Tag Archives: Netflix

Rinzy Reviews ‘Money Heist’ Parts 1 & 2 (2017-2018)

Thankfully, I managed to avoid watching the trailer for the third part of ‘Money Heist’ after its was released to avoid spoiling the first two parts for myself. I’m successfully caught up, and really grateful for that decision.

Money Heist‘ is exhilarating. Very few shows triumphantly achieve what this one does to your blood pressure. It is suspense personified.

Although there are few lapses in logic and choices certain characters make, like a police inspector falling in love with an odd guy while on a life-altering mission, it’s really nothing distracting, and can be chalked down to pacing for the purpose of dramatization.

I’ve never really been a fan of non-English based contents, but this show got me intrigued enough to consider other contents Spain and the rest of the world have to offer. The top-notch acting coupled with how interesting the major (and some minor) characters are makes the show quite addictive. If I were asked to pick my top three, it’d be – Berlin, Tokyo, and The Professor. I couldn’t get enough of their personal arcs and backstories; they were really fun to follow. The cinematography, set pieces, and props (particularly those heavy machineries) were beautiful sights to behold too.

The ending of the second part leaves a bit to be desired; the fairly happy ending came across as cliche, and if we’re being honest didn’t justify another season. From what I see in this trailer, for the next adventure we’re going from money heist to prison break, and that’s a clear sign that the show’s fulfilled destiny and should call it quits. Considering its recent popularity it’d be hard for #Netflix to cut it lose, but if they do I believe it’ll help preserve fond memories, which is certainly for the best.

PS: Arturito should be crowned the king of annoyance; man’s so annoying I wanted the heist-men to shoot him multiple times. Argh!

The third part of Money Heist arrives today on Netflix

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

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Rinzy Reviews ‘Point Blank’ (2019)

Release Date: July 12

Starring: Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Adam G. Simon, et al.

***

Two of the MCU’s finest headline this casual Netflix movie. They’re the best thing about it; but that doesn’t mean Point Blank‘s great.

If you were expecting a game-changing thriller from Point Blank, you’d be disappointed. But if what you craved going into this Netflix chill time was good, old, cliche pass time, then you made the right choice. Point Blank doesn’t offer anything new; its jokes don’t really stick and its plot twists can be seen coming a mile away. To be put it plainly, it’s just another addition to the popular buddy-cop formula, one where Frank Grillo’s Abe is the guy with the fist and temper, and Anthonio Mackie’s Paul provides the heart to see the movie through.

Imagine showing up to work one day only to be caught in the crossfire of conspiracies and having the rest of your life potentially fucked up? That’s what Paul contends with at few minutes into this action flick, but just before the end credits start to roll the movie jumps one year into the future and everything’s as bright and beautiful as they were ab initio.

The search for a drive with enough exposé to clean up the American justice system is the main conflict of Point Blank. We see this infamous drive pique the interest of an ostensibly deadly crime boss, and also drive Paul into engaging in one of life’s oldest rules – kill or be killed. But for Abe and his brother Mateo, it’s another episode inside life contending against bad cops and deadly gangsters like Big D.

If you’re into buddy cop movies Point Blank might get you excited, but expect to forget all about it as soon as you’re done watching.

Directed by: Joe Lynch

Rinzy’s Rating: 2.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Stranger Things 3’ (2019)

Release Date: July 4

Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, Finn Wolfhard, David Harbour, et al.

***

When Stranger Things first arrived in 2017, it rode high on people’s feelings of nostalgia for the ’80s, and quickly became one of the best original series of this generation, further catapulting Netflix higher among the big wigs in entertainment. These days, the show’s become its own entity, is currently the biggest young-adult series on air, and is now fully able to express itself and tell its perculiar breed of horror-SciFi stories without relying much on external nostalgia. Stranger Things 3 does reference some pop culture materials or the ’80s – Terminator, Back to the Future, Gremlins, Evil Dead 3, etc. But its greatest references comes from its earlier seasons, and that works fine too.

I enjoy watching kids grow up in movies – Arya and Sansa’s arcs were two of my favorites in Game of Thrones. For the Stranger Kids, adulthood beckons, and with it all the quirks that follow; a new kind of drama abounds – and that includes teenage love, with sub-themes of understanding, commitment, and how not to lose yourself while in a committed relationship. The show handles these mature topics well, even better than most movies centered around adults.

Millie Bobby Brown is a terrific actress for her age, and part of what makes Eleven’s naivety and bravery believable is thanks to her portrayal. It’s good to see her better hone her craft as well as her sense of style this season.

As the never-ending drama between the children’s club vs. the demons rages on, it’s become more incredulous seeing the Scooby-gang as Earth’s first defense against enemies of life and the United States. It’s even more unbelievable when you consider the lack of strong reason the show keeps revisiting the same plot over and over again. It was easier when all we we had to deal with watching Eleven battle Demogorgon beasts trying to usurp our world, but when you add a Russian spy plot (with a Terminator-looking agent at the forefront) believability gets thrown into a mix.

It’d be expected that since the show returns to the same central conflict of man vs. demon again and again it’d be boring already, but Stranger Things 3 works so well because it’s mostly character-driven, even the Mind-Flayer is given a rebranding push, becoming a gigantic goo.

Stranger Things 3 is great because it lets its characters (old and new) play and grow in ways the last season didn’t, making it a better and well-rounded one. It still isn’t half as good as the rollercoaster ride the first season was, but it’s far better than the mostly lacklustre sophomore outing. And even though the characters are mostly separated into factions for the better part of this season, they mostly play off into one another, making the story feel like different parts of the same body at the same time.

My verdict: Stranger Things 3 doesn’t disappoint. It’s an 8 hours of entertainment well spent, and I can’t wait for the next installment. If you wait around long enough, you’ll catch the mid-credit scene, and have an idea of what’s in store next season. More monsters and, hopefully, a resurrection for our fan favorite character.

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Jessica Jones’ Season 3 (2019)

Release Date: June 14

Network: Netflix

Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, Carrie-Ann Moss, Jeremy Bobb, Benjamin Walker, et al.

***

The popular saying, with great power comes great responsibility is often used in comic book movies to describe a hero’s moral compass, and their trajectory towards the dark, whilst trying to find their way back to the light.

The third and final season of Jessica Jones bares its soul, holding almost nothing back. And though it drags at first, in the show’s usual form takes the titular character on another adventure of twists, turns, and shocking heartbreaks.

Unsurprisingly, and long overdue, this season really shines light on Trish Walker, taking her to really dark places as she further embraces her comic book persona, eventually picking up the alter-ego of Hellcat…

Of course Karl’s near-fatal experiment worked, Jess!

There’d always been darkness in Trish; she’d always loathed being the ordinary sister, missing out of the main action and having to hide behind Jessica’s shadow. And like she endlessly reiterated throughout the season, she wanted this, unlike Jessica. That impulsive need to mostly prove herself Jess coupled with grief drives her over the edge. She’s able to recognize this fact at the point of her incarceration when she blurts I’m the bad guy. Hopefully, this signals some sort of redemption in her future. We’ll never know now, would we?

Although Trish closes the show, the season starts with some other villain, one not up to par with Jessica in terms of physical strength, but full of charisma. Gregory Salinger (the Foolkiller) and his brutal fetish for peeking into his victims’ truth steer the season in a direction that’s both climaxing as it’s thrilling.

The Foolkiller isn’t the first serial killer to be on the show. Kilgrave and Jessica’s mom weren’t big fans of life either, but there was something different in the way Gregory Salinger determined who deserved to live and die. He’s merely human -highly intelligent- yet, still boringly human. But he presented a threat Jessica just couldn’t punch her way through. Through him, we see a side to Jessica that takes a more rational and procedural approach to solving her problems. Seems like there’s hope for New York’s unlikeliest hero after all!

Ruefully, this entry suffers from the same malformation as most of its predecessors in the Netflix corner of the MCU – over-bloated, unnecessarily dragged, and sometimes exhausting to follow. A shortened episode would’ve told a tighter, better paced story, but I guess we should be done regurgitating on this contractual obligations of the show. Multiple episodes reiterate issues already tackled from a new PoV, and even though they shed more light on plot issues, they sometimes become painstaking to follow.

Supporting characters like Malcom, Jeri, and newly introduced characters like Erik, Jess’s new assistant get arcs of their own, and get ample time to shine. Malcom, veers into dark places of his own, but manages to find his way back to the light fast enough to attain redemption. Jeri is still Jeri, scheming, manipulating, and would probably die alone as her lover prophesied.

I’ve been a hardcore fan of Jessica Jones’ series, more than I was for any of the other Defender shows. It’s hard to say goodbye, but I couldn’t be more prouder of how things ended. We’ve watched Jessica grow much over the years into the more mature she’s in now, and can rest easy knowing NYC is in great hands.

PS: Did you catch that surprise cameo from Harlem?

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Murder Mystery’ (2019)

Release Date: June 14

Network: Netflix

Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Luke Evans, et al.

***

Murder Mystery sounds a bit cheesy in the mouth. The name gives it away as a movie overflowing with detective works. And that’s exactly what it is. Add the fact that it’s also an adventurous comedy, and you’ve got yourself one entertaining movie.

Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler make the best pair. Their chemistry is effortless, and is easily the best part of this movie.

Nick and Audrey Spitz have been married for 15 years, and finally decide to go on their long overdue honeymoon. They find themselves thrown into the middle of a large, influential family’s drama when the partriach is murdered mid-sea. They’ve got to find a way to clear their names else try risk spending the rest of their lives in jail.

Let’s review the facts…

This mildly entertaining movie attempts to spoof old time murder mysteries. It’s like bringing Murder on an Orient Express and intensely stupifying it for the purpose of entertainment. For the most part it works simply because it doesn’t take itself serious in the slightest bit. The reveal of the murderer isn’t quite as intense as a murder plot should’ve been, but the movie never did take itself seriously to consider the importance or lack thereof.

Some of the scenes are cliche, but they got laughing, which I believe is what’s really important.

The movie boasts a lot of beautiful sceneries -the plane’s VIP lounge, the yacht, and streets of Spain- all of which keeps things bright and hopeful, working in its favor.

Directed by: Kyle Newacheck

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘When They See Us’ (2019)

Network: Netflix

Release Date: May 31

Starring: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Jharrel Jerome, Marquis Rodriguez, Vera Farmiga, Felicity Huffman, et al.

***

On the night of April 19, 1989, a 28-year-old female jogger, Trish Meili, gets brutally beaten and raped in Central Park. Five boys of color between the ages of 14-16 are coerced by the police department, spearheaded by over-ambitious Linda Fairstein, into accepting the charges and confessing on tape. This leads to all of them doing time for varying years.

If you ever think of police brutality in recent time, I want you to think of these five boys –Antron, Kevin, Yusef, Raymond, and Korey- and what they went through in the hands of the American justice system skewed to disfavor people of color. The boys were all convicted by juries of charges of rape, assault, and related crimes in two separate trials in 1990. They were sentenced to maximum terms and Korey, at 16, was sent to adult prison.

In four episodes, Ava DuVarnay told the gruesome story of how five boys were robbed off their childhood. It was at a time when innocence wasn’t cared about as much as solving a case irrespective of the gravity of its racial undertone. The series does a good job examining racism, discrimination, and its destabilizing effect. With beautiful, fast-paced, yet soulful writing and terrific acting, Ava and the actors show the effect of imprisonment on loved ones, and the uncertainty of the future for all of them. She does a great job tackling a topic many would ordinarily shy away from.

Social injustice is still a big issue today; although not as bold as in the case of Central Park Five, it still thrives, and must be fought at all cost until it’s eradicated. This miniseries has reopened interest in the case, and sparked numerous conversations over the many ways the case could’ve proceeded differently. I hear there’ve been calls to prosecute Linda Fairstein for malicious prosecution, and I support this call. She’s the sole reason those boys ever did time; if she’d done her job without prejudice, the real, sole perpetrator of the crime, Matias Reyes, would’ve been caught much earlier. And her rise in career and popularity might’ve still happened. For letting little boys suffer that way, in my eyes, she’s as guilty as Reyes, and I think she deserves a cell beside him.

Lest I forget, the police carried out a shabby investigation, but they didn’t act alone, the press were complicit too. If both of these institutions had done their jobs, five children wouldn’t have been forced to grow up without a childhood. No amount of monetary settlement can ever make up for this.

Favorite scene: When Korey begs refuses to answer the prosecutor questions in court. Touching.

Favorite actor: Jharrel Jerome’s Korey. He’s terrific.

***

Director: Ava DuVernay

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Carmen Sandiego’ Season One (2019)

Release Date: January 18

Network: Netflix

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Finn Wolfhard, Rita Moreno, Kimiko Glenn, et al.

***

Carmen Sandiego is one property that’s been around for a long time now, but might not be as popular as some of its counterparts age-wise. Thanks to Netflix, this status is sure to change.

Who is Carmen Sandiego?

A mischievous orphan who enrolls into V.I.L.E. academy – a school for thieves. It doesn’t take her long to discover she doesn’t belong there. Subsequently, she leaves, and soon starts to mastermind ways to take stop the evil organization from causing more harm’s worldwide.

The nine thirty-minutes episodes of the season addresses this issue in a back-and-forth manner that mostly gives educative exposition to the nefarious activities of V.I.L.E.

The show doesn’t do much to keep you invested storywise; but what it fails in that angle it makes up for with good animation and idiosyncratic characters like Detective

It’s educative and witty: perfect combo for kids and adults.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5