There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.
We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.
Elemental is another Pixar story that imbues inanimate things with a little humanity. This time, it’s the basic elements of the world: fire, wind, water, and air. Though it often feels like the studio enlists someone to spin around a room blindfolded and point to something random to find its next subject, this tale about immigration and finding your home is incredibly sweet, if ultimately too lukewarm.
Here’s Allegra Frank’s take:
“In 2003, my dad took my sister and me to see a Pixar film for Father’s Day: Finding Nemo, a film more remarkable—and remarkably well-suited for the holiday—than any of us could have expected. This weekend, 20 years later, the three of us have a new holiday-appropriate Pixar pick for a Father’s Day outing. Elemental (in theaters June 18) is another emotions-heavy adventure about a parent and child’s efforts to understand each other. Although it doesn’t come close to reaching Nemo’s heights (very few films, animated or otherwise, can), Elemental neither needs nor tries to, mostly to its own benefit.
Instead of being a gorgeously reassuring tale for helicopter parents or upcoming empty nesters, à la Nemo, Elemental focuses on the children eager to chart their own paths—and maybe even start their own families. While not unheard of for Pixar, Elemental’s cast is almost exclusively composed of adults, ones with adult dreams. The characters have all your classic ol’ goals here: retirement; finding your soulmate; upward mobility out of the lowest rung of your society’s discriminatory class system.
These familiar aims are filtered through a high-concept premise, one that feels less complicated than other conceptual Pixar fare like Soul and Inside Out, yet somehow less well-defined or explained. As Elemental tries to tell a straightforward story in this complex world, it unfortunately falls flat nearly as often as it soars.”
Skip: Black Mirror Season 6
Black Mirror’s sixth season of condensed technologic dystopia tales will certainly entertain fans, but after an extended pandemic hiatus, the show no longer surpasses the much scarier horrors of our everyday lives.
Here’s Fletcher Peters’ take:
“In the four-year hiatus Black Mirror has taken in between its fifth and sixth seasons, the world has become a dystopian version of itself. A lot has changed since 2019’s Season 5 release, back when we had no concept of ‘social distancing,’ the color of New York’s sky was a reassuring pale blue instead of hot orange, and Jack Dorsey was still the CEO of Twitter. Now, as Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi anthology returns to Netflix, the series has to compete with the bleak realities our society faces.
Can the return of Black Mirror rise to the occasion? Yes and no. This season satirizes our obsessions with deepfake technology—apt, especially when a new movie like The Flash recreates the likeness of the late Christopher Reeve as Superman—as well as true crime television and DeuxMoi’s hunt for untapped celebrity gossip. The new season also includes a couple of stories that aren’t as much social commentary as they are intriguing science-fiction concepts, a la the episodes “San Junipero” and “Playtest.”
See: Extraction 2
Extraction 2 is no doubt a cash grab for Netflix—a sequel to their most-watched action shoot ’em up—but the film finds reason to exist in a bold, thrillingly composed, 21-minute action sequence filmed in a single take. This one’s Chris Hems-worth watching!
Here’s Nick Schager’s take:
“Death isn’t the end—or, at least, it isn’t when there’s more money to be made. As the most-watched original film in Netflix history, director Sam Hargraves’ 2020 blockbuster Extraction was destined for a follow-up, regardless of the fact that—SPOILER ALERT!—its gung-ho commando protagonist Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) seemingly perished at its end.
Extraction 2 is thus an inevitable act of resurrection as well as a predictable upping-the-ante sequel, steroidally amplifying everything about its predecessor, highlighted by a 21-minute single-take centerpiece (nine minutes longer than its precursor!) of unbridled action insanity. At its deadliest, it’s a feat of breathtaking cinematic showmanship on par with recent standouts The Villainess, Carter, and John Wick 4—even if its tale is as threadbare as its carnage is copious.”
See: I’m a Virgo
I’m a Virgo brings Boots Riley’s big imagination to the small screen, crafting a story about a 13-foot-tall teenager that’s impressively filmed with exciting practical effects, but which doesn’t always live up to its own towering potential.
Here’s Kyndall Cunningham’s take:
“The last time audiences were treated to the vibrant, absurdist, and anti-capitalist world-building of Boots Riley, it was his 2018 critically acclaimed satire Sorry to Bother You. That delightly outrageous (albeit flawed) film found LaKeith Stanfield using an uncanny “white voice” to climb the corporate ladder, encountering greedy overlords, and trying to escape Armie Hammer, before being turned into a horse.
Sorry to Bother You may have left you with an adrenaline kick—and maybe a desire to go on strike—but Riley ups the ante with his new Prime Video series, I’m a Virgo, premiering June 23. Aside from the novelty of its whimsical and thoroughly weird plot, I’m a Virgo marks Riley’s first venture into the television space and actor Jharrel Jerome’s long-awaited return to the medium as a series regular, since his Emmy-winning role in Ava Duvernay’s Netflix miniseries, When They See Us.
Both live up to the expectations that fans of their work have retained in the waiting period since their last projects. Jerome, especially, uncovers new layers to his abilities as an already impressive actor. While the 25-year-old has proven that he can break our hearts, both in When They See Us and his cinematic debut in Moonlight, he’s also capable of delivering the kind of awkward, nerdy comedy of a Michael Cera or Jesse Eisenberg-type.”
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