Category Archives: Netflix Review

First Friday – Netflix Reviews

Every month Netflix gets a whole list of new titles to watch! Check out what’s worth your time this week.

Kurtis – Cool Runnings:
Okay, this movie just hit Netflix September 1st and it’s important you all know about it. Cool Runnings is now streaming on demand, any time you want it. If you thought the addition of the Mighty Ducks was a big deal, now there’s even more mid-90s goodness to enjoy. For those unfamiliar, Cool Runnings is based on the true story of the rag tag group of Jamaicans who dreamed of being at the Winter Olympics as a bobsled team. There were some problems to start, but eventually, the first Jamaican bobsled team makes their way to Canada for the Olympics. In the freezing weather Derice, Sanka, Junior and Yul are laughed at because no one can take a Jamaican bobsledding team led by a previously disgraced trainer seriously. But, like so many other Disney movies, we learn that heart and character help all heroes overcome. Starring John Candy as the coach and featuring so many quotable lines (“Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! Cool Runnings!”) this movie features some powerful nostalgia for all of us who grew up in the 90s. If you look at this from solely a technical standpoint, it doesn’t blow anyone away. It doesn’t have an incredibly unique story, the writing, while funny, is pretty straightforward and nothing particularly interesting is going on with the direction. But it’s a kids movie, and it’s fun, and it’s funny and heartwarming, and it stirs great memories of when you actually had to go to a store to borrow a movie you didn’t own. So don’t miss this blast from the past on Netflix.
Bottom Line: If you grew up with this movie like I did, you owe it to yourself to revisit it. If you’ve never seen it before, go in expecting something light and entertaining, and I think it’ll totally hold up.
Rating: 3/5

Morgan – Forces of Nature:
This week I watched Forces of Nature, with Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck. And let me start out by saying that it was bad. So, so, painfully bad. The storyline is okay; it’s about a guy named Ben who is about to get married, and on his way to his wedding his plane crashes (sorta). He meets Sarah (Bullock) on his flight, who is also trying to get to Savannah, and they decide to take the rest of the trip together. After that, just about everything goes wrong. From then on, he takes it as a sign that he isn’t supposed to get married, and every one and everything is telling him he shouldn’t. I thought I would maybe slightly enjoy this movie, despite the fact that Netflix predicted it as a 2/5 stars for me. I mean it’s a rom-com, what’s not to love? I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I just hated it. I feel like it was trying to hard to be more than it was. It wasn’t really that funny. It was pretty boring, even though I felt like a lot happened. It doesn’t end how you think it should, which I hated, but was also kind of happy about.
Bottom Line: There were few things I liked about this movie, totaling seven minutes, maybe. However, not worth your time. And I love Sandra! Just skip it.
Rating: 1/5

Jordan – Jerry Maguire:
I always love when Netflix adds new movies. It forces me to try something new. Or in this case, something twenty years old that I’ve never seen. Jerry Maguire popped out to me because Kurtis said part of it was filmed in Arizona, and I’m all about AZ pride right now. Starting the movie, I realized I knew nothing about the movie other than the one liners. The story opens with Jerry (Tom Cruise) as a big shot sports agent who grows a conscience. His firm fires him and snatches all his clients except Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.). An accountant Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) also leaves the company with Jerry. As they start working together, Jerry bonds with Dorothy’s son Ray. Dorothy is totally enamored and they start a relationship that can only be described as toxic. The two leads are not my favorite actors. And instead of being together, I think their characters need counseling.
On the other hand, Jonathan Lipnicki is a diamond in the rough. He is adorable. Cuba Gooding, Jr. and his movie wife (Regina King) are phenomenal and steal every scene. The famous lines are way better with context, for sure.
Bottom Line: if you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a watch! Get some major pop culture. If you haven’t seen it in 20 years, watch it and enjoy the 90s nostalgia.
Rating: 3.5/5

What are you watching on Netflix? Tweet or Facebook us with #fnbnetflix.


Netflix Review Friday

We’re back from hiatus with post number TWO this week! (Go check out our first post about Leo Month here.)

We decided to start back with a fan favorite: Netflix Reviews!

Morgan – I Give It a Year (2013):
It’s the story of newly weds Nat and Josh who fell in love and got married after only seven months of knowing each other. Almost immediately after coming back from their honeymoon, they discover that being married to each other is more difficult than they thought. Both their families and their friends think they won’t make it past the first year. I thought the plot was interesting, however, the execution fell short for me. It’s a British rom-com, making the humor sometimes funny and sometimes terribly, terribly awful. I usually really enjoy British love stories, but this is no Love Actually. Rose Byrne and Simon Baker were both huge pluses for me which made the movie semi-bearable. And while it ended how I thought it should, the road map to get there was ehh at best.
Bottom Line: It’s a great movie to watch for a girls Pinterest night. In other words, if you’re not totally paying attention.
Rating: 1.5/5

Kurtis – Prince Avalanche (2013):
I was really excited to watch Prince Avalanche; an offbeat buddy comedy starring two of my favorite actors, sign me up. My excitement was soon met with disappointment as Prince Avalanche delivers a story far more scattered than nuanced. Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch) are two road workers spending the summer isolated in the mountains repairing and rebuilding from a devastating wildfire. The two men start out at odd with one another because their ages and personalities greatly differ and over the course of the film they become trusted confidants and even friends as they each try to work through the demons in their personal lives that have brought them out into the mountains for the summer. The film, however, tries so hard to be existential and contemplative that the subtext and unspoken messages are too muddied to take the viewer in any direction. All in all, Prince Avalanche is too thin on substance to be an engaging feature-length film and would have been better suited as a short film, as it moves too slowly making 90 minutes feel more like 180.
Bottom Line: Prince Avalanche feels as though it were made for critics to drool over and not for viewers to engage with. Skip it, much better options on Netflix right now.
Rating: 2/5

Jordan – Can’t Buy Me Love (1987):
I love high school teen romantic comedies. I don’t know why, but I do. Can’t Buy Me Love starts with Ronald (Patrick Dempsey aka McDreamy on “Grey’s Anatomy”) as the biggest nerd in school. He mows lawns during the summer while all the popular kids get to blow their parents money on clothes at the mall. Cindy (Amanda Peterson) is the most popular girl in school. In comes the She’s All That plot line. Ronald pays Cindy to pretend to be his girlfriend for one month. Slowly, they become friends and Cindy falls for Ronald. But Ronald falls for popularity.
It’s a fun movie. Great laughs, great characters, and always fun seeing the current heartthrob in his dorky teenager days. It’s definitely kick back and relax movie. Like on a Saturday when you’re cleaning your house. Bonus: it was filmed in Arizona, and that’s always a plus in my book.
Bottom Line: Not as iconic as Clueless, but would be great as a part of a high-school-movie marathon.
Rating: 3/5


What have you been watching on Netflix lately?

First French Friday – Netflix Reviews

Without consulting each other, we all picked movies this week very closely related to France: an American family relocated to France, the French resistance in East Germany, and a French-language film.

But that’s where the similarities end.

Check out our reviews of what we found on Netflix this month!

Jordan – The Family (2013):
Run Time: 111 minutes
Rated: R (For violence, language, and brief sexuality.)
Directed By: Luc Besson
I had no idea what I wanted to watch this week, but luckily the Netflix algorithm came to save the day! The Family is the story of Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro), a former mob boss in Brooklyn. He rats on his former friends and is relocated to Normandy under witness protection. His family (Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron, John D’Leo) are having trouble fitting in as well. In the first half hour of the movie, Dad buries a body, Mom burns down a convenience store, Sister beats up a creeper, and Brother takes over the cigarette sales at school. Overall, the plot is fun, engaging, sarcastic, and action-packed. You’re rooting for this family the whole time, even though a priest does call them “the incarnation of evil.”
Bottom Line: Don’t take it too seriously and I think you’ll enjoy it too. Unlike Rotten Tomatoes…
Rating: 4/5

Kurtis – Top Secret! (1984):
Run Time: 95 minutes
Rated: PG
Directed By: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker
Top Secret! was added to Netflix on May 1 and it’s definitely cause for spoof-lovers to rejoice. Top Secret! is the second major film from Jim Abrahams and David Zucker, the directors of Airplane! and follows along the same lines. It’s a combination of an Elvis-style film and a WWII spy movie but it touches on multiple different movie types perfectly. The great thing about this movie is that it features plenty of music spoofs as well, as American Rock Star Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer) is in Germany on a goodwill tour. Rivers falls in love with Hillary Flammond whose father is being held captive by the Germans. The two join with the French Resistance to rescue Dr. Flammond from prison. It’s a bit juvenile and the jokes are pretty simple, but that’s some of the allure of this style of spoof film, right? Abrahams and Zucker are able to create a great, silly atmosphere that allows over the top and simple gags to land perfectly and move on to the next one. This has got to be one of the great comedic classics and is a must-watch for fans of Airplane!, The Naked Gun, or the Police Academy movies. The simplicity and desperation of the story keep Top Secret! from becoming one of those movies you watch multiple times a year or a movie that you would just put on whenever you wanted to watch a movie (a movie like Spaceballs or Dumb and Dumber for me, personally) but it’s still a solid spoof that fans of the genre will enjoy.
Bottom Line: You need to take advantage of its availability on Netflix if you’ve never seen the movie, as the gags are really well done and Val Kilmer is perfect in the role. Just don’t expect this to become your new favorite movie.
Rating: 3/5

Morgan – The Intouchables (2011):
Run Time: 113minutes
Rated: R (For language and some drug use.)
Directed By: Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano
If you’re home on a Friday night with no plans (aka reading this right now) I want you to stop what you’re doing and go watch this movie right now. Okay, after you finish reading this. The Intouchables is an incredible story of a very rich and very French quadriplegic who is in need of a caretaker. He ends up hiring Driss, and eventually they form a friendship and bond that is so unique and wonderfully told that you can’t help but be touched. The film unfolds so perfectly, making you truly fall in love with these characters and feel such a range of emotions. I had no expectations when I first watched this movie, and it quickly made its way into my top favorites. It’s the type of movie that you really won’t understand how amazing it is until you see it for yourself.
Bottom Line: Just a heads up, it’s in French with subtitles. And it’s still amazing. Even if that’s not your thing, it’s a must see.
Rating: 5/5

Read some of our other Netflix reviews!

Buzzfeed posted this video about Netflix yesterday, and it’s perfect.

“First” Friday – Netflix Reviews

As you know, once a month we give you reviews of movies that you can rent from Redbox or watch on Netflix. Because staying at home is just better than going out.
Check out what we watched this week!

Morgan – Like Crazy:
This week I watched the movie Like Crazy. It came out in 2011 and for me  it was one of those movies that you’re kind of interested in seeing, but you never actually end up seeing. And then every time you see or hear something about it, you remember that you wanted to see but you still don’t, and then feel some sort of strange connection to it. Or is that just me..? SO, after three years of growing anticipation (sort of) I found that it was good, but not quite what I expected. It’s the story of two students who fall in love, but the girl violates the rules of her visa, and is sent back to England. They try long distance as they start working and growing as different people and are on and off like Ross and Rachel. It’s one of those movies where things happen but you don’t see them happen; you find out that they happened through the dialogue.
Bottom Line: Overall I liked it and am glad I watched it, even though the ending was terrible. Bonus: Jennifer Lawrence.
Rating: 2.5/5

Jordan – Stuck in Love:
This is a movie that I stumbled upon just through pure luck (and Netflix algorithms), but I’m pretty sure I’ve suggested it to at least a dozen people already. Stuck in Love focuses on the family dynamic after a very messy divorce. Greg Kinnear is a popular writer, who has his children keep journals to develop their own writing. Jennifer Connelly, his ex-wife, cheated on him and is now living with her boyfriend. Their college-aged daughter (Lily Collins – The Mortal Instruments) has her first book published, starts falling for the nice guy (Logan Lerman – The Perks of Being a Wallflower), and refuses to acknowledge her mom’s existence. The sixteen-year-old son (Nat Wolff – The Fault in Our Stars) is just starting to experience life for himself, mainly by dating his drug addict crush. It’s essentially “Parenthood” in movie form (you know, other than Parenthood).
Bottom Line: Good for those into family dramas. But it’s also rated R, so not the choice for the whole family.
Rating: 4/5

Kurtis – Side Effects:
For this week’s Netflix review, I watched a largely overlooked film from 2013, Side Effects (starring Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum). Side Effects is a drama that flirts with suspense as it explores the role of prescription medication in Emily’s (Rooney Mara) murder of her husband (Tatum). Her new psychiatrist (Law) is put in the cross hairs for not recognizing Emily’s change in behavior and he sets out to prove there’s more going on below the surface. This one is marketed as a thriller, and I’d say it fails to live up to that moniker, but it stands as a solid movie with an interesting story. The directing is great, there’s some really interesting camera angles and effects used throughout to enhance a movie surrounding psychiatric care. The acting is average, with Rooney Mara standing out in her manipulative role as a troubled wife. Altogether interesting, I can see why it has popular reviews amongst critics and viewers but there’s enough lacking to explain why it went to Netflix so quickly. Also, there’s a weird lesbian story line between Zeta-Jones and Mara that seemed to be thrown in for no real reason.
Bottom Line: Don’t go out of your way to watch this one, but if you’re looking for a solid movie on a night in, you won’t be disappointed.
Rating: 3/5

Bryson – The Silence of the Lambs:
By now, The Silence of the Lambs is considered a classic. It has been for years now and deservedly so. When it comes to movies though, the word “classic” can be thrown around like a beach ball at a Nickelback concert… ha, classic. Except this movie has all the needed ingredients for an American masterpiece. First, it won the big five: picture, actor, actress, director, and screenplay. Second, the acting of Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster make this thriller so intoxicating and believable all at the same time. Then there’s the directing of Jonathan Demme which constantly keeps us on the edge of our seats by perfectly combining the skills of Hopkins and Foster as well as Thomas Harris’ bestselling storyline. The Silence of the Lambs redefined the term thriller 23 years ago and there’s no doubt this classic will be loved for the next 23 and beyond.
Bottom Line: It isn’t much fun for the casual movie-goer but if you like horror-thrillers and appreciate great movie craftsmanship you won’t can’t miss this.
Rating: 5/5

What have you been watching on Netflix? Binging on any good shows/movies?

“First” Friday – Netflix Reviews

In case you haven’t heard Netflix had a major purge of some big name movies. HOWEVER, we all (except for Morgan) found some recently added ones to replace them. All hope is not lost!

Jordan – Breakfast at Tiffany’s:
Surprisingly, I’m a twenty-three year-old girl, who knew nothing about Breakfast at Tiffany’s before watching it. It’s Audrey Hepburn’s definitive role. And even though it came out in 1961, I feel like it could have easily been a Girls episode. Holly Golightly (Hepburn) is a total free spirit. She’s not concerned with true love or fulfilling expectations. She just wants to live her own life, not belonging to anyone. The plot is all over the place! There are enough conflicts for four or five romantic comedies: a mob boss, a secret family, a sugar mama, and prostitution claims.
Bottom Line: I’ll definitely check out some other Hepburn classics. I’d watch this again with some girlfriends. Or Bryson.
Rating: 3/5

Morgan – Safety Not Guaranteed:
My Netflix pick for this week was Safety Not Guaranteed. This movie was a very pleasant surprise. It’s a story about a journalist and two interns who work for a magazine and are investigating a story about someone who is looking for a time-travel companion. Sounds weird, right? It is. But a good weird. It has a pretty typical, awkward, independent film style feel to it, with a quirky love story perfectly mixed in. Aubrey Plaza is great, and it was nice to see a different side of Jake Johnson (New Girl‘s Nick), but Mark Duplass stole the show. My only complaint is the ending. It seemed like the writer and/or director just wanted to end it and threw something in there from left field. It just didn’t fit in well at all.
Bottom Line:  It’s different than what you expect, but an awesome flick. Possibly one of my new faves.
Rating: 4/5

Bryson – American Psycho:
A film about New York businessman, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), living a life full of greed, jealousy, and narcissism; this movie goes to the extreme and unbelievable on how those things rule his life. American Psycho, based off a novel, is directed by Mary Harron who does a superb job of creating a chilling, violent, and extremely creepy movie, to say the least. Bale acts the part of deranged businessman wonderfully and will almost certainly leave you with nightmares of a nude man running to kill you (to some that may seem appealing, not to me). I was held back by the semi-sluggish pace but more so the major lack of morality. I knew going into this movie there wasn’t going to be much of that but this movie left me with nothing. Overall I thought it was a well made movie with solid directing and a strong performance from Christian Bale but nothing that makes me say “Wow, that was amazing,” only, “Wow, that was creepy.” But maybe that’s the point?Bottom Line: It’s all about creepy, blood, and Bale. Something I like but don’t love.
Rating: 3.5/5

Kurtis – Drinking Buddies:
This is one that I was really excited about seeing on Netflix so soon after release. Drinking Buddies has a great cast featuring Ron Livingston (Office Space), Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy, Cowboys Vs Aliens) and Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, Up In The Air) which gave me some high expectations because I love them. But this one just falls a little flat. I will say this, the surprise performance of the film comes from Jake Johnson (New Girl, which I haven’t watched) who is relatable, honest, and quite enjoyable. Overall, the premise gives the movie a huge potential as it twists a formulaic RomCom (Two friends seemingly in love with one another while each in a relationship with another person) into something more but it doesn’t quite deliver on that promise. Drinking Buddies just meanders without a clear destination in mind. While I can certainly appreciate its attempt to break free from the stereotypical plot lines, I wish it had done something to keep you wanting more. It’s a movie that you could take or leave, nothing glaringly wrong with it but nothing that makes it stand out.
Bottom Line: Drinking Buddies isn’t a movie you’ll be watching 10 years from now, or likely be thinking about by then, but if you want something on in the background while doing chores this one’s perfect for that.
Rating: 2.5/5