Elvis was the biggest movie to bow this week but due to a bout with COVID, I was housebound. Regardless, I was able to catch a few new streaming films and my take on all of them are listed below! If you’d like to see more of my scores for films and thoughts, feel free to follow me on Letterboxd here.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe (Paramount+)
Starring: Mike Judge, Andrea Savage, Gary Cole, and Nat Faxon
Synopsis: Last week Paramount+ offered an original film in Jerry and Marge Go Large that was a delight. This week, they offered a throwback. Beavis and Butt-Head was once a core part of the MTV programming platform, but that was back in the 1990s. They haven’t been a big part of the culture since that time, but Paramount+ continues to reach back to find content to build the streaming service. This film drops the pair back into the late 1990s where they get recruited to go to space. While in space, something goes wrong and Beavis and Butt-Head end up in a worm hole, transported to the modern day. There, they remain the same as they ever were, but this time it might have universe-ending consequences. For those that were fans of the show, this feels like something of a throwback. Judge still voices the characters and the plot feels fairly familiar. I watched the show when it was on but it was never a personal favorite. This feels like a piece of nostalgia but it doesn’t offer a lot that’s new. I was bored by the film. Those that were passionate fans of the series will likely be pleased but otherwise, this feels pretty skippable.
Love & Gelato (Netflix)
Starring: Susanna Skaggs, Owen McDonnell, and Tobia De Angelis
Synopsis: Based on the young adult novel from Jenna Evans Welch, the latest from Netflix finds Lina (Skaggs) graduating from high school while mourning the loss of her mother. Her mother’s dying wish was for Lina to find herself by taking a trip to Italy, just as she had years earlier. There, Lina learns more about her father, meets her mother’s lost love (McDonnell) and befriends a budding chef (De Angelis) who helps point her on the path to her future. The film, from writer/director Brandon Camp, is a nice celebration of life, love and Italy, especially the cuisine. Skaggs does a nice job in her first feature film. The story here is nothing deep or complex but Camp delivers it in a strong way that is entertaining and compelling. Netflix is a content machine, which is why sometimes things get lost. This is a decent film that made for a fun and light watch.
The Man From Toronto (Netflix)
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Kevin Hart, Kaley Cuoco, and Ellen Barkin
Synopsis: This new action-comedy is about a case of mistaken identity. The Man From Toronto (Harrelson) is a world-renowned assassin. He’s been assigned a new job that leads him to cross paths with Teddy (Hart). Teddy is a struggling businessman with ideas who is trying to give his wife a great birthday celebration. When he’s mistaken for The Man From Toronto, Teddy and this assassin are forced to team up in order to save both their lives and reputations. Hilarity ensues. That’s the formula, anyway. This one comes from Patrick Hughes, who directed The Hitman’s Bodyguard, and follows the same odd couple kind of formula. Harrelson and Hart make for a good team and this film has some fun action sequences and some light-hearted moments. Aside from having no idea why Cuoco was cast in this because they give her character literally no arc or role, the film makes the most of its cast and story. It’s not incredible or compelling but it is a nice and easy watch. There were probably more lofty expectations for the story but this is a fine at home watch.
Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence throughout, some strong language and suggestive material.
Starring: Dayo Okeniyi, Uche Agada, and Yetide Badaki
Synopsis: This new feature for Disney+ is a scripted version of the Antetokounmpo family. Immigrants to Greece, parents Charles (Okeniyi) and Veronika (Badaki) struggle to provide a life for their sons, who are gifted basketball players. The most gifted of those Giannis (Agada), who plays well enough to earn the eye of scouts and a spot in the NBA Draft, potentially changing all their lives. We know the real story of Giannis and his brothers, who are now all in the NBA and have become NBA Champions. This is meant as both an exploration of that story and a tribute to their father, Charles, who passed away in 2017 before seeing their dream become a reality. As a film, this feels like a sort of by-the-numbers sports film. The last act—which features real footage of Giannis giving speeches and of his family—was the most emotionally engaging portion. The story is beautiful and inspiring but the cinematic take on it is just OK.
Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.