As the type of person more likely to be indoors than out, I often find myself on Halloween or one of the nights close to it watching a movie with family or friends, and as a coward who has a general dislike of conventional modern horror the list of movies to choose from that still fit the Halloween spirit can be somewhat limited. In order to prepare myself and help others in the same predicament, I’ve scoured Netflix for its best seasonal fare and come up with a list of its best candidates.
A few nights ago I decided to play a movie on Netflix called Coffee Shop. While I didn’t love the movie 100%, I did find parts of it to be enjoyable.
The movie stars Laura Vandervoort as Donavan Turner, the owner of a struggling coffee shop in the middle of nowhere. Donavan started the coffee house at the young age of 19 with the goal to help developing countries once the shop really takes off. We first meet Donavan as she is meeting a guy at a local restaurant for a date. Donavan begins to tell us about her love life and how she let the perfect one go.
We then learn about the coffee shop’s struggles. The loan that Donavan took out to help develop her business eventually forced her business in limbo, while she finds herself underwater because of that loan. We learn that the bank with which she took her loan out was sold to a big New York bank.
Donavan’s ex-boyfriend tried to bail Donavan out but it ended up blowing up in his face.
Enter Ben, played by Cory M. Grant, who is a play write from New York but is currently in the small town that Donavan is in to try to write a new play. Ben ends up writing a play about falling in love with Donavan and in the process hurts her, loves her, and then helps save her business.
I liked the movie. I didn’t have any high expectations for it, but it was good. I found it to be a typical cheesy romance movie and probably wouldn’t watch it again. I liked the story idea, I liked the casting, but what I didn’t like is the scoring. When things got intense there was always going to be a song playing in the background paired with incredibly soft speaking. Instead of building up the emotions, it actually took me away from the story.
If you’re into simple cheesy movies, you will enjoy this. But if you’re looking for something with meat and twists, this one is probably not for you.
My Rating: 3/5.
In the most bizarre news I’ve heard in a while, Netflix has released a trailer for Neo Yokio, a cartoon created by Vampire Weekend’s lead vocalist and guitarist Ezra Koenig and starring Jaden Smith.
For the sake of transparency, there are two things that I have to say: there will be significant spoilers in this article, and I was biased against this movie before I watched it. First of all, I’m skeptical of Netflix Originals in general, despite gems like Mindhorn and Stranger Things as well as my confusion as to what makes an anime series “Netflix Original.” Secondly, in my cursory research of the film, I noticed that screenplay writer Jeremy Slater was responsible for another one of my least favorite movies, the generally negatively received horror movie The Lazarus Effect. Lastly, and arguably most importantly, I have seen the anime adaptation of Death Note before and am a fan of anime in general. From Dragonball Evolution to G-Saviour, and even Spike Lee’s Oldboy, Western film studios have for some reason decided that mediocre anime and manga adaptations are something that can’t be left to Japan. So, because we apparently haven’t been subjected to enough with the recent Ghost in the Shell adaptation, Netflix brings us a re-imagining of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note, which I had to watch to satisfy my morbid curiosity.
– Fuller House Season 3 launches on Friday, Sept 22 on Netflix
– Sept 22, 2017 is the 30th anniversary of the original FULL HOUSE airing (Full House episode one aired September 22, 1987)
– Season 3 of Fuller House on Netflix is broken into two parts. First 9 episodes will launch on Friday, September 22. The second 9 episodes will air sometime in December (date tbc)
After a long, hard weekend of scouring Netflix, I’m back again to talk about movies I’ve never seen as if I had some kind of authority on the subject. For this installment, I decided to search for something that could justify the “retro” in my title. After avoiding the temptation of watching a movie I’ve already seen and scrolling past some other well-known films, I came across Heathers.
This is a title that wasn’t too familiar to me, and its casual mention of suicide and listing as a dark comedy had me intrigued. It’s also listed under “Cult Movies,” although its inclusion alongside The Iron Giant and three different installments of the Sharknado franchise has me questioning what that really means, if anything. Unlike the last movie, Heathers is an American movie, written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann. Fans of recent TV shows will recognize the stars Christian Slater and Winona Ryder, who’ve each gotten a Golden Globe for their performances in Mr. Robot and Stranger Things respectively.
Ryder plays Veronica, who puts up with the company of the three eponymous Heathers in order to be a part of the most popular clique in her high school. While she’s not alone in hating the Heathers, Veronica stays with them until she meets the mysterious transfer student Jason, played by Slater. The movie continues to portray a typical high school setting, including levels of swearing, drinking, and sex one would expect of an actual high school rather than of one portrayed in a movie, until the tragic suicide of Heather Chandler.
Netflix’s categorization of this movie as a dark comedy was pretty appropriate; the dialogue before, during, and after these “suicides” is filled with irreverent dry wit. What was really surprising was that the movie was also able to deliver tense moments that could be genuinely unnerving as well, although those tended to be relatively short-lived. All of the stereotypes one would expect from a high school movie were there, but they were taken to their extremes and used to make statements not only about social structures and cliques, but about a wide array of topics including homophobia and bullying. The stereotypes and other motifs, such as the color associations of the Heathers group and reoccurring conversational structures, persist through the dramatic events of the film in order to both parody them and to highlight their ever-present influence. To be fair, though, reading too far into things is another thing that is mercilessly made fun of in this movie.
If you’ve read this far, it’s probably safe to say that you can tell that I enjoyed this movie, and I’m not alone. 95% of critics gave Heathers a positive review according to Rotten tomatoes, and Roger Ebert gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars. The movie even managed to achieve one of the highest honors of any modern work: having a musical made out of it. If I had to choose something to complain about, it would be that the soundtrack was lackluster even without its noticeable aging. That said, Slater’s and Ryder’s performances were a pleasure to watch, the writing for the jokes was consistently hilarious, and there were even some cool visual elements and details to enjoy throughout.
I apologize for another positive review, and for it being of another movie that definitely isn’t family-friendly, but if you’re in the mood for some dry, morbid humor, there are worse high school movies that you could choose.