Becoming (2020)

Available on Netflix

“Becoming” is a Netflix documentary that is centered around the former first lady, Michelle Obama, and her tour for her autobiography, “Becoming”. I was actually pretty excited to watch this because the majority of the soundtrack was made by one of my favorite jazz musicians, Kamasi Washington. It was also going to be interesting to see the Mrs. Obama’s perspective on the whole situation and the struggles she had to go through as the first lady and maybe even learn something about her that I hadn’t known before.

After watching this documentary, I could say that I’m pretty disappointed. Although I did enjoy the soundtrack (Kamasi you’re amazing), I feel like it carried the documentary too much. Instead of using music as a way to help match the tone of the movie, it insists that the viewer needs to feel a certain way. For example, there were moments when the score would present this feeling of motivation, while the tone of the movie wasn’t really showing much motivation. It was kind of a hit or miss. My other big gripe with the documentary was that I really didn’t get to see the personal side of Mrs. Obama until the second half of the movie which isn’t good. Something I really enjoy when watching documentaries is seeing a whole different view on a person and how they see life and for the majority of this documentary it played it safe. It seemed like a lot of it was very pc and inoffensive. It eventually does get a lot more personal with the former first lady discussing the way she had to deal with the media and people and how that can hurt someone mentally after so long. The fact that something as small as how she was dressed meant so much kind of goes to show how on edge she always had to be. If your outfit isn’t approved by the general public then everyone will immediately try to judge you and assume the type of person you are solely by that. We see that type of behavior not only being showed towards Mrs. Obama but anyone that is even remotely popular. So seeing her view on that and other things was actually a plus for me. However, the first half of the documentary being so underwhelming was just a big downside for me. Comparing this to something like “The Tiger King” where in just one episode you learned so much about the people and their true nature and intentions, “Becoming” left a lot to be desired. I wouldn’t say that “Becoming” was awful but just very mediocre and safe.

My Rating: 5/10

Idle Hands (1999)

Available to rent on streaming platforms.

I was recommended this movie recently and have been kinda putting it off to catch up on my watch list. It was old, it looked very cheesy, and I also thought it would just be a regular mediocre horror movie. “Idle Hand”is a weird dark comedy that satirizes a bunch of old horror cliches and tropes and I actually enjoyed it. It didn’t take itself too seriously, the humor was pretty funny when it hit, and it was surprisingly pretty smart for its time. What I mean by that is that there weren’t too many movies at the time that satirized the horror genre. Or at least not many that did it correctly. The movie centers around young Anton, a teen who has recently discovered that his parents have been murdered and is having to deal with the new found information of the murders. With the help of his friends, he tries to end this series of murders and also tries to get with the girl next door.

As I mentioned before, the movie looked very cheesy before watching and it definitely delivered on the cheese factor. The jokes were extremely hit or miss, the characters were pretty wholesome but cringey at times (even though they were technically meant to be cringey), and the practical effects were a little over the top. Once I figured out how self aware the movie was, the cheesiness made the movie a lot more enjoyable. This movie was also weirdly consistent, having a lot of callbacks to jokes and small details that I didn’t think were gonna get referenced again. The humor was also very reminiscent of Wayne’s World. So if you enjoy that kind of out there type of humor I would highly recommend. The director of this movie also directed some episodes of “The Office” if that helps convince you to watch this movie. I enjoyed this movie and it got quite a good amount of laughs out of me, which is pretty rare.

My Rating: 6/10 (It might go up with a second watch now that I know the type of movie it is)

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (2019)

I’m not really trying to write the name of this movie over and over again throughout this review so I’ll keep it as “Extremely Wicked” for the rest of this review. I’ve been catching up on a lot of movies I’ve been recommended and this was on the list.

This movie was directed by Joe Berlinger, a director I’m not too familiar with aside from the fact that he enjoys making documentaries about murder or weird events. “Extremely Wicked” fits in right into his filmography, being a biographical drama surrounding the trials of Ted Bundy. It stars Zac Efron from.. well everyone knows what he’s from, and Lily Collins from Abduction, another movie I recently watched. The story centers mostly around the relationship between Ted and Liz and the things Liz went through while being involved with Ted.

To me, this movie was pretty mediocre. None of the side characters were very interesting and Zac Efron definitely tried but it just wasn’t enough. He wasn’t awful but seeing the comparisons with him and the real Ted Bundy at the end, it left a lot to be desired. The real Bundy was a lot more charismatic and convincing. Seeing some of the footage from him and with the knowledge of all the bad things he did actually brings chills to my spine. But all I saw out of Zac Efron was this very hot guy thinking he’s slick. I was rarely ever convinced that Zac Efron was really fooling anyone into believing he wasn’t a killer. Anyways, the rest of the acting was pretty bad, the shots were pretty bad, the score was kinda all over the place to be honest? I didn’t really like it but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve seen all week. I can’t really go too much in depth with this movie but I guess that’s what I get for watching Netflix movies.

My Rating is a 4/10