When you don’t want to spend money at the movies and just feel like you want a Netflix night at home, you have a huge arsenal of material to choose from. Netflix however has become a big part in entertainment for the small screen and one of the best things about Netflix is that they are now coming into creating their own original shows and movies. Here is a list of the ones I happened to catch during the 2016 year. Good or bad I am glad Netflix is developing their own stuff and I hope they keep going.
I love a good thriller and Netflix definitely provides a ton of options at my disposal to watch while just hanging out at home. This movie stumbled around not knowing what to do in an attempt to give us a unique twist on the whole home invasion scenario. It was a bit boring, a little predictable, characters weren’t interesting enough, and didn’t really leave a mark in my memory to recommend it or stash it under the good list of other thrillers out there. This was a total miss.
1 out of 5
Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday
Everything you expected from a Pee-Wee Herman movie took off in this film starting with a conversation on friendship with an alien, to bank robbers, the Amish, and a road trip with lots of colorful characters from Fairville to NYC all so he can attend Joe Manganiello’s birthday party and live a little in the process. This movie isn’t as good as Tim Burton’s Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure but Pee-Wee hasn’t changed a bit and that is a good thing. The movie is what you expected doing unrealistic movies and antics you would only find in an animated feature. So if that is not enough to watch it, this movie isn’t for you but if you are familiar with Pee-Wee Herman a.k.a Paul Reubens, you know that is the charm that makes his character and movies great. Also, Manganiello is hilarious in this. Great idea that he played himself in the film.
3 out of 5
XOXO is a ride into the lives of EDM (electronic dance music) and the people who love them. Specifically focusing on 6 individuals who attend the biggest party XOXO and their lives changing as the night goes forward. This movie deals with taking chances, going after your dreams, love, relationships, and redemption all while listening to loud music, getting high, and living life. Not too much star power in this film but definitely some familiar faces if you are paying attention. Modern family’s Sarah Hyland, Veronica Mar’s Ryan Hensen, and comedian Chris D’Ella (NBC’s Undateable) are the most recognizable of the bunch but the rest of the cast were great. Only those who like and attend EDM parties can verify the authenticity of this movie but the movie is still fun to watch. Nothing new brought to the table but the storylines are something that young adults go through when trying to be on their own and leave a mark in the world. I did like the music too. Maybe I like EDM now.
3 out of 5
This movie is so weird that it works. I wouldn’t even know how to categorize this. I guess this falls under mostly horror but it’s so crazy you find yourself laughing at it because you can’t believe what you are watching but you can’t seem to turn away. Fran Kranz (TV’s Dollhouse, Cabin In the Woods) is Kyle, a father, husband, and social media consultant for a bank who gets a visit from an old friend (Adam Goldberg) Zack, who gives him an offer of a lifetime to go to a weekend retreat called Rebirth. Hesitant at first, he decides to take a chance but its a choice he will regret the minute he arrives. Fran gives a great performance as you feel just as confused and scared for his life as he does. So many things happen in this movie and doesn’t allow you to take a breath to let what the previous scene sink in. It’s not gory or over the top horror. To some it could give you anxiety or it just keeps you engaged to see how this all plays out. The ending was a little anti climatic but you make of it what you will afterwards. Watch this movie and you tell me would you do something like this to be reborn?
4 out of 5
The Fundamentals of Caring
Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts make a great pair in this buddy comedy with a handful of drama that just tugs at your emotions just enough for you to be thoroughly entertain through the whole film. Paul Rudd plays Ben a caregiver who has been assigned his first job caregiving for Trevor. This is not Role Models again if that is what you are thinking. I am still waiting for a sequel by the way. Hint Hint. Rudd is a lot more caring in this film as they embark on a road trip as sort of bucket list and run into some colorful characters and learn something about themselves as well as develop a great friendship along the way. This movie was both funny and heartfelt at the same time. The writing was the best part of this film and the chemistry between the two just enhanced an already good story. There are plenty of feel good moments and also times when you are sucked in and forget you are watching a comedy. You will know what I mean when you watch it. Add Selena Gomez in the mix who is still on a mission to step far away from her Disney past. Casting directors, we get it, they are not children anymore. Stop making these child actors say every single swear word in the dictionary. A big shout out to Craig Roberts. He did a phenomenal job in this one. I will have to keep a lookout for more of his roles. Paul Rudd of course is just great. I do like seeing him in dramas now. This is one of the best films I have watched this year. Well played Netflix, well played.
5 out of 5
I am sure there are other great Netflix originals out right now and if there is one you enjoyed a lot, list them in the comment section. I will continue to watch more and give you the rundown on the good and bad.
Happy New Years!