REVIEW: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (2022)

(CLICK HERE for my full review in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 German novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” and Lewis Milestone’s 1930 landmark American film adaptation remain among the most defining anti-war treatments to date. Neither the book or the movie were vague about their ‘war in hell’ message, and both sought to depict it realistically and truthfully.

Now 92 years later we revisit “All Quiet on the Western Front” through the lens of German filmmaker Edward Berger. As far as feature films, this is the first attempt at taking on Remarque’s weighty material since 1930 and (obviously) the first ever German film adaptation. Berger’s epic-scaled polemic brandishes the same scathing anti-war messaging. But he and DP James Friend utilize today’s technology to deliver powerful imagery both on the battlefield and on the faces of the young soldiers sent there.

Much like Remarque’s novel and Milestone’s film, there is nothing patriotic or partisan about Berger’s movie. There are no depictions of glory on the battlefield, and you won’t find a single scene that could be reasonably perceived as propaganda. Rather this is a relentlessly bleak and unflinching account; one that emphasizes the brutality and inhumanity of war, resulting in some of the grittiest and most visceral battle sequences ever put to film. Yet the human cost always remains its focus.

Image Courtesy of Netflix

The story begins with a shattering prologue that not only sets the tone, but lays out the film’s message with startling clarity. A young German soldier named Heinrich, not even 20-years-old, stands in a muddy trench with what’s left of his regiment as the call goes out to charge. Terrified, Heinrich musters what courage he can and climbs out of the trench with his fellow soldiers, rushing towards the enemy gunfire. Bullets scream by, artillery rounds gash the earth, gnarled bodies cover the battlefield.

After cutting to the title card, the film comes back to show a lifeless Heinrich laying in a truck full of dead soldiers. We watch as the uniforms are stripped from the corpses and sent off to be washed and mended. They’re then given to the next batch of starry-eyed recruits who proudly celebrate their fresh ‘new’ duds. It’s a heart-wrenching sequence of events filmed and edited with such brutal authenticity. It gives the audience a good sense of what they’re in for.

Among the new recruits is Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) who lies about his age in order to join his military bound childhood chums Albert (Aaron Hilmer), Franz (Moritz Klaus), and Ludwig (Adrian Grunewald). The four friends join a room full of other elated young man who have all been sold the same lie. A German officer rouses them with promises of fabled glory, but it’s nothing more than a devious sales pitch. There’s no glory awaiting them on the frontlines. We understand that. It won’t be long before the boys understand it too.

But all we can do is watch as this company of new troops – giddy and naïve – joyously sing as they march towards hell, oblivious to what truly awaits them on the Western Front. But once they step foot in the muddy and blood-soaked trenches and peer cross the ravaged wasteland, every romanticized notion of war crumbles. Berger wastes no time shattering their illusion, immediately thrusting the four friends (and us) into the savagery of World War I combat. Cutting no corners and sparing no details, Berger and Friend not only visualize the horror, but they make us feel a part of it. One especially intense and magnificently captured battle scene was more terrifying than anything I’ve seen from the horror genre all year.

Image Courtesy of Netflix

The bulk of the film is shown through Paul’s eyes and plays like a coming-of-age tragedy. Kammerer’s sublime performance is key, channeling Paul’s descent from wide-eyed and enthusiastic to scared and shell-shocked to cold and deadened. Along the way we’re given some much-needed breathers as Berger pulls Paul away from the frontline, allowing him and his buddies to develop their friendships. He has especially good camaraderie with Kat (an excellent Albrecht Schuch), a seasoned older soldier who he first meets in the trenches.

Berger also spends time highlighting the vivid contrast between those orchestrating the war and those fighting it. French and German decision-makers debate and barter in the comforts of lush country estates and elegant train cars. Meanwhile young men die horrific deaths at a sickening pace. Working towards peace was real-life German official Matthias Erzberger (the always solid Daniel Bruhl) who’s tasked with negotiating a surrender that would appease the prideful Prussian generals and allow Germany to bow out with its dignity. Of course history tells us France’s desire to humiliate its enemy set the table for Adolph Hitler and World War II.

With “All Quiet on the Western Front”, Edward Berger hasn’t just remade an old classic. He’s given us an eye-opening anti-war treatise that speaks to both history and modern day. He’s also made one of best movies of the year. The craftsmanship alone is outstanding. But then you add the deeper themes which culminate in a final shot underscoring the war’s heart-breaking cycle of death. It makes for an experience that can be hard to endure and even harder to shake. But those aren’t bad things. Especially with a movie and a message this potent. “All Quiet on the Western Front” premieres today on Netflix.


REVIEW: “Aftersun” (2022)

Writer-director Charlotte Wells makes her feature film debut with the alluring yet frustratingly elusive new drama “Aftersun”. Not far off its highly acclaimed premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, “Aftersun” comes to us courtesy of A24 and is an unquestionably personal film from Wells. And it’s anchored by two thoughtful and true performances that only highlight her emotional connection to the material.

But while it’s impossible to miss the heartfelt feeling behind “Aftersun”, staying connected to film proves to be a chore especially for anyone looking for character development and anything resembling a plot. To be fair, when it comes to the art of cinema, not every film hinges on those elements. I can list several movies that I dearly love as examples. But Wells omits so much and keeps the details incredibly vague, to the point that I can see many people seeking information from outside the movie just to connect with what’s happening within it.

Image Courtesy of A24

A woman named Sophie (played in a scattered handful of scenes by Celia Rowlson-Hall) recalls an idyllic summer vacation from her childhood twenty years ago. It’s when she and her father traveled to Turkey and spent a week or so at a seaside resort. Resembling a flashback, the story unfolds as adult Sophie thinks back on that time. Yet as she does, we sense a sadness within her. But we only get a sense of it, and we can only speculate the reason. That’s because adult Sophie gets very little screen time. And much of it is bathed in assaultive strobe-lighting, an odd and not too revealing metaphor for her memory (or maybe something more. It’s hard to tell because everything about her remains so opaque).

The vast majority of our time is spent on vacation with 11-year-old Sophie (an impressively natural Frankie Corio). She and her father Calum (Paul Mescal) spend their days swimming, playing pool, taking mud baths, and laughing at the resort’s other guests doing the Macarena (it’s the 90’s after all). And with that you have the story in a nutshell. Relaxed to a fault, Wells milks her understated approach dry, content with just following Sophie and Calum around on their holiday. Yes it plays like a memory. But another person’s memory (much like watching other people’s home movies) isn’t always interesting. We do get clues that hint at problems yet little in terms of answers. We get small pieces of information but little glue to hold them together.

That said, Corio and Mescal have a strikingly organic chemistry. Corio is a revelation, bringing childlike innocence face-to-face with sudden maturity. She’s one example where Wells’ choice of leaving things unsaid works. Corio conveys volumes through her mannerisms, tone, and sometimes a simple look. Through Mescal, Calum is tough to read. He’s a puzzle box, clearly trying to be a good dad. Yet later there are moments when he appears aloof and disconnected, as if he’s lost in some inner darkness. But this (like so much else in the movie) is mostly guesswork and speculation.

Image Courtesy of A24

“Aftersun” is sure to please those who aren’t necessarily looking for answers and who enjoy filling in the blanks themselves. Others will be frustrated by its evasive nature and its unwillingness to do more (not all) of the heavy-lifting. Myself, I don’t mind ambiguity, and I enjoy following breadcrumbs and piecing together clues left behind by a filmmaker. These things can be especially potent when a project is so personal to its creator.

But for me, “Aftersun” is too hazy and blurred. Some of its techniques are effective (the grainy camcorder video, the use of 90s music including one specific REM tune in a karaoke scene that’s too good to spoil, etc.). But it’s a movie that hinges on your ability to put a big portion of yourself into it. For me that requires a deeper connection – one that comes from an understanding of the characters that (for one reason or another) I never had. So it ends up being a movie I sincerely admire and desperately wanted to love. But without that internal connection, it feels as if you’re just plugging holes rather than sharing in something meaningful.


REVIEW: “Amsterdam” (2022)

David O. Russell’s “Amsterdam” is a star-studded affair that hasn’t exactly been greeted with open arms. More than a few film critics have sauteed the period mystery comedy, calling it “exhausting”, “bloated”, “meandering”, “tedious”, and even “unwatchable”. But a far bigger hurdle than bad reviews is the studio’s bad marketing strategy. They understandably lean on the film’s star wattage. But “Amsterdam” isn’t just some light and jaunty romp. And its true-to-life themes are sure to be lost under the advertising’s heavy coat of studio varnish.

“Amsterdam” is Russell’s first film since 2015 and cast-wise it’s an embarrassment of riches. The film is led by Christian Bale, John David Washington, and Margot Robbie. But then you have a supporting cast that features Robert De Niro, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rami Malek, Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Zoe Saldaña, Taylor Swift, Andrea Riseborough, Timothy Olyphant, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, and Ed Bagley Jr among others. It looks overwhelming on paper. But everyone fits well in their roles, and most are clearly having fun with their characters.

Russell (who also writes the screenplay) bites off a lot in this overly long story about three tight-knit friends in 1930s New York. There’s a murder mystery at its core that blossoms into something bigger and more ambitious. But it’s also a comedy that’s more sly and subtle with its humor than you might expect. In one sense it keeps “Amsterdam” from running over into full-blown farce, but it also keeps it from being as funny as it could have been. Russell plays it too safe, which seems like a missed opportunity.

Image Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

Yet despite some missteps and miscalculations, I liked “Amsterdam”. Granted, it’s not quite the movie it advertises itself to be (I saw one social media promotion calling it a “thrill ride” – hardly). But it has loads of personality and character. And while Russell overextends his story and wanders off in too many directions, it still holds together nicely and makes for good satire. I also loved its period style and (in certain scenes) swagger. Plus, as someone who loves watching good actors act, this was a feast.

In the waning days of World War I, wounded war buddies Burt Berendsen (Bale) and Harold Woodsman (Washington) meet a nurse, Valerie Voze (Robbie) in a French hospital. As the war comes to an end, the trio become close friends and form a pact during some fun and frolicking in Amsterdam. But their time of carefree bliss eventually comes to an end, and they’re eventually forced to come back to reality (aka America).

Back home and 12 years later, things aren’t as breezy and buoyant as in Amsterdam. Burt (whose disheveled mien and unruly glass eye gives off serious Peter Falk vibes) returned to his wife, Beatrice (Riseborough) and her upscale, status-obsessed parents (they’re the ones who convinced him to go to war in the first place). He becomes a doctor in a struggling practice specializing in cosmetic work for fellow veterans. And he dabbles in creative “medicines” on the side.

Harold graduated from Harvard. But in the racial climate of 1930s America, there weren’t a lot of doors open for a black attorney. So he works with Burt, waiting for opportunities that sadly were still years away. The two lose track of Valerie who ends up with a hereditary nerve disorder (or so she’s told) and kept housebound by her prima-donna brother Tom (Malek) and his controlling wife, Libby Voze (Taylor-Joy).

Image Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

One day Burt and Harold are approached by Elizabeth Meekins (Swift), the daughter of United States Senator Bill Meekins (Begley Jr). She tells them that her father has died, and she believes he was murdered. She implores Burt and Harold to investigate, starting with a secret autopsy. Normally this is something the pair would immediately turn down. But Senator Meekins was their commanding officer during the war and the one who introduced the two friends. So they reluctantly agree to help Elizabeth.

Rather than spoil things, let’s just say Burt and Harold reunite with Valerie and the trio become prime murder suspects. In their efforts to prove their innocence, they uncover something far more insidious. And along the way they encounter a fun and colorful array characters that includes a vet from their old regiment, Milton King (Rock), two not-so-undercover intelligence agents, Paul Canterbury (Myers) and Henry Norcross (Shannon), a good-hearted pathologist, Irma St. Clair (Zoe Saldana), two pulpy detectives Getwiller (Schoenaerts) and Hiltz (Nivola), a ruthless thug, Tarim Milfax (Olyphant), and a highly esteemed general, Gil Dillenbeck (De Niro).

“Amsterdam” certainly has its playful side, but its satirical kick often comes attached to some weighty subjects. Racism, antisemitism, and fascism are all touched on to varying degrees. And while much of the story is pure fiction, there are several things scattered throughout that are based on real-life details, people, or events. Again, I won’t spoil the story by pointing them out, but these give the movie some bite. Sadly, Russell’s approach to storytelling will make separating fact from fiction a chore for some. But I admit, I fell for this messy, off-beat extravaganza. And I think it has a lot more to say than some may give it credit for. “Amsterdam” is out now in theaters.


REVIEW: “Athena” (2022)

“Athena” opens with a powerful closeup of a man named Abdel. The camera stays firmly locked onto his solemn face as he walks through a police station and outside to an awaiting crowd of reporters. He steps up to a podium to issue a family statement following the death of his 13-year-old kid brother Idir who was allegedly killed by police brutality. Abdel says all the usual things: a plea for peace, it’s a difficult time for their family, and that the police have pledged to conduct a thorough investigation.

But in the back of the crowd, Abdel’s brother Karim (Sami Slimane in his screen debut) stands seething with anger. He lights a Molotov cocktail and heaves it at the police station, sending everyone scrambling and igniting a meticulously orchestrated riot. All of this is captured through one jaw-dropping single take as DP Matias Boucard’s camera sticks to the rioters as they storm and ransack the police station and then make their escape to the massive housing project called Athena, which Karim and his hundreds of rage-filled followers immediately turn into a fortress.

Image Courtesy of Netflix

This incredible opening sets the table for “Athena”, the latest film from French director Romain Gavras. It’s a movie with so much to admire, especially from a technical standpoint. It’s hard not be impressed with the sheer spectacle Gavras and Boucard bring to the screen. Their heavy emphasis on choreography may come at a price (more on that in a second), but it gives the movie an explosive and propulsive energy. And while it never cinematically matches the sheer intensity and craftsmanship of its opening, “Athena” keeps you riveted throughout by its visuals alone.

But as I said, its kinetic presentation comes at a cost. With “Athena”, it’s the characters who suffer most. The emotions we see from the key players are raw and genuine. But the movie is content with simply telling us how they feel rather than meaningfully exploring those feelings (the closest we get to emotional complexity is Abdel). Gavras teases us with deeper feeling (there’s a powerful scene with Karim tearfully staring at a picture of his deceased brother – one of the film’s few still moments). Otherwise it’s all rage and not much else.

Of the characters, Abdel (Dali Benssalah) is by far the most detailed. He’s a decorated French soldier just back from a tour in Mali, so he has a good understanding of war and its consequences. For that reason, Abdel seeks the peaceful, patient resolution. But with his brother leading a violent uprising, he’s caught between stopping a potentially deadly showdown and standing with his family. Karim is an interesting character and Slimane makes his fury palpable. But he’s little more than an avatar of rage. There’s a third player – Abdel and Karim’s underdeveloped stepbrother Moktar (Ouassini Embarek). He’s unhinged and most worried about the attention Karim’s revolt will bring to his drug business.

Their family dynamic is volatile, but nothing like the tinderboxes Karim’s actions ignite all across France. As a cellphone video of three police officers brutally beating Idir goes viral, tensions reach a dangerous high. The police claim it wasn’t their officers in the video. The marginalized, mostly Algerian communities point to other recent cases of police misconduct that were swept under the rug. Karim harnesses that anger in his revolt, which evolves into urban warfare once police converge on Athena. And after Karim takes a nervous and overwhelmed young officer Jérôme (Anthony Bajon) hostage, the situation with the cops and between the brothers intensifies.

Image Courtesy of Netflix

Amid the mace, batons, and beanbag guns of the police and the lead pipes, Molotovs, and fireworks of the Athenians, the family drama ends up underserved. This really stands out with one particular character twist that’s pivotal to the story yet desperately in need of buildup and detail. And the film needs more of the quieter moments, such as the scenes with the worried mother of the brothers trying to reach her sons on their phones. It’s a small touch, but a powerful one.

Despite throwing out some intensely relevant themes, the movie plays as more of an visually mesmerizing adrenaline jolt than any kind of intellectual challenge. And the emotions, which are real and comprehensible, feel more like a catalyst for the action than something we’re allowed to explore. But that’s not to say “Athena” is toothless. It may rely too heavily on its amazing visual craftsmanship, but the themes (though only scratched upon) are there. And watching society crumble and violence beget violence on screen is affecting, from the film’s astonishing opening to its gut-punch final shot. “Athena” is now streaming on Netflix.


REVIEW: “Ambulance” (2022)

For the most part you know what you’re going to get from a Michael Bay movie. Granted, he’ll occasionally throw in a few small twists on his formula. But more often than not, his movies tend to follow a pretty familiar blueprint. And that blueprint has earned the director and producer lots of commercial success as well as a few vocal detractors.

As you might expect, Bay’s new film “Ambulance” follows his blueprint to the letter. In fact, in some ways it plays like a celebration of Bay’s formula, even throwing in a couple of references to the director’s past movies. And then there are those Bay visual flourishes which he comes back to in the movie over and over and over again, almost to the point of overkill. So you could say this is Bay at his most indulgent. Yet despite all of that, his no-nonsense approach, three strong performances, and the central hook of the story gel together for something that’s quite entertaining.

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Will (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) are childhood friends and adoptive brothers who, despite their sincere love for each other, have gone down very different paths in life. Will joined the military and served in Afghanistan. Now he’s back home where he has a baby boy with his wife (Moses Ingram). The charismatic Danny has followed in their father’s footsteps and runs a criminal outfit. Though not as unhinged as their late father, Danny has his hands in a lot of bad things.

With Amy in desperate need of a life-saving surgery and his military insurance refusing to cover it, Will approaches Danny for a loan. But rather than a measly $230,000, the ever persuasive Danny convinces Will to join him and his crew on a job to swipe $32 million from a bank in downtown Los Angeles. What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, everything.

The heist goes bad as cops converge on bank and a ferocious “Heat” inspired gunfight breaks out. With the rest of their crew dead, Danny and Will scramble to find a way out. They end up hijacking an ambulance where in the back EMT Cam Thompson (Eiza González) fights to save the life of a police officer (Jackson White) who Will mistakenly shot during the chaos. What follows is nearly two hours of mostly kinetic, high-energy action across LA as Will, Danny and their two hostages try to shake the dogged LAPD and the FBI.

One thing about a Michael Bay movie, it’s going to look good. The visuals in “Ambulance” don’t disappoint and they certainly add to the film’s energy. At the same time, they eventually lose some of their kick as Bay goes back to the same camera tricks over and over again. In some cases, he repeats them so often it gets a little silly. But if you can get past that, there are plenty of exhilarating sequences that throw plausibility out the window and ratchets down on the high-octane excitement. And it doesn’t take long to get it all started. Bay doesn’t waste time on build up. He knows the kind of movie he’s making and he makes no apologies. Within 15 minutes the action has taken center stage.

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Gyllenhaal, Abdul-Mateen II, and González make for a lively trio. Their performances are dramatically different yet their chemistries are pretty seamless. Gyllenhaal is the most entertaining and he plays his scenes as if he were high on caffeine. Abdul-Mateen II adds an emotional level and brings the silliness down a notch. Meanwhile González gets her moments, but I wish she was given a few more. Garret Dillahunt adds to the fun playing a tenacious LAPD captain willing the chase the brothers all over the city if necessary.

There are some weird swings at humor (a few land, many don’t) and the movie begins to run out of gas well before the two-hour mark. But there are some good twists that keep this from being your conventional heist-turned-chase movie. For example, I liked the idea of having the wounded cop in the ambulance which ties the police’s hands and offers a unique set of challenges. Not all of their strategies make sense. And that’s kinda like the movie as a whole. This really is a case of turning off your brain and just going along for the ride. And sometimes that’s all your looking for in a movie. “Ambulance” is now playing in theaters.


REVIEW: “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood” (2022)

(CLICK HERE to read my review in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

I’m a big Richard Linklater fan. The 61-year-old Texas-born director, screenwriter, and producer has one of the most eclectic filmographies out there. From his hangout classic “Dazed and Confused” to his critically acclaimed “Before” trilogy to his audacious “Boyhood”. I had a chance to meet and listen to Richard Linklater during an appearance at Arkansas Cinema Society’s Filmland event. Hearing him talk about his deep love for cinema, the inspiration that has helped shape his wide-ranging style, and his uniquely personal approach to filmmaking only solidified my appreciation for his body of work.

With all of that said, how on earth did Linklater’s latest movie nearly slip by me (It’s partly due to weak promotion, but that’s another write-up for another day)? “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood” premiered March 13th at South by Southwest and now it is available to stream on Netflix. This animation/live-action hybrid once again sees Linklater venturing into new spaces while at the same time showing off many of his signatures – a sharp wit, a lights-out soundtrack, an amazing grasp of time and setting.

Image Courtesy of Netflix

Born in 1960 near Houston, Linklater grew up in close proximity to NASA headquarters. It was a time when nearly every adult in his lively suburb worked for NASA, and the influence of the space program could be found in everything from used car commercials to playground equipment. Suddenly the prefix “astro-” became commonplace. There were the Houston Astros (formerly the Colt .45s), the Astrodome, AstroTurf, and even a theme park called AstroWorld. For these close families and tight-knit neighborhoods, space became synonymous with everyday life.

Linklater brings these intimate and heartfelt memories to life in “Apollo 10 1/2”, a time capsule of a movie set in the late 1960s. While it is certainly a celebration of the Apollo space missions and their impacts culturally, politically and personally, the film is much more an nostalgic and faithful portrait of a bygone era. A time of Jiffy Pop and RC Cola; The Archies and The Association; Admiral television sets and Sundazed Records. And while further out in the real world, Vietnam was festering and the Cold War was taking a new form, so many of the nation’s eyes were on the Space Race.

All of these things (and so much more) make their way into Linklater’s autobiographical film which beautifully braids his own childhood memories with a surprisingly tender youthful fantasy. Interestingly, there isn’t much in terms of plot. Instead, it plays more like a motion picture scrapbook and we’re ushered through it by a narrator named Stan (wonderfully voiced by Jack Black) who gazes back on his past with a full-hearted affection. “Let me tell you about life back then,” he says as he takes our hands and our imaginations on a trip down memory lane.

Image Courtesy of Netflix

But scattered throughout these lovingly rendered flashbacks is a delightfully absurd tale – the kind that could only originate in the vivid imagination of a star-gazing 10-year-old. It starts one sunny afternoon at Ed White Elementary School in the small Houston suburb of El Lago, Texas.

Young Stan (voiced by Milo Coy) is approached by two NASA officials (Glen Powell and Zachary Levi). Somehow in their race to beat the Russians to the moon, NASA accidentally built their lunar module too small for an adult. After scouting Stanley both in the classroom and on the kickball court (because isn’t that where all young astronauts excel?), NASA believes him to be the perfect candidate for their mission. What mission you ask? To test their too-small module on the moon’s surface.

At first it’s a little hard to tell where Linklater is going with this light hearted side-story. But as it plays out in snippets the filmmaker’s vision becomes clearer. Just like everything else in his movie, it’s meant to emphasize what it was like growing up in that very specific place during that very specific era. For Stan, his five siblings, and his imperfect yet devoted parents (pitch-perfectly played by Lee Eddy and Bill Wise) it was a vastly different world than today’s, and Linklater’s knack for conveying such worlds really comes through.

Image Courtesy of Netflix

Even the visual choices play into it. The strategic mix of rotoscope with 2D and 3D animation gives the film a dreamlike yet stunningly realistic quality, where the period’s defining colors and textures pop off the screen. Other touches add to the authenticity, such as digitally animating old live-action footage from television shows, movies, and newscasts. And it’s all bound together by nearly 50 smile-inducing, head-bobbing late 60s tunes from the likes of The Marketts, Cliff Nobles, and The T-Bones.

Sadly, “Apollo 10 1/2” hasn’t received much promotion from Netflix yet it’s a must-see, especially for fans of Linklater or anyone with the slightest attachment to the era. Will it play the same for younger audiences? Probably not. But while I wasn’t born until 1971, so many things in the film still echo back to my own childhood. And the sturdy connection to the 1960s provided to me by my parents only enriched my experience. So while this gorgeously animated, intensely detailed, nostalgia-soaked gem is clearly personal for Linklater, he won’t be the only one reflecting on their childhood after watching. “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood” is now streaming on Netflix.