Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: ENOLA HOLMES (Netflix)

There are a lot of critics and other film people out there that hate it when movies break the fourth wall, i.e. the characters talk to the audience if they were right there along on the adventure. Not me. I love that shit, makes films like Deadpool, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Wayne’s World that much more enjoyable. And unique. Which is why I very much enjoyed Netflix’s new original film, ENOLA HOLMES, which flips the old Sherlock Holmes detective adventures that we’ve seen a billion times before on its head with Enola being the main protagonist and her constantly breaking the fourth wall to talk to us. It also works so well because Millie Bobby Brown pulls it off with a fantastic performance. Even though the movie also has a good old fashioned mystery that I was into as well, I think if the movie had played it completely straight, it wouldn’t have been as much fun, interesting, and engaging as it was. It would’ve been just another Sherlock adventure, but this time gender flipped. And I know a lot of men out there eye roll when it comes to gender flipped movies (especially after the travesty that was Ghostbusters 2016), because for some reason it enrages them because they think its trying to push some feminist agenda. Yet they aren’t so opposed when studios come up with original material and characters for women to inhabit and possibly make memorable and classic? Jesus, some of us are rude and weird aren’t we? I love gender flipped movies and stories, as long as they work on their own.

Ghostbusters 2016 didn’t work NOT because of the women involved but because of director Paul Feig, his terrible non-screenplay with 99% ad-libbing and no story, and him not knowing when to yell “cut” and move on. Everyone one in the cast there did the best they could with the garbage material they were given. Not their fault. Enola Holmes, and other gender flipped movies that came out this year such as Birds of Prey, work because EVERY part of the film making process of those projects are fleshed out, not rushed, and pay attention to detail . The performances are great, the story, dialogue, and screenplay are solid, the cinematography is gorgeous, and the direction is tight. Per IMDB, it describes Enola Holmes as: “When Enola Holmes-Sherlock’s teen sister-discovers her mother missing, she sets off to find her, becoming a super-sleuth in her own right as she outwits her famous brother and unravels a dangerous conspiracy around a mysterious young Lord.” This movie is mostly getting positive reviews out there, but the ones that are negative either complain that it’s just a gender flipped Sherlock Holmes movie and/or that it caters to younger audiences too much. Who fucking cares? Seriously? As long as it is a good, solid movie, with a good, solid story, why the fuck would you care about things like that? And I don’t think the movie caters to younger audiences too hard, as there is plenty of action sequences and some jarringly frightening almost death scenes and blunt force trauma within the 2 hour runtime, but my point is, it shouldn’t matter. It only matters if you are entertained. Which this movie did, for not just me, but my wife as well. She said that this and The Broken Hearts Gallery are two of the better movies she’s seen in quite awhile. While I wouldn’t say they are masterful by any means, I tend to agree with her a bit.

While the movie is about 10 to 15 minutes too long and drags a bit in the middle, the story felt fun and fresh, the movie looked nice as it felt like there was high production value to make everything within it look like it really took place way back when, and the performances were strong and charming. Millie Bobby Brown steals the show out from everyone, and now she can say that she has another iconic character in her career portfolio other than just being Eleven on Stranger Things. Helena Bonham Carter and Sam Claflin as Enola’s mother and brother are solid even though they aren’t in the film terribly much, but the other scene stealer in this is obviously Henry Cavill, playing Enola’s other brother, Sherlock. He’s in the movie much more than I thought he’d be, for being the ‘with’ in the movies credits, and I liked that his rendition of Sherlock wasn’t so over the top and much more subtle, showing us a side of that character we hadn’t seen before. I would love for him to come back in possible sequels to this, yet he doesn’t need more screen time, just as much as this please to not make it seem like the filmmakers are desperate to cash in on Cavill’s hunky/handsome face and physique for the ladies. I’m just happy that this seemed like an original movie that could’ve played in theaters and not just a cheap mediocre “grand” Netflix production. *coughTheOldGuardcough*. With this and The Devil All The Time, maybe Netflix is actually going to start trying? *looks at calendar* Well, fuck…nevermind, Adam Sandler’s terrible looking Netflix original film Hubie Halloween comes out in two weeks…so no, the game is not afoot.


Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: LOVE WEDDING REPEAT (Netflix)

My first sentence for my review for the new Netflix film starring Sam Caflin and Olivia Munn called LOVE WEDDING REPEAT is going to be generic as possible and then I’ll dive into more details later: It was okay. The real problem of the film is that makes a broken promise out of the log line on several film sites, including IMDB’s: “While trying to make his sister’s wedding day go smoothly, Jack finds himself juggling an angry ex-girlfriend, an uninvited guest with a secret, a misplaced sleep sedative, and the girl that got away in alternate versions of the same day.” Yeah, really just two alternate versions. The first original version goes on for so long (about a full hour into the only hr and 40 minute run time) that I thought that maybe in the process of putting the final touches on the movie the editor said “fuck it” and decided to just deliver a straight forward one timeline comedy. But then it finally goes completely off the rails ridiculousness wise and pauses and then I knew that the film’s concept was going to have to switch dramatically. I was correct. It switches to a bunch of different versions of the same wedding day in a weird mini montage type situation that stays mostly at one of the important wedding reception tables for two to three minutes (and then some cut moments weirdly in the end credits), and then just ends with the correct time line with the last thirty five. This did not work for me. I was expecting something like Happy Death Day or Groundhog Day, where it shows a bunch of versions and the editing is near perfect with the flow of the narrative. This mediocre Netflix film (which I should’ve thought was too good to be true in the first place) complete botches and almost completely incinerates the “Repeat Day” movie.

“Whoa Zach, then how did you come to the conclusion that it was okay?” Well because the acting and dedication of the cast made the film watchable and enjoyable at parts, that’s why. At this point in time and in this country, I’m starting to give “eh” movies into a reasonable benefit of the doubt. Sam Claflin (the hot muscular that reveals he’s on Katniss’ side near the end of Catching Fire) is one of the main leads, and he is delightfully and subtly funny throughout the whole thing. The other main female lead is played by Olivia Munn, who while I don’t find her as a very good actress (to me she has and still is wonderful eye candy), she does give her best performance since her role in The Newsroom series, where she has this monologue in the latter half of the movie where she describes losing her mom and in those two minutes she has shown the most sincerity ever in a role. There are other players here that you may or may not know. The brides Maid of Honor (or Man of Honor as he wants to be called) is played by that guy that was main lead’s friend in the film Yesterday, the girl interested in him is played by the wife in that Paul Rudd recent series, Living With Yourself, and Frieda Pinto, the female lead that won our hearts in Slumdog Millionaire, has a small part as Caflin’s ex girlfriend that got invited to the wedding as well. Frieda Pinto is fantastic in her small part, and it makes me wish that she got more stardom after Millionaire and not all those indie projects lost in the vast sea of never ending straight to video fare.

The movie, other than the wasted “Same Day Over & Over” gimmick, is basically Can’t Hardly Wait or Death At A Funeral, and instead of taking place at a house party or a funeral, takes place almost entirely at the wedding (after a cute and brief introductory scene). What makes the latter film I mention funny is that the guy that wrote that film, wrote and direct this one. Death At A Funeral (the British version that is) is a far superior film, and the writer/director Dean Craig needs to work on his directing skills. The camera is all over the place, breaking two person framing, fuck even breaks multi purpose framing, and with the editing a little choppy in parts, it doesn’t help the entire feature at all. But there are a few embarrassing character moments that are really funny because of the actors and the expressions on their faces, the story is cliched but decently entertaining enough, and the main point: it is watchable, especially if you just few it as a light comedic chick flick. My wife loved watching it with me during quarantine, and for all the husbands out there, isn’t that all we are hoping for in dire times like these? Find one of these films, bear it, rinse and repeat is what I say, and maybe we’ll come out if this with a good old fashioned Hollywood ending.