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‘The Mother’ Proves Jennifer Lopez Doesn’t Need Rom-Coms Anymore

Netflix
Netflix

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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.

See: The Mother

<div class="inline-image__credit">Doane Gregory/Netflix</div>
Doane Gregory/Netflix

The Mother is Jennifer Lopez’s first action role in a decade, but you wouldn’t know by how confidently she throws punches, slides across cars, and essentially rescues an outlandish movie from falling apart with her irresistible screen presence.

Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:

“It has been a hot minute since Jennifer Lopez took up her firearms for a proper action flick. No, Shotgun Wedding doesn’t count, as it leaned on its comedic side, and neither does Hustlers, despite it being more action-packed than the last 35 Fast and the Furious movies. Lopez hasn’t led a true action movie since 2013’s Parker, but even before she was outacting Jason Statham at every turn, Lopez had already begun to favor the simpler pleasures of romantic comedies over high-octane stunts.

‘The Mother’ Proves J.Lo Is Hollywood’s Ultimate Action Star

"But the skies have opened, and like manna from heaven rains down The Mother, Lopez’s first action movie in a decade—and one that is eerily similar to her 2002 classic, Enough. Over 20 years have passed since Enough was released, and Lopez hasn’t lost a single bit of the spark that electrified her fiercely devoted mother into a raging, glorious flame. The Mother finds Lopez in a comparable predicament, having to go to extreme means to protect her daughter and save both of their lives.”

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See: High Desert

<div class="inline-image__credit">Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Apple TV+</div>
Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Apple TV+

High Desert’s zany private eye farce is a fantastic entry into the burgeoning, wacky television detective renaissance, and an outstanding opportunity for star Patricia Arquette to flex her comedy chops—if she can find her way through a druggie daze.

Here’s Nick Schager’s take:

“Amateur female detectives are having a streaming TV moment, thanks first to Natasha Lyonne and Rian Johnson’s Poker Face and now courtesy of Patricia Arquette’s High Desert, the loopy story of a woman who seeks redemption—and locates a world of criminal trouble—via a sleuthing career. Buoyed by a wacko, drugged-out, sunburnt, New Age-y energy that faintly recalls The Big Lebowski, Nancy Fichman, Katie Ford, and Jennifer Hoppe-House’s Apple TV+ series (premiering May 17) is ramshackle in the right ways, led by Arquette’s tour-de-force of mad, messy, brazen desperation and determination.

Patricia Arquette Sets a New High Bar for Wacky TV Detectives in the Madcap ‘High Desert’

“Directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents) and executive-produced by Ben Stiller (who’s previously teamed with Arquette on Escape at Dannemora and Severance), High Desert is a comedy whose title is meant to be taken literally. In Yucca Valley, California, felon Peggy (Arquette) is still picking up the pieces of a ten-years-prior calamity in which her family was torn apart—with her husband Denny (Matt Dillon) going to jail—by a DEA drug bust that ruined their narcotics-funded good life. Denny remains in prison and Peggy scrapes by working at local Pioneer Town for Owen (Kevin Can F**k Himself’s Eric Petersen), all while mourning the recent loss of her beloved mother Roslyn (Bernadette Peters) and her continuing estrangement from her son Ethan.”

Read more.

See: Book Club: The Next Chapter

<div class="inline-image__credit">Riccardo Ghilardi/Fifth Season</div>
Riccardo Ghilardi/Fifth Season

Book Club: The Next Chapter, the latest in the GCU (Grandma Cinematic Universe), reteams the grannies that started it all for a surprisingly moving sequel that takes the gang to Italy for a movie so elevated in its cheesiness that it’s bad-good-perfect.

Here’s Kevin Fallon’s take:

“There are only five people in this world with whom I’d be willing to relive the hell of Zoom-reliant pandemic isolation: Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, and my therapist. After witnessing the soul-healing powers that emanate from Book Club: The Next Chapter and taking in its valuable lessons about connection, love, and living life to its fullest, I don’t think I even need that therapist anymore. Paying the price of a movie ticket to spend time with my Book Club girlies is far more economical, anyway.

God Bless ‘Book Club 2,’ a Tour de Force of Corny Cinema

Book Club: The Next Chapter begins with a webcam-led walk down memory lane (or, let’s be real, nightmare alley) of those pandemic-era online meet-ups. When a movie launches in the Year of Our Beyoncé 2023 with a bit about an older person not understanding how her Zoom camera or mute button works, it feels more like it’s settling us in for a horror movie than a charming romp about four good friends going on a girls’ trip.”

Read more.

See: BlackBerry

<div class="inline-image__credit">Courtesy of IFC Films</div>
Courtesy of IFC Films

BlackBerry takes us back to the time when there was more than one viable phone brand (sorry to anyone reading this on a Samsung) for a dramedy biopic about the cutthroat tech race of the 2000s that’s as captivating as it is nostalgic.

Here’s Allegra Frank’s take:

“In one of the early, pivotal moments of BlackBerry, a dramedy biopic about the implosion of the once-beloved smartphone that screened at SXSW Monday, Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel) and Jim Balsillie (Glenn Howerton) sit in silence in a yellow cab. They are en route to the most important business meeting of their lives. On the radio—improbably—plays a song that a certain group of post-rock, ’90s midwestern emo-lovers know well: “Good Morning, Captain” by Slint, a group of 21-year-old Kentuckians that broke up just before their only record was released.

The ‘BlackBerry’ Movie Is More Than Just the Next ‘Social Network’

“And BlackBerry does, in ways, suggest itself as a breakup picture. That’s what’s given early reviews’ pat, reductive comparisons to The Social Network some heft. But BlackBerry is as much about self-immolation as it is the deterioration of relationships at the hands of hubris—and it’s that dramatic, tragic balance that makes it more interesting than simply another entry in the growing tech company biopic genre.”

Read more.

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