WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #29 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Peacock, Netflix, HBO Max, Shudder, DC Universe

Available on VOD as of June 30 to rent or own

Weekend #29 of 53 (7/17 – 7/19/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

Movie-wise, this is a pretty quiet weekend for new releases, unless we’re talking about Peacock, which has opened up a library of movies — some certified classics (like Psycho) — to the world at large.

Peacock is what I’m going to be spending at least some time watching several of their Peacock Originals. Have already watched a couple of the originals. Leading my interest as of this writing is Dale Earnhardt Jr. visiting a bunch of old racetracks (Lost Speedways). I’m always fascinated with how nature grows up through man-made structures. Even 10 years without upkeep can make something look ancient.

KEY
*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming services.

PEACOCK Movies

  1. *Psych 2: Lassie Come Home

PEACOCK TV

  1. *Brave New World – 9 episodes
    Adaptation of Auldous Huxley Novel
  2. *The Capture – Season 1 – 6 episodes
    Thriller
  3. *Intelligence – Season 1 – 6 episodes
    Comedy
  4. *Lost Speedways – 8 episodes

NETFLIX Movies

  1. *Fatal Affair (2020)
  2. *MILF (2020)

NETFLIX TV

  1. *Cursed – Season 1 (July 17)
    Fantasy
  2. *The Last Dance – Limited Series ESPN
    Sports, NBA, Docuseries
  3. *Gigantosaurus
    Disney Junior series on dinosaurs

HBO Max Movies

  1. *Harriet ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (July 18)

HBO Max TV

  1. *I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – episode 4
    Crime, Golden State Killer – Original Miniseries
  2. *Doom Patrol – Season 2 – episodes 6 (also available on DC Universe)
  3. *Perry Mason – episode 5

SHUDDER Movies
https://www.shudder.com/

  1. *Lake of Death
  2. *Nina Forever (July 20)
  3. *The Pool (July 20)

DC Universe TV

  1. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 10: “Brainwave Jr.”

21+ The Old Guard Reviews – Cliched, Ear Bleeding Soundtrack, Promising Premise

The Old Guard ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

This film would not have been as good without Charlize Theron. It’s based on a graphic novel, which I haven’t read, but seems to harvest all too familiar tropes. Are these creatures werewolves or lycanthropic in origin?

Netflix’s “The Old Guard,” on the surface, seems like it gives us what the summer has been missing. It’s a starry, big-budget adaptation of a graphic novel about a band of immortal warriors led by Charlize Theron. And to a large degree, it supplies much of the absent superhero stuff. Visceral action sequences. Torrents of bullets. A blatant setup of future installments.

Movie review: In ‘The Old Guard,’ the comic movie gets an overhaul | Lifestyle | gloucestertimes.com

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Screenplay by the creator of the comic series

It’s usually a bonus whenever the original creator of the source material writes the screenplay.

Irrelevant pop-synth music

Whomever decided upon the soundtrack needs not be hired for the sequel, if there is one (more on that below). It’s loud and brash, but not in a fitting way. It’s like you’re trying to have a conversation at a bar and the music is too loud and doesn’t fit the scene.

Multiple times the music in this film actually took me out of the story. That rarely happens even once that music disrupts me like this, but it happened here multiple times. Terrible.

Sequel is setup

The ending leaves this open for more movies featuring these characters. Whether or not there is a sequel, it’s ready for one in the future. I wonder about movies like this that maybe play it safe with the stories and characters so that there can be more movies. Less risk = less interest, but then this is fairly commonplace in comic book adaptations.

Reviewed by Others

What do others think of The Old Guard?

Recommended

  1. badblokebob: “Despite the poor dialogue and certain familiarities of concept, The Old Guard is more blandly acceptable than 6 Underground.”
  2. Brett / Graphic Policy: “…an entertaining film that doesn’t use its twist in too many ways to make the concept not seem interesting. It also adds just enough reasons as to why it doesn’t. It’s the rare actBaion film that has some moral questions underneath and themes to it that makes it a bit more than the fantastic action sequences.”
  3. Cinefiles / Alex Brannon: “This film’s premise is intriguing, but, despite some well-directed sequences, the execution of its narrative is clunky.”
  4. Critics w/o Credentials (Grade: C+): “…was decent but its lack of character empathy, development, and emotional investment kept too much distance from being able to fully enjoy the entire film. It strives to be more than the sum of its parts but can never break from beyond the tropes that were used to help the story but end up hindering it from being different.”
  5. Doc / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “I enjoyed this movie and I feel as if the film does a really strong job of adapting the comic to the screen.  Part of that, I am sure, is that Greg Rucka wrote this screenplay.  Neither the film or the comic dives deeply into how this happens to these people, but that was not important.  There are references to their past, just enough to not load the movie.”
  6. Ferdosa Abdi / Screen Queens: “is a finely tuned action thriller with a stellar ensemble, great writing and directing. It can only go up from here and hopefully, Netflix takes the initiative to see what is possible with building this story out, hopefully with this same creative team.”
  7. Irfan Nordin / Irfan Reviews Films (8/10): “The Old Guard is occasionally restricted by genre conventions, but director Gina Prince-Bythewood brings a sophisticated vision to the superhero genre and some knockout action sequences led by Charlize Theron.”
  8. Kate Sanchez / But Why Tho? A Geek Community: “Now, here are some plot issues and the exposition used throughout the film is slightly heavy-handed. That said, The Old Guard shines in nearly every other aspect, including in adapting a much loved graphic novel with enough accuracy to satisfy fans yet enough difference to make it feel fresh. The film is also a great watch regardless fo your familiarity with the original graphic novel.”
  9. Moshfish Reviews: “Overall this was more The Losers than The Avengers, but in terms of the more “realistic” superhero comic adaptions it was definitely one of the better ones. A standout cast and hard hitting action punctuate and elevate what could have easily been a standard comic book adaption.”
  10. No More Workhorse: “Not as earnest as it wants to be, but not as silly as its premise suggests, in a summer lacking the usual blockbusters due to the current CoVid crisis this definitely fills a gap and clocking in at under two hours it doesn’t outstay its welcome.”
  11. The Not Left Handed Either Film Guide: “Part of the reason I rate this film, aside from Kiki Layne, is due to how diverse it is. As well as having a formidable woman as the great leader of these legendary fighters it also has a number of central players who are black and three of the heroes who are gay. All of this is also done as it should be, completely incidentally. None of this is about being a woman, being black or being gay, it just has people who happened to be those things. I wish this wasn’t something to be celebrated but it definitely still is and films like this move us toward a time when it won’t be. “
  12. TL;DR Movie Reviews & Analysis (3.5/5): “A solid action flick, with an interesting premise, that lands from start to finish.”
  13. Trailer Trashed: “So I am still not certain about the plot.  But the characters, writing and direction are all excellent, that it will be ranked as one of my favourite Netflix films I have seen this year.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  1. Darren / The M0vie Blog: “None of the central ideas in The Old Guard are ever truly explored or developed, because that might mean that some other angle would get a short shrift. The result is an action film that is largely functional, which isn’t entirely satisfying but is also never completely frustrating. It’s a solid and sturdy film that largely avoids a potential identity crisis by declining to commit to a single identity.”
  2. Franz Patrick / Franz Patrick’s Film Archive (1/4): “I felt no purpose in this, no passion, no deep thought or even a modicum of originality. It’s just junk food—not even the tasty kind but one that’s flavorless, leaving a chalky taste in the mouth.”
  3. Keith & The Movies (2/5): “…director Gina Prince-Bythewood can’t wrangle it all together and Rucka’s script leaves too many questions while offering characters who need more heft. So you’re left with the action which offers a smattering of ‘wow’ moments with an occasional touch of style. Sadly there aren’t enough of them to rescue the film from its more mediocre genre impression.”
  4. MoodyB / The Cinema Cynic (4/10): “…a disjointed narrative and lazy script that lack any focus or originality means this one has to ultimately go down as a wasted opportunity – though just about watchable, it is overlong, predictable and highly forgettable. This has to go down as yet another wannabe Netflix franchise that may finish before it has even started!”
  5. nathanzoebl (Grade: C): “…lacks the same transformative ability and fight choreography. It’s just thoroughly fine, at best, and I kept wondering if they were saving themselves for a big finish. Sorry to disappoint, it’s just more office hallways with limited gunplay. The energy level is lacking and the music choice throughout the film affects this as well, with the same kind of downer tracks playing again and again.”
  6. Peggy at the Movies (Grade: C+): “In truth, it’s yet another Netflix release that falls into the usual category; not a classic by any stretch, but definitely a passable and watchable two hours.”
  7. Phil The Bear’s Film Reviews: “With a clear set up for a sequel and a new set of comics to base it on perhaps The Old Guard will grow into a memorable franchise. Right now its an entertaining diversion.”
  8. SCOTT WILLIAM FOLEY: “It’s too long, too contrived, too cliched, too obvious, and the dialogue is too lazy.”
  9. Writergurlny: “That being said, the movie was merely ok. It was somewhere in between underwhelming and not a bad way to spend two hours of my movie watching time.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

Petition to remove 365 Days from Netflix proves 70,000 people will sign anything

365 Days ⭐️

I pretty much despised this movie, but don’t see the logic in signing a petition to having it removed from Netflix.

Do you?

I’d really like to understand the logic here, so if at least one of the 70,000 people who signed it would be so kind as to leave me a comment and explain your motivations?

I mean, what do you truly expect will happen as a result of this petition?

Netflix isn’t going to take this movie down for less than 0.5% of their subscriber base complaining. Doubtful if even 10% complained (that would be some 16 million people). To date, it’s one of their most watched films of 2020.

The petition also says that Netflix should have provided disclaimers about the sexual violence featured in the film and resources about consent, but now the film should be removed altogether. “By taking down this movie on Netflix, we can protect sexual violence in adolescent women and adult women.”

365 Days | Petition to pull film from Netflix gets 70,000 signatures – Radio Times

How does Netflix taking this movie down — it’s fiction, my friends, a made-up imaginary very, very poorly done FANTASY — how does the removal of this film “protect sexual violence in adolescent women and adult women?” That’s not rhetorical, I’m asking? For real.

And doesn’t every movie come with a disclaimer of some kind? I think Star Trek: The Next Generation warns of “sex” and “fear” — the former of which I do not understand. Star Trek has very little sex in it, certainly not on the level of this movie.

I do think disclaimers are worthwhile, so that part of the petition is promising. Maybe Netflix can/will add a “graphic sexual situations” warning or something.

Here’s a piece of advice, if I may: if you don’t want to watch something — don’t watch it. If you have young children by all means filter this movie out by using a user profile. Yeah, I know, kids will find a way around that (I was young once upon a time, too), but a crusade against Netflix to remove a movie that a lot of other subscribers are at least curious enough to watch isn’t the answer.

The point is petitions for removing content — and dare I go as far to say any LEGAL content — on a streaming service are misguided. While I strongly disliked this film and don’t care that much if Netflix carries the title, I do care that the title exists somewhere. It has a right to exist as a form of art and creative expression.

Removing it from distribution is the digital equivalent of burning books. We have how many different shows we can watch on Netflix? Seriously, just watch something else. If you hate the movie with all your heart, then the absolute best diss is not recommending or watching. The black hole of Netflix titles will swallow it whole and it will fade from memory. Bing! You don’t even need a petition for obsolescence.

Although it might sound like it, I’m not telling other people what to do with their free time. If someone wants to sign petitions like these, full speed ahead. What I’m questioning is what’s the point? Again, what do these petition signers expect to gain from this?

I am in favor of petitions — that actually stand for something. This one stands for removing a piece of bad erotic fantasy from a streaming service. The grandest irony is this petition is going to do the opposite — it’s going to draw more people to the film. Make others more curious about watching it and keep it on the Netflix top 10 list. That’s the opposite of the intended goal.

Does Netflix Release Too Many Originals? Maybe Ask New CMO Bozoma Saint John

We’re definitely watching more Netflix this year than any other streaming channel. Last year? Amazon Prime earned the top spot.

But the year is only half over, so will be interesting to see how the numbers end up.

Something we’ve noticed is the sheer number of original content Netflix releases. I’d argue that they seem to be throwing everything at the wall and see what sticks. I’m sure some can, but the vast majority of survivors aren’t watching all of it, probably a fraction of it. Invariably, some will be good if you release enough, but it’s all kind of wasteful because nobody can watch 100% of everything new they release and enjoy watching other streaming channels also.

Maybe Netflix doesn’t want us to?

The company is renowned for how much it spends on content every year, yet it has not been able to build out successful franchise properties at the rate one might expect tens of billions of dollars invested to yield.

New Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John will add emotion to the brand

The article quoted and linked above says that new Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John is going to add “emotion” to the service. Netflix doesn’t need emotion it needs something much more basic:

Quality control.

That’s right, instead of releasing dozens of originals (there are 58 originals in July alone), release half that much higher quality movies, TV shows, miniseries, documentaries, specials, etc. Give us more Marriage Story and The Irishman (ok, but with a smaller budget) or Da 5 Bloods.

Figure out what TV seasons are working and renew those, decide what movies work best and make more of those, focus on marketing the winners and keep creating more. Focus, Netflix, focus.

They do a little of this, of course, but they definitely could do more.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m digging Netflix and happy that they come up with so many different types of content. It just makes me wonder if by now — or soon — they slow down the production a little bit and become at least a little more laser-focused.

Do you like Netflix just the way it is? Would you rather they continue to focus on quantity over quality? It’s almost like they want to crank out the volume so they can boast about having a gadzillion exclusive titles. Sorry, you aren’t going to catch up with Amazon, Netflix, and don’t even think volume is that important to most subscribers. Quality of what you have and being able to find something interesting to watch trumps 10,000 titles we’re not interested in watching.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #28 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – AppleTV+, Netflix, HBO Max, Shudder, DC Universe

Available on VOD as of June 30 to rent or own

Weekend #28 of 53 (7/10 – 7/12/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

  • AppleTV+ subscribers — or those who want to be — will find the new Tom Hanks movie, Greyhound available to watch on July 10
  • Netflix – The Old Guard stars Charlize Theron.
  • HBO Max – Close Enough, an adult animated TV series debuts.

KEY
*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming service.

APPLE TV+ Movies

  1. *Greyhound

NETFLIX Movies

  1. *The Old Guard – Charlize Theron
  2. *The Claudia Kishi Club – Documenatary

NETFLIX TV

  1. *The Twelve – Season 1 (10 episodes)
    Legal, drama
  2. *Japan Sinks – Season 1, Episode 1
    Anime
  3. *The Protector – Season 4 (final season)
  4. *Down To Earth With Zac Efron
    Original
  5. *The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants in Space
    Family

HBO Max Movies

  1. *Last Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (July 11)

HBO Max TV

  1. *Close Enough – Season 1, Episode 1 – “100% No Stress Day” (July 9)
    Adult, Animated – FIRST LOOK
  2. *I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – episode 3
    Crime, Golden State Killer – Original Miniseries
  3. *Doom Patrol – Season 2 – episodes 5 (also available on DC Universe)
  4. *Perry Mason – episode 4

SHUDDER Movies
https://www.shudder.com/

  1. Jeruzalem
  2. The Beach House

DC Universe TV

  1. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 9: “Brainwave”

Litigious Arthur Conan Doyle Estate targets Netflix book adaptation Enola Holmes

Through the years, we’ve encountered numerous stories about lawsuits over the use of Sherlock Holmes. The Arthur Conan Doyle estate can and will sue for infringement. Guess I somewhat get where they are coming from, but it’s troubling considering the author has been dead for many, many years now.

Eventually all copyrighted work should go into the public domain. I understand and agree with the concept of an author dying prematurely and heirs having some years residual stake to his/her creative works thereafter. If the author is alive and can benefit, great, pay the author, but Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate receiving licensing fees in 2020?

As it turns out the United States copyright protection on Sherlock Holmes will run out in 2023. So, if you’re sitting on a good, ripping Holmes yarn, you don’t have long to wait.

In the meantime, however, Netflix is the most current in the Doyle estatate crosshairs over the film adaptation of a book featuring a young teenage sister of Sherlock’s known as Enola Holmes.

The suit claims that, despite most of the original pre-1923 Sherlock Holmes tales have been judged to be in the public domain, the author’s last 10 stories about the character — published between 1923 and 1927 — are not. And the Doyle estate is claiming that the Enola Holmes books and movie incorporate something those only later stories included: the famously stoic detective’s emotions.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Estate Sues Netflix, Legendary & Others Over ‘Enola Holmes’ Film

There are a whopping 10 stories that showed Sherlock Holmes had emotions and those are still not in the public domain for a few more years. That’s right, Sherlock Holmes emotions as depicted in stories some 70+ years ago, are still the subject of legal scrutiny.

While I did some searching around, my memory was that the estate also had problems with the use of Sherlock Holmes in the holodeck for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Seemed like the writers were inspired by Doyle’s work and wanted to honor and respect it, not infringe upon it. This is an urban legend, however, because a license fee was paid:

…according to Jon Lellenberg, an attorney who’s served as the U.S. agent for the Conan Doyle estate, it’s not true at all. In fact, Paramount had worked with the Conan Doyle estate on the Stephen Spielberg-produced movie Young Sherlock Holmes. So Paramount’s rights department was already well aware that Holmes was not in the public domain, and they contacted the Conan Doyle estate in advance, seeking permission to dress Data as Holmes and feature Moriarty. The Conan Doyle estate was happy to agree, in exchange for a handsome payment.

The Truth About Star Trek And Sherlock Holmes

As for Netflix’s Enola Holmes movie? It’s coming in September 2020. Whether or not a license fee will have to be paid remains in dispute. Should this be a thing in 2020? That’s my question. Let me know what you think.

I think an author’s life + say 25 years is how copyright law should read. We don’t need great, great, great grandchildren financially benefiting from a deceased author’s work unless s/he has continued to create works using said characters in his/her/their lives.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #27 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Netflix, HBO Max, Shudder, DC Universe

Available on VOD as of June 30 to rent or own

Weekend #27 of 53 (7/3 – 7/5/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

Normally post this on Thursdays, but my work week has been crazy busy, so I’m behind here. Absolutely not complaining because a lot of people are unemployed and extremely grateful that my work, labeled as essential, has been busier than normal this time of year. At the same time it leaves my “free” time somewhat wrecked.

Ah, but I have the next two days off, so in between the fireworks and festivities, will definitely ramp up my movie and TV show watching.

One of the movies I’ve been most looking forward to seeing in the music bio genre is *Street Survivors: The True Story of Lynyrd Skynyrd [FIRST LOOK] that went straight to VOD (Video On Demand) and is available on Vudu (and probably all other competing VOD providers) at least to own or rent. I love it when they give us these options and when the price isn’t that different, I’m probably going to just buy ($7.99) instead of rent ($3.99).

Have written before that it makes most sense to offer a lower own it price like this with movies that aren’t big budget. They will get people to just pay the extra $4 so if the movie is really good, they can rewatch it multiple times. In the case of a movie about a rock band I like, I’m thinking the sound track has to be worth the eight bones as it is. Will find out soon.

I’m not seeing a lot of brand new movie releases on the streaming services this weekend. They probably are holding back a bit since they rotate in a bunch of new titles on the first of each month, after sending some titles away. License roulette in full swing. I probably should be reporting what all those are in a post or at least linking to the multiple other sites already doing that.

I believe Reelgood and/or JustWatch have services where you can track movies you want to watch and be notified when and where they appear. If I’m wrong (feel free to correct me in the comments if you know otherwise), then they should have that type of service to make their site even more useful.

I’m sort of getting used to using my phone as a remote, but after a couple weeks of Chromecast (see: Tired of Waiting For Roku, 7+ Year Customer Buys Chromecast Ultra to Stream HBO Max to TV) it’s just not as user-friendly to me as having a UI (User Interface) on the TV like Roku offers. I don’t like the small screen and the fact that it sometimes loses the sync to my phone so I have to go back in and recast to watch what’s next. It’s just not an amazing user experience like Roku. HBO Max really needs to get it together with Roku because they are the primary reason I’m using Chromecast.

Alright, let’s see what’s new out there. I may continue to update this post now that I’m finally winding down for my days off and have more time to research new movies and TV shows coming to streaming services. Seems like I might be missing some good stuff. I looked at Amazon, for example, and didn’t see much new happening there. That can’t be right, can it?

KEY
*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming service.

NETFLIX Movies

  1. *Desperados (July 30)
  2. *Under the Riccione Sun

NETFLIX TV

  1. *Unsolved Mysteries – Volume 1
  2. *Southern Survival – Season 1
  3. *Say I Do Surprise Weddings – Season 1, 8 episodes
    Reality TV

HBO Max Movies

  1. Midway ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (July 4)

HBO Max TV

  1. *I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – episode 2
    Crime, Golden State Killer – Original Miniseries
  2. *Doom Patrol – Season 2 – episodes 4 (also available on DC Universe)
  3. *Perry Mason – episode 3

SHUDDER Movies
https://www.shudder.com/

  1. *Metamorphosis – Original

DC Universe TV

  1. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 8: “Shiv Part Two”

Am really feeling the withdrawal symptoms that Harley Quinn is over. We have a new Stargirl and Doom Patrol episode, though.

21+ Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga Reviews – Even Will Ferrell Didn’t Know Much About The Long-running Contest

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga ⭐️⭐️

Guess I feel in better company that Will Ferrell, who co-wrote and starred in, this film didn’t know very much about the long-running Eurovision Song Contest either. So much upon researching that he thought it would make a “great” movie.

“I watched mesmerised for the entire three hours. Ironically, that year a Swede won: Charlotte Nilsson. I was just blown away by the spectacle, the camp. Everything you guys [in the UK] are used to, we didn’t have anything like that, in America. I literally went, ‘That would make a great movie.’”

“It’s kind of a funny story…” Will Ferrell on his Eurovision movie for Netflix

This film did succeed in making me more interested in watching the contest. I enjoyed American Idol, The Voice and other singing contests. This contest seems to have the focus of the world outside of America, which is intriguing.

Let’s talk more about the details of the film, but first a SPOILER warning …

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

It’s all about the music, yes?

If you like the music played during this contest, that will increase your interest in the overall production. Most of the music I didn’t care for which made it harder for me to get into a film which has very musical-like origins. I did enjoy the opening keyboard scene with Ferrell in the viking (?) outfit. Is he singing by making blow-like sounds? LOL. Yeah, that’s funny.

A golden opportunity for Will Ferrell to go all cowbell was missed. It would have been hilarious to see his Icelandic character use a cowbell. This would pay homage to one of Ferrell’s funniest comedic moments.

The prescription for Eurovision is, literally, more cowbell, baby!

My goodness, the length … for a comedy!

Comedy movies are not supposed to be this long. They broke the rules, which I would applaud if the story deserved it, but this did not.

Some scenes were funny, but too little too late

The hamster wheel scene was funny. Alas, what few scenes were funny were scattered apart and couldn’t hold the rest together.

James Bond as a crusty Icelandic father? No thanks

While it has humor value as described in that bolded headline, Pierce Brosnan didn’t make a good, crusty father character. Firstly, the character was criminally one-dimensional. Second, he was just too cruel. Why is Lars trying to earn this guy’s affections throughout his entire life? There was a setup and rationale, but it didn’t work for this viewer. I would rather see the character as more of a Mr. Burns from The Simpsons type character. I mean, if we’re going for parody, why not go all out. This movie doesn’t go far enough, like if it was an Adam Sandler movie, it would have gone all the way. This plays it safe too much.

I did like the fishing boat scene where Brosnan’s character finally cracks and admits that he’s proud of Lars.

The contest results scene was entertaining

Think my favorite part of the film were when the Eurovision contest results were read and Will Ferrell had already skipped out, thinking Iceland would never get any points. The reaction to the crowd and audience. This scene made slogging through the rest of the movie worthwhile. Still don’t recommend it, but at least this scene showed it was all leading somewhere productive.

Reviews By Others

What are other movie reviewers saying about Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga?

Recommended

  1. tensecondsfromnow / film-authority.com: ” At a time when the pandemic has managed to divide the world into competing, suspicious countries, Eurovision Song Contest invites us to laugh at our own divisions; it’s funny, the songs are on point, and the whole genial package earns a ‘Jaja Ding Dong’ from this laughter-starved critic.”
  2. Alex Finch / Comedy To Watch: “Writers Will Ferrell and Andrew Steele have clearly done a lot of research in to the contest and are aware of it’s naff reputation among many, even if in many ways it’s a little too respectful of it.”
  3. Alex Wiggan / It’s A Stampede! “…is exactly what audiences need right now – two hours of pure escapism. It won’t win awards for originality, but in a year seriously devoid of humour, this movie knows its audience and ensures a good time for all, with a dash of ABBA thrown in for good measure.”
  4. badblokebob (3/5): “Sporadically funny; often dated; with tired and rehashed routines; longer than Alexander Lemtov’s penis; and surprisingly emotional at the end… Actually, maybe The Story of Fire Saga is like Eurovision after all.”
  5. Bouquets & Brickbats: “I have to admit I am mightily entertained by ESCTSOFS and even feel somewhat moved by its final act. I was also delighted to note that much of the action is set in my home city of Edinburgh (it’s the host for the Eurovision final). Furthermore it’s good to see Ferrell back on some kind of form. If I’m honest, it’s a long time since any of his efforts have made me laugh.”
  6. Cameron Black / The Blog Complainer: “Sometimes I need something pretty average to let my brain relax and not be challenged by what I’m watching. But at the end of the day if you enjoyed yourself while watching the movie then it must be worthy enough to call it a good film.”
  7. Chelichan Blog: “Unfortunately, if you’re expecting a knock-out Ferrell comedy then you’ll be dissatisfied. It’s a mediocre comedy that relies too much on gimmicks, but worth watching if you’re looking for something new to watch on Netflix.”
  8. Film Carnage (7/10): “Many may not gel with its offbeat comedy and peculiar nature but for those that do, it will provide a much-needed brief respite from the world’s current troubles. Trying to capture the insanity that is Eurovision is a tall task and while Dobkin’s take may be indulgent and clumsy at times, it does a brilliant job of instilling the spirit of the contest.”
  9. Hannah Wales / The World Of Celebrity: “It may be tonally all over the place and it didn’t give me those much-needed laugh-out-loud moments, but I defy you not to have a smile plastered across your face watching some of these bonkers performances.”
  10. HCMovieReviews: “The comedy doesn’t always hit the mark but there’s heart to get wrapped up in certain points and come the grand finale sequence, a song dowsed in Nordic roots becomes way more impacting and possibly stirring that I’d have imagined.”
  11. luisreviewer / World Of Entertainment: “I can recommend the film for a Friday night if you are at home and looking for a good movie to see on Netflix, it is funny and sweet in some ways.”
  12. Movies Unchained: “There’s an underlying chaotic brilliance to this film that we simply don’t see all that often, and while it’s certainly a film that has its flaws, that’s to be expected from a film focused on the cultural embodiment of high-camp, with Eurovision Song Contest being an absolute blast in every conceivable way, and an earnest work of comedy that is as bizarre as it is thoroughly entertaining, and absolutely just a bundle of unbridled joy from beginning to end.”
  13. Often Off Topic: “This is a movie most will scoff at, but I found it a clever mix of pure comedy and feel good, follow your dreams and it paid off. It opens with a fantastically funny musical number and then takes a while to find it’s feet, but after the first half-hour I was sold.”
  14. TL;DR Movie Reviews: “It tries to aim for that Eurovision absurdity, but Fire Sage mostly missed the target.”
  15. Trailer Trashed: “There was a lot of forced comedy, that the film could have done without, and Will Ferrell is basically playing the same character he has been playing for the last ten years, just with a funny accent.  But there were some great moments in this film.”

Not Recommended

  1. Dan Meier / Screen Goblin: “Ferrell seems to think a silly accent (literally everyone in the film does one) will make up for the nul-points script and no-point story, padded out to two hours with Eurovision cameos – including Sweden’s Loreen, Austria’s Conchita Wurst and ABBA’s Pierce Brosnan.”
  2. Doc / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “There are a few moments of fun.  Of course, there are also boat explosions, Icelandic elves, shots at America tourists, insane driving, and an oversized hamster wheel.  So much idiocy and not enough laughs from it.”
  3. Darren / The M0vie Blog: “There’s a better movie somewhere within The Story of Fire Saga, waiting to get out, but it’s ultimately suffocated by a template that has been done before and much better.”
  4. Ferdosa Abdi / Screen Queens: “Maybe just maybe, Will Ferrell is losing his touch. I don’t want to be the kind of person who denigrates the work of a comedic genius, especially one who truly still has a lot to give, however, this is a far cry from Ferrell’s previous writing efforts.”
  5. Frankie Gilmore / DiscussingFilm: “In the end, it’s hard to know what to make of such a strange movie that is at once a 2-hour ad for a real-life competition and also a sweet little story of two funny people singing catchy songs and falling in love. In a way, there’s something almost comforting about it. You’ll laugh a little, tap your feet more than you might expect, and maybe come away feeling a little happier than you did before.”
  6. Geeks of Color / Rihaana Stark: “Overall, it’s hard to recommend this movie. It’s two hours of tired jokes that ultimately lead to nowhere. If anything, just check out the soundtrack that comes out Friday as well”
  7. Katya the Doofus, Kniga the Worm: “All in all, this is not worth your time and energy, but at least it’s a Netflix movie so you don’t have to spend additional funds in order to watch it. Your time would be much better spent watching Blades of glory, an actual comedy about another ridiculous event – figure skating and a great Will Ferrell performance.”
  8. Let’s talk about movies: “I just wish the film itself had more funny jokes up its sleeve. I’m sure the idea of having two goofballs participate in the Eurovision Contest sounded like a good bet at first. Too bad it didn’t turn out better.”
  9. MoodyB / Cinema Cynic: “…the film’s overlong running time and lacklustre storytelling means it is unlikely to have many redeeming features.
  10. Orca Flotta: “…wasn’t a totally bad film, as was entertaining and not boring. Even charming in parts. And that already means a lot for American-made movies of today. But it could’ve  been so much better, with more bite and anarchistic nonsense. Fire Saga could’ve been a second (or third in this regard) Anchorman. But it missed that particular mark by a country mile.”
  11. writergurlny: “The inspirational half of the film works just fine. But the absurdist comedy falls flat on it’s face. I should have been laughing out loud, but I wasn’t.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

FIRST LOOK: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga – Netflix

The title is too long and unexciting, but this stars Will Ferrell trying to win a worldwide songwriting contest which raises the interest level.

Who doesn’t remember Ferrell on SNL in various musical skits. Song parodies are his forte. Remember him playing the cowbell as a fictional band member of Blue Oyster Cult? Nobody ever thought of “Don’t Fear The Reaper” the same. I was hoping for at least one cowbell moment easter egg here when watching.

Be honest, how many of you reading knew about the Eurovision Song Contest? First time I’ve heard of it. American Idol, The Voice, have heard of both of those, but I don’t follow song contests. It’s a real annual event that according to Wikipedia has been running since 1956. Thanks to the pandemic, it’s missing 2020, breaking a long running annual tradition. Seems like a good backdrop for a film, but not sure how much comedic value can be mined from a music contest.

The trailer had me stoked to see this, even though it was a weird Will Ferrell character that seemed like something we’ve seen from him before.

Watched it and it wasn’t for me. I think Will Ferrell is strong musically but didn’t care for the music choices herein. That definitely swayed my review (to be posted today at some point), also the comedy just didn’t land well for me.

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a funny, laugh out loud Will Ferrell movie. I just looked through his filmography and he’s had a run of unfunny movies (some weren’t even comedies) I’ve been disappointed by (he might be more one-dimensional than I though). I didn’t see Anchorman 2, so before that is the most awesome Stepbrothers (2008), now that is a funny Will Ferrell movie.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is streaming on Netflix as of June 26, 2020.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #26 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Netflix, HBO Max, CBS All Access, Shudder, DC Universe

Will Ferrell’s newest comedy available Netflix June 25

Weekend #26 of 53 (6/26 – 6/28/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

  • Netflix – a new Will Ferrell movie, Eurovision: The Story Of The Fire Saga is something to look forward to for comedy fans on 6/26.
  • HBO Max – another top five 2019 movie for us: Doctor Sleep – The Director’s Cut (see list: 2019 Favorite Movies).
  • CBS All Access – Jordan Peele’s version of The Twilight Zone all *10* second season episodes are dropping to be binge watched. Resubscribed!
  • Shudder – Yummy is available to watch as of June 25. With Joe Bob’s Drive-in season now over, it’s time to look to new movie releases, although there is rumor of an end of summer series special. Then we get to fall and Creepshow season two.
  • DC Universe – Harley Quinn season two finale. How does this awesome series end? Does Poison Ivy go down the aisle with Kite Man, does she choose Harley, does she choose a threesome poly relationship or none of the above? Doom Patrol season two first three episodes are dropping and another Stargirl episode. It’s a great time to be subscribed to this service.

KEY
*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming service.

NETFLIX Movies

  1. *Eurovision: The Story Of the Fire Saga – Will Ferrell

Last chance to see movies leaving Netflix at end of June:

21 (2008)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Andy Griffith Show
Blow (2001)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) (2008)
Brooklyn’s Finest (2010)
Center Stage (2000)
Chasing Amy (1997)
Cheers
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Chloe (2010)
Click (2006) .
Cloverfield (2008)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
The Duchess (2008)
Elizabeth (1998)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Ghost Rider (2007)
Happyish: Season 1 (2015)
Here Alone (2017)
Inception (2010)
No se aceptan devoluciones (Instructions Not Included) (2013)
The Invention of Lying (2009)
Julie & Julia (2009)
Kate & Leopold (2001)
Kiss The Girls (1997)
The Last Samurai (2003)
Limitless: Season 1 (2015)
Little Monsters (2019)
Mansfield Park (1999)
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Minority Report (2002)
Patriot Games (1992)
Philadelphia (1993)
The Polar Express (2004)
Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
The Ring (2002)
Scary Movie (2000)
Sliver (1993)
Stuart Little 2 (2002)
Tremors (1990)
Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)
Tremors 3 – Back to Perfection (2001)
Tremors 4 – The Legend Begins (2004)
Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015)
What Lies Beneath (2000)
Yes Man (2008)

HBO Max Movies

  1. Doctor Sleep – The Director’s Cut (June 27) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

HBO Max TV

  1. *I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – episode 1: “Murder Habit” (June 28)
    Crime, Golden State Killer – Original Miniseries
  2. *Doom Patrol – Season 2 – episodes 1-3 (also available on DC Universe)
  3. Adventure Time Distant Lands – Special premiere
    Animated, Science Fiction
  4. South Park – Seasons 1-23 (June 24)
    TV-MA, Adult, Animated

If you haven’t seen Doctor Sleep yet, then this weekend on HBO Max is for you (see: Doctor Sleep Director’s Cut adds 30 minutes) — I’m a huge fan of this Stephen King novel adaptation.

CBS All Access TV

  1. *The Twilight Zone (2019-) Season 2 – Binge all 10 episodes. Color only versions right now, no black and white versions (guessing those will be released in th future, as all first season episodes are offered in black and white.

SHUDDER Movies
https://www.shudder.com/

  1. *Yummy (June 25)

DC Universe Movies
Leaving on July 1, so last chance to watch:

  1. Batman
  2. Batman Returns
  3. Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
  4. Green Lantern: First Flight
  5. JL vs. Teen Titans
  6. JL: Crisis on Two Earths
  7. JL: Doom
  8. JL: Gods and Monsters
  9. JL: Flashpoint Paradox
  10. JL: The New Frontier
  11. JL: Throne of Atlantis
  12. JL: War

DC Universe TV

  1. *Doom Patrol – Season 2 – Episodes 1-3 (June 25)
  2. *Harley Quinn TV Series – Season 2, Episode 13: “The Runaway Bridesmaid” (SEASON FINALE)
  3. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 7: “Shiv Part One”