Look, there is a ton of content to binge out there. From Netflix to Hulu to Amazon Prime to HBO Max to—well, you get the idea. But one of my biggest problems is actually settling on a new movie to watch (and I know I'm not alone here). Just scrolling through Netflix, it's impossible not to roll my eye at some of the options. Do I really want to spend my Saturday night watching that? It looks terrible.
And previews can be deceiving too. I've watched a number of trailers for films that just simply didn't do them justice. I've thought, Who would watch this after seeing this preview?! but then gone on to love the movie itself.
So, I'm here to help cut through some of the noise (and terrible marketing) with a few personal recommendations. Keep scrolling for three Netflix movies I thought I'd hate but ended up loving—and one that I wish I'd just skipped.
1. ‘BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky’
As someone who considers themself highly uninformed (maybe uninterested is the better word? I dunno...) when it comes to all things Gen Z, I had no idea who Blackpink was and I had little desire to find out. However, as a fan of Lady Gaga (she's more in my age bracket), I took notice when she paired with Blackpink on her new song "Sour Candy." It was catchy, it was fun and it was enough to mildly pique my interest and get me to watch Netflix's documentary about the girl group, BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky.
And I'm soooo glad I did. This easily-digestible 80-minute documentary delves into the fascinating creation of the mega-popular singing group. Not only does it reveal each of the girls' interesting backstories and behind-the-scenes hardships, but it also spends a large amount of time diving into the process of creating the band itself. Without giving too much away, the singers were paired together after being enrolled in a full-time bootcamp/audition/school where they were rigorously trained and tested to see which performers would be strong enough to make the cut.
Even if, like me, you hadn't known or cared about Blackpink before, I'd still recommend giving this doc a shot.
2. ‘The Christmas Chronicles 2’
Now don't get me wrong, anything with Goldie Hawn in it will naturally get my attention. And nothing brought me greater joy in the 2018 holiday season than the twist ending of The Christmas Chronicles when Hawn was revealed to be Mrs. Claus (to real-life hubby Kurt Russell's Santa Claus). But that was then and this is...well, a sequel.
Going in, I imagined the film would be thin on plot and even thinner on entertainment. While I was correct on the plot front, I found myself thoroughly entertained with this one. Hawn and Russell appeared to be having so much fun every time they showed up on screen—and so I had a blast watching as a result.
Highlights certainly include Hawn speaking a made up elf language and Russell performing a full-on musical production number in an airport, complete with saxophone solo. Again, nothing groundbreaking, but certainly a lot of fun.
3. ‘The Social Dilemma’
A movie about social media? Few things sound more boring and dry. Let's start with Netflix's own description: "This documentary-drama hybrid explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations." Snoooooooze-fest, amirite? Not so fast. Oof this film packs a punch.
The Social Dilemma took me down a dark path that really had me questioning if I should delete my Facebook and Instagram accounts. As Chamath Palihapitiya, former VP of growth at Facebook, says in the doc, "Companies like Facebook and Google would roll out lots of little, tiny experiments that they were constantly doing on users. And over time, by running these constant experiments, you develop the most optimal way to get users to do what you want them to do. It’s manipulation." If that isn't frightening, I don't know what is.
This intimate look at what really goes on behind the curtain with social media is truly terrifying (and a must-watch).
And The One I Wish I’d Skipped: ‘The Princess Switch: Switched Again’
Alright, before every Vanessa Hudgens fan comes out of the woodwork to disagree with me, keep in mind this is just my opinion. But I actually had fairly high hopes for this one. I had a fun time watching the original and didn't mind one bit that Hudgens's accents were literally all over the place. So, I hoped the sequel with an additional character played by Hudgens would be even better. Sadly...no.
I was really looking for laughs in this flick and they really just never came. And at an hour and 37 minutes long, the film really started to drag (I could've done with a swift 60-minute sequel). To give you an indication, my partner and I were staring at the screen for what felt like 30 minutes (though I didn't check the clock to be fair) when he finally blurted out, "Where's the damn switch?!" He was right. A Princess Switch with far too much setup to get to the actual switch.
And the third iteration of Hudgens is...fine. I was just hoping for some truly off-the-wall antics (or an even more creative accent) this time around. Alas, not every Netflix sequel can be a winner.