Big Tuck is back and bringing you some of the best, brightest, and most bizarre picks from the streaming verse!
This week was what I called a “clean-up” phase, where there wasn’t anything new that jumped out at me, so I went into my backlog and found some really solid hidden gems!
Rating System: 1-5 Stars in half star increments; a “+” means I give it my personal recommendation!
In the Shadow of the Moon
This movie has no right to be this entertaining! An ORIGINAL sci-fi script, not based on a book, a previous movie, or existing property; this has the often underrated Boyd Holbrook as a detective who starts chasing a perp through the various stages of his life. It has a similar sort of feel to a season of True Detective, as you can see how the obsession and sins of the past can rear their ugly heads throughout a character’s life. In a different movie, it would really narrow in on the Father-child relationship, which personally I’m glad it keeps it on the edge as the script is convoluted JUST ENOUGH that it keeps this movie full, but not stuffed
However, it’s not the next great sci-fi film. The cracks of the Netflix C-Tier budgeting show through strong (there’s one Airplane scene that has some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in a movie like this) and you can tell it’s written to appeal to a very broad, computer algorithm decided audience. Is that bad? Probably not, as the story brings to mind my favorite themes of choice, agency, and fate. Hard to believe from the cover photo!!!
RATING – 3.5/5 +
Round 2 of movies that have no right to be this good! A crime movie set in NYC regarding the Polish mob. It never gets so far up its own rear that it becomes pretentious, however. According to the DVD box art (which I’m sure no one will ever see IRL), it comes from the same Producer of Sicario and John Wick, both MUCH better films but the influence of style with enough substance still comes through.
Joel Kinnaman is such an interesting star. Personally, I think he has the leading man looks, but maybe not the chops? I watched the American “The Killing” and thought he was great in it, so maybe he should have just stayed as a character actor? Regardless, I think this is a great casting choice and opportunity for him. He gets to be gruff, tough, and show his tender side with his family. Hopefully, this and the new Suicide Squad will be enough to get him on the right track!!
Oh right, the movie review. It is a beat-for-beat informant movie, full of the stock characters and bureaucratic BS you would expect. Then it turns into a wild prison drama before ending on a kind of sour/sweet note. Great watch for a time when you don’t need to be present the whole experience!!
RATING – 3.5/5
Riders of Justice
My boys over at the Film Vault talked a lot about this and it really did end up being super fun!!
A sort of Danish take on a Taken/John Wick story, Mads Mikkelsen (one of my favorites, go see Valhalla Rising as soon as you can!!) plays the non-titular tough guy who goes on his rip-roaring rampage of revenge throughout the country-side and city. Tagging along for the ride are three completely socially inept mathematicians/hackers who feel like they are in part responsible for the said rampage, each coming with their own quirks and part to play. They often provide comic relief and provide some thoughts around similar themes as the first movie regarding fate, fatalism, and how events play out with or against your will.
I feel like a lot of American audiences will think that the pacing is too slow for this sort of action/thriller, which is fair as the plot and events certainly take their time to get moving. That being said, if you are a fan of Scandinavian thrillers, noirs, or dark comedies, this one really hits it out of the park!
RATING – 4/5 +