Culture

‘Lovebirds,’ ‘Trip to Greece’ ‘Wolf House’ top our streaming picks


Netflix washes away the curdled aftertaste of its dreadful “Coffee & Kareem” with “The Lovebirds,” a cuckoo comedy about a feuding couple that recalls some of the best wisecracking rom-coms of yesteryear.

The laugh-till-it-hurts bit of malarkey stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani and was set for a theatrical release by Paramount in April until theaters were shuttered by the coronavirus. Now Netflix has it and, rather than wallow in uncertainty, “Lovebirds” can whistle a much happier tune.

Rae (“Insecure”) and Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley,” “The Big Sick)” play Jibran and Leilani, a New York couple flirting with splitsville. They make for one of the best comedic teams in years, with impeccable timing and solid chemistry. The story turns on a carjacking that forces the feuding pair to become amateur sleuths trying to clear their names and winds up veering into a bit of “Eyes Wide Shut”-style outlandishness.

Director Michael Showalter has worked with Nanjiani before, and they should keep at it. After a blitz of bad films of late, Nanjiani, a talented screenwriter/actor/producer, gets material that suits him. Rae gives yet another star-making performance, shifting from comedy to drama with grace.

Details: 3½ stars out of 4; available May 22 on Netflix.

Other new releases:

“The Trip to Greece”: Need a vacation? Escape cinematically with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in the fourth and reportedly final film in their road trip series featuring sumptuous food, gorgeous scenergy, celebrity impressions and lots of dialogue about middle-aged angst. The first film remains the best, but this is a good chapter in which the locale makes a worthy backdrop for a mix of comedy and tragedy. Details: 3 stars, available May 22 on various platforms and some drive-in theaters, check www.westwinddi.com for any Bay Area times.

A chilling story and creative use of stop-motion animation fuel “The Wolf House.” (Kim Stim)

“The Wolf House”: In one of the most unusual and exciting film experiences of the year, Cristobal Leon and Joaquin Cocina use stop-motion animation to tell a dark Chilean fable set during Pinochet’s reign of terror. A young woman escaping persecution finds refuge in a magical house that changes to mirror her moods. It’s a landmark feat of animation; a surreal adult film that explores intense themes in a way that will remind some of Guillermo del Toro. It’s ingenious. Details: 4 stars; available at Roxie theater virtual cinema series; www.roxie.com.

“Last Moment of Clarity”: Any movie with Samara Weaving in it is worth a watch. In this satisfying neo-noir, the “Ready or Not”/”Hollywood” star is cast as a is-she-or-isn’t-she femme fatale for a grieving ex, played with a convincing mix of emo and toughness by Berkeley native Zach Avery. Ably assisting in making this genre-twister a keeper are Brian Cox, Udo Kier and the charming Carly Chaikin. I appreciated the depth of “Clarity’s” characters and an unexpected finale. Details: 3 stars; available on various platforms.

“Scoob!”: Warner Bros. reboots this shaggy-dog sleuth franchise with a new animated version featuring Lafayette native Will Forte, who voices Shaggy to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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