Netflix Bangerz or Mush
Breaking down holiday and awards season hype for Don’t Look Up, Power of the Dog, and Red Notice
This week we have a festive treat: a bumper episode for a bumper crop of new Netflix films!
Heavyweight drama Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, goes for the awards. Action blockbuster Red Notice, featuring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, goes for the masses. Somewhere in between is Don’t Look Up, an even more star-studded satire with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep and many, many others.
With such talent and hype, the team were “excited… but concerned”. Are these Netflix winners, stocking fillers or flopping stinkers?
Don’t Look Up
First up is Don’t Look Up (02:14), which has “Veep vibes” and “a lot of cool symbolisms”.
Mat: “It goes very broad, very quickly. It’s a shame because it’s a smart set-up and it’s got an honorable aim.”
Shindy: “I think the intention was to try to change somebody's mind or make people see how ridiculous the current political climate is, but maybe they did themselves a disservice here.”
Jeff: “The message that it's effective at delivering is that there is this polarization that's happening with a lot of people and how the media reinforces it. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes ignorantly.”
Why would every actor sign up for this? (11:39)
Favorite characters and actors, if any (15:30)
Ariana Grande’s “stomach-churning” song and the Friends cameo that didn’t make it in the final cut (20:01)
Stream It or Leave It? (23:32)
Power of the Dog
Next is Power of the Dog (24:35), a “feminist There Will Be Blood” directed by Jane Campion, whom we “love”, but with concerns over “the amount of scenery Benedict Cumberbatch was going to chew”.
Jeff: “It struck me as a feminist There Will Be Blood-type of movie. I love when Westerns turn the genre on its head.”
Mat: “I’m a fan of westerns, but this very quickly I saw as more of a period piece, which for me, it needs to be very, very good for it to land.”
Shindy: “I love Jane Campion’s work. I love The Piano, Top of the Lake.”
Who kills it among Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, and Kodi Smit-McPhee (27:55)
Spoiler Alert! (32:11) Does it nail the heavy themes?
Did it earn its controversial ending? (38:16)
Religious and mystical meanings of the title (42:58)
Stream It or Leave It? (48:02)
Last and definitely least, it’s Red Notice (48:35).
Shindy: “It was all over the place.”
Mat: “For Power of the Dog, I kind of wrote down ‘misery porn’, to describe some of it. For Red Notice? It's just misery. Today was not a good day to start my 21 day complaint-free challenge.”
Jeff: “I was totally distracted by the physics of this movie, which made no sense in reality at all.”
Shindy: “Stream It or Leave It… Are we going to bother with that because everybody’s seen it!”
Mat: “Go back in time and don’t stream it, please.”
Awards Season Chances
The three films’ awards-season chances (53:08).
Bonus: What else we’re watching (54:36)