High Strung

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “When a hip hop violinist busking in the New York subway encounters a classical dancer on scholarship at the Manhattan Conservatory of the Arts, sparks fly. With the help of a hip hop dance crew they must find a common ground while preparing for a competition that could change their lives forever.”

So I chose this movie on Netflix  because it had 5 stars so it has to be great, right?  Nope.

If I’d realized the movie was rated PG before watching it, I probably would have moved onto something else, because it was just your typical PG movie about a girl who can dance. The story is extremely predictable and the acting of some of the background characters is horrible.

On the plus side, the dancing is nice to watch.  I’m always amazed watching ballet (if you want to watch an awesome show about ballet, check out Flesh and Bone).

The movie isn’t terrible, I still enjoyed it to an extent, but it’s probably better left to maybe a more preteen/teen audience.

Available on Netflix.

Sausage Party

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.”

I really wanted to love this movie, but it was just middle of the line.  Throughout it, there were a few moments where I thought the storyline was pretty good, but then others where it was just a movie relying on the fact that it was an adult animation to get by.  Which, if that’s what you want, that’s fine—you’re going to love the movie.

The villain in the movie didn’t work too well for me, because none of his scenes seemed to matter.  I almost feel like the movie would have been 100 times better if the main characters had made it out of the food store and had to battle against the humans the entire time.

To be fair, there were great jokes all over the place as you would expect from Seth Rogen and co.  Some of it was actually pretty smart humor, not just all easy sex jokes.  It was just that when there wasn’t a joke I was kind of bored.

Also, I really could have done without that orgy scene at the end.  That was weird.

Available on Netflix.

Black Mirror

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “A television anthology series that shows the dark side of life and technology.”

This is a great show for people who like to think about things, even though you can still enjoy it more passively.  Each episode has a completely different cast, topic, and feel to it.  But they all are kind of like what if ____ .

Some of the scenarios are really creepy to think about because they could easily happen/kind of already have.  This isn’t a show that is going to make you feel happy and positive about technology, I’ll just say that.

You can watch the episodes in any order that you want, though there are a few things that you’ll pick up on if you watch certain ones in the correct order.  Some of them will leave you really wanting more and some were kind of meh, but overall it’s a great series and I hope there will be more.

Available on Netflix.

The Loft

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “For five men, the opportunity to share a penthouse in the city — in which to carry on extramarital affairs — is a dream come true, until the dead body of an unknown woman turns up. Realizing that her killer must be one of their group, the men are gripped by paranoia as each one suspects another. Friendships are tested, loyalties are questioned, and marriages crumble while fear and suspicion run rampant.”

Fifteen minutes into this movie I almost turned if off thinking it was just going to be some blah movie that was trying too hard to be good by putting together a handful of actors that were good in other things.  I kept watching anyway and was pleasantly surprised.

It’s actually pretty good!

Some of the dialogue in parts is a little iffy, but the story will leave you guessing up until the very end.  Just when you think you’ve put all the pieces together and figured it out, you find something else out and are left guessing again, which I love.

I do think the movie goes on for just a bit too long and something about the ending doesn’t feel right.  There is a six months later bit, which I could have done without entirely, but also the final scenes are full of too much information for such a short amount of time.

When I saw the bad reviews for this movie online, I read through a couple of them and kind of get where they’re coming from.  I guess the movie was marketed to be a sexy thriller I guess?  And it isn’t really, so go into it expecting a thriller minus the erotic part (which is apparently what half the people reviewing on Metacritic expected).

Available on Netflix.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “After the loss of their parents in a mysterious fire, the three Baudelaire children face trials and tribulations attempting to uncover dark family secrets.”

From the weird intro song, which quickly grows on you, to the odd dialogue that wouldn’t fit in any other show, Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is everything I wanted it to be.

This was the first series of books that I got into after Harry Potter and I read every one except for the last (which kills me).  This series has the perfect blend of humor and tragedy that will leave you wanting more.  I just love the style of it…which is weird, so if you’re not okay with weird, you’re better off not watching.

Lemony Snicket’s interruptions do get to be a little bit much sometimes, but I hope his role in it will come together in the end.  I don’t remember what his deal was in the books and if there is any sort of explanation.

Each book, at least in this season, is split up into two episodes, so make sure you watch them in pairs.  I love this idea.  Instead of drawing out one book into an entire season or blending it all together like they had in the movie, this seems to make the most sense.

The acting is amazing, and not really being a fan of Neil Patrick Harris, I was worried with him playing Count Olaf, but he’s great and whether you were a fan of the books or just like interesting shows, you won’t be disappointed.

Available on Netflix.

Chewing Gum

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “The life of Tracey and the mishaps of her neighbourhood, friends and family. Oh, and obvs her boyfriend!”

This show!

I sat down and watched the entire first season in one sitting, which isn’t something I’d usually do.  Yes, there are only 8 half hour episodes, but still.  Chewing Gum (I don’t really get the name) is so funny and perfect I’m mad I didn’t watch it earlier.

Tracey is 24 years old and still has A LOT to learn about the world.  She’s trying to figure out the whole relationship thing while dealing with her very religious mother and sister.  It’s about life in your twenties if your life isn’t the kind that is typically shown on TV (ahem, me).

The jokes are great and will make you laugh out loud more than a few times.  I know season 2 just started to premiere over in the UK on E4.  I’m guessing it will appear on Netflix after the entire season airs.

Available on Netflix.

Being Charlie

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “Charlie is a troublesome 18-year-old who breaks out of a youth drug treatment clinic, but when he returns home to Los Angeles, he’s given an intervention by his parents and forced to go to an adult rehab. There, he meets a beautiful but troubled girl, Eva, and is forced to battle with drugs, elusive love and divided parents.”

Being Charlie is kind of like your typical blah movie that isn’t bad, but still isn’t making it onto any best movie lists.  It’s about a kid with a drug problem and rich parents who don’t really want to deal with what their son is going through so they send him away.  You can pretty much guess what happens in the movie without even watching it.

It has a few funny and deep moments throughout, but not enough to carry the basic story.  I enjoyed it as a movie that kind of just passes the time.

If you’ve got nothing to do and are looking for a show to have on in the background, this one might be a good choice, other than that, don’t sit down expecting to watch your next favorite movie.

Available on Netflix.