Clive Owen stars as a future detective in Anon. (Netflix image)

Reel Reviews: Fresh Netflix originals

The Week Of, Kodachrome and Anon are under the spotlight in this week’s review

While we wait for a new release to hit the cinemas, here are three original Netflix films reviewed.

The Week Of

Kenny (Adam Sandler) has a daughter who is getting married to the son of Kirby (Chris Rock.) Kirby is a wealthy Los Angeles surgeon and could afford to pay for one hundred weddings, but father of the bride Kenny insists on doing everything himself. Members from both families arrive on Long Island for the week of the wedding. Chaos and hilarity ensues, or at least is promised.

I didn’t laugh very much at this Netflix original. Netflix has a contract with Sandler to produce a certain number of films. I hadn’t watched any of them until I watched The Week Of. I wish I hadn’t, but hey, it’s my job. So I’m here to report that you need not waste your time on this film, unless you are interested in a watching an idiot (Kenny) fail in all his earnest attempts to provide a traditional Jewish wedding for his daughter, only to be then saved by a jerk (Kirby).

Obviously, the lesson we are to learn from this film, and have already learned from so many better films, is that idiots shouldn’t also be proud and that jerks have feelings too. Everyone sleepwalks through this film, except Steve Buscemi.

For some reason, Buscemis’ character, Charles, doesn’t seem to follow the same comedy rules as everyone else, it’s almost like he’s in a different film. He drags absurd, giant props into the film and uses an out of place physicality. If the film has a saving grace, it’s Buscemi, unfortunately, it’s not enough.

Taylor gives The Week Of 1.5 parkour lessons out of 5.

Kodachrome

Matt (Jason Sudeikis) is basically blackmailed into taking his dying father, world famous photographer Ben Ryder (Ed Harris) on a road trip from New York to Kansas, so that he may have developed some old rolls of film, on the last day that the last lab will develop Kodachrome film. Accompanied by Ben’s Nurse (Elizabeth Olson) grumpy old father and unforgiving son must work out their past differences along the way.

Kodachrome is a road movie about an absent father and his distant son. It wasn’t any less predictable or unoriginal than The Week Of, but with much better acting and directing.

Obviously, a road movie about a dying father and his estranged (of sorts) son is not a comedy, but the film does have some levity and is not a complete bummer.

Ben (Harris) is a man who has captured moments in time for a living and has failed to see the big picture of his life as it went by. His son Matt (Sudeikis) is too angry and self-interested to notice this last moment he has with his father. There is an real symmetry in the story of these two characters and while the world in which they habit telegraphs future plot points predictably, the fact that Matt and Ben are so real keeps the film emotionally involving.

Kodachrome isn’t trying to impress you, but if you let it, it will suck you in.

Taylor gives Kodachrome 3.5 sins of silence out of 5.

Anon

Set in the near future, Detective First Class Sal Frieland (Clive Owen) has multiple murders to solve. To make things a little easier, the memories of people are recorded and most victims witness who has killed them. The problem with this particular case is that the memories are getting either erased or edited by whoever is doing the killing.

It is a very interesting concept and if you enjoy a good mystery thriller or were entertained by the Black Mirror franchise then this is right up your alley. It is well written, well-acted, keeps you guessing up until the end, is pretty sexual and a little twisted in the sense of where and when technology will be able to do something like this.

The movie itself has a retro, film noir feel to it, with a cold bleak look. Everyone drives around in ’50s styles cars converted to fuel cells, wearing ’50s clothing along with matching hat. Yet saying that it gives you the feeling of being set slightly in the future in a weird sense. I recommend this for a viewing.

Howe gives Anon 3.5 eye pieces out of 5.

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