The Movie Guru: Netflix movies perfect for a mood boost
The Movie Guru
Heavy metal has always made a home for outcasts, even when they’re desperately uncool.
That’s definitely the case with “Metal Lords,” the messy, foul-mouthed, but ultimately heartwarming story of three teens brought together by heavy metal music. Though it’s more “School of Rock” than a heavy metal song, it’s both funny and sweet to watch these awkward, isolated kids find their power. If you need more metal, there’s also a ton of guest spots that deeper-level fans will recognize and appreciate.
The movie opens on two teens who are trying to start a heavy metal band. They need a bass guitarist, but since they’re the only metal fans at their school it’s been a challenge. When Kevin (Jaeden Martell) approaches a girl who plays the kind of bass meant for an orchestra, all three teens have to learn what it means to be truly metal.
Martell, along with band mates Adrien Greensmith and Isis Hainsworth, are all endearingly awkward in their own way. Though they all face challenges, the movie makes sure they’re never too dark. After all, heavy metal is there to save them.
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Rescued by Ruby
If you like dog movies, you need to watch “Rescued by Ruby.”
Based on a true story, the movie checks off nearly all the boxes on the ultimate dog movie list. An opening that finds the dog unadoptable, putting his future at risk until the right owner comes along to save him. A powerful bond between dog and owner where they see themselves in each other. A glorious triumph that proves just how special the dog really is.
Even better, the dog lives.
The movie moves the story up to Canada, where Grant Gustin is a Mountie who dreams of joining the special detection team. That means he needs a dog to train, and since the team doesn’t have the budget for more he needs to find his own. Enter Ruby, the most untrainable dog in Canada.
The film follows a very specific formula, but it’s a sweet, satisfying one that goes down smoothly. There’s a good balance of humor and dramatic moments, just enough to keep you drawn in until the very end. It even has a nice twist I won’t spoil that gives the whole thing a little extra depth.
Taken all together, it’s exactly the kind of movie dog lovers have been waiting for.
Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood
Childhood is always more relaxing after you’ve left it.
“Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood,” the latest from Richard Linklater, delivers that trip with a gently fantastical feel. It takes audiences back to the summer of 1969, where a young boy lives a sweetly mundane summer while also training for a secret moon mission. The rotoscoped animation style seamlessly blends the real and fantastical elements, and the lyrical tone makes it feel like the softest kind of memory.
Despite the space plot, most of the movie’s focus is on capturing the era-specific experience of childhood. That means that not a lot happens in terms of story, but the recreation can create a warm nostalgia even if you never lived in the time period. The details are vivid, turning both regular and impossible moments into their own kind of poetry.
Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.