of It: Dig deeper into Netflix’s vault

Extraction: Violence in the melodrama

Sam Hargrave’s directorial debut couldn’t have gone much better. The former stunt coordinator and second unit director landed Thor himself, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth to play the film’s lead with a script written by “Avengers: Endgame” co-director Joe Russo. Within its first month, over 90 million people have seen Hargrave’s “Extraction” and a sequel to the Netflix original action thriller has already been greenlit … Read More Extraction: Violence in the melodrama

Uncorked: Fathers and sons

Over the last several years, major film directors have made their way to the small screen, making limited series in search of creative freedom and risk-taking with the help of content hungry streaming services. Slowly but surely, this trend is starting to pay dividends for movie lovers as young, talented television writers and creators are making their way to feature films. Prentice Penny, show … Read More Uncorked: Fathers and sons

Spenser Confidential: Last man standing

It started with unflappable British spy James Bond heading for the hills as “No Time To Die” moved from a mid-April release to late November. Within the last week, film studios have been shelving their biggest upcoming releases with Disney’s “Mulan” postponed indefinitely and Universal’s ninth “Fast and the Furious” film pushed to 2021 amid growing concerns for public safety due to the coronavirus … Read More Spenser Confidential: Last man standing

The Last Thing He Wanted: Short term loss, long term value

With a seemingly endless budget, Netflix continues to pour money into project after project with avid disregard for the bottom line. This strategy may seem counter-intuitive to budget conscious business owners, but for film lovers, the streaming service writing blank checks to everyone from Martin Scorsese to Noah Baumbach to Michael Bay is an overall win. Some productions may miss the mark financially, but … Read More The Last Thing He Wanted: Short term loss, long term value

Marriage Story: Finding the beginning in the end

We’ve been told there’s two sides to every story. Often it feels as if it’s as simple as the truth and then anything other than the truth. But what happens when both sides of the story are true but conflict, or worse yet, outright contradict one another? Writer/director Noah Baumbach explores this complex duality through the structure of a fractured relationship in his latest … Read More Marriage Story: Finding the beginning in the end

The Irishman: Legacy of a cinematic Don

At the end of the day, what’s it all about? It’s a question that continuously lingers under the surface of celebrated auteur Martin Scorsese’s latest feature, a melancholy retrospective that acts almost like a career summation filled with riddles of bullets and dynamically vulgar dialogue. For the premier filmmaker in the gangster genre, Scorsese’s “The Irishman” definitively closes the book on how crime dramas … Read More The Irishman: Legacy of a cinematic Don

Dolemite Is My Name: Return of a comedy legend

From the moment he begins a verbal diatribe that drowns out Marvin Gaye, it’s apparent that Eddie Murphy has a special passion for his latest role. It’s evident in the way he carries himself, in the timbre of his voice and the cadence with which he recite lyrical tongue-twisters with effortless repetition. Murphy melts into his homage to one of his mentors and heroes, … Read More Dolemite Is My Name: Return of a comedy legend

The Laundromat: The muddled world of international finance

Taking risks in filmmaking can be a bold way to put a unique spin on stories we already know well. Biopics and other movies about historical events and figures are often chronological and stale, though recent efforts to infuse life into the genre have proven to be a welcome change. Since writer/director Todd McKay’s darkly comic take on the financial crisis of 2008 won … Read More The Laundromat: The muddled world of international finance

American Factory: The price of globalization

There have been a number of exceptional documentaries released in 2019 covering a range of political, historical and pop culture topics. Perhaps none sits quite on the threshold of where the United States stands currently in an everchanging global economy than the latest Netflix release, “American Factory.” A top non-fiction film and award winner to come out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this … Read More American Factory: The price of globalization

Murder Mystery: An unnecessary whodunit?

Perhaps the biggest saving grace about “Murder Mystery,” the latest movie partnership between Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions and Netflix, is that no one will have to pay money to sit in a movie theater to endure 100-plus minutes of subpar cinema. It isn’t just that the production design is simplified to a level that almost none of the crime comedy’s supposedly luxurious foreign … Read More Murder Mystery: An unnecessary whodunit?