By: Henry J. Fromage –
This weekend was another random assemblage of Netflix originals, reviews I was shackled to, and screeners of indeterminate quality.
207. Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Between Two Ferns: The Movie is exactly what you’d want it to be- a contrived plot built around Zack Galifianakis and a gang of public access weirdos, a coke-fueled cameo by Will Ferrell, and a roadshow of the awkward, confrontational interviews between two ferns that made up the popular web series. It’ll scratch an itch of that size perfectly- and who doesn’t have 82 minutes to do so? Two Beers.
I’m a bit torn on this one. I ended up with it as I usually do with these mid-level and below animated flicks- because none of the MovieBoozer writers ranked it anywhere other than last on their list this month. As happens about half of the time, when the reviews started coming out things looked a bit more promising., with many citing Dreamworks’ turn form its Minions-heavy house style to something a bit more Pixar. That’s indeed true, but I found the final product a bit too calculated to really land, even if individual scenes and ideas mark this as a big step forward for the animation studio. Three Beers.
209. Tazza: The High Rollers
This Korean gambling film centers on the traditional card game hwatu and an underground gambling world that takes it deadly seriously. I had just received a screener of the quasi-sequel, and the wife had fond memories of this one, so I gave it a shot. What I got was a stylish, somewhat stereotypical fall, rise, revenge, and morality stinger-style gambling story which nonetheless makes some interesting choices- namely deriving a ton of its visual cues from 70s Hong Kong kung fu flicks. Really an interesting mix despite a fairly predictable story. Three Beers.
210. Tazza: One Eyed Jack
One of two non-direct sequels (the original is based on one of four manga novels with different stories in the same milieu), this one makes the understandable marketing decision of switching out hwaju for poker, even if it seems a bit sadly commercial to do so (ditto losing those kung fu stylistic flourishes). It also doesn’t feature the most original story in the world, and follows many of the same beats as the original, but is enjoyable enough and polished all the same. Four Beers.