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The Perfect Find Review | Netflix’s Latest is Weirdly Paced but Amazingly Dull

The Perfect Find boasts decent performances from Keith Powers and Gabrielle Union, but the movie itself is amazingly lethargic.

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The Perfect Find is one of the strangest Netflix films I’ve ever seen. On the one hand, it contains two great lead performances from Gabrielle Union and Keith Powers as Jenna and Eric, two people who meet at a party and instantly fall in love. The next day, Jenna’s boss, Darcy (Gina Torres), introduces her to her co-worker, a videographer named…Eric, who also turns out to be Darcy’s son. The two put their feelings aside and start to work together, as they have the mandate to turn Darcy’s fashion zine around and reach over 1 million subscribers. On the other hand, the film is strangely paced, constantly at odds with its structure and themes, and ultimately never knows what it wants to say about anything it presents, even through the lens of its lead characters.

Predictably, the two fall in love again, and their working relationship complexifies itself. Darcy does not want Jenna and Eric to be together and repeatedly warns Jenna that their relationship must be strictly professional. Their feelings get conflicted as their secret relationship evolves, and massive clichés ensue. Of course, Darcy will find out, and the two will be forced to end their relationship and then reconcile at some point. It’s when they reconcile that the movie takes a sharp turn in its storytelling with a plot twist that I did not see coming that made its final moments feel like director Numa Perrier and screenwriter Leigh Davenport (who adapts from Tia Williams’ book of the same name) are desperate for an emotionally cathartic resolution.

Unfortunately, because this moment comes out of the left field, the emotions fall flat, despite Union and Powers doing good work. The two have a naturally palpable chemistry that is always fun to watch, mainly when they discuss their love of film and bond over Nina Mae McKinney, one of the first African-American film stars in the United States. Despite their over twenty-year age gap in real life, the movie consistently makes their relationship feel believable, and the audience ultimately roots for them to end up together, regardless of what Darcy believes is the “right thing.” Torres is surprisingly funny as Darcy, giving the film the fun it needs to feel like a light and breezy Saturday night watch at the summer cottage. That’s not inherently bad because the emotions are also there in her performance during the film’s latter half. You can see everything in her arc coming a mile away, but the emotional shift occurs during its plot twist, and she then shares some rather poignant moments with Union as the movie wraps up.

The film’s performances aren’t a problem. Yes, most of the film is inherently predictable, but it seems that viewers ultimately know what they’re getting into when they click on play. If other aspects of the film are done right, predictability isn’t the biggest problem. However, when everything else around its performances falls flat, that’s when its predictability starts to become a problem. Add a predictable plot with a passive structure, and you have one of the dullest movies of the year. As much as Union and Powers have great chemistry together, they can’t make up for the film’s weird pacing, which is always (and simultaneously) trying to be lazy and energetic.

Yes, you’ve read it correctly – the film tries to amp up its pace with brisk montages of Jenna and Eric falling in love, intercut with tributes to 1920s and 1970s cinema, while consistently grinding this momentum to a halt by filling the rest of the movie with drawn-out and cyclical dialogue exchanges where the two profess their love for one another, followed by a scene where they promise to keep it quiet, until that causes a rift in their relationship, and rinse and repeat until Darcy finds out (it was, of course, written in the stars). This conflicting pace and energy create a strangely out-of-body experience that recalls watching Tommy Wiseau’s The Room for the first time: you notice the human qualities of the picture but quickly get weirded out by its vibe and alien dialogues Wiseau writes.

The Perfect Find is no The Room – there’s no unintentional hilarity to be had in the movie, and it’s far too safe as a rom-com to find any risk in storytelling. However, the film’s pace comes close to achieving the level Wiseau inadvertently perfected in his masterpiece. I couldn’t quite grasp how unnatural most of the line deliveries from the supporting actors were and how pedantic the script was written, but that’s the only comparison I could think of.

As a “turn off your brain” or “iron your clothes while the TV’s on” type of watch, The Perfect Find is harmless. Some will enjoy it greatly while doing other daily chores, but it does very little to impress as an actual movie to engage your eyes and ears actively. Apart from Union, Powers, and Torres giving decent performances, the finished product is amazingly dull and has nothing of value to offer to moviegoers. It’s yet another movie that exists in the Netflix algorithm but will be quickly forgotten as more movies get added to the platform…

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The Perfect Find is now available to stream on Netflix.

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Adventure

Arthur the King is an Epic Masterpiece

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Arthur the King movie poster (Lionsgate Films)

Here follows the review of Arthur the King, a story of deep connection between people and dogs. Not all heroes wear capes, some have wagging tails and would cross a river (and jungle) for you.

Plot

Desperate for one last chance to win, Michael Light convinces a sponsor to back him and a team of athletes for the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic. As the team gets pushed to the outer limits of endurance, a dog named Arthur comes along for the ride, redefining what victory, loyalty and friendship truly means.

Arthur Foundation

Mikael Lindnord raced through a jungle in Ecuador and after feeding a few meatballs to a stray dog made a friend for life. The dog followed Mikael and his team through the rough terrain. Mikael named the dog Arthur and took him back home with him.

Arthur and Mikael Lindnord (Photo taken by Krister Goransson)

The Arthur Foundation collaborates with various organizations in different countries that work towards animal welfare.

Click on the following links to reach out to Mikael Lindnord.

Movie Review (no spoilers)

The movie is based on the memoir, Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home by Mikael Lindnord, who was the athlete who participated in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador. It is important to note in the movie they refer to him as Michael Light. Even though the original race took place in Ecuador, the movie changed the location to the Dominican Republic. The original race took place in 2014, while in the movie the race takes place in 2018.

Mark Wahlberg portrays the part of the Mikael and delivers an excellent performance alongside Simu Liu, Nathalie Emmanuel and Ali Suliman. Ukai, a stray dog, was a real champion portraying the role of Arthur. The film takes us through picturesque locations in the Dominican Republic. The suspense was felt at every turn and corner and you are kept glued to the screen with a gripping storyline. The story balances the journey of Mikael and Arthur and eventually joins their path like a jigsaw puzzle.

Mark Wahlberg as Mikael Light (Lionsgate Films)

A fictional backstory is provided of Mikael’s competitive journey as well as the journey that Arthur took to get to Mikael. The movie successfully tells a deep story of connection between dogs and people. If you want to know more about the real story, you can check your local bookstore or Amazon for a copy of Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home

This movie is a 5 out of 5 for me. The connection between Mikael and Arthur is brought to life in this epic masterpiece. Arthur found a home in the heart of Mikael and thanks to Mark Wahlberg and Ukai, this film adaptation of ‘Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home’ became a memorable movie.

The trailer doesn’t spoil any of the important scenes of the movie. Arthur the King has a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. There is no post-credits scene so no need to wait till the end.

Arthur the King Official Trailer (Lionsgate Films)

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Entertainment

A Must-See Satanic Panic Horror – Late Night With the Devil

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Written and directed by Cameron Cairnes & Colin Cairnes, Late Night With the Devil follows a late night TV host Jack Delroy, fighting the plummeting viewership of his show by welcoming in people from the occult in order to change that, but of course, everything doesn’t go as smooth as planned.

David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy Late Night With the Devil (2023)

David Dastmalchian has appeared in a lot of films however always in smaller roles including The Dark Knight, Prisoners and more recently The Suicide Squad. This film allows Dastmalchian to take on the lead role of Jack Delroy, the host of the late night show at the centre of this film, and he genuinely does a great job. There’s a real range of emotions which his character goes through during the course of this film and he depicts them so well.

If you’re a fan of the horror genre, you’re going to really appreciate the use of practical effects in this. There’s plenty of stretchy and gooey gore for all of the horror fanatics that will have you shouting at the screen. 

From left to right: Laura Gordon, Ingrid Torelli, David Dastmalchian, Ian Bliss

If you want to hear my full thoughts, check out my review over on YouTube and let me know your opinions in the comments.

Late Night With the Devil will be released in cinemas from 22nd March and on Shudder on 19th April.

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Reviews

‘I Love You, Guys’ Review | A Poignant Exploration of Celebrity Vulnerability and Human Resilience

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We are living in an era where celebrities are worshipped like deities and sometimes, people forget that he or she is also a normal human being. If we feel happy or sad at certain moments, they do as well and even though a lot of people always surround them, they get vulnerable too. Although a lot of filmmakers forget to show that aspect of their lives, Billie Melissa Rogan takes the bold approach of showing the truth. Her directorial debut, ‘I Love You, Guys,’ is a poignant story about a celebrity fighting her inner self to maintain her celebrity image. The result is a stunning piece of art that resonates long after the end credits roll in.

The short film opens with a profound close-up of the young singing sensation named Sky (Becky Bush). She has made a name for herself by making and singing really exceptional songs. As a result, she is adored by her fans. Even though it feels like Sky has everything she wants, viewers see her submerged in a bathtub as she tries to battle her anxiety. Just then, Sky gets a phone that she’d be performing state-side. Now, that’s where we get to know about her vulnerable state for the first time. Although she says that she is really happy with the above-mentioned news, her face tells a different story. Despite her impending stardom, Sky has not started to feel the massive weight of mounting pressure, a sentiment audiences get to see in her conversations with bandmate Ryan (Pedro Leandro) and girlfriend Taylor (Celi Crossland).

Becky Bush in a still from ‘I Love You, Guys’ (Jumpcut Studios)

As the story moves forward, we get to know that ‘I Love You, Guys’ is about the fragile nature of the human spirit as much as it is about celebrity culture. It not only navigates themes of depression, it also highlights the turbulent emotional journey of Sky. One of the best aspects of the film is how Rogan masterfully brings Cory Varney’s screenplay to life. She managed to capture every minor detail of Sky’s emotions with utmost precision. Despite the fact that it is her first-ever film as a director, we get a sense that we are watching a flick helmed by a seasoned filmmaker.

Another aspect that makes this film such a compelling watch is its cinematography. Jenni Suitiala has done a phenomenal in showing expressions through vibrant colors and Rogan has made full use of the settings to give viewers a visually striking film. Whether it is heated arguments or silent moments of despair, each frame feels authentic and draws audiences into Sky’s personal life.

Apart from Rogan’s direction, Varney’s script is this film’s biggest strength. The writer has undoubtedly done a stunning job of showing the humanity of these characters. There’s a reason why Sky’s struggles feel very personal and it is because we have endured such moments in life. Moments where we doubt ourselves even when we know we are more than capable of doing a particular thing. Not every smiling person is happy. Sometimes he or she is smiling just so that no one finds out about the tough times they are going through.

A still from ‘I Love You, Guys’ (Jumpcut Studios)

Acting-wise, Becky Bush has given a performance that is surely going to open several doors for her. She delivers a magnificent performance by infusing Sky with a beautiful balance of vulnerability and strength. The way she manages to convey an innumerable amount of emotions is spectacular. I believe this is one of the most apt depictions of mental turmoil. Meanwhile, Pedro Leandro and Celi Crossland are just as spectacular. Every interaction between the characters feels genuine and nuanced.

All in all, ‘I Love You, Guys’ is a testament to how resilient a human spirit can be. In just 15 minutes, Rogan, Varney, and Bush take viewers on a journey that’s thought-provoking and talks about a subject that no one talks about. The writing, direction, and performances achieve a lot more than just viewers’ attention. The film offers a compelling examination of the human cost of pursuing fame and success. A poignant story that touches on themes of ambition, relationships, and self-discovery.

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