by Alex Chiles, who you can find adjusting to paying for movies again on Twitter @axchiles
Since we last spoke, devout Dive35 readers, I have stopped working at Warren Theatres. Among many things, this means I will have to pay to see movies once again. While in mourning of the loss of my youth and series of $10 bills that will start exiting my wallet, I turned to the world of streaming to see if there were any worthwhile new films to watch.
As you may be aware, both Netflix and Amazon (among others) are purchasing the rights to new films after festival debuts, meaning there are some legitimate films floating around out there that aren’t getting the traditional theater treatment anymore. The problem? These films aren’t well marketed. And by that, I mean, literally nothing happens. The film is released on the streaming service and sits there, while it gets buried by OITNB and 37 superhero series, and it would not be your fault if you missed these completely. So, I got out my shovel, scooped my way to some new 2017 films, and reviewed them for your reading pleasure.
Win It All
One sentence review: Win It All is an enjoyable but ultimately forgettable and predictable experience.
Full review: Although seeing this film only a few weeks ago, I’ve already started to forget it. Don’t get me wrong- it’s a very enjoyable film. Jake Johnson’s performance is solid, but not exactly a stretch from his previous roles (Nick from New Girl is channeled pretty hard here). The supporting cast is also solid: Joe Lo Truglio is great, which is no surprise to me, as his performance on Brooklyn Nine-Nine keeps it as one of the most consistent comedies on TV. Keegen Michael Key (of Key & Peele fame) is pretty wonderful here as well.
Win It All follows a pretty traditional story arc and might be a little too predictable, but I give it props for its dedication to making its climbing out of rock bottom story feel authentic. What the film may lack in originality is made up for in character development (my favorite thing!), which makes both the ups and the downs of his transformation much more meaningful than you might expect.
Should you watch this movie? I would say yes, but with modest expectations. It will leave your socks firmly on, but you probably won’t regret watching it.
Where? You can find this buried in Netflix’s vast overwhelming streaming selection, so the search function might come in handy here.
The Girl With All The Gifts
One sentence review: The Girl With All The Gifts has an interesting nugget of an idea and is well directed, but is ultimately bogged down by illogical plotting and character decision making.
Full review: After about a half hour of this one, I thought I was seeing something worthwhile. The score built tension well, the shots were interesting, the initial action sequence was effectively chaotic, and the film was deftly leaning into its unique premise, which struck a perfect chord of mystery with me, leaving me wanting to learn more about this film’s world. Alone, that’s a certainly impressive feat in a genre in which everything has seemingly been done already.
Unfortunately, then there’s the rest of the movie. The remaining run time is spent on a really dumb story, even more dumb character decisions that constantly and needlessly put the group in danger, and eventually leads to an ending that seems bold but doesn’t feel earned because, you guessed it, it’s dumb!
The more I think and write about it, the less I like the film. I should just stop.
Should you watch this movie? No, unless you are a zombie completionist or are so desperate for a somewhat unique look on the genre that you are willing to look past a great deal of flaws. BONUS: As a fun but possibly life-ending drinking game, take a shot every time a character makes an illogical decision!
Where? This can be found on Amazon Streaming, but honestly, you have a better alternative just waiting for you on the same service: the zombie-ish TV show BrainDead. You won’t regret it. Thanks to Bill Graham (writer on www.thefilmstage.com and mainstay on the Film Stage Show) for the suggestion.
Top 10 so far:
- Get Out
- The Big Sick
- Wonder Woman
- Lego Batman Movie
- John Wick: Chapter 2
- Win It All
- The Girl With All The Gifts
Current Last Place: