Netflix - Second Catch-Up- 2018
Apostle comes from the mind of writer-director Gareth Evans (The Raid 1&2), with the story taking place in 1905 on an isolated island ran by a religious cult. Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) manages to infiltrate the cult, in hopes that he can rescue his sister from the clutches of the cult that kidnapped her. Evans' complete control of atmosphere, tone, and tension is on full display throughout the runtime. The world he drops the audience in is full of dirt, lies, and religious fanaticism, that leaves you wanting to walk away while still drawing you in. The acting is solid all around, with Dan Steven just adding another disturbed, slightly unhinged performance to his belt. The story flows well, and the violence, while never shying away from the gore, doesn't feel gratuitous, but I can see it turning off a select few. I enjoyed my time on the island, it felt like a stepchild of Raimi's Evil Dead. Go watch it.
Title: The Night Comes for Us
Keeping it in The Raid family, The Night Comes for Us has a lot of the original cast from The Raid along with the stunt and fight coordinators bringing that same non-stop action along for the ride. I'll be upfront about this movie, it is not for everyone and while I enjoyed the ride, many parts of this movie weren't for me. The action and the fight choreography is spectacular as we have come to expect from them, but the length of the movie, the plot, and the acting from the new additions hinder the overall enjoyment. Also, the gore is over the top, something that you are either onboard with or will turn you off completely. I had fun, but I felt the length, and that is something you shouldn't feel when the action is non-stop. I would watch it if you are a fan of The Raid, just don't have high expectations.
Title: The Christmas Chronicles
The Christmas Chronicles is the latest Netflix original Christmas movie. Netflix has really invested in the Holiday and Rom-Com genre, evoking the same Hallmark movie model, with better actors and a slightly better budget. Here we get the great Kirk Russell as Saint Nick, and he fits the part perfectly, giving him mounds of charisma and a devilishly inviting smile. While Russell's performance elevates this movie ever so much, you cannot ignore the fact that it is just a rehash of countless holiday movies that came before it and that the supporting cast's performance does belong in a Hallmark movie. However, if you have burned through all your "go to" Christmas movies, and you do not want to talk to THAT aunt or uncle, this is not a bad movie to watch.
Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
To All the Boys I've Loved Before takes the framework set up back in the 80s with movies like Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles and puts a bit of a modern spin on it giving this generation of teenagers their rom-com/coming of age movie. The story follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor) a shy high school teen that after mailing love letters to, well the title says it, creates a fake relationship with Peter (Noah Centineo) to prove that she is over all the other boys. The movie captures the spirit of the genre, and if you are a fan of any of the Hughes' films, you will enjoy this movie. The leads are charismatic and funny. The supporting cast is enjoyable and doesn't fall in the annoying sidekick realm, and the story naturally progresses never feeling forced or contrived. It is a good movie to watch at home.
Title: Set it Up
Set it Up falls in the same category as the movie above it, and it is almost like I organized them to fit in the same page, the Netflix rom-com. However, I did not enjoy this movie as much since this one did feel forced and contrive when it came to the story progression. The story follows two assistants of two demanding bosses. They come up with the plan to make their bosses fall in love, in other to make their work life more manageable, and wouldn't you know it they also fall in love with each other. Classic rom-com shenanigans, I just did not by the leads or the bosses’ personas, and the chemistry was lacking. Netflix has a lot of better offerings when it comes to this genre, so I wouldn't rush to see this one.
Title: Like Father
I love Kelsey Grammer, I cannot count the times I've watched Frasier and Cheers, and I love Kristen Bell, The Good place is the best comedy on TV right now. I love them so much that I enjoyed this Royal Caribbean commercial. This "movie" has to be the most expensive, elaborate Royal Caribbean commercial ever made. The way they unabashedly showcase all the bells and whistles of the boat was hilarious, yet I had fun. Bell and Grammer have great chemistry and the story while being familiar (the workaholic finding out she should work less and enjoy life), was entertaining. Look, you could do far worse, especially when it comes to the crop Netflix put out this year. Watch it if you have nothing else to see, or if you are planning to take a cruise.
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